I usually access remote machines over ssh via the commandline, but now need to connect to one using VNC so I can actually use the desktop. Other people can successfully connect to this PC (running Win 2000 or XP, I think) using Chicken of the VNC on their Macs, but I'm not having any luck setting up a connection on my own PC (dual booting Ubuntu 10.04 & Win 7). I've tried tsclient & vinagre on Linux and tightVNCviewer on Windows, and can't get a connection - just black screens/errors/"can't connect" messages.

My question is, what do I need to ask for from the people who can connect in order to set up my own connection? I have the IP, port (display number?), and password for the remote PC - is there some other settings information I need? Or any other advice on this?

Edit: Obviously, I don't know much about VNC, and my knowledge of ssh/other network "stuff" is pretty thin. But from my perspective, it's like this remote computer (that I know is running) doesn't even exist: I can't reach the IP address via telnet, ssh, vnc, anything.

Edit 2: Figured it out - borrowed a Mac. >_<

(Still don't know why it's still obstinately not working on my win/linux box, but I don't have time to chase down institutional firewall issues etc right now ...)


It might be that you have a firewall with outbound restrictions - I would check to see if the VNC ports are allowed out.

Yout can also use telnet to see if a basic connection can be made e.g. run the command

telnet vncmachine.my.domain 5900
  • I'll try to look into the firewall - telnet won't connect, either. – Beekguk Apr 8 '11 at 17:52

If you have ssh access, you can tunnel the VNC connection over ssh. VNC access is often blocked by firewalls. VNC is not an encrypted protocol, and I wouldn't run it directly over the Internet.

You can usually run ssh to any appropriate system on the target network. You don't need to have an ssh connection to the target system.

  • Good to know - I wasn't too worried about security for this application, but definitely something to think about in the future. Unfortunately, I can't ssh to the IP address I was given, and I don't know anything else about the target network. – Beekguk Apr 8 '11 at 17:50
  • Can you ssh to any systems on the same (target) network? If so you should be able to tunnel from that system. – BillThor Apr 8 '11 at 18:19
  • Nope - that's the only computer that's accessible, AFAIK. – Beekguk Apr 8 '11 at 19:16

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