VNC Tips When Using a Monitor With Your Laptop

VNC viewer is an excellent tool which can be used to remotely control desktop of machine on your network. In today’s world almost each one of us uses a laptop for daily business which is typically connected to a monitor on the desk for projecting the laptop output and thus enabling ease of viewing. Though VNC works seamlessly here , the following few tips would enhance the experience and ensure you get the full screen view in your vnc session even when you have projected your content on to the monitor

New setup
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mike Burns

Which version to use?

The free version of VNC do not support what is called as window scaling. VNC enterprise version supports scaling to host computer’s desktop when configured with appropriate settings. The current VNC  version that I am using is VNC Enterprise verion 4.5.4. To check, how to configure window scaling refer to the real vnc link. Essentially you need to choose “Scale to Window Size” option. Before connecting and choosing this option; do check if the VNC server is configured with the right scaling settings as given below.

Running VNC Server

I am typically using VNC to connect to a remote linux based server. An important tip is while running the vnc server on the remote machine is to look at the resolution of your laptop so that the geometry generated for your VNC session aligns with it. For example you can start vnc server with 1200x800 window sizing by giving the command on the server as given below.

vncserver -geometry 1200x800

Want the whole GNOME Session inside VNC?

By default, when you run VNC server and connect -- you would just get an xterm kind of window inside which you can do your work. If you instead want that you have the whole eg GNOME session when you connect to your VNC on the remote machine, you can add the xstartup file in your  “.vnc” directory inside the home folder such that the file path is $HOME/.vnc/xstartup. The content of the file can look like as given below.


# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
# exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
exec gnome-session

This essentially tells the VNC to launch the GNOME session when you connect over VNC.

Copy Paste not working inside VNC Session?

Sometimes you may notice that though VNC session is working fine -- but if you try to copy paste say some text from windows notepad to the xterm inside VNC, it doesn’t happen. To resolve this issue, inside any terminal of your vnc session, execute the following command and you should be good to go.

vncconfig -nowin &

With all these settings, your VNC session should work well like a dream. If you know of additional tips that further enhance the VNC experience, please share them here. If you like the post, do share it with your friends. You can always submit any useful tools and web applications to us.

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