How to Install VNC on Debian VPS

VNC is a remote desktop sharing system that will allow you to connect your home PC to a GUI (graphical interface) hosted on your VPS, for easy remote management. This guide will walk you through the steps required to setup and access a VNC server hosted on a Debian VPS.

Before beginning, ensure you are logged in to your VPS as the root user, and run the following to make sure your system is up to date:

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

1. Install GNOME:

#apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment

2. Install required fonts:

# apt-get install xfonts-100dpi
# apt-get install xfonts-100dpi-transcoded
# apt-get install xfonts-75dpi
# apt-get install xfonts-75dpi-transcoded
# apt-get install xfonts-base

3. Install TightVNCServer:

# apt-get install tightvncserver

4. Start TightVNCServer for the first time, it will copy config files and prompt you for a password:

# tightvncserver :1

5. Stop the VNC server, so we can continue to configure it:

# tightvncserver -kill :1

6. Edit the xstartup file:

# vi ~/.vnc/xstartup

Press “A” to enter edit mode. Replace the contents of the file with the following (or edit to match):

#!/bin/shxrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
# x-window-manager &
gnome-session &

Press ESC, type :wq, then press enter to save and close the file.

7. Start the VNC server with your desired resolution:

# tightvncserver -geometry 1024x768 :1

You can now access your server’s remote GNOME desktop with a desktop VNC client. Enter your server’s main IP address, Port 1 (or 5901, alternately), and the password you set earlier to connect to the desktop.

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