VNC will now accept connections via VNC. Various resolutions and color depths are available:

  • Port 5900 (display 0) 1024×768 Color Depth 16 bits
  • Port 5901 (display 1) 800×600 Color Depth 16 bits
  • Port 5902 (display 2) 640-480 Color Depth 16 bits
  • Port 5903 (display 3) 1024×768 Color Depth 8 bits
  • Port 5904 (display 4) 800×600 Color Depth 8 bits
  • Port 5905 (display 5) 640×480 Color Depth 8 bits
  • Port 5906 (display 6) 1680×1050 Color Depth 16 bits
  • Port 5907 (display 7) 1280×800 Color Depth 16 bits

VNC is an older protocol for remote consoles.  NX is far superior in terms of performance and security, however, VNC is more widely available.  You can get VNC viewers for smart phones and tablets. NX is pretty much limited to Mac OS-X, Windows, and Linux.

On Apple, I recommend Chicken or Chicken-of-the-VNC, Chicken is an offshoot of Chicken of the VNC and works pretty much the same except that it has the ability to tunnel over ssh built-in.

If you are using “Chicken” or other VNC viewer that has built-in ssh tunneling, be aware that the login that ssh is going to try to use on the destination machine is the login you are using on the originating box.  If the VNC viewer gives you a place to add ssh options, you can add -l login (where login is your login here), otherwise, you will either need to change your login on your originating machine to match or setup an ssh tunnel manually.

On Linux, TigerVNC Viewer.

On Windows TightVNC Viewer.

Connecting to VNC directly is insecure because login, passwords, and any text typed goes over the connection unencrypted.  However, it is possible to forward over SSH and avoid these problems.  With Chicken or Chicken of the VNC, all you need do is check the box that says forward over ssh.  Your username on your machine must be the same as here for this to work because it doesn’t prompt for a login.  For other platforms you’ll need to setup forwarding manually.  I’ll write more about this after I figure it out myself.

This is an alternate way to get a full Gnome desktop from our server on your machine.  It is not as efficient as NX but less buggy.  You’ll get a better image and faster response with NX but NX sometimes takes multiple attempts to connect.  VNC is an older and very well established protocol and there are many VNC viewers available free.

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