I'm currently using x11vnc to share my existing X session over VNC.

What I'd like to do is to start a new X session/display which would work and act exactly like the existing one, except wouldn't be visible to someone sitting at my computer. (Problem right now is that people at the office can watch my unattended screen as I work, weird.)

Is there a way that I can do something like this to achieve this:

ssh -L 5900:localhost:5900 otherhost "x11vnc -newdisplay -geometry 1920x1080 -localhost"

to tunnel back the port and connect in a more secure way?

  • If the local machine also is running X11, then you don't need to use vnc. There are advantages for just using X11, other advantages for vnc. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 22:12
  • You need one of the other vnc servers, X11vnc ties vnc to an existing X11 display. There are others that do not. Which OS are you running? Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 22:15
  • Elementary Luna (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 22:29
  • How is it going. Have you got it working yet, or do you need more help? Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


On Debian 7: install and use tightvncserver or vnc4server. You probably have similar packages on your system (maybe without the 4).

type apt-cache search vnc | grep -v lib | grep server on any debian based system (including Ubuntu, mint, elementary).

X11vnc is the vnc server that connects to an existing X11 server, useful for tech support to help a user etc. But not so good to remote login, without allowing people to see what you are doing.

Also consider using just X11 (no vnc): ssh -X otherhost

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .