I'm a not so experienced user of Linux systems and here's the thing I'm trying to achieve: I want to run a graphical application on a remote Linux (Ubuntu in particular) server, with an ability to connect to this application from Windows/Android at any time. The application should be running even if there are no active connections to it. Google suggests that I need a VNC server and client for this, however, the guides I've found so far seem complicated for my knowledge, and I simply don't know where to start. Could you please suggest the steps I am to take? Do I need a VNC server, or can I just use the ssh's X forwarding? Do I need to set up an actual X server? I'll post any details or configs if required.

closed as off-topic by Rui F Ribeiro, jayhendren, Anthony Geoghegan, Romeo Ninov, cas Jan 23 '18 at 10:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Requests for learning materials (tutorials, how-tos etc.) are off topic. The only exception is questions about where to find official documentation (e.g. POSIX specifications). See the Help Center and our Community Meta for more information." – Rui F Ribeiro, jayhendren, Romeo Ninov
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • By the rules of this site, this post is off-topic. But the answer to your question is pretty straightforward: you probably want a VNC server, which is usually just as easy as: installing a desktop environment (e.g. Gnome), then installing VNC and enabling the service. X11 forwarding over SSH is usually not a good choice as it is slow and has high overhead, but it can work in some scenarios. This solution only requires (counter-intuitively) installing an X11 server on the client. – jayhendren Jan 22 '18 at 21:07
  • Questions that are too broad are generally a bad fit for Stack Exchange sites so this question will likely be closed on that basis. I'd suggest taking the tour and for future questions reading How to Ask and help center. – Anthony Geoghegan Jan 22 '18 at 23:47
  • Other queue reviewers: while this question is too broad, I think the cited close reason is another example of unix.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3892/22812 – Anthony Geoghegan Jan 22 '18 at 23:50
  • @AnthonyGeoghegan thank you for taking the time to post all those links. I'd say that I'm requesting not some "reading materials", but rather just the names of the tools I can use to achieve what I'm looking for. I think I'll deal with finding the materials I need right after I know what exactly I'm looking for. – John Doe Jan 23 '18 at 7:25
  • IMO this is both too broad, and off topic because it's about VNC client programs for windows. – cas Jan 23 '18 at 10:48

You should be aware that there are two types of VNC servers for Linux: one type usually integrates with your desktop environment and can be used to access your current GUI session remotely.

Another type sets up a completely separate seat: a virtual display+keyboard+mouse combination that can be accessed only through VNC, and will have a login session that is completely independent of the session on the Linux system's local display.

The first type may be the easiest to set up: you probably won't need to do more than:

  • install the appropriate VNC server package
  • start the VNC server control application or desktop widget
  • configure the VNC access password for your session and enable VNC remote access (preferably in this order!)
  • allow incoming VNC connections to pass the software firewall, if you got one configured

You may find old instructions for installing a VNC server "from scratch": this is way more complex and usually not required any more, as most distributions have pre-packaged VNC servers available.

The second type of VNC server may be a bit more complicated to set up, but allows the remote session to live on independently of any local logins/logouts.

  • Thank you. This comment and some advice from different sources got me to where I wanted. – John Doe Jan 23 '18 at 14:08

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