vino-server : remote desktop sharing for linux

I’m configuring up a box running Ubuntu linux for my favourite mother-in-law. She’s not a power-user, and so I dismissed the thought instantly when I considered running Linux on the PC. Now that I’ve thought about it more, it will make sense for me to have the experience dealing with resolving issues that crop up.

I will tell you right now – there will be lots. And they’ll be bastard issues.

She wants to be able to print and scan, email and chat, connect, disconnect, write CD’s etc. Perfectly normal operations and it’s certainly not unreasonable to expect these functions from a PC. I’ll be very surprised if these all work “out of the box” without major tinkering. It will be interesting, and the source for more blog material.

On the way to getting things configured, I came across a mention of a VNC server for Linux that can be used to do remote desktop stuff. It’s called “Vino” and it is a remote desktop tool for Gnome. The user (or you before you roll the PC out) runs “vino-preferences” and sets up the connection criteria, and then any old VNC client can be used to connect to the active display while the user is logged on.

You can install vino on Debian based systems with “apt-get install vino”

This will be great for me to be able to sort things out remotely, especially as in 6 weeks time we’ll be moving into our new house which will be about 15 mins drive away from the in-laws.

[ps. If you came to this post looking for a decent source of info on Vino, good luck ... I couldn't find squat either!]


  • By mariuz, March 18, 2006 @ 5:16 am

    thank you for info , i have set
    up the vino-prefereces
    but it crashed when i try
    to work on it

    vncviewer 192.168.0.x

    ReadFromRFBServer: rdr::SystemException: read: Connection reset by peer (104

  • By Anonymous, March 20, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

    > [ps. If you came to this post
    > looking for a decent source
    > of info on Vino, good luck …
    > I couldn’t find squat either!]

    It’s good to know I’m not alone.

  • By Anonymous, April 23, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

    go to system->preferences->remote desktop
    Click ‘enable users to control my desktop’ and any other things you want (password would be a good idea).

    Then you download vnc viewer, and enter the ip adress of the comp you want to connect to; viola there you are!

    If you are behind a firewall you have to forward port 5900…

  • By Gary Stevenson, May 29, 2006 @ 2:11 pm

    I did a quick google search for “vino vnc” and got this gnome project page.

  • By geekWithA.45, June 3, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    IMHO, you’re better off with TightVNC, as vino-server appears to be gnome specific, and doesn’t come up until after the user logs in through xdm/gdm.

    There’s an X extension module that you can load into the X config, which will let you vnc in, even if she’s sitting on the gdm login page.

    See here:

  • By Monal Daxini, August 3, 2006 @ 7:14 am

    I found the problem with my vncviewer not being able to connect to the gnome’s vino-vncserver (remote desktop in Gnome) running on ubuntu. The problem is that you need to be logged into gnome for vino to be listening. If you are sitting at the gdm login screen, then vino is not enabled. This behaves exactly like the remote assistance feature on xp – where you need a person to be logged in to look at the exact same screen. So you will have to install a different vncserver so that you can connect to it when the machine is sitting on the gdm screen.

    Vino vncserver lets you connect to an existing logged in session at the actual machine, while another vnc server installed will let you actually connect and do a remote desktop like interaction even if no one is logged in to the machine physically.

  • By Anonymous, October 26, 2006 @ 8:39 am

    I also thinks this vino thing is really lame. People should just enable the VNC option in their xorg.conf file instead.
    I bet the developer went through all this effort not knowing that X has VNC built in, haha.

  • By Anonymous, February 23, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

    I’m looking for a way to use VNC server (any breed), but on port 443. My office only allows ports 80 and 443 out. In the past I’ve gone from WinXP (work) to WinXP (home) by changing my home XP box to have RDP listen on 443 (registry hack).

    Does anyone know of a way to configure a VNC server to listen on TCP 443?

    Oh, I’m running Fedora Core 6 if that matters.


  • By David Rudder, June 19, 2007 @ 11:57 am

    I just found a new program that I like better than vino. x11vnc ( It allows you to VNC into a running desktop, but it’s a command-line app that you can start via SSH. I found it pretty easy to setup and run.

  • By John Mitchell, August 21, 2008 @ 12:17 am

    Vino started here >>

    This is the new idea >>

    Hope this helps

    PS: I googled gnome and vino since it's a gnome project.

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