Linux: Viewing Desktop (VNC) in-browser & troubleshooting
For most of our VPS plans, we pre-configure VNC with the service.
We use the TightVNC Java viewer, which you can also download yourself. You can even upload this to your own website directory if you have one for easier access. There's an example file in the zip file included in the download.
How to view:
- Go to https://scripts.virmach.com/viewdesktop.php?ip=<your_server_ip>
We've set up the VNC to work by going to this URL
- Enter root password twice.
Common Issues with TightVNC Java Viewer:
How to restart VNC/disable or enable SSH tunneling:
Delete your temporary internet files. If issue persists, re-install Java/Browser you use
- Missing required Permissions manifest attribute
Go to your 'Configure Java' on your PC and either: 1) lower security settings, or 2) add your server's IP (http://<your server ip>) to the trusted list
- Too many Authentication Failures
This means someone's been trying to connect to your server with an invalid password. No worries if your password is secure. Just restart your VNC
- Frozen! I can't load the VNC properly
Your VNC may hang if you open too many application. Most the time, it's not hanging. Just refresh the VNC. If not, restart the VNC (see below)
- Can't type properly on keyboard
Another common problem is not being able to type properly. You can fix this by trying a different VNC client such as RealVNC
- To restart your VNC
First you'll need an SSH program like PuTTY
1. Enter your server IP, change port to 6000 (or 22 for some plans)
2. Click 'Open'
3. Enter username as root
4. Enter your root password
5. Type in the command vncserver -kill :1 to stop the VNC server
6. Type in the command vncserver :1 to restart the server
7. Please note the previous command disables SSH Tunneling.
Important Security: You should at this point type in vncpasswd to set a new secure VNC password since tunneling is disabled.
8. To re-enable SSH Tuennling, reboot your server, by default. Command for reboot is reboot
- Disabling SSH Tunneling
Refer above to disable it once until reboot. You'll need PuTTY
1. To disable permanently, type in the command nano /etc/rc.local
2. Edit the file and remove localhost from the text then press ctrl+x to save
3. Type in vncserver -kill :1 to stop the VNC and vncserver :1 to restart without tunneling
4. Please make sure you set a VNC password! Type in vncpasswd
5. Now you can reboot at any time without SSH tunneling. Uncheck any tunneling options and set Remote Host to your server's IP instead of localhost
What is SSH Tunneling?
How can I fully secure my VNC? (advanced users)
- SSH Tunneling is a more secure way of connecting to your VNC (remote desktop)
- We use it by default so you can access your VNC only if you have your root password
- The VNC password is set to passwd by default, but with SSH tunneling required, no one else can connect to it
- The disadvantages of SSH tunneling is that it uses more bandwidth, meaning it will work a little slower at times
- Another disadvantage is that not all VNC clients support it, so you may have to disable it
- For convenience, we did not fully set up the VNC with the best practices
- You should create a new user called vnc and set up VNC to work on that account only
- You should change your VNC password from the default to a more secure password
I've disabled SSH Tunneling, what can I do now?
What are some other cool things I can do with my VNC?
- If you've disabled SSH tunneling, we highly recommend downloading a better VNC client
Our personal favorite is TurboVNC as it usually gives smoother performance.
- You can now use your VNC easier on phone applications that do not have SSH tunneling options
- Too Many Authentication Failures
This will unfortunately become a more apparent issue, as a less-secure VNC will be more vulnerable to attacks.
The reason this error occurs is to protect you from someone accessing your VNC via Bruteforce.
- If you explore the web, you can find other options for your VNC. You can:
- Change the VNC desktop size + options (Some options can already be changed on the online VNC we use, check the top bar)
- Change the port of your VNC
- Change security settings (how many times authentication can fail, etc)
- Re-install a different desktop environment that suits you better
- View your desktop!
- Did we mention that's the main point of the VNC?
- You can view your server just like a desktop with a GUI
- You can browse the internet through your VNC
- You can install programs, and you can still access Terminal from within the VNC
We hope that was helpful in answering some of your most common VNC issue questions. Don't have the VNC installed? Simply go to your SolusVM panel and install the OS image with it pre-installed. However, if you do not have at least 512MB of RAM with your service, we highly recommend upgrading before using VNC, as the VNC client itself ends up using 40MB+ at the very least to run + more CPU to view it + more resources required for simple applications, even opening a browser window! If you don't already have a plan with us, or are trying to figure out how to set up a VNC on your own, it might be easier to purchase a plan from us that will work pre-installed with VNC, starting at just $2.95/M.
If you're still stuck, contact us. If you have premium support, we'll do anything described in this article for you! You may add it on to your service for $5/M.
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