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Old 02-21-2004, 05:55 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 52

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Tweaking VNC server setup

Thought I should put these questions in a separate post from the VNC thread I just submitted, as they're a bit different from the last ones:

(1) After connecting to my RH9 PC's VNC server from a remote machine for the first time, objects on my GNOME desktop had been altered as if the resolution had been switched to a lower setting and back again. (I usually run my Linux desktop at 1280x1024, as I have a 17" TFT monitor which uses this resolution as its optimum setting.) GkrellM is usually placed on the far right of my screen, but after a VNC session from another machine, the panel had been moved to the left, as if the resolution had been reset to 1024x768 and back.

I thought VNC didn't mess around with resolutions and the like - can anyone think what might have happened, and/or how I could stop it in future?

(2) Does VNC have to be set up manually for every user on a Linux box who might want to use it? In my /etc/sysconfig/vncservers file, I have the line


Would I need to add to this if I wanted another user(s) to be able to use VNC on my box?

(3) How would I configure the VNC server so it won't send the desktop wallpaper to the remote display, or any other bandwidth-hungry features?

Many thanks!

Old 02-21-2004, 06:00 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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1) couldn't really say, but i'd really suggest avoiding this by using a light window manager inside VNC, and not a full blown desktop environment like gnome or kde.

2) depends how you intend the users to work with vnc really.. you mean so they can start their own servers when they want, or who can connect to a server?

3) that'd be a client issue, not server. i think. so depends on the individual client you chose, and of course the capabilties of vnc clients and servers do vary an awful lot.
Old 02-22-2004, 08:38 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 52

Original Poster
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Thanks for coming back so quickly

(1) Come to think of it, it might be better if I didn't use the GNOME desktop with VNC, especially if it's going to screw up my desktop settings every time...

This is my /$HOME/.vnc/xstartup script:


exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
twm &

According to the VNC tutorial at, the two lines "unset..." and "exec..." should be uncommented, presumably so that I'd get the GNOME desktop. If I comment them out, would I just see the "grey weave" twm display (i.e. what I want)?

(2) I'd better clarify this question On Windows (esp. ME and older), VNC just works for every user who wants to connect. If I understand correctly, on VNC/Linux as I've set it up right now, only user "tim" (i.e. me) will be able to make use of VNC, as that is the only user in /etc/sysconfig/vncservers.

If I want my brother to be able to SSH into my Linux box from outside and tunnel a VNC display through the connection, would I need to add him to /etc/sysconfig/vncservers?

(3) This question (how would I disable wallpaper display through VNC, to save bandwidth) is probably redundant now, if I switch from GNOME to twm as above.

Thanks again!

Old 02-25-2004, 03:58 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 52

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I sorted the problem in the end, by commenting out those two lines in the xstartup script. It gives me the plain grey twm display, but at least it doesn't mess up my desktop settings anymore

Thanks for the help!



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