Hosting RealVNC Server for Linux on a Network Share


Offline Licensing - Legacy.png
Offline Licensing.png

If you have a subscription that includes offline licensing, you can install RealVNC Server and supporting programs on a central computer and enable users to run programs from target computers; that is, from Linux computers within the same domain with whom the installation directory is shared.


Note the following restrictions, which may mean that certain programs and VNC Server modes cannot be hosted in this way:

  • An offline license is required for RealVNC Server.
  • RealVNC Server in Service Mode (vncserver-x11-serviced) and the RealVNC Server Virtual Mode daemon (vncserver-virtuald) are not supported.
  • If system authentication or interactive system authentication is specified, connecting users can only authenticate using the credentials of the computer user starting RealVNC Server. The credentials of other local user accounts registered using the Permissions parameter are ignored.
  • The single sign-on authentication scheme is not available.
  • Printing is not available.

It is not a requirement for the central computer to be Linux. However, extra steps are required if it is not.

Installing RealVNC Server on the central computer

  1. On the central computer, download the appropriate RealVNC Server generic script installer containing unpackaged binaries for your platform, and extract to <install-dir> in a shared location. Navigate to this directory, but do not run the vncinstall script.

  2. Create an <install-dir>/vnc directory.

  3. Run the following command to license RealVNC Server:

    vnclicense -LicenseDir= <install-dir>/vnc -add OFFLINELICENSE

  4. Run the command vncinitconfig -config to generate a font path for virtual desktops, and move the resulting /etc/vnc/config file to <install-dir>/vnc.

    *The font path is extracted from the X server of the central computer. If target computers have a different X server configuration, it may be necessary to create an /etc/vnc/config.custom file on each, and populate it with the Font Path output of the command xset -q.

  5. Run the command vncinitconfig -xstartup to generate a start up script for virtual desktops, and move the resulting /etc/vnc/xstartup file to <install-dir>/vnc.

  6. On each target computer, create a mount point and mount <install-dir> read-only, then add this location to users’ PATHs.

  7. Inform target computer users they can now run RealVNC Server at the command line, by running vncserver-virtual.

Using a setup computer to install RealVNC Server on the central computer

If your central computer is Windows or Mac, you will additionally need a Linux setup computer. You can then use this setup computer to run installation commands, which are Linux-specific.

  1. On the central computer, download the RealVNC Server for Linux generic script installer, and extract to an <install-dir> in a shared location.

  2. On the setup computer, create a mount point and mount <install-dir> with write permissions.

  3. Navigate to the mounted <install-dir>.

  4. Carry on from step 2.

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