How do I Connect to FreeBSD With VNC?

Written by chad anderson
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Virtual Network Computing, or VNC, is a method for remote desktop administration and assistance. VNC allows users to connect to and work on a remote desktop as if they were sitting in front of it. However, on Unix-like systems running the X Window environment, the VNC system works differently. Instead of connecting to an active desktop, the VNC server creates a virtual X Window session to operate in. While the server runs a little differently, the connection process is identical. You can connect to a FreeBSD VNC server from any VNC client on any operating system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open your VNC client. As most VNC servers on FreeBSD will be running TightVNC, you may want to run the TightVNC client as well. Even though the TightVNC client isn't required, TightVNC's client offers many superior compression capabilities that when used in conjunction with a TightVNC server, can make for a better overall user experience.

  2. 2

    Enter the FreeBSD server's IP address into the connection box and choose your bandwidth preferences if they need to be adjusted for a slow connection. Press "Connect" to query the server for a connection.

  3. 3

    Enter your login credentials to gain access to a basic X Windows desktop. If your user folder already contains a .xinitrc file, your preferred window manager will already be specified. Otherwise, use a text editor to change your .xinitrc to start your favourite window manager, such as KDE or Gnome.

  4. 4

    Disconnect and reconnect your VNC session to see the changes applied in your .xinitrc file.

Tips and warnings

  • Most FreeBSD servers will be running an SSH server alongside a VNC server. Tunnelling your VNC connection through the SSH server is a good procedure, simply because normal VNC connections are unencrypted and a security risk when used over the public Internet.

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