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So I installed a VNC server (Tight VNC) on my workstation 'orac' which is running Debian Jessie with KDE Plasma. And a VNC client (also Tight VNC) on my workstation 'tact' running Debian Stretch with KDE Plasma.

I ran vncpasswd on orac to configure the password.

I want to use VNC to use 'orac' from 'tact'.

From tact I ssh'ed to orac and started the vncserver:

jj5@orac:~$ vncserver 

New 'X' desktop is orac:1

Starting applications specified in /home/jj5/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/jj5/.vnc/orac:1.log

Then from a console on tact I ran:

jj5@tact:~$ vncviewer orac:1
Connected to RFB server, using protocol version 3.8
Enabling TightVNC protocol extensions
Performing standard VNC authentication
Password: 
Authentication successful
Desktop name "jj5's X desktop (orac:1)"
VNC server default format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0
Using default colormap which is TrueColor.  Pixel format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0
vncviewer: VNC server closed connection

Before vncviewer: VNC server closed connection is reported everything seems to be working smoothly. A window opens, I see KDE Plasma doing it's login/loading thing, then my orac desktop loads, a bunch of default Dolphin windows load, and KDE Plasma starts processing my autostart scripts, so everything seems to be working fine, and then almost as soon as it starts KDE/VNC disappears and shuts down usually with vncviewer: VNC server closed connection but sometimes with vncviewer: read: Connection reset by peer instead.

So why is KDE (or VNC?) bailing just as soon as it starts? Any help greatly appreciated!

p.s. here's some extra info about the environment on the VNC server (orac):

jj5@orac:~/.vnc$ ls -al
total 24K
drwx------  2 jj5 jj5 4.0K May  4 17:35 ./
drwxr-xr-x 74 jj5 jj5 4.0K May  4 17:35 ../
-rw-r--r--  1 jj5 jj5 1.3K May  4 17:36 orac:1.log
-rw-r--r--  1 jj5 jj5    5 May  4 17:35 orac:1.pid
-rw-------  1 jj5 jj5    8 May  4 15:52 passwd
-rwxr-xr-x  1 jj5 jj5  263 May  4 17:32 xstartup*

And the log file says:

jj5@orac:~/.vnc$ cat orac\:1.log 
04/05/17 17:35:57 Xvnc version TightVNC-1.3.9
04/05/17 17:35:57 Copyright (C) 2000-2007 TightVNC Group
04/05/17 17:35:57 Copyright (C) 1999 AT&T Laboratories Cambridge
04/05/17 17:35:57 All Rights Reserved.
04/05/17 17:35:57 See http://www.tightvnc.com/ for information on TightVNC
04/05/17 17:35:57 Desktop name 'X' (orac:1)
04/05/17 17:35:57 Protocol versions supported: 3.3, 3.7, 3.8, 3.7t, 3.8t
04/05/17 17:35:57 Listening for VNC connections on TCP port 5901

04/05/17 17:36:04 Got connection from client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:04 Using protocol version 3.8
04/05/17 17:36:04 Enabling TightVNC protocol extensions
04/05/17 17:36:06 Full-control authentication passed by 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Pixel format for client 10.1.1.126:
04/05/17 17:36:06   32 bpp, depth 24, little endian
04/05/17 17:36:06   true colour: max r 255 g 255 b 255, shift r 16 g 8 b 0
04/05/17 17:36:06   no translation needed
04/05/17 17:36:06 Using tight encoding for client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Using compression level 1 for client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Using image quality level 6 for client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Enabling X-style cursor updates for client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Enabling cursor position updates for client 10.1.1.126
04/05/17 17:36:06 Enabling LastRect protocol extension for client 10.1.1.126

Note that 10.1.1.126 is my VNC client 'tact'.

My xstartup script is pretty much just the default one (I don't have an ~/.Xresources file so I removed that from the xrdb command, otherwise it's as-is):

jj5@orac:~/.vnc$ cat xstartup 
#!/bin/sh

#xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xrdb
xsetroot -solid grey
#x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
#x-window-manager &
# Fix to make GNOME work
export XKL_XMODMAP_DISABLE=1
/etc/X11/Xsession
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Oh wow. So I found the issue and fixed it like this:

jj5@orac:~$ rm .config/autostart/dropbox.desktop

The dropbox.desktop file seems to have been installed when I tried to install the Dropbox client on my system (but I had trouble getting it to work and don't use it). I had forgotten this file was here. I figured it out by looking at recently modified files/directories in my home directory after trying to access orac via VNC. E.g.:

jj5@orac:~$ ls -Alt | head
total 21292
drwx------    4 jj5  jj5      4096 May  4 18:12 Dropbox
drwx------    5 jj5  jj5      4096 May  4 18:12 .dropbox
drwx------    2 jj5  jj5      4096 May  4 18:12 .vnc
-rw-------    1 jj5  jj5      3136 May  4 18:12 .Xauthority
-rw-------    1 jj5  jj5     26860 May  4 18:07 .viminfo
-rw-------    1 jj5  jj5      6692 May  4 17:49 .bash_history
drwx------    2 jj5  jj5      4096 May  4 17:36 .pulse
-rw-r--r--    1 jj5  jj5        75 May  4 17:25 .selected_editor
-rw-r--r--    1 jj5  jj5       697 May  4 17:22 .profile
-rw-r--r--    1 jj5  jj5      3963 May  4 17:22 .bashrc

The dropbox.desktop file looked like this:

jj5@orac:~/archive/2017-05-04-181328$ cat dropbox.desktop 
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Dropbox
GenericName=File Synchronizer
Comment=Sync your files across computers and to the web
Exec=dropbox start -i
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Icon=dropbox
Categories=Network;FileTransfer;
StartupNotify=false

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