How to Install and Configure VNC Server on CentOS 8

VNC stands for "Virtual Network Computing" is a GUI desktop sharing application that can be used to access and control other computers over a network. It uses the Remote Frame Buffer protocol and works on a client/server model. Generally, it is used by technical support people to manage and troubleshoot desktop, server and other network devices remotely.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VNC server on CentOS 8.

Prerequisites

  • A system running CentOS 8 Desktop operating system.
  • A root password is configured on your server.

Getting Started

By default, SELinux is enabled in CentOS 8 operating system and the VNC server will not work properly if SELinux is enabled. So it is a good idea to disable the SELinux in your system. You can disable it by editing the following file:

nano /etc/sysconfig/selinux

Find the following line:

SELINUX=enforcing

And, replace it with the following line:

SELINUX=disabled

Save and close the file when you are finished. Then, restart your system to implement the changes.

Install VNC Server

By default, TigerVNC is available in the CentOS 8 default repository. You can install it by running the following command:

dnf install tigervnc-server tigervnc-server-module -y

Once the installation has been completed, you can proceed to the next step.

Create New User and Set VNS Password

Next, you will need to create a new user for VNC remote desktop session. You can create a new user with name hitesh as shown below:

useradd hitesh

Next, set password for this user with the following command:

passwd hitesh

Next, switch the user to the hitesh and set VNC password for this user with the following command:

su - hitesh
vncpasswd

Provide your desired password and hit enter to create the password as shown below:

Password:
Verify:
Would you like to enter a view-only password (y/n)? n
A view-only password is not used

Next, exit from the hitesh user with the following command:

exit

Create Systemd Service File for VNC

Next, you will need to create a systemd service file for VNC. You can create it with the following command:

nano /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]

Add the following lines:

[Unit]
Description=Remote Desktop VNC Service
After=syslog.target network.target

[Service]
Type=forking
WorkingDirectory=/home/hitesh
User=hitesh
Group=hitesh

ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/vncserver -kill %i > /dev/null 2>&1 || :'
ExecStart=/usr/bin/vncserver -autokill %i
ExecStop=/usr/bin/vncserver -kill %i

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Save and close the file when you are finished. Then, reload the systemd daemon with the following command:

systemctl daemon-reload

Next, start the VNC service on display 1 and enable to start after system reboot with the following command:

systemctl start [email protected]:1.service
systemctl enable [email protected]:1.service

You can now check the status of VNC service with the following command:

systemctl status [email protected]:1.service

You should get the following output:

? [email protected]:1.service - Remote Desktop VNC Service
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/[email protected]; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2020-03-06 03:45:50 EST; 45s ago
  Process: 2196 ExecStart=/usr/bin/vncserver -autokill :1 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  Process: 2190 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c /usr/bin/vncserver -kill :1 > /dev/null 2>&1 || : (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Tasks: 180 (limit: 12537)
   Memory: 347.3M
   CGroup: /system.slice/system-vncserver.slice/[email protected]:1.service
           ??2203 /usr/bin/Xvnc :1 -auth /home/hitesh/.Xauthority -desktop centos8:1 (hitesh) -fp catalogue:/etc/X11/fontpath.d -geometry 1024>
           ??2210 sh -c (/home/hitesh/.vnc/xstartup; /usr/bin/vncserver -kill :1) >> '/home/hitesh/.vnc/centos8:1.log' 2>&1 &
           ??2211 /bin/sh /home/hitesh/.vnc/xstartup
           ??2212 /usr/libexec/gnome-session-binary
           ??2221 dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session
           ??2222 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --syslog --fork --print-pid 6 --print-address 8 --session
           ??2230 /usr/bin/ssh-agent /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients
           ??2246 /usr/libexec/at-spi-bus-launcher
           ??2251 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --config-file=/usr/share/defaults/at-spi2/accessibility.conf --nofork --print-address 3
           ??2253 /usr/libexec/at-spi2-registryd --use-gnome-session
           ??2257 /usr/libexec/gvfsd
           ??2264 /usr/libexec/gvfsd-fuse /home/hitesh/.gvfs -f -o big_writes
           ??2292 /usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon --start --components=secrets
           ??2336 /usr/libexec/gsd-power

VNC server is now started and listening on port 5901. You can check it with the following command:

netstat -tunlp | grep 5901

You should get the following output:

tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:5901            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      2203/Xvnc           
tcp6       0      0 :::5901                 :::*                    LISTEN      2203/Xvnc

Access VNC Server

VNC server is now installed and configured, it's time to access your VNC server from the remote computer.

On the Windows/Linux machine, open the VNC Viewer application and provide your VNC server address as shown below:

Your-server-ip:5901

Connect to VNC server

Click on the Continue button. You should see the following screen:

Authenticate with username and password

Provide your VNC password and click on the OK button. Once you are connected, you should see your CentOS desktop in the following screen:

Remote desktop via VNC

Conclusion

Congratulations! you have successfully installed and configured the VNC server on CentOS 8. I hope this will help you to manage remote computers easily over the network.

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By: fedor at: 2020-08-19 07:32:56

# Next may be neccesary if firewall is on

firewall-cmd --add-port=5901/tcp --permanent

firewall-cmd --reload