VNC Configuration and Use

X enables remote users to access a Linux system, but it’s not the only tool for doing so. VNC can also function as a remote login tool, with a different set of advantages and disadvantages compared to X. One big plus of VNC is that it can provide remote access to Windows, as well, so you can log into Windows from Linux, Windows, or other OSs. Of course, configuring the server is just part of the job; you must know how to handle VNC clients. Fortunately, this task is fairly straightforward.


VNC runs a client on the computer at which the user sits and a server on the remote computer. Thus, VNC’s client/server terminology is more familiar to most people than is the X terminology.

VNC Versions

One of the earliest versions of VNC was released by AT&T. That version is no longer maintained or hosted by AT&T, but it’s available under the name RealVNC from Binary versions of RealVNC are available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and HP-UX, with source code available that will compile for other Unix-like OSs. Many Linux distributions ship with RealVNC.

Another VNC variant is available under the name TightVNC , from This VNC implementation is notable because it includes some improved compression algorithms, which can improve VNC’s speed. TightVNC is available in binary form for Windows and Linux, with source code for other Unix-like systems also available. Many Linux distributions ship with TightVNC in addition to or ...

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