How can I verify which vncserver version is installed on my computer?

vncserver's man page does an specified any option to display the version.

I tried which vncserver, but it wasn't helpful either as the output is /usr/bin/vncserver.

I use Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS x64.

username@server:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS
Release:        14.04
Codename:       trusty

username@server:~$ uname -a
Linux safar 3.13.0-87-generic #133-Ubuntu SMP Tue May 24 18:32:09 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
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    On most distros /usr/bin/vncserver is a script which calls one of the many VNC servers available. Don't know what Ubuntu calls through. Reading the script and figuring out what is calls may be the easiest solution. – grochmal Sep 4 '16 at 17:13
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    If you've actually started a VNC user-session on the machine at some point, then your ~/.vnc/<host>:<display>.log file may contain this information (e.g. the first line of one of mine says Xvnc version TightVNC-1.3.10) – steeldriver Sep 4 '16 at 17:25
  • @grochmal Thanks, indeed, a script of ~750 lines, was Xvnc4. You're welcome to copy paste your comment into an answer. I have later noticed that vncserver -h mentions Xvnc4 as well. – Franck Dernoncourt Sep 4 '16 at 17:37
  • @steeldriver You're right, it even contain the more precise version than what one can see with vncserver -h or in the /usr/bin/vncserver bash scripts ( e.g., in my case Xvnc Free Edition 4.1.1 - built Jul 31 2015 19:10:31). I guess that's another great answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Sep 4 '16 at 17:39

You can check the version of vncserver as follows:

dpkg -l | grep vnc

/usr/bin/vncserver is a script on pretty much all distros. This is because the original VNC was developed at AT&T labs and (although today under GPL) had several hiccups about the licensing of the code (see footnote). Several spin-off were developed with variable command line syntax and functionality.

The vncserver command (as a script) exist to abstract the differences between the different implementations. The script uses the original VNC syntax as originally thought by Tristan. The original syntax did not include a --version command.

Today the script will call one of the variants of VNC:

  • TigetVNC popular on RedHat
  • TightVNC popular on fast evolving RPM based distros (e.g. Fedora)
  • RealVNC the original VNC server from AT&T (now under GPL)
  • Xvnc popular on Debian based distros
  • TurboVNC/UltraVNC which are not very popular
  • Other variants exist.

The best way is to simply read /usr/bin/vncserver and close to the start command you shall find the actual command used to start the VNC server. The command itself will have either --version or -V which will print the version of the VNC server.

This post uses the name "VNC" in the benefit of the trademark holder and not meaning to infringe the trademark.


You can use your favorite package manager for that, for exemple with dpkg using the Synaptic GUI, it's up to opening Synaptic and writing "vnc" in the filter, then looking at the package's version.


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