Set up VNC step by step
to securely connect to the Uconn Physics Computers
Hashini Mohottala

last updated: 2005-11-20


  1. What's VNC?
  2. Download VNC and PuTTY.
  3. Get the server name or IP.
  4. Configure Putty.
  5. Open VNCview.
  6. Before you leave.
  7. Requirements
  8. FAQ.


1. What's VNC?

        VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing . It is Free set of software tools which allows you to view a computing 'desktop' environment not only on the machine where it is running, but from anywhere on the Internet and from a wide variety of machine architectures. It is developed by AT&T Laboratories Cambridge, presently maintained by RealVNC.

2. Download VNC and Putty.

"PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 platforms, written and maintained primarily by Simon Tatham, who lives in Great Britain."

3. Get the server name or IP.

        It is impossible and not necessary to remember all the name and IP of the server in Physics Department. You can check them here: Secure remote access to UConn Physics Computers .By default the access to this area is granted to Storrs campus Physics students, staff, and faculty. Please contact if you do not have default rights but need an access to this information.

4. Configure PuTTY.

    A: open PuTTY

    a1, Type host name,
    a2, select protocl: SSH
    a3, give a name for savedsessions.
    a4, save it.

 Like this:

Save it.

    B: Click SSH,

    B1, Check "Enable compression
    B2, Select perferred SSH protocol version: 2

Like this:


    C: Click Tunnels:

    C1: Check Enable X11 forwarding.
    C2: Type source port : 5901
    C3: Type Destination :
    C4: click Add

Like this:

    D: Go back to Session:

    D1, save it
    D2, click "open"
Like this:


    E: PuTT login:

    E1: type your login ID and password
    E2: type the command "vncserver".

Like this

This result should like this:


5. Open VNCview:

    F1: type the server as:

Like this:

Then Password:

Then you Go It!



6. Before you leave:

    A. Please logout first then close VNC window.

Like this:

    B: kill the service in PuTTY before you close it:

Like this:

Note: the number ":1" May Vary by Your Mileage.

7. Requirements
    It will be more convenient for you to follow these rules:
        a) Safely use computers in Physics Department, like NEVER share your account with others; ALWAYS close vncserver before you leave.
        b) Run only ONE vncserver per user per computer.
        c) Disable screen saver. Because since it is useless for your local machine and it consumes up to 30% CPU of the server. (how to disable screen saver?)

8. FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.

        1) When I login, I got bad/strange/un-friend desktop, I can not really do anything there. What's wrong?
You have to edit the file .vnc/xstartup. Follow this step by step:   
            a) In the putty command line, type command: vi .vnc/xstartup
                NOTE: vi is an editor (command reference is here) and do not forgot the dot "."
            b) Delete everything in the file and add two lines exactly like this:
                gnome-session &

                (note: for SUSE system, please use this xstartup file

            c) save and exit. Login again with vncview and everything should be fine now.

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