Installing VNC for Centos 6 (VPS) 9

How to Install VNC on Centos 6 (VPS)

Well, I usually don’t make these tutorials because there are often tons out there already available. However, I found the existing ones incomplete or inadequate to complete the task. So, this is meant to start from the very very fresh starting point.

First, let’s install essentials to run a VNC – the desktop.
You can choose any desktop environment you like, but this tutorial is going to focus with XFCE. (Who can afford to install Gnome/KDE on a VPS anyway?)

CentOS 6 min (version that usually comes with vps) by default does not come with specific desktop environment package information, so, we need to add that first if you plan to use any other than default.
For example we’ll use XFCE (desktop environment).

First, we need the source to install XFCE from since default centos repos do not carry it. So, install epel. Also, instead of giving you a direct link, which is bound to be wrong in time, go to this page:

now find “epel-release-X-X.noarch.rpm”. The X-X should be the newest version they have.

rpm -ivh epel-release-X-X.noarch.rpm

Now you should have the package info for xfce4 and you can confirm this by doing either of below

yum search xfce4                       
yum groupinfo Xfce

Next, install the desktop environment along with necessary parts for it.

yum groupinstall Desktop Fonts Xfce

That will take a while…

Next, we move onto installing the actual VNC. In centos 6, the vncserver is called “tigervnc-server” as opposed to the previous name “vncserver”.

yum install -y tigervnc-server

We also need users to run the VNC environment since we don’t want to run it under root.

useradd testuser                       
passwd testuser

now login to testuser via new SSH connection… or if you’re lazy…

su -l testuser

Now create a password for your VNC


You should now be able to confirm that the vnc password file has been created

cd .vnc                                              

should have ‘passwd’ in there.

Back on root now!! (type “exit” if you used su)

You should now edit the VNC server configurations

nano /etc/sysconfig/vncservers

If you don’t have nano, you can use any other editor or install nano as well.

VNCSERVERARGS[1]="-geometry 1024x786"

This will allow the vncserver to start with a resolution of 1024×786 with testuser on :1. The “1” not only defines its identification number, it is also the port that it will use (in vncs: 1, in raw: 5901).

Now start your VNC as root

service vncserver start

It will run each vncservers you defined in the above file.

To stop/restart, you can…

service vncserver stop
service vncserver restart

If you’d like your VNC to start at boot:

/sbin/chkconfig vncserver on

And that’s it!

Please be warned that this is an unsecured line to your VNC. If you suspect that someone’s snooping on your traffic, be sure to secure it by having an SSH tunnel or similar methods. But I’m going to end my tutorial here.



With that done… You probably want to install some essentials to use the VNC. And bunch of really useful ones are in RPM Forge.
Below are two links for RPM Forge for 32bit and 64bit relatively.


You’ll need to download that and install it.

wget [above link]
rpm -i rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.*.rpm

You can test that RPM forge is working by installing something like..

yum install htop


yum install firefox

Flash Plugin

yum install flash-plugin


9 thoughts on “Installing VNC for Centos 6 (VPS)

  1. Reply Todd Nov 11,2011 8:11 pm

    Very helpful and easy, much easier than other tutorials.

  2. Reply teddy Nov 26,2011 6:22 am

    I can’t stop saying Thanks to you.

  3. Reply Chris Jul 29,2012 7:39 pm

    hey, this is all that shows on my desktop

    the centos6 background screen and the mouse, which can just move around

  4. Reply Frank Nov 26,2012 9:00 pm

    Thank you so much for ending my hours of pain. I was following other tutorials that involved modifying iptables and they were both frustrating and confusing. This was so much simpler and worked a treat. Cheers

  5. Reply jpuyy Dec 3,2012 6:04 am

    I use your method and install that successfully. I translate this post to chinese, the url is .

  6. Reply vps notes Feb 6,2014 3:06 am

    great post! great alternative as linux dont have rdp

  7. Reply Lefteros Apr 23,2015 8:58 am

    I’d like to know about multi loggins for vnc, i have 3 people, that need to use different :# and their login

    • Reply Grumpy Apr 23,2015 10:08 am

      If you need three different users, make multiple servers in the vncserver configuration (/etc/sysconfig/vncservers). My example above has only 1 user. You can add as many as you like.

      The second one can be with ID of 2, third with ID of 3, etc.

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