Using Linux 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This article refers to settings that are out of date and have been replaced with our web console/web VNC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%, completely 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 www.vr.org
  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 a Linux Box

We like using the Enhanced TightVNC viewer with SSL/SSH tunnel for connecting to our servers. It comes with a GPL and we recommend using it.
  1. Download the VNC viewer from (SSVNC)
  2. After installation, run it.
  3. Use the VNC hostname:port (1) and the password (2) if you have it set and optionally SSL (3) displayed on the VNC page of your dashboard to configure the settion.
  4. Make sure to uncheck the "Verify All Certs" (4) box if you're using SSL.
  5. Click Connect!
  6. If all is well, you will be presented with your console login screen.
  7. Log in as usual to control your server.

    Screenshots



    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.

     

    Additional Information

    Other Linux 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.