Installing VNC Remote Desktop on Centos VPS

In this tutorial we’ll install Gnome desktop and VNC server on Linux Centos Virtual Private Server (VPS). You need to install Gnome as the desktop for Linux VPS, this way you’ll get Graphical User Interface to manage your VPS or just use it as remote desktop. The VNC server is the remote control software that allows you to connect to the VPS Desktop.

1. Install Gnome Desktop, VNC Server and Xterm.

It will take some time to install the Gnome Desktop as it quite big packages.

2. Create a normal user.

Now we create a normal user that will be used as remote desktop user. In this example I use ‘vncuser’ but you can choose your own username, just make sure you replace ‘vncuser’ to your chosen username.

Setup the user password for vncuser

3. Login as vncuser and create VNC password.

Next we need to create password to access VNC server. This password is different with the password we create on step 2, the password on step 2 is for accessing SSH while this one is to accessing VNC remote desktop.

The command above will ask you to supply password to access the VNC server and create .vnc directory with passwd file inside it. To check whether passwd file is created run this command

After that return to root user by executing command

4. Creating xstartup script.

After we create the VNC user now we’ll create the VNC server xstartup script, we do this by starting and stopping the VNC server as root.

Now check if the xstartup script is created

That command should show these files: passwd <hostname>:1.log xstartup

5. Edit the default xstartup script to run Gnome desktop.

The default xstartup script looks like this:

You have to edit it so it looks like this:

6. Start the VNC server.

After finished editing the xstartup script run again the vncserver service

You should see something like this:

7. Download Tight VNC client here:

8. Connect to the VNC server

After you installed the Tight VNC client, run it and you’ll see this form:

VNC Connection

VNC Connection

On the VNC Server field, insert your VPS’ IP address followed with ‘:1’ and then click on Connect. You’ll be asked for a password, this is the password you created on step 3.

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19 thoughts on “Installing VNC Remote Desktop on Centos VPS

  1. Pingback: Installing Gnome and VNC Remote Desktop on Centos VPS | Markus Blog

  2. Parham

    if u can explain a little bit more step five, i did all of the steps but i don’t know what i have to do in step 5

  3. Talk Web ID Post author

    basically you just have to make the xstartup script to be like what inside the bottom box.

  4. Brad

    On some VPS you have to remove this – httpd* – from the /etc/yum.conf to make the gnome desktop install. Once the install is complete put back the “http*”.

    If you don’t, you will get this error.
    Missing Dependency: httpd >= 2.2.0 is needed by package gnome-user-share-0.10-6.el5.i386 (base)

  5. Brad

    Yes, he didn’t say you need to edit the file “/etc/sysconfig/vncservers” and add this to the last two lines:

    VNCSERVERARGS[1]=”-geometry 640×480″

    1. Tony

      actually the VNCSERVERARGS variable on /etc/sysconfig/vncservers is not needed as the geometry is already stated on the xstartup script.

  6. Mohan

    After 4th step
    i found only passwd file on commend
    ls /home/vncuser/.vnc

    removed httpd* from yum.conf

    yet got one error
    httpd.x86_64 0:2.2.3-45.el5.centos.1

    1. Talk Web ID Post author

      did the vncserver service runs OK? check the log file.

      why did you remove httpd? there is no need to remove it.

  7. Jk22332

    [root@anwo ~]# service vncserver start
    Starting VNC server: no displays configured [FAILED]

    can any one help out ?

    1. Talk Web ID Post author

      edit the file “/etc/sysconfig/vncservers” and add this to the last two lines:

      VNCSERVERARGS[1]=”-geometry 1024×768?

  8. mikey

    Im having trouble at step 4, i did everything but when ever i put this command: ls /home/vncuser/.vnc, it keeps saying, no such files or directory. HOW DO I SOLVE THIS? please help me!


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