BullDog Notes

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What - Remote Access to Ubunto 18.04[edit]

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. I have found 3 useful ways to do this on my system:

  • Get command line access ( Putty and SSH )
  • Webmin, remote http web access.
  • Full VNC desktop ( there are other remote desktops )
  • Why not just use option Share Desktop ? Because mine would not turn on thats why. Why it would not turn on, I was not able to figure out.

Of these VNC is the most difficult, and the one I wanted, it will be discussed first. It also mentions tools that may be useful in other approaches.

VNC full Desktop -- My Goal[edit]

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
  • Stick to open source.

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, of course, it is already installed. )
    • 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[edit]

before installs

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt upgrade

Process viewer (htop)[edit]

  • 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

System Control[edit]

systemctl vs. service

  • sudo systemctl stop httpd << The Apache server would stop and you'd be returned to the bash prompt. To start the same service, we'd issue the command:
  • sudo systemctl start httpd << The service would start and you'd be returned to your bash prompt.

  • sudo systemctl restart httpd << to restart the same service

Ubuntu text editor ( gedit )[edit]

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

Ubuntu File Browser[edit]

Tiger VNC[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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


Webmin Somewhat Graphical, Easier than Command Line[edit]

  • 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 << you can do this thru putty, then open your browser
  • Stop >> /etc/webmin/stop << not tested may need sudo
  • Restart >>/etc/init.d/webmin restart

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