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Is it possible to use VNC to access Linux?

I set everything up and ran VNC from my Android phone using my servers IP. To my surprise I ended up with an image of my own desktop which was connected to the server via SSH.

Is it only possible to use VNC to view another physical screen? If that's the case can I make a simulated screen and access that?

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Yes that is possible e.g. using Xvnc. It is essentially a frame buffer in memory that behaves like X to any application running connected to it, and you can use the VNC viewer of your choice to watch the result.

Other options are xephyr and xvfb

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