Right now I have to open a console and type:

xtightvncviewer [ip-address]

to open the viewer. That's okay, but then I need to leave the console open or otherwise the viewer will close. I've tried:

nohup xtightvncviewer [ip-address] &


xtightvncviewer [ip-address]

In both cases, it pops up a little password dialog, and opens the viewer, but it's still dependent on the console being open. Is there a way to open xtightvncviewer as "headless"?

  • Why are you launching from the console if you don't want it open? Launching over an X forward session? (Tried to word this in a way that didn't sound grumpy, sorry).
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2013 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


To start your VNC viewer without opening the console at all, try [Alt]+[F2] from your desktop environment, which on most will present you with a dialog where you can type in your command to start the viewer without opening a console at all. If it's something you start often, consider setting up a desktop entry file and save it somewhere handy (like your desktop or application menu) with a name like TightVNC.desktop, eg:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xtightvncviewer myhost
Name=TightVNC to myhost

Alternatively, if you're already at the console you could achieve this with a utility called "screen", which is kind of like a window manager for your console. Start screen with

$ screen

Create a new window with [CTRL]+[A], [c] and you'll find yourself back at your shell's prompt. Start your VNC viewer as normal at the prompt, then detach the screen from the current terminal with [CTRL]+[A], [d]. This will drop you back to your shell again, but this time if you leave that session, screen (along with your VNC viewer) will keep running.

It's also possible (although not very useful in the case of your non-interactive VNC viewer) to reattach to screen windows you have had open previously. See screen's man page.


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