How To Configure Remote Access To Your Ubuntu Desktop - Page 3

4 Connecting From An Ubuntu Client

On an Ubuntu client, we don't have to install any software to connect to the remote desktop - it's all there. We can simply use the vncviewer command from chapter two. Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

Then type in the vncviewer command from chapter two, e.g.


A window opens where you must type in the password for the remote desktop:

Afterwards, the remote Ubuntu desktop opens in a new window:

To stop the connection, simply close the window.


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From: Vladimir

This description is nice but what about iptables? How do I configure iptables to accept connection from local network?

From: Paul

iptables -I INPUT -s -p tcp --dport 5900 -j ACCEPT

               Where - your local network  (Example: you can get this by reading

 your routing table:

       Win:  Start -> Run -> cmd ->OK -> route print (in the black command propt window that opens )

          Linux : /sbin/route -n (in a terminal console) Look for the row that starts like your IP address

mmm.mmm.mmm.mmm - your netmask (Example:



From: Anonymous


Nice job on this tutorial. You answered 98% of my questions and I have successfully viewed my Ubuntu 9.04 desktop from my Netbook using XP and TightVNC.


From: Anonymous

So I have this all setup and working great, thank you very much, but have come across one issue that I am hoping you can help me with.  If the remote server is not currently logged on then I cannot connect to it.  If somebody is not logged onto the remote server then I get a "failed to connect" error but if somebody is logged onto the remote server then the connecting computer will connect just fine, even if the screen is locked.  I would think there would be a setting for this so the service can  start with the system without a user having to log on, I can't be the only one to have a problem with this.  It is a real problem when I try and work on the remote server over a weekend and need to reboot but nobody is available to log on locally.

From: D.A.

Try setting your target machine's router to also forward 5901 (UDP & TCP) to the local LAN IP address of the target machine attached to it.  Then use display number 1 instead of 0 when connecting to the target with RealVNC or TightVNC or UltraVNC or whatever VNC you like, i.e.,




  - where "" is the dyndns service URL linked to your target PC
  - or where is the external IP address of your router (facing the Internet)
  - where "1" is the display number of your Ubuntu desktop following the local user's display which is usually display 0

- - -

 Important note: passwords for RealVNC and UltrVNC are sent over the LAN/WAN in clear text and could be sniffed by a prowler monitoring your system(s).  It is usually recommended to set up a secure socket layer (SSL) tunnel first when accessing remote PC's via the Internet using VNC.

 - - -

Also of note: I've never set this up with Ubuntu (yet) but have done so many times with Mandriva and OpenSuse.  Both worked fine as described.

Good luck!

-- DA