vncserver - start or stop a VNC server
vncserver [:display#] [-name desktop-name] [-geometry widthxheight]
[-depth depth] [-pixelformat format] [Xvnc-options...]
vncserver -kill :display#
vncserver is used to start a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) desktop.
vncserver is a Perl script which simplifies the process of starting an
Xvnc server. It runs Xvnc with appropriate options and starts some X
applications to be displayed in the VNC desktop.
vncserver can be run with no options at all. In this case it will
choose the first available display number (usually :1), start Xvnc as
that display, and run a couple of basic applications to get you
started. You can also specify the display number, in which case it will
use that number if it is available and exit if not, eg:
Editing the file $HOME/.vnc/xstartup allows you to change the
applications run at startup (but note that this will not affect an
You can get a list of options by giving -h as an option to vncserver.
In addition to the options listed below, any unrecognised options will
be passed to Xvnc - see the Xvnc man page, or "Xvnc -help" for details.
Each desktop has a name which may be displayed by the viewer. It
defaults to "host:display# (username)" but you can change it
with this option. It is passed in to the xstartup script via
the $VNCDESKTOP environment variable, allowing you to run a
different set of applications according to the name of the
Specify the size of the desktop to be created. Default is
1024x768. Can be specified as an array or scalar for geometry.
Specify the pixel depth in bits of the desktop to be created.
Default is 16, other possible values are 8, 15 and 24 - anything
else is likely to cause strange behaviour by applications.
Specify pixel format for server to use (BGRnnn or RGBnnn). The
default for depth 8 is BGR233 (meaning the most significant two
bits represent blue, the next three green, and the least
significant three represent red), the default for depth 16 is
RGB565 and for depth 24 is RGB888.
-cc 3 As an alternative to the default TrueColor visual, this allows
you to run an Xvnc server with a PseudoColor visual (i.e. one
which uses a colour map or palette), which can be useful for
running some old X applications which only work on such a
display. Values other than 3 (PseudoColor) and 4 (TrueColor)
for the -cc option may result in strange behaviour, and
PseudoColor desktops must be 8 bits deep.
This kills a VNC desktop previously started with vncserver. It
does this by killing the Xvnc process, whose process ID is
stored in the file "$HOME/.vnc/host:display#.pid". It actually
ignores anything preceding a ":" in its argument. This can be
useful so you can write "vncserver -kill $DISPLAY", for example
at the end of your xstartup file after a particular application
Several VNC-related files are found in the directory $HOME/.vnc:
A shell script specifying X applications to be run when a VNC
desktop is started. If it doesn't exist, vncserver will create
a new one which runs a couple of basic applications.
The VNC password file.
The log file for Xvnc and applications started in xstartup.
Identifies the Xvnc process ID, used by the -kill option.
vncviewer(1), vncpasswd(1), vncconfig(1), Xvnc(1)
Tristan Richardson, RealVNC Ltd.
VNC was originally developed by the RealVNC team while at Olivetti
Research Ltd / AT&T Laboratories Cambridge. It is now being maintained
by RealVNC Ltd. See http://www.realvnc.com for details.