Assuming I can ssh to my Linux instance (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1) as root and that I can transfer files into it - how do I install a VNC server (let's say RealVNC free version) on the machine so that I can remote desktop from my mac (I am planning to use ChickenOfTheVNC as client)?

In other words: Where do I copy the files to and how do I install the server?

P.S. there are other questions about this but they start in the middle of things - so I am not able to follow with my limited knowledge of Linux.


I'm sorry for not completely understanding your question. You'd want to check this page for information on installing from commandline. Especially worth noting is the link to "Zypper" which I hadn't heard of before googling for you :]

You could ssh and type "zypper in realvnc" and if zypper is installed, that'll work.

The gist is, you are working on a system which uses RPMs for package management. There are other add-ons that Suse makes [YAST, zypper] which make handling the dependencies a lot easier, but you can install software directly with RPM, forgoing those niceties if you want.

You can also always compile from source. Have you ever done that before?

  • No probs and thanks - my capacity to explain myself is somewhat limited by my rampant ignorance on the topic (linux). OK I understand now I'll have to copy the rpm packages over to the instance and follow the YAST instructions to install them. P.S. As per compiling from source ... I've done all sort so f crap but always under windows so I am an absolute beginner on linux I am afraid :) – JohnIdol Jun 16 '11 at 23:06
  • you don't really have to go through the bothersome way of copying your rpm. If you know the web address of the rpm, just type wget the_address/rpm/the_rpm_you_want.rpm, It'll be download in your home, just install it afterward, and that's it. ;) – Anarko_Bizounours Jun 17 '11 at 6:34


You use a program called YAST to install software on OpenSUSE. It's really very easy to use. Questions this simple are best handled by googling first. I googled "Software manager suse" to determine what they call theirs.

Ubuntu's synaptic frontend to apt-get is my favorite software manager, but I'm betting SUSE's is pretty easy. Play around with it, search for VNC, if you don't find one you may need to 'add a repository.'

  • Thanks for your help. I did a bit of googling (it's been a couple of days on and off and could not find any decent tutorial, believe it or not!) - I must've been googling the wrong stuff :) – JohnIdol Jun 16 '11 at 15:37
  • About the 'one click install' how am I gonna be able to go through the wizard if I can't remote into the machine? From your answer I guess I am gonna have to use YAST from cmd line to install the VNC server. – JohnIdol Jun 16 '11 at 19:52
  • I'm not sure to understand... To use YAST in cmd line you'll need to be connected to the machine, or playing with it in local, but in the 2 cases indeed you'll need to try YAST in cmd line to install VNC server. If you can't connect with rdesktop for now connect to your SLE server with ssh (you'll get directly in terminal interface) and go for YAST cmd. I'm pretty recusant to install program with the graphic interface (got some issue in the past...), si I would recommand to do it in terminal cmd line! – Anarko_Bizounours Jun 17 '11 at 6:38
  • yeah - I can connect via ssh and I am planning to install whatever vnc server via cmd line - thanks – JohnIdol Jun 17 '11 at 9:44

Using SLE you might not need VNC, just using SSH with scp will do the trick. Also I think SLE like RHEL have some VNC client/Server in the official repository. Try looking that way.

If you don't find what you were looking for try looking to thos website to download the rpm with wget and install them directly on your server.

RPMFIND a lot a package for most dist

PKGS, the best library of rpm for me.

rpm.pbone, very good library, but need some update sometime...

  • "Using SLE you might not need VNC" - I need to remote desktop into the instance so I am pretty sure I need VNC? I understand I can use scp over ssh to copy the files over so that I can install the server, but my goal is to remote into the machine. Thanks for you help! – JohnIdol Jun 16 '11 at 19:49
  • Sorry, I didn't understood your problem. My bad. Try looking in the repos, you'll find what you want, I'm sure of that ;) – Anarko_Bizounours Jun 17 '11 at 6:29

This or this are what I was looking for.

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