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I've been trying for a 'while' to get this bug out ...

In a fresh minimal install of jaunty; apt-get install xinetd vnc4server openbox. Edited a service file in /etc/xinetd.d/Xvnc : service Xvnc

        type = UNLISTED
        disable = no
        socket_type = stream
        protocol = tcp
        wait = no
        user = root
        server = /usr/bin/Xvnc
        server_args = -inetd :1 -query ::1 -geometry 800x600 -once -fp /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc -DisconnectClients=0 -NeverShared -securitytypes=none -extension XFIXES
        port = 5901

Set up a xstartup file in ~/.vnc/xstartup :

openbox-session &
xsetroot -solid grey
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &

All i get is a grey screen (old X style) whenever i try changing any option, tweaked over and over.


If i simply run a :

vncserver :1

I'm able to connectm xterm shows .. etc.

Any idea ?

share|improve this question
Ok, the more I play around with this, the more I think xinetd is the wrong particular hammer for this problem. Any particular reason you're using it over just, say, starting vncserver in rc.local? – Jeff Snider Oct 22 '09 at 2:55
Mmh not sure to get your idea; i'll have let's say 100 users; each user will have his own 'desktop', they'll connect using a web browser (java vnc); i'll limit access to the browser with username password; each user will have his own vnc port (launched by his own vnc instance). See ? – Disco Oct 22 '09 at 8:29
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think you need to set up a display manager such as GDM. When Xvnc is starting up, it tries to communicate with a running display manager via XDMCP. That's what the -query ::1 option is in your xinetd file. I've set up GDM on Hardy before, and it worked pretty well. Give this a try:

Install GDM if it's not already installed.

Edit /etc/gdm/gdm-cdd.conf:

  • In the section [xdmcp], set the Enabled option to true.
  • In the section [daemon], set the RemoteGreeter option to the same as the Greeter option. This isn't strictly necessary, but it's prettier.

Restart GDM.

Then try connecting again. You should see a login screen where you can enter your username and password. If that doesn't work, try changing -query ::1 to -query It may be having trouble with IPv6.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer; my concern is memory; i'd like to use the minimal environnement, i think setting gdm will add extra useless memory. I added the ::1 because of this post ( Why is it working when running from command line and not from xinetd; that's the question :) – Disco Oct 21 '09 at 20:05
Oh one more thing; i don't want users to 'login' to their account providing username and password; this setup is for a kiosk, will let users only login and use some applications, for example firefox – Disco Oct 21 '09 at 20:14
If you don't want to use a display manager, then you shouldn't use -query. That's what that is for. Remove that and change the user field to the user where you were running vncserver. – Jeff Snider Oct 21 '09 at 20:17
Tried; still getting the grey X display ... – Disco Oct 21 '09 at 20:26
is there a 'tool' or how to find out what's going wrong ... nothing in logs – Disco Oct 21 '09 at 20:28

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