Skip to content

Access your workstation with VNC

If your UTK-owned workstation is running Linux, and if you are using a GNOME shell, you can connect to your GUI session using VNC:

  1. First, turn on GNOME’s built-in VNC server (“Vino”)
    • In RHEL 6: System menu -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop
      1. Check both boxes under “Sharing”.
      2. Check the require-password option under “Security” and enter a secure password.
      3. Also under “Security”, uncheck “You must confirm each access to this machine”.
      4. See the attached screenshot to confirm your settings.
        Remote Desktop Preferences
    • Instructions for RHEL 7 are in progress.
  2. Disable encryption in Vino
    • In RHEL 6, enter the following command at a terminal:
      gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/require_encryption false
    • In RHEL 7, enter the following command at a terminal:
      gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false
  3. Connect using a VNC client on your remote machine
    • On Windows, use mobaXTerm.
      1. Click the “Session” button.
      2. Click “VNC” from the top row of buttons.
      3. Under “Basic Vnc settings”, enter “localhost”.
      4. Select the “Network settings” tab.
      5. Check “Connect through SSH gateway”.
      6. For “Gateway SSH server”, enter the name of your workstation, e.g. “”.
      7. For “User”, enter your UTK netid.
      8. See screenshot below to confirm your settings.
        VNC settings
    • On Macintosh, you can use RealVNC Viewer or Chicken. But neither fully supports SSH tunneling as of December 2015, so you will need to set up SSH tunneling manually.
      1. From a terminal, enter the following command:
        • ssh -L 5900:localhost:5900 -N -f
      2. With your VNC client, simply connect to localhost.

If you wish to be able to connect to VNC sessions independently of an actual GNOME login session, you may do so using vncserver. This program is not installed by default on EECS workstations, but the IT staff can install it for you. Contact for more details.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.