enter image description here Problem: I have a VPS on linode that installed ubuntu 14.04. In the Real VNC viewer on my local machine, I see a screen like this. The problem is, although I can navigate the file system in this window, my mouse pointer is a big X and I can't use it to drag the "places" window. I think there should be a "application/places" window on top-left of the viewer window, but it seems being blocked by the unmovable "places" window.

A little background: I was trying to setup a desktop view from my local computer, but I have very limited knowledge about linux and stuff so I just follow the guide in linode's documentation to setup Real VNC viewer on my local machine. Yesterday I was able to get everything work fine, I was able to see the top-left menu containing "applications" and "places", and I was able to use mouse pointer to drag the "places" window around. But Today for some unknown reason when I click "places->computer" I got an eror message saying sth. like "can't open, operation not supported", I couldn't solve it so I reinstalled ubuntu and start everything over. This time I was also able to get Real VNC viewer running on my computer, but I encounter this "place window not movable" situation as I stated above.

What could possibly be the cause of the problem?


You likely don't have a desktop manager starting when you connect. You can start it from and ssh session, but I find it easier to use a xdm to present a login window and setup the environment. This can be done from an xinetd service like this:

service xvnc-1
 disable = no
# bind =
 port = 5901
 type = UNLISTED
 socket_type = stream
 protocol = tcp
 wait = yes
 user = nobody
 server = /usr/bin/Xtightvnc
 server_args = -inetd -geometry 1024x600 -depth 16 -query localhost -once -ac -desktop Server-netbook
# server = /usr/bin/Xvnc4
# server_args = -inetd -geometry 1024x600 -depth 16 -query localhost -once -SecurityTypes none -desktop Server-netbook
 libwrap = xvnc
 log_on_failure = HOST

I find neither gdm nor kdm work will in this case so I use xdm.

Another alternative is to use xrdp to provide your sessions using the Windows RDP protocol. I've documented setting up Remote Desktops with VNC and RDP. This is a little more complicated than you should need as it is designed to desktop environment.

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