Remotely administring Machines Using X11VNC

x11vnc – VNC server uses current X11 session.x11vnc allows one to view remotely and interact with real X displays (i.e. a display corresponding to a physical monitor, keyboard, and mouse) with any VNC viewer. In this way it plays the role for Unix/X11 that WinVNC plays for Windows.

Limitations of X11vnc

VNC uses a separate authentication system. It’s not yet integrated with PAM, for example.

Users need to know the X display number to which they can connect.

Unlocking a screen remotely also unlocks it locally.

Install X11VNC in debian

#apt-get install x11vnc

This will complete the installation

Now you need to start the x11vnc server using the following command



#x11vnc -many

-many parameter means that when a connection is terminated it starts listening again for many more incoming connections

After starting vnc session it will give you a warning message telling about you are running x11vnc without password if you want to enable password you can do so and end of that it will provide a desktop number you can connect example you can see as below


the vnc desktop is debiantest:0
port 5900

debiantest is my machine name

If you want to test your x11vnc you need to install any one of vnc viewers.You can use tight VNC viewer and you can download from here

Now if you want to use password protected VNC sessions you can use any one of the following options

x11vnc -storepasswd password /path/to/passfile

or x11vnc -storepasswd /path/to/passfile

or x11vnc -storepasswd (this will use ~/.vnc/passwd)


#x11vnc -storepasswd ‘secret password’ ~/.clientpasswd

Once the password has been stored you can tell the server to use it using the following command

#x11vnc -rfbauth ~/.clientpasswd

Make sure any -rfbauth and -passwdfile password files cannot be read by untrusted users.

If you want to know all the available command line options check here

Installing VNC Client in Debian

#apt-get install xvnc4viewer

Once it’s installed you can connect to a running server by using:

#Xvnc4viewer hostname

If invoked with no arguments you’ll be prompted for the host you wish to connect to, and if necessary a password.

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3 thoughts on “Remotely administring Machines Using X11VNC

  1. x11vnc is a very good VNC server. I use it with SSL tunnel and it is very very useful. I also wrote a small guide in italian about x11vnc + SSL. You can find it on my website! Check it out!

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