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I'm running CentOS 6 with Gnome's built in "Remote Desktop" set up to give me remote access. I have this set up on 3 machines, but for some reason one of them is refusing connections.

Whilst trying to figure out what's wrong, I've disabled the software firewall on the server and also disabled SELinux. I've rebooted it and disabled and re-enabled the Remote Desktop. I'm on the same local LAN subnet with no routers/firewalls/etc in the way.

I'm half tempted to switch Remote Desktop off and install a VNC server myself, but I'd rather just figure out why the one it's got isn't working.

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You have to believe in the logs, Luke. What is the error? Can you ping? Tried telnet? Disabled both side's firewall? – mailq Dec 13 '11 at 22:02
Are you sure the VNC service is running and vncpasswd has been set? – orbitron Dec 13 '11 at 22:33
I'm not sure which log file the vnc server writes to (if any). I don't see anything about it in /var/log/messages and none of the other log files look promising. I can ping the machine. Can't telnet to 5900. I did disable the firewalls at both ends when I was testing earlier. – Matt Ralston Dec 13 '11 at 23:09
No, pretty sure it isn't running (although the gui interface says it should be). Password has been set, and reset. Tick boxes on the gui have been ticked, un-ticked and re-ticked. I think the gui is just failing miserably to start the daemon. I don't know the command line to start it manually. – Matt Ralston Dec 13 '11 at 23:14
I figured it out. Replying to people's suggestions about "is it running" and dumbly answering "no, but I don't know how to start it remotely from the command line" I figured I'd start looking at what command line stuff there was for the vnc server. I found out pretty quickly that there's a vncserver command which starts up an instance on a different screen/port and I figured out how to get it to run Gnome. I suspect what I'm looking at is not the true console (that I'd see if I plugged in a keyboard and mouse) but it will do me. Thanks for the hints. – Matt Ralston Dec 13 '11 at 23:23
  1. Confirm the port is open. lsof -i as root.
  2. Confirm that traffic acts as expected. wireshark (a GUI app) as root. If you're fancy about it, you can use tshark with appropriate filters for the correct port. That will prove connectivity and show what the apps are saying to each other.

If everything looks right after that, check your logs.

share|improve this answer
No, it is not running. On the good machine, it's listed as "vnc-server", in lsof's output. On the machine I'm having trouble with it's not listed. There doesn't appear to be anything listening on 5900. According to the GUI setup interface it should be running, but it certainly doesn't look like it actually is. Any idea of the command line to kick it off manually? – Matt Ralston Dec 13 '11 at 23:12

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