Install GUI on Ubuntu Server and remote VNC

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Hello guys. Today I received an Ubuntu VPS order form a client. He stated in the requirements that he needs remote access to the UI of the Server and since our Ubuntu based servers are being delivered only with SSH I had to manually install a User Interface and configure VNC server for him.

So I decided to capture some screenshots and publish the steps here as a tutorial. So to begin just connect to your ubuntu server through PUTTY (in this case my client VPS) as below.

Ubuntu Server Desktop and VNC

OK now we require to install “ubuntu-desktop, tightvncserver, xfce4, xfce4-goodies” packages! xfce is a super lite weight desktop environment and I choose it over Gnome because being so fast.

run following command in order to install all those packages:

 

Let the installation finish! it might take some time depending your server connection and processor speed.

Ubuntu Server Desktop and VNC

Now use add user command and create a new user, we are going to give VNC access to this user later on.

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When you created your user open /etc/sudoers file using nano and add your user right after root like the image below to ensure your user has all privileges.

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now change from root to the user you just created using “su – username” command like image below and run “vncpasswd” command to create a VNC password for this user through VNC server which we just installed.

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if you faced exact outputs everything must be cool then. now we have to install the VNC server as a Service. create a file named vncserver in /etc/init.d/ directory by running:

 

and put following codes in there. (attention shahrooz here is my username! user the username you created in steps before instead of the word shahrooz.)

 

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now lets make sure that xfce is starting once vnc is connected! to do this edit “/home/shahrooz/.vnc/xstartup” and fill it with following line.

 

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Use following command to update permissions and allow all users to start X server:

 

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Now make “/etc/init,d/vncserver” executable and start VNC server:

 

Finally add vnc server to start up automatically on reboot with following command:

 

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connect to your ip:1 port through any vnc client you like! I am using RealVNC. You can use other alternatives such as TightVNC.

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That’s it! hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

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