man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

vncserver (1)


vncserver - start or stop a VNC server


/usr/bin/vncserver [:display#] [-name desktop-name] [-geome-
try widthxheight] [-depth depth] [-pixelformat format]  [-fp
font-path] [-fg] [-autokill] [Xvnc-options...]
vncserver -kill :display#


Virtual Network Computing                            vncserver(1)

     vncserver - start or stop a VNC server

     /usr/bin/vncserver [:display#] [-name desktop-name] [-geome-
     try widthxheight] [-depth depth] [-pixelformat format]  [-fp
     font-path] [-fg] [-autokill] [Xvnc-options...]
     vncserver -kill :display#

     vncserver is used to start a VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
     desktop.  vncserver is a Perl script  which  simplifies  the
     process  of  starting  an  Xvnc  server.   It runs Xvnc with
     appropriate options and starts a window manager on  the  VNC

     vncserver can be run with no options at all. In this case it
     will choose the first available display number (usually :1),
     start  Xvnc  with that display number, and start the default
     window manager in the Xvnc session.  You  can  also  specify
     the  display number, in which case vncserver will attempt to
     start Xvnc with that display number and exit if the  display
     number is not available.  For example:

          vncserver :13

     Editing  the  file  $HOME/.vnc/xstartup allows you to change
     the applications run at startup (but note that this will not
     affect an existing VNC session.)

     You  can get a list of options by passing -h as an option to
     vncserver.  In addition to the  options  listed  below,  any
     unrecognised  options  will be passed to Xvnc - see the Xvnc
     man page, or "Xvnc -help", for details.

     -name desktop-name
          Each VNC desktop has a name which may be  displayed  by
          the viewer. The desktop name defaults to "host:display#
          (username)", but you can change it  with  this  option.
          The  desktop  name  option  is  passed  to the xstartup
          script via the $VNCDESKTOP environment variable,  which
          allows  you  to  run  a  different  set of applications
          depending on the name of the desktop.

     -geometry widthxheight
          Specify the size of the  VNC  desktop  to  be  created.
          Default is 1024x768.

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Virtual Network Computing                            vncserver(1)

     -depth depth
          Specify the pixel depth (in bits) of the VNC desktop to
          be created. Default is 24.  Other possible  values  are
          8, 15 and 16 - anything else is likely to cause strange
          behaviour by applications.

     -pixelformat format
          Specify  pixel  format  for  Xvnc  to  use  (BGRnnn  or
          RGBnnn).   The  default  for depth 8 is BGR233 (meaning
          the most significant two bits represent blue, the  next
          three  green, and the least significant three represent
          red), the default for  depth  16  is  RGB565,  and  the
          default for depth 24 is RGB888.

     -cc 3
          As an alternative to the default TrueColor visual, this
          allows you to run an Xvnc  server  with  a  PseudoColor
          visual  (i.e.  one  which uses a color map or palette),
          which can be useful for running some old X applications
          which only work on such a display.  Values other than 3
          (PseudoColor) and 4 (TrueColor) for the -cc option  may
          result  in  strange behaviour, and PseudoColor desktops
          must have an 8-bit depth.

          Instruct Xvnc to run  a  mini-httpd  if  the  VNC  Java
          applet is found.

     -kill :display#
          This  kills  a VNC desktop previously started with vnc-
          server.  It does this  by  killing  the  Xvnc  process,
          whose    process    ID    is   stored   in   the   file
          "$HOME/.vnc/".    The   -kill   option
          ignores anything preceding the first colon (":") in the
          display argument.   Thus,  you  can  invoke  "vncserver
          -kill  $DISPLAY",  for  example  at  the  end  of  your
          xstartup file after a particular application exits.

     -fp font-path
          If the vncserver script detects that the X Font  Server
          (XFS)  is  running,  it  will attempt to start Xvnc and
          configure Xvnc to use XFS for  font  handling.   Other-
          wise,  if XFS is not running, the vncserver script will
          attempt to start Xvnc and allow Xvnc  to  use  its  own
          preferred method of font handling (which may be a hard-
          coded font path or, on more recent systems, a font cat-
          alog.)   In  any  case,  if  Xvnc  fails  to start, the

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Virtual Network Computing                            vncserver(1)

          vncserver script will  then  attempt  to  determine  an
          appropriate  X font path for this system and start Xvnc
          using that font path.

          The -fp argument allows you to override the above fall-
          back logic and specify a font path for Xvnc to use.

     -fg  Runs  Xvnc  as  a  foreground  process.   This  has two
          effects: (1) The VNC server can be aborted with CTRL-C,
          and  (2)  the  VNC server will exit as soon as the user
          logs out of the window  manager  in  the  VNC  session.
          This  may  be  necessary  when  launching TigerVNC from
          within certain grid computing environments.

          Automatically kill Xvnc whenever  the  xstartup  script
          exits.  In most cases, this has the effect of terminat-
          ing Xvnc when the user logs out of the window  manager.

     Several   VNC-related  files  are  found  in  the  directory

          A shell script specifying X applications to be run when
          a VNC desktop is started.  If this file does not exist,
          then vncserver will create a  default  xstartup  script
          which attempts to launch your chosen window manager.

          The VNC password file.

          The  log  file  for  Xvnc  and  applications started in

          Identifies the Xvnc  process  ID,  used  by  the  -kill

     vncviewer(1), vncpasswd(1), vncconfig(1), Xvnc(1)

     Tristan Richardson, RealVNC Ltd.
     D. R. Commander

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Virtual Network Computing                            vncserver(1)

     VNC  was  originally  developed by the RealVNC team while at
     Olivetti  Research  Ltd  /  AT&T   Laboratories   Cambridge.
     TightVNC additions were implemented by Constantin Kaplinsky.
     Many other people participated in development,  testing  and

     See   attributes(5)   for   descriptions  of  the  following

     |      ATTRIBUTE TYPE         |      ATTRIBUTE VALUE        |
     |Availability                 |x11/server/xvnc              |
     |Interface Stability          |Volatile                     |

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