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Remote Administration with VNC

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To remotely administer a Rivendell system it is usually necessary and desirable to be able to access the desktop being displayed on the local monitor (i.e. display :0). While the process for doing this can vary among the Linux distributions, these examples will hopefully point you in the right direction. I will assume that you have already installed the packages that are mentioned below.

NOTE: Port 5900 must be open if a firewall is used.

Configuration on Rivendell Broadcast Appliance CD (CentOS)

X11VNC Server is installed and enabled by default on the Rivendell Broadcast Appliance. You can access X11VNC Server from another computer by installing a VNC Viewer such as UltraVNC or TightVNC and connecting to the ip address of the server running X11VNC Server. You will be prompted for the X11VNC Server password.

The password is rdvnc. (From Fred Gleason 16 Feb 2012)

How to find out the ip address of the X11VNC Server

Enter the following command as root from a terminal prompt:


How to change the X11VNC Server defaults, such as the ports that it listens on

Use the GUI to access Internet -> X11VNC Server and make any changes you require.

How to check the Firewall status

The Firewall is not enabled by default on the Rivendell Broadcast Appliance. You can check this by using the GUI to access Administration -> Security Level and Firewall. (You will be prompted for the root password.) The Firewall will be shown as "Disabled" in the Firewall Options tab. In some circumstances you may want to change this and open ports 5900 and 5901 that X11VNC Server is set up to use by default.

Configuration on Suse

  1. Open YaST Control Center->Hardware->Graphics Card and Monitor
  2. Goto Remote Access
  3. Check "Allow access to display..."
  4. Check "Activate Password..." and enter in a password
  5. Click OK
  6. Reboot Suse or restart X server

You could skip step 1 by running sax2 directly from a console.

NOTE: Setting up Remote Access as described above is different then enabling Remote Administration (during installation of Suse or YaST->Network Services->Remote Administration). Remote Administration allows you to log in to a new session (i.e. display :1) which cannot be viewed by the local user.

Configuration on Ubuntu

  1. Click on System->Preferences->Remote Desktop
  2. Click General Tab (If not already selected)
  3. Put Ticks in Allow others to view and change your desktop.
  4. Tick Box Require user to enter password (Optional untick Ask for confirmation)
  5. Create a password (The Longer the better)
  6. Click Close
  7. No Reboot needed on Ubuntu

Generic Configuration using x11vnc with KDE

Enter these commands in a console as the Rivendell user (i.e. rduser):

mkdir ~/.vnc
x11vnc -storepasswd "password" ~/.vnc/passwd

Put this in the ~/.x11vncrc file:

display :0
rfbauth /home/rduser/.vnc/passwd
o /home/<user>/.vnc/log.txt #may be omitted if logging in not desired

Now to autostart it each time the Rivendell user logs in:

ln -s /usr/bin/x11vnc ~/.kde/Autostart/x11vnc

Now reboot or logout and back in.

Remotely Connecting to Rivendell PC

After setting up your Rivendell PC as described above, you can connect to it using a VNC viewer running on any VNC compatible OS (i.e. Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.). Some examples are:

In your VNC Viewer enter the IP address or hostname of the Rivendell PC, a colon, and the display to connect to (0 in our case). For example:

Your VNC Viewer should then connect and prompt you for the password that you entered when you configured the Rivendell PC for Remote Access. This password is unrelated to the Linux user accounts. After entering the correct password, you will be able to see AND control the same desktop that is visible on the Rivendell's PC's monitor.

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