How do I get started with VNC Connect on Linux?

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Setting up your account

The video below shows you how to get started:

To subscribe to VNC Connect, see How do I subscribe to VNC Connect?

On the computer you want to control

Note: If you have a Raspberry Pi running Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian), VNC Connect is pre-installed and pre-licensed so all you have to do is follow these instructions to enable it. You do not need to read this section.

Installing VNC Server

  1. Download VNC Server to the computer you want to control as either a DEB (Ubuntu) or RPM (RHEL/CentOS).
  2. Install the VNC Server program:
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. Change directory to the download location, e.g.
      cd ~/Downloads
    3. Run one of the following commands, depending on your version of Linux
      sudo apt install ./<download-file>     # Ubuntu
      sudo yum install -y <download-file>   # RHEL and CentOS

VNC Server is now installed, but not ready for use.

Licensing and starting VNC Server

Using the Setup Helper Script

For the best experience, we recommend that you download and run the vncsetup-helper script:

  1. Open a Terminal.
  2. Change directory to the download location, e.g.
    cd ~/Downloads
  3. Extract the contents
    tar -xzf vncsetup-helper.tar.gz
  4. Execute the script
    sudo ./vncsetup.sh

Running commands manually

Alternatively, you can follow the below steps to configure VNC Server in Service Mode.
If you'd like to use Virtual Mode (Enterprise subscription only), please see Beginners guide to Virtual mode.

  1. Open a Terminal.
  2. Run the following command to start VNC Server
    sudo systemctl enable vncserver-x11-serviced --now
  3. Run the following command to license VNC Server
    sudo vnclicensewiz
  4. Apply your subscription to VNC Server by signing in using your RealVNC account credentials. If you have an Enterprise subscription, you can register offline using your license key, available from the Deployment page of your RealVNC account.

Using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, CentOS/RHEL 8, or later?

When you connect to VNC Server on these OSes you may see a blank/blank screen or a message stating "Cannot currently show the desktop", or find you cannot connect until there is a user logged in on the remote computer. To resolve this, edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf (Ubuntu) or /etc/gdm/custom.conf (CentOS/RHEL) and uncomment WaylandEnable=false, then reboot the VNC Server computer.

More advanced instructions for getting started on Linux can be found here: Scripting Deployment and Start-up on Linux.

Authenticating against VNC Server

With Professional or Enterprise subscriptions, System Authentication is the default. You also need to ensure that the users you want to be able to connect remotely have been given permission. For more information, see What username and password do I enter when I'm trying to connect? and Managing users and session permissions for VNC Server.

Inviting people to your Team

If you are using Cloud connections, to allow others to access your computers remotely, see How do I invite people in to my team to share remote access?

For more about Teams, see What is a team, and how do I add computers and people to it?

On the device you want to control from

  1. Download VNC Viewer.
  2. Install the VNC Viewer program:
    1. Open a Terminal.
    2. Change directory to the download location, e.g.
      cd ~/Downloads
    3. Run one of the following commands, depending on your version of Linux
      sudo apt install ./<download-file>     # Ubuntu
      sudo yum install -y <download-file>   # RHEL and CentOS
  3. Sign in using your RealVNC account credentials. You should see the remote computer appear in your team:

    faq-get-connected.png

  4. Click or tap to connect. You are prompted to authenticate to VNC Server. See this article for the credentials you need to enter: What username and password do I enter when I'm trying to connect to VNC Server?

If you want to connect to a computer running Windows or Mac, please see How do I get started with VNC Connect on Windows and Mac?

If you are setting up a Home subscription, see Activating a VNC Connect Home subscription.

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Comments

2 comments
  • Hello,

    while installing VNC Viewer on a Ubuntu system, here is the message displayed in the terminal :


    sudo apt install VNC-Viewer-6.20.529-Linux-x64
    Lecture des listes de paquets... Fait
    Construction de l'arbre des dépendances
    Lecture des informations d'état... Fait
    E: Impossible de trouver le paquet VNC-Viewer-6.20.529-Linux-x64
    E: Impossible de trouver de paquet correspondant à l'expression rationnelle « VNC-Viewer-6.20.529-Linux-x64 »

    Did I do something wrong ?

    Cheers,

    Julien

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  • Julien if you use 'dpkg -i path-to-file' it will work.

    But did you actually use this format ?? --> apt install ./<download-file> and don't forget the ./ or the full path to the file

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