Use VNC to view your X11 console display

Although I do 99% of the remote administration on my linux servers via a ssh terminal, it is sometimes desirable to connect to the root X11 display. Fortunately X11 has a built-in method for doing this.

Step 1: Add the following lines to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Module"
  ...
  Load "vnc"
  ...
EndSection
Section "Screen"
  ...
  Option "SecurityTypes" "VncAuth"
  Option "UserPasswdVerifier" "VncAuth"
  Option "PasswordFile" "/root/.vnc/passwd"
  ...
EndSection

Step 2: Set a VNC password

# /usr/bin/vncpasswd
Password: ******
Verify: ******

Step 3: Open TCP port 5900 in the firewall

# echo --port=5900:tcp >> /etc/sysconfig/system-config-securitylevel

Step 4: Restart the X server with a ctrl-alt-backspace or reboot the server if possible

Step 5: Connect with your favorite vncviewer client

Note: If you are running in a secure environment and would like to connect without a password, you can replace the three ‘Option’ lines in the ‘Screen’ section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf (from Step 1 above) with a single line that reads

Section "Screen"
...
Option "SecurityTypes" "None"
...
EndSection

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