VNC from Windows to Linux
Important: In the following examples I will be connecting to eve.ece.pdx.edu using display 44, which means my port number will be 5944 (VNC port numbers are equal to 5900 plus the display number).
Starting the Server
Before we can connect to the remote desktop, we need to start the VNC server on the remote machine. In order to do this, open PuTTY and enter the remote host’s address into the ‘Host Name (or IP address)’ field:
In a terminal, run the following command:
This will start the VNC server on the machine and tell it to only accept connections from the localhost, which is to say from users logged into the machine hosting the VNC server. You will be prompted for a password to log you into your VNC session (This is _not_ like logging in with your MCECS account. This password is arbitrarily chosen by you. It is _strongly_ advised that you not use your MCECS account password here!) It will also ask if you want to assign a view-only password. This would be a password you would give to someone if you wanted them to observe your VNC session without being able to interact the desktop. Afterwards, you should receive some output that looks like this:
New ‘X’ desktop is eve.ece.pdx.edu:44
Starting applications specified in /u/cecsuser/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /u/cecsuser/.vnc/eve.ece.pdx.edu:44.log
Take note of the number given at the end of the hostname. In this case it is 44. This is the display number. You will use this later when connecting to your VNC server.
The display number is where your VNC session is funneling your desktop. My server was started on display number 44 as it was the next display available. In theory, the display number can be anywhere from 1 to 9999, and you can manually choose a display granting that it’s not already in use. (for reference, :0 is considered the root display; that is, displays physically connected to the machine).
You may close this PuTTY window once you’ve noted the display number.
Creating the SSH Tunnel in Windows
Here we’ll be using PuTTY again. Open a new PuTTY session and click on Connection->SSH->Tunnels, in the left pane. Let’s say that ‘XX’ is the display number you got in the last step. In the ‘Source Port’ field, enter ’59XX’, and in the ‘Destination’ field, enter ‘localhost:59XX’. Then click ‘Add’.
Note: If your display number is greater than 99, simply add 5900 to it to get the correct port number. For example, for display number 101, the port will be 5900 + 101 = 6001.
After you click the Add button, the tunneling information will be added to PuTTY and should look like this:
Now connect to the remote host as usual by typing its name into the ‘Host Name’ field in the ‘Session’ menu of the sidebar, and then clicking ‘Open’.
It is important that you now leave PuTTY running in the background because it will maintain your secure connection to the remote computer.
VNC in Windows
Here we will be using the Windows version of TightVNC. If you’re on a CECS lab machine, TightVNC Viewer can be found under Start->All Programs->General Applications. Start up TightVNC Viewer and enter ‘localhost:59XX’. (Use the same port that you forwarded in the previous step.)
A prompt will come up asking for your vncserver password:
After successfully authenticating, you should be at your remote desktop. Remember to log out from within the VNC session when you’re done!