I have an AWS Debian9 EC2 instance running, I have set up TightVNC and can access the server via a VNC client. I've allowed access to ports 5900, 5901, 22, 80 and 443 via the security groups in AWS.

I run the VNC server with the following:

vncserver :1 -geometry 1024x768 -depth 16

And open the SSH tunnel using the following command:

ssh -L 5901: -C -N -l admin <ip.address.of.server>

This seems to work fine as when I load up localhost:5901 in the browser I get the following:

RFB 003.008

What am I missing? I've been trying to follow this guide which worked all the way through to the SSH tunnel section where it seems to just work.

How do I set up tightVNC on Debian9 to display in the browser via an SSH tunnel?

1 Answer 1


VNC needs a client program, it’s typically not accessed through a browser. Although there may be some browser plugins or extensions available, I didn’t check.

Install TightVNC client on your laptop and open localhost:1 in it (that :1 means first VNC display on the remote host which defaults to port 5901). It will connect to port 5901 locally and will be forwarded to the server over ssh.

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