Installing and Removing RealVNC Connect

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Windows

These instructions explain how to install RealVNC Connect (version 6+) on supported Windows computers.

*Separate MSI installers are available for RealVNC Server and RealVNC Viewer to facilitate remote deployment to multiple Windows computers using industry-standard tools such as Group Policy.

Downloading RealVNC Server

Download the RealVNC Server executable to the remote computer you want to control. Under Windows 8 or later, it is recommended you install to a secure location (for example, C:\Program Files).

Installing using desktop tools

Double-click the executable to start the graphical Install Wizard, and follow the instructions.

Installing at the command line

Installing at the command line without prompting the user or restarting the computer may be quicker and more convenient. This requires the MSI installer, and not the EXE installer.

  1. Open a Command Prompt. You will need to perform this operation as an administrator (right-click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select Run as administrator).

  2. Run a suitable command. For example, to install silently without rebooting and enable automatic update checks and anonymous analytics without prompting the end user:

    msiexec /i "<VNC Server>.msi" /qn ENABLEAUTOUPDATECHECKS=1 ENABLEANALYTICS=1

    By default, the following components are installed:

    • RealVNC Server.
    • VNC Mirror Driver (gives better performance on Windows 7). To exclude, specify ADDLOCAL=FeatureServer,FeaturePrinterDriver.
    • VNC Printer Driver (enables remote printing). To exclude, specify ADDLOCAL=FeatureServer,FeatureMirrorDriver.

Licensing RealVNC Server

You must license RealVNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. See Licensing RealVNC Connect.

Starting RealVNC Server

RealVNC Server starts automatically in Service Mode.

To learn how to operate RealVNC Server at the command line, follow these instructions.

Downloading RealVNC Viewer

Download the RealVNC Viewer executable to the computer you want to control if you have administrative privileges to install, or the standalone binary if not.

Getting connected

Depending on your subscription, you can establish cloud connectionsdirect connections or both.

Removing RealVNC Connect

You can uninstall RealVNC Server or RealVNC Viewer using Control Panel > Programs and Features in the standard way. Administrative privileges are required. You may need to restart the computer.

*To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.

macOS

These instructions explain how to install RealVNC Connect (version 6+) on supported macOS computers.

Downloading RealVNC Server

Download the RealVNC Server PKG installer to the remote computer you want to control.

Installing using desktop tools

Double-click the package to start the graphical Install Wizard, and follow the instructions. Administrative privileges are required.

Installing at the command line

Installing at the command line or via SSH may be quicker and more convenient providing defaults are acceptable. To do this, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

installer -pkg <vnc-app>.pkg -target /

Licensing RealVNC Server

You must license RealVNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. See Licensing RealVNC Connect.

Setting up the environment for RealVNC Server

For best results, disable built-in Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop before starting RealVNC Server.

If the remote computer is running 10.14 Mojave or later, you must grant system permissions to the vncagent process.

Starting RealVNC Server

RealVNC Server starts automatically in Service Mode.

To learn how to operate RealVNC Server at the command line, follow these instructions.

Downloading RealVNC Viewer

Download the RealVNC Viewer disk image to the computer you want to control from, and drag it to the Applications folder.

Getting connected

Depending on your subscription, you can establish cloud connectionsdirect connections or both.

Removing RealVNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall RealVNC Server, navigate to the Applications > RealVNC folder, and double-click the Uninstall RealVNC Server program. Administrative privileges are required. To uninstall RealVNC Viewer, simply move RealVNC Viewer.app to the Trash.

At the command line

To uninstall RealVNC Server, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

/Applications/RealVNC/Uninstall\ VNC\ Server.app/Contents/Resources/uninstaller.sh

To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.

Ubuntu

These instructions explain how to install RealVNC Connect (version 6+) on supported Debian-compatible computers.

You can perform all the operations on this page at the command line. Check out our example script.

Downloading RealVNC Server

Download the appropriate RealVNC Server DEB installer for the architecture of the remote computer you want to control.

If you do not have administrative privileges, or want to specify non-default installation locations, download the appropriate generic installer instead, and run the script provided.

Installing using desktop tools

Open <VNC-Server>.deb using a suitable package manager, and follow the instructions. Administrative privileges are required.

Installing at the command line

Installing at the command line or via SSH may be quicker and more convenient providing defaults are acceptable. To do this, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

dpkg -i <VNC-Server>.deb

Licensing RealVNC Server

You must license RealVNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. See Licensing RealVNC Connect.

