Setting Up a VNC Server and Client to Connect to a Remote Machine

Setting Up a VNC Server and Client to Connect to a Remote Machine

Control any machine, anywhere with the keyboard and mouse beneath your fingertips

Most geeks will at some stage want to access and control a remote machine from the comfort of their own keyboard and mouse. This is a guide to help said geeks get setup with a VNC server (on remote machine) and client (on your local machine). Before you start you will need to make sure you have a VNC server running on your remote machine (I usually install tigervnc) and a VNC client running on your local machine (I use Remotix, but another solid choice is JollysFastVNC).

To setup a VNC session:

  1. Open a terminal window on your local machine, ssh onto the remote machine and run the command:

    vncserver -geometry 1920x1200

    Obviously change the geometry for the resolution of the screen you are going to be using your VNC Client on1. The output should look something like:

    New 'remotemachinename:1 (username)' desktop is remotemachinename:1

    Make a note of the display port number of the VNC session that’s just been created (should be 1 if this is the only session being run on the remote machine).

  2. Start your VNC client and add a new server to the client by filling in the appropriate details for the server name, network address, display port etc. The display port will be 590x, where x is the number of the you made a note of in step 1.

That’s all there is to it.

Extra Credit

Killing a VNC Session on the VNC Server

To kill a session, ssh onto the remote machine and use the command vncserver -kill :display#, for example:

vncserver -kill :1

Clipboard Sync

When logged in with your VNC client, open a terminal and type:

vncconfig -iconic &

This needs to be running for clipboard sync. To start clipboard sync automatically whenever you start a new session, just add vncconfig -iconic & to your startup file found in:


  1. for my 4K screen 3360x1890 works well, but on my 15'' MacBook screen I use 1920x1200  ↩