Vnc Server on a CentOS/RHEL 7 system

I’m currently running a server gui on a RHEL7 Server, which is working fine if you want to work directly from the console.  However if the server is in a very awkward place, like it is in my case, you’ll probably want to remote control the server from the safety and warmth of your man/woman-cave.  Here’s the steps I took to install VNC Server on my RHEL machine.

Install the software

yum install tigervnc-server xorg-x11-fonts-Type1

Copy the server config file

cp /lib/systemd/system/vncserver@.service /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:5.service

Edit the file

vi /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:5.service

Look for this text in the file

Description=Remote desktop service (VNC)[Service]
# Clean any existing files in /tmp/.X11-unix environment
ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c ‘/usr/bin/vncserver -kill %i > /dev/null 2>&1 || :’
ExecStart=/sbin/runuser -l 'USER' -c “/usr/bin/vncserver %i”
ExecStop=/bin/sh -c ‘/usr/bin/vncserver -kill %i > /dev/null 2>&1 || :’[Install]

Replace the ‘USER’ text, with your actual username

Add firewall rules to allow your VNC connection

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-port=5905/tcp
firewall-cmd --reload

As the user run vncserver


Set your password

Reload the systemctl daemon as root

systemctl daemon-reload

Start the VNC service as root

systemctl start vncserver@:5.service

Enable it as a system startup service

systemctl enable vncserver@:5.service

Connect to the server using tightvnc view [for example]

Enjoy your server desktop.


One thought on “Vnc Server on a CentOS/RHEL 7 system

  1. If you don’t mind using the EPEL repository (assuming EL6 or EL7 and not EL5) you should really consider using x2go rather than VNC. x2go has several benefits: 1) It is way faster, 2) it works over ssh which you probably are already using, 3) since it works over ssh its encrypted (does VNC do encryption by default these days or is it still a bit of manual labor?), 4) It can do additional things like filesharing (I haven’t tried it), printing (I haven’t tried it) and sound (use it frequently).


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