Setting up the environment for RealVNC Server

RealVNC Server in Service Mode

Wayland is not supported, so if the remote computer is running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS+, edit the /etc/gdm3/custom.conf file, uncomment WaylandEnable=false, and reboot in order to remotely access the login screen.

RealVNC Server in Virtual Mode

To use RealVNC Server in Virtual Mode with the latest Ubuntu distributions, you may need to change the desktop environment.

SELinux

If SELinux is enabled, run vncinitconfig -register-SELinux to register policy modules.

Starting RealVNC Server

To start RealVNC Server in Service Mode, run the appropriate command below as a user with administrative privileges:

systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start #initd

For other command line operations and modes, see these instructions.

Downloading RealVNC Viewer

Download the RealVNC Viewer DEB installer to the computer you want to control if you have administrative privileges to install, or the standalone binary if not.

Getting connected

Depending on your subscription, you can establish cloud connectionsdirect connections or both.

Removing RealVNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall RealVNC Server, open a package manager, conduct a search for the realvnc-vnc-server installed package, mark the package for complete removal, and apply the change. Administrative privileges are required. To uninstall RealVNC Viewer, repeat this operation for realvnc-vnc-viewer.

At the command line

Run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer

To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.

Red Hat

These instructions explain how to install RealVNC Connect (version 6+) on supported Red Hat-compatible computers.

You can perform all the operations on this page at the command line. Check out our example script.

Downloading RealVNC Server

Download the appropriate RealVNC Server RPM installer for the architecture of the remote computer you want to control.

If you do not have administrative privileges, or want to specify non-default installation locations, download the appropriate generic installer instead, and run the script provided.

Installing RealVNC Server

Note the following:

  • RealVNC Server depends upon xterm. You must install it and all its dependencies first.
  • RealVNC Server conflicts with TigerVNC, a pre-installed third-party VNC-compatible application. Conflicting binaries (Xvnc and vncpasswd) are renamed on installation, and restored if RealVNC Server is uninstalled.

Using desktop tools

To install RealVNC Server, open <VNC-Server>.rpm using a suitable package manager, and follow the instructions. Administrative privileges are required.

At the command line

Installing at the command line or via SSH may be quicker and more convenient providing defaults are acceptable. To do this, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

rpm -U <VNC-Server>.rpm

Licensing RealVNC Server

You must license RealVNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. See Licensing RealVNC Connect.

Setting up the environment for RealVNC Server

RealVNC Server in Virtual Mode

For best results with modern desktop environments and applications, run RealVNC Server in conjunction with the system Xorg server, rather than the outdated version built-in to Xvnc.

RealVNC Server in Service Mode

Under certain distributions you must swap the Wayland compositor for X in order to remote the login screen. Open /etc/gdm/custom.conf in a text editor, uncomment the following line, and then restart the computer:

# WaylandEnable=False

SELinux

Policy modules will have been automatically registered if SELinux was enabled during RealVNC Server installation or upgrade. If you enable SELinux afterwards, run vncinitconfig -register-SELinux to register these policy modules manually.

Policy modules cannot be registered on versions of CentOS/RHEL earlier than 5.0.

Starting RealVNC Server

To start RealVNC Server in Service Mode, run the appropriate command as a user with administrative privileges:

systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start #initd

For other command line operations and modes, see these instructions.

Downloading RealVNC Viewer

Download the RealVNC Viewer RPM installer to the computer you want to control if you have administrative privileges to install, or the standalone binary if not.

Getting connected

Depending on your subscription, you can establish cloud connectionsdirect connections or both.

Removing RealVNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall RealVNC Server, open a package manager, conduct a search for the realvnc-vnc-server package, mark the package for removal, and apply the change. Administrative privileges are required. To uninstall RealVNC Viewer, repeat this operation for realvnc-vnc-viewer.

At the command line

Run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

rpm -e realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer

To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.

SUSE

These instructions explain how to install RealVNC Connect (version 6+) on supported supported SUSE Linux computers.

You can perform all the operations on this page at the command line. Check out our example script.

Removing conflicting packages

Before installing or upgrading, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges to ensure the following packages are not present:

rpm -e xorg-x11-Xvnc tightvnc

Downloading RealVNC Server

Download the appropriate RealVNC Server RPM installer for the architecture of the remote computer you want to control.

If you do not have administrative privileges, or want to specify non-default installation locations, download the appropriate generic installer instead, and run the script provided.

