Starting and Stopping RealVNC Connect

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Windows

You can operate RealVNC Connect programs from the graphical desktop in the standard way for Windows applications, or alternatively from the command line.

*By default, RealVNC Server in Service Mode starts automatically when the computer is powered on. You can change this from the Microsoft Services snap-in.

Operating RealVNC Server at the command line

By default, RealVNC Server is installed in C:\Program Files\RealVNC\RealVNC Server.

Note that commands for RealVNC Server in Service Mode must be run from an Administrator Command Prompt (right-click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select Run as administrator).

Operation Mode Command
Start RealVNC Server  User vncserver.exe
 Service vncserver.exe -start
Reload offline licenses and parameters without stopping  User vncserver.exe -reload
 Service vncserver.exe -service -reload
Get help  User vncserver.exe -help
 Service vncserver.exe -service -help
Stop RealVNC Server  User vncserver.exe -stop
 Service vncserver.exe -service -stop
Operating RealVNC Viewer at the command line

If you installed RealVNC Viewer, then it will be in C:\Program Files\RealVNC\VNC Viewer by default.

If you downloaded standalone RealVNC Viewer, perhaps because you didn’t have administrative privileges to install, then it can just be run from the download location.

Operation Type Command
Start RealVNC Viewer  Standalone <download-file>.exe
 Installed vncviewer.exe
Start RealVNC Viewer and establish a direct connection  Standalone <download-file>.exe <computer>
 Installed vncviewer.exe <computer>
Get help  Standalone <download-file>.exe -help
 Installed vncviewer.exe -help

Mac

You can operate RealVNC Connect programs from the graphical desktop in the standard way for Mac applications, or alternatively from the command line.

By default, RealVNC Server in Service Mode starts automatically when the computer is powered on. Stop RealVNC Server to prevent this; your change is remembered.

Operating RealVNC Server at the command line

By default, RealVNC Server is installed in /Applications/RealVNC (denoted by <dir> below).

Note that commands for RealVNC Server in Service Mode must be run with elevated privileges, for example using sudo.

Operation Mode Command
Start RealVNC Server User /Library/vnc/vncserver-root
Service <install-dir>/VNC\ Server.app/Contents/MacOS/vncserver_service
Reload offline licenses and parameters without stopping User /Library/vnc/vncserver -reload
Service /Library/vnc/vncserver -service -reload
Get help User /Library/vnc/vncserver -help
Service /Library/vnc/vncserver -help
Stop RealVNC Server User /Library/vnc/vncserver -stop
Service /Library/vnc/vncserver -service -stop

Operating RealVNC Viewer at the command line

RealVNC Viewer is a disk image that you can ‘install’ by dragging it to the Applications folder.

Operation Command
Start RealVNC Viewer /Applications/VNC\ Viewer.app/Contents/MacOS/vncviewer
Start RealVNC Viewer and establish a direct connection /Applications/VNC\ Viewer.app/Contents/MacOS/vncviewer <computer>
Get help /Applications/VNC\ Viewer.app/Contents/MacOS/vncviewer -help

Linux

You can operate some RealVNC Connect programs from the graphical desktop in the standard way for your Linux distribution. Others must be operated from the command line.

Operating RealVNC Server at the command line

By default, RealVNC Server is installed in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin. Note that:

  • Commands for RealVNC Server in Service Mode must be run with elevated privileges, for example using sudo.
  • For RealVNC Server in Virtual Mode, the vncserver symlink can be substituted for vncserver-virtual.
Operation Mode Command
Start RealVNC Server Service systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start #initd
User vncserver-x11
Virtual vncserver-virtual
Virtual daemon systemctl start vncserver-virtuald.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-virtuald start #initd
Start RealVNC Server at every boot Service systemctl enable vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
update-rc.d vncserver-x11-serviced defaults #initd
User invalid operation
Virtual invalid operation
Virtual daemon systemctl enable vncserver-virtuald.service #systemd
update-rc.d vncserver-virtuald defaults #initd
Reload offline licenses and parameters without stopping Service vncserver-x11 -service -reload
User vncserver-x11 -reload
Virtual DISPLAY=:<display-number> Xvnc -reload
Virtual daemon invalid operation
Get help Service vncserver-x11-serviced -help and man vncserver-x11-serviced
User vncserver-x11 -help and man vncserver-x11
Virtual vncserver-virtual -list and man vncserver-virtual
Virtual daemon vncserver-virtuald -help and man vncserver-virtuald
Stop RealVNC Server Service systemctl stop vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced stop #initd
User vncserver-x11 -stop
Virtual vncserver-virtual -kill :<display-number>
Virtual daemon systemctl stop vncserver-virtuald.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-virtuald stop #initd
Prevent RealVNC Server starting at boot Service systemctl disable vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
update-rc.d vncserver-x11-serviced disable #initd
User invalid operation
Virtual invalid operation
Virtual daemon systemctl disable vncserver-virtuald.service #systemd
update-rc.d vncserver-virtuald disable #initd

Operating RealVNC Viewer at the command line

If you installed RealVNC Viewer, then it will be in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin by default.

If you downloaded standalone RealVNC Viewer, perhaps because you didn’t have administrative privileges to install, then you must make the file executable before it can be run from the download location.

Operation Type Command
Start RealVNC Viewer Standalone ./<download-file>
Installed vncviewer
Start RealVNC Viewer and establish a direct connection Standalone ./<download-file> <computer>
Installed vncviewer <computer>
Get help Standalone ./<download-file> -help
Installed vncviewer -help
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