BullDog Notes

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How do you work with a headless Ubuntu 18.04 system? I would like to make this easy so for me a remote desktop just like the local real desktop would be great. I think I have now, it but it has been hard to get there. I would like to maintain as much security as possible. The access to the Ubuntu machine will be from Windows 10. For me this is all inside my local network. There seem to be 3 useful ways to do this:

  • Get command line access ( Putty and SSH )
  • Webmin, remote http web access.
  • Full VNC desktop ( there are other remote desktops )

Of these VNC is the most difficult, and the one I wanted, it will be discussed first.

VNC full Desktop Goal

I would like to use VNC to access a Ubuntu 18.04 system from windows like I do with the Raspberry Pi.

  • Connect to the existing desktop
  • Keep the connection secure

This has been a bit of a struggle for a number of gotchas.


As I understand it ( may not have figured it out all the way )

  • VNC has a server ( run on the machine you wish to view ) and viewer ( run on the machine you wish to access).
  • In addition to having several components there are many versions of VNC. Directions for each differ, and differ across versions of Linux. Make sure you directions match your software.
  • I will focus on Tiger VNC and Ubuntu 18.04
  • To get VNC working there seem to be various components.
    • VNC server
    • Desktop software ( there are many different ones, you may need to install -- however here I want to run on the default Ubuntu 18.04 desktop so no install is necessary )
    • A way to connect to the VNC server -- many servers will only connect to localhost so we will use vnc tunnelling to make a remote connection appear to be on localhost

Software Used

before installs

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt upgrade

Process viewer (htop)

  • Why This will let you see what vnc software is running.
  • Install >> sudo apt -install htop
  • Run >> htop
  • Exit >> ctrl-c


  • Why see your server's tcp ip address
  • Install >> sudo apt -install ??
  • Run >> ifconfig
  • Exit >> just ends


  • Install >> sudo apt install openssh-server


might this help gconf-editor

Ubuntu text editor ( gedit )

  • Install >> apt-get -install  ??
  • Run >> htop

Ubuntu File Browser

Tiger VNC

  • Note: there may already be vncserver software installed perhaps vineo ??
  • Install >> sudo apt-get install tigervnc-scraping-server
  • Install ( may not be needed ) >> sudo apt install tigervnc-standalone-server tigervnc-viewer
  • Set password >>vncpasswd << gotcha, if run server with no password set. If this does not run find an install -- perhaps full tiger vnc to get it.
  • Run gotcha >> x0tigervncserver << but gotcha, needs to be pointed to password file so
  • Run >> x0tigervncserver -PasswordFile ~/.vnc/passwd
  • Run gotcha this is not the scraping server may not be installed >> tigervncserver -xstartup /usr/bin/xterm
  • Set password >>vncpasswd << gotcha, if run server with no password set it will not work.
  • edit configuration file >> use file browser but .vnc is hidden so turn on hidden file abillity ( one of its menus )
    • sudo apt-get install git psmisc
  • set password with >> vncpasswd
  • see running servers >> vncserver -list
  • what runs with command vncserver >> which vncserver
    right answer is ?? 


PuTTY X11 proxy: Unsupported authorisation protocol

How to start a vnc server for the actual display (scraping) with TigerVNC https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/how-to-start-a-vnc-server-for-the-actual-display-scraping-with-tigervnc/

Workflow In Use

  • Boot the Ubuntu machine, if powered off just power on, if you have access sudo reboot ?? or restart will boot it.
  • Wait
  • On the windows machine connect with Putty and log in with your password and id
  • In Putty issue the command to start the VNC Server >> ./startvnc start
  • Start the windows VNC viewer the one I used is VNC viewer from RealVNC ... because this is the one I use for the Rasberry Pi ( you need to have a configuration with the right ip address of the Ubuntu Machine the same as the one in Putty

Easiest, no Desktop Putty SSH

  • Install ssh on Ubuntu
  • Run Putty on windows using the IP address of the Ubuntu machine

Webmin Somewhat Graphical, Easier than Command Line

  • rather than use the desktop use a web based admin tool:

  • Install >> sudo apt-get install webmin << seems to work on virtual machine but not real one ??
  • Start >> sudo /etc/webmin/start

How To Install Webmin on Ubuntu 18.04 | DigitalOcean https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-webmin-on-ubuntu-18-04 sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

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