Using MacOS to connect to a virtual machine with VNC

This article refers to settings that are out of date and have been replaced with our web console/web VNC

Why use VNC?

VNC gives you 100%, complete out of band access to your server. If your server is ever in UP status, but not reachable, you can use VNC to connect and troubleshoot. Typical scenerios include system updates or configuration issues that prevent the server from booting, iptables rules that block you via ssh, disk checks that drop to single user mode, etc.

Configure VNC

To connect to your server using VNC, you must first enable VNC under the options page of your server. To do so do the following:

  1. Log into
  2. Select your servers Dashboard under My Services
  3. Select Options
  4. Click the link to manage VNC settings
VNC Access is controlled by allowing access to a specific IP address, specifying an optional password, and optionally using SSL encryption to tunnel your VNC connection.

To enable VNC, change the VNC status to enabled, confirm the IP address is correct (it is pre-populated with the IP you are connecting from) and change the status to enabled.

Note: The first time you enable VNC, you must do a complete shut down of your server from the dashboard, wait for it to stop, and then initiate a start (or let it auto start if you have not disabled our rescue process.) Once you have done this you do not need to do it again, unless you change the VNC password for your server.

VNC with MacOSX

We like using the JollyFastVNC Client for connecting to our servers. It is available as a free trial/shareware, and we recommend purchasing it if you use VNC often or to access multiple machines.

Note: Chicken of the VNC is also known to work for non-ssl connections, as long as you disable all but the "Tight" protocol.
  1. Download JollyFast VNC from the JollyFast site
  2. After installation, run it.
  3. Click the plus button in the lower left to add a new server.
  4. Use the VNC hostname (1), port (2) and optionally SSL (3) displayed on the VNC page of your dashboard to configure the settion.
  5. Connect!
  6. If you specified a VNC password, you will be prompted to enter it. If you haven't specified a password, you will be presented with your console login screen.
  7. Log in as normal to control your server.


It doesn't work

The client and steps in this article are known to work.

  • If you can't connect, make sure that the ip address listed in the firewall and your wan ip match. You may need to update the rule. You can always see your current IP by going to the VNC page.
  • If you still can't connect, try a telnet test on your VNC port. If you are unable to telnet, local firewall rules within your network may be blocking you.
  • You may also alternatively want to try with or without SSL, and with or without a password to confirm it isn't a local client issue. If you are still having trouble, please try using the recommended client specified in this howto, and if you are unable to connect contact us for further assistance.
  • Make sure your client is set to trust or accept unsigned SSL certificates if using SSL.
  • If you can connect and you're getting a blank screen, check the grub entry for the console parameter "xencons=vfb" in the kernel line. If you still can't get to the console, contact us for assistance.
  • Make sure you have disabled all encodings/protocols with the exception of the "Tight" protocol.


Additional Information

Other MacOSX Clients are known to work. Make sure you are using similar settings to the tutorial above. If you use another client, and it works, be sure to drop us a line so that we can update this page.