VNC which stands for Virtual Network Computing is a cross-platform desktop sharing platform to control a computer (server) remotely from a local computer (client) remotely. VNC uses Remote Frame Buffer (RFB) Protocol that governs the format of the data being transferred between the server and the client in the VNC system.
It also transmits the keyboard and mouse controls that allow it to work on the remote computer. It is more similar to Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for Windows Systems, but RDP does not support a wide range of different platforms as opposed to VNC.
There are different types of VNC Servers available for Linux Systems. They include:
The server which you want to control has the VNC server software which has the Computer’s Private IP address. The client which does the controlling has a VNC Viewer software that connects to the server using the private IP address. Once installed on both computers, the connection is done successfully. The VNC server collects the contents of the server computer and displays them on the local computer.
By Default, connections over RFB go to TCP port 5900 on the server.
Some of its advantages include:
- RealVNC is secure as it provides a Multi-factor Authentication process from the ground up.
- It is also flexible and connects to multiple platforms.
- You pay for a device and not per user, hence you can have many users connected to one device.
- It is fast and highly responsive.
- You can have attended and unattended access over cloud and offline connections.
In this guide, I will show you how to;
- Install RealVNC server on KDE Neon / Kubuntu
- Configure VNC server on KDE Neon / Kubuntu
- Install VNC Viewer on a client(Windows)
- Connect from Client to RealVNC server
Step 1. Set up a RealVNC account online
Go to RealVNC Page and sign up for a home account which is free. Then ensure you activate the Home account subscription.
Step 2. Install RealVNC server on KDE Neon|Kubuntu.
Go to the RealVNC Download Website and download the DEB package. Alternatively, you can download the latest version using the
cd ~/Downloads wget https://downloads.realvnc.com/download/file/vnc.files/VNC-Server-6.9.0-Linux-x64.deb
From your console, navigate to the Downloads folder If you downloaded without the command.
Then install the package using
sudo apt install ./VNC-Server-*.deb
To start the VNC server use the following command
systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service
To enable auto-start on boot use the following command.
systemctl enable vncserver-x11-serviced.service
Step 3. Configure VNC server on KDE Neon|Kubuntu
Launch the desktop app by clicking on the icon on the bottom left of the screen.
It opens and shows it is not configured. Click on the red ‘X’ button to configure.
A new window opens. Click on Resolve.
The following screen appears. Sign in using the RealVNC account credentials that you created at the beginning. If not, You can still create an account from the given link. Since we are using the home license, we just need to sign in using our account credentials then Click Sign In.
The next is to set the VNC password that will be used by any client that wants to connect to the server. Let’s say setting up unattended access. Click on Set Password. It should be different from the RealVNC password.
Input and confirm password then click OK.
Next is to set up Access Control, where you can choose to approve connections or not. I left it unchecked.
It will then display the summary of the settings done like shown below If okay with them click Apply.
Once you click apply, It will open a console where you will input your system’s password to finish the configuration process. The operation is successful and will show you the summary window again where you will click Done. Then the following window will be opened to sow the configuration was successful.
Closing the window takes you back to the dashboard where you can see that Real VNC is now licensed and has a green tick.
VNC server is now installed and licensed on KDE Neon|Kubuntu.
Step 4. Setup VNC Viewer on Client (Windows)
Download VNC viewer for windows from RealVNC Download Website.
Install the program and open it as shown below.
Click on ‘GOT IT’ then click on Sign in.
Sign in using your RealVNC account credentials, There is no configuration needed. Although the program sends an email to authenticate the sign-in. You will have to authorize from the email to continue.
After successful authorization, the viewer will automatically populate the workstation. The remote computer will appear here.
Clicking on the remote computer will open a prompt window to allow the connection. Click on Continue before it times out.
Next is to input the VNC Password for unattended access that we set up while configuring the server then click OK.
You can now see your remote computer desktop like mine below.
This is a successful VNC Connect and you can now access the remote computer from your local computer.
You have learned how to install VNC Server on KDE Neon|Kubuntu and configure the licensing for a home account. You have also installed VNC Viewer on a client computer and accessed the remote computer with the VNC server setup. VNC Connect is very fast and highly responsive.