vncserver(1) Virtual Network Computing vncserver(1)
vncserver - start or stop a VNC server
vncserver [:display#] [-name desktop-name] [-geometry widthxheight] [-depth depth] [-pix-
elformat 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 appro-
priate options and starts a window manager on the VNC desktop.
vncserver can be run with no options at all. In this case it will choose the first avail-
able 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:
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.
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 $VNCDESKTOP envi-
ronment variable, which allows you to run a different set of applications depending
on the name of the desktop.
Specify the size of the VNC desktop to be created. Default is 1024x768.
Specify the pixel depth (in bits) of the VNC desktop to be created. Default is 24.
Other possible values are 8, 15 and 16 - anything else is likely to cause strange
behaviour by applications.
Specify pixel format for Xvnc to use (BGRnnn or RGBnnn). The default for depth 8
is BGR233 (meaning the most significant two bits represent blue, the next three
green, and the least significant three represent red), the default for depth 16 is
RGB565, and the default for depth 24 is RGB888.
-cc 3 As an alternative to the default TrueColor visual, this allows you to run an Xvnc
server with a PseudoColor visual (i.e. one which uses a color map or palette),
which can be useful for running some old X applications which only work on such a
display. Values other than 3 (PseudoColor) and 4 (TrueColor) for the -cc option
may result in strange behaviour, and PseudoColor desktops must have an 8-bit depth.
This kills a VNC desktop previously started with vncserver. It does this by
killing the Xvnc process, whose process ID is stored in the file
"$HOME/.vnc/host:display#.pid". 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 applica-
-list Lists running VNC servers.
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. Otherwise,
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 catalog.) In any case, if Xvnc fails
to start, the 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 fallback 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 terminating Xvnc when the user logs out of the window manager.
Several VNC-related files are found in the directory $HOME/.vnc:
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 xstartup.
Identifies the Xvnc process ID, used by the -kill option.
vncviewer(1), vncpasswd(1), vncconfig(1), Xvnc(1)
Tristan Richardson, RealVNC Ltd.
D. R. Commander
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 support.
TigerVNC 13 Mar 2011 vncserver(1)