I have the ability to VNC into a remotely hosted ubuntu session with VNC after I've logged into that desktop session locally on that machine. My problem comes when I want to restart the computer (lands on the graphical prompt).
More importantly to me if this graphical server is logged in I can ssh in and direct my display to :0 and run a vmplayer process in that session and RDP to it.
export DISPLAY=:0; nohup vmrun -T player start /vms/winsvr2012/winsvr2012.vmx gui &
Unfortunately this can only be done after I've actually got a graphical session running at the other end. (Basically I need to be there in person to start the computer and start the session).
What I want to do is run wakeonlan remotely and get into a remote graphical session, so I can start persistent graphical programs. I've had no success with: startx xpra