Ubuntu – Enable remote VNC from the commandline


I have one computer running Ubuntu 10.04, and is running Vino, the default VNC server.

I have a second Windows box which is running a VNC client, but does not have any X11 capabilities. I am ssh'd into the Ubuntu host from the Windows host, but I forgot to enable VNC access on the Ubuntu host.

On the Ubuntu host, is there a way for me to enable VNC connections from the Ubuntu commandline?


As @koanhead says below, there is no man page for vino (e.g. man -k vino and info vino return nothing), and vino --help doesn't show any help).

Best Answer

Just running


should do the job.

Once you have access to your server, I would recommend that you add it to Autostarted Apps so it is always started.

You'll probably like change some settings with :


be very careful when you run vino-preference on a remote machine, if you uncheck "Allow other users to control your desktop", you won't be able to check it back.

or to edit :


Here a sample file :

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <entry name="vnc_password" mtime="1289267042" type="string">
    <entry name="view_only" mtime="1289262982" type="bool" value="false"/>
    <entry name="prompt_enabled" mtime="1254965869" type="bool" value="false"/>
    <entry name="authentication_methods" mtime="1289267034" type="list" ltype="string">
        <li type="string">
    <entry name="enabled" mtime="1289263574" type="bool" value="true"/>

Be careful, the password is base64 encoded. For this file, the password is qwerty. I see on some forum that people have change it successfully, but I had issue with it.

Here an online base64 encoder :