Installing using desktop tools

Open <VNC-Server>.rpm using Software Manager, and follow the instructions. Administrative privileges are required.

Installing at the command line

Installing at the command line or via SSH may be quicker and more convenient providing defaults are acceptable. To do this, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

rpm -U <VNC-Server>.rpm

Licensing RealVNC Server

You must license RealVNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. See Licensing RealVNC Connect.

Setting up the environment for RealVNC Server

SELinux

If SELinux is enabled, you must run vncinitconfig -register-SELinux to register policy modules.

Starting RealVNC Server

To start RealVNC Server in Service Mode, run the appropriate command as a user with administrative privileges:

systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start #initd

For other command line operations and modes, see these instructions.

Downloading RealVNC Viewer

Download the RealVNC Viewer RPM installer to the computer you want to control if you have administrative privileges to install, or the standalone binary if not.

Getting connected

Depending on your subscription, you can establish cloud connectionsdirect connections or both.

Removing RealVNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall RealVNC Server, open Software Manager, conduct a search for the realvnc-vnc-server package, mark the package for deletion, and apply the change. Administrative privileges are required. To uninstall RealVNC Viewer, repeat this operation for realvnc-vnc-viewer.

At the command line

Run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

rpm -e realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer

To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.

Generic script installer (Linux only)

You can install unpackaged binaries using a vncinstall script on any Linux computer. You might do this if:

  • You want to configure where binaries or man pages are installed (examine vncinstall for default locations).
  • You do not have administrative privileges.

If you have a subscription that includes mass deployment and/or offline licensing, you can follow the instructions below to license RealVNC Server at the same time; a license KEY is available from the Deployment page of your RealVNC account.

Installing to non-default locations

  1. Run the following command to specify a custom location for binaries, man pages, or both:

    ./vncinstall [<binary-dir>] [<doc-dir>]

  2. Run the following command to license RealVNC Server:

    <binary-dir>/vnclicense -add KEY

  3. If you intend to run RealVNC Server in Service Mode (vncserver-x11-serviced) or the Virtual Mode daemon (vncserver-virtuald), perform the following operations:

    System Mode File Do this
    init Service Mode /etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced Add <binary-dir> to PATH.
    Virtual Mode daemon /etc/init.d/vncserver-virtuald
    systemd Service Mode /usr/lib/systemd/system/vncserver-x11-serviced.service Edit ExecStart to include <binary-dir> and then reload systemd using systemctl daemon-reload.
    Virtual Mode daemon /usr/lib/systemd/system/vncserver-virtuald.service

Installing without administrative privileges

You can install without administrative privileges but please note not all programs or features will be available:

  • Available programs: RealVNC Server in User Mode (vncserver-x11), Virtual Mode (vncserver-virtual), and RealVNC Viewer.
  • Unavailable programs: RealVNC Server in Service Mode (vncserver-x11-serviced) and the Virtual Mode daemon (vncserver-virtuald).
  • Unavailable features: Printing and the single sign-on (SSO) authentication scheme.
  • Restricted features: The system authentication scheme is available, but connecting users must supply the credentials of the process owner (that is, the user starting RealVNC Server) in order to connect. The credentials of other system users added to the RealVNC Server Permissions parameter are ignored.

To do this:

  1. Unpack the tarball into a directory you can write to, for example:

    tar -xvf <tarball> -C /home/user/VNC --strip-components=1

  2. Navigate to this directory and license RealVNC Server, for example:

    cd /home/user/VNC
    ./vnclicense -LicenseDir=. -add KEY

  3. Create a /<your-home-dir>/.vnc/config file containing a font path for virtual desktops:

    ETCVNCDIR=<your-home-dir>/.vnc ./vncinitconfig -config

  4. Create a /<your-home-dir>/.vnc/xstartup file containing sensible environment defaults for virtual desktops:

    ETCVNCDIR=<your-home-dir>/.vnc ./vncinitconfig -xstartup

Setting up the environment

The following notes apply whichever procedure you have followed above.

RealVNC Server in Virtual Mode

For best results with modern desktop environments and applications, run RealVNC Server in conjunction with the system Xorg server, rather than the outdated version built-in to Xvnc.

SELinux

vncinstall automatically registers policy modules for RHEL/CentOS 5+ and Fedora distributions if SELinux is enabled on the system. If SELinux is disabled, or for any other distribution, you must subsequently run vncinitconfig -register-SELinux. Consult the tarball README for further information.

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