Installing and Removing VNC Connect

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Windows

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

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.

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

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity,enable it by selecting Allow cloud connections in the VNC Server Options dialog or set the AllowCloudRfb parameter.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription. Refer to Activating a VNC Connect Home subscription

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the VNC 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:

  1. Open a Command Prompt. On Vista and later, perform this operation as an administrator (right-click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select Run as administrator) to suppress UAC prompts.

  2. Run a suitable command. For example, to install silently without rebooting, apply a license key (Enterprise only), and enable automatic update checks and anonymous analytics without prompting the end user:

    <vnc-app>.exe /qn REBOOT=ReallySuppress LICENSEKEY=<key> ENABLEAUTOUPDATECHECKS=1 ENABLEANALYTICS=1

    By default, the following components are installed:

    • VNC 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 VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer. See Licensing VNC Connect

Starting VNC Server

VNC Server starts automatically in Service Mode.

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

Downloading VNC Viewer

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

Getting connected

If you have a:

Changing or repairing VNC Connect

You can change or repair VNC Server or VNC Viewer using Control Panel > Programs and Features in the standard way.

Removing VNC Connect

You can uninstall VNC Server or VNC 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.

Mac

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

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity, perform this post-install step.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription providing you install VNC Server desk-side. You cannot migrate over a remote control session.

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the VNC 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 VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer.

Setting up the environment for VNC Server

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

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

Starting VNC Server

VNC Server starts automatically in Service Mode.

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

Downloading VNC Viewer

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

Getting connected

If you have a:

Removing VNC Connect

Using desktop tools

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

At the command line

To uninstall VNC 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 VNC Connect (version 6+) on supported Debian-compatible computers.

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.

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

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity, perform this post-install step.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription providing you install VNC Server desk-side. You cannot migrate over a remote control session.

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the appropriate VNC 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 VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer.

Setting up the environment for VNC Server

VNC 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.

VNC Server in Virtual Mode

To use VNC 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 VNC Server

To start VNC 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 VNC Viewer

Download the VNC 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

If you have a:

Removing VNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall VNC 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 VNC 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.

Redhat

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

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.

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

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity, perform this post-install step.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription providing you install VNC Server desk-side. You cannot migrate over a remote control session.

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the appropriate VNC 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 VNC Server

Note the following:

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

Using desktop tools

To install VNC 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 VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer.

Setting up the environment for VNC Server

VNC Server in Virtual Mode

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

VNC 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 VNC 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 VNC Server

To start VNC 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 VNC Viewer

Download the VNC 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

If you have a:

Removing VNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall VNC 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 VNC 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 VNC Connect (version 6+) on supported supported SUSE Linux computers.

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.

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

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity, perform this post-install step.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription providing you install VNC Server desk-side. You cannot migrate over a remote control session.

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the appropriate VNC 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 VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer.

Setting up the environment for VNC Server

SELinux

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

Printing

If you wish to print under SLED and SLES 10, perform the following operations.

Starting VNC Server

To start VNC 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 VNC Viewer

Download the VNC 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

If you have a:

Removing VNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall VNC 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 VNC 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 an Enterprise subscription for VNC Connect, you can follow the instructions below to license VNC Server at the same time; a license KEY is available from the Deployment page of your RealVNC account. If you have a Home or Professional subscription, just omit these steps license VNC Server post-install instead.

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 VNC Server:

    <binary-dir>/vnclicense -add KEY

  3. If you intend to run VNC 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: VNC Server in User Mode (vncserver-x11), Virtual Mode (vncserver-virtual), and VNC Viewer.
  • Unavailable programs: VNC 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 VNC Server) in order to connect. The credentials of other system users added to the VNC 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 VNC 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.

VNC Server in Virtual Mode

For best results with modern desktop environments and applications on Red Hat-compatible computers, run VNC Server in conjunction with the system Xorg server, rather than the outdated version built-in to Xvnc.

For Ubuntu, you may need to change the desktop environment.

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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