Monday Aug 25, 2014

Installing VNC server on Solaris 11

I tend to forget the exact command line for installing VNC on Solaris 11.

VNC isn't installed by default:

# vncserver
-bash: vncserver: command not found


But it is in the repository. (You need to use the --accept option because java/jre-7  requires BCL License acceptance )

# pkg install --accept solaris-desktop
           Packages to install: 463
           Mediators to change:   1
            Services to change:  16
       Create boot environment:  No
Create backup boot environment:  No
DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
Completed                            463/463   68277/68277  729.0/729.0  6.2M/s

PHASE                                          ITEMS
Installing new actions                   104012/104012
Updating package state database                 Done
Updating package cache                           0/0
Updating image state                            Done
Creating fast lookup database                   Done
Updating package cache                           2/2
You have new mail in /var/mail/root


Now the VNC server is installed:

$ vncserver

You will require a password to access your desktops.

Password:
Verify:
xauth:  file /home/jeff/.Xauthority does not exist

New 'my-host:1 (root)' desktop is my-host:1

Creating default startup script /home/jeff/.vnc/xstartup
Starting applications specified in /home/jeff/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/jeff/.vnc/my-host:1.log


By default, you get the tiled window manager (twm), but I prefer Gnome.

# vi /home/jeff/.vnc/xstartup

At the bottom of xstartup, change "twm &" -to- "gnome-session &":

Kill the session running twm and restart with Gnome:

$ vncserver -kill :1
Killing Xvnc process ID 2392

$ vncserver

New 'my-host:1 (root)' desktop is my-host:1

Starting applications specified in /home/jeff/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/jeff/.vnc/my-host:1.log


Now you're good to go. Visit the vncserver with a vncclient:

vnc.png

You may also want to review:

Hope this helps.

Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

VNC Cut & Paste on Solaris 10

I love being able to cut & paste between my laptop (e-mail, web browser, etc.) and my VNC session. This functionality is controlled by vncconfig. From the man page:

vncconfig is used to configure and control a running
instance of Xvnc, or any other X server with the VNC exten-
sion. Note that it cannot be used to control VNC servers
prior to version 4.

I hate this message:

$ vncconfig
No VNC extension on display :1.0


When I hit the problem again, I found my way back to one of my old blog entries: Solaris/x64 VNC with Cut & Paste, but this time, the situation was slightly different:
  • On SPARC
  • SFWvnc was not installed
When I re-read my old blog, it didn't seem to apply.

But I found:

$ which Xvnc
/ usr/local/bin/Xvnc

$ pkginfo -L | grep vnc
SUNWvncviewer
SUNWxvnc

$ /usr/sbin/pkgchk -l SUNWxvnc | grep Xvnc
NOTE: Couldn't lock the package database.
Pathname: /usr/X11/bin/Xvnc
Pathname: /usr/X11/share/man/man1/Xvnc.1


Someone had put Xvnc version 3.x in /usr/local. Because /usr/local was near the start of my PATH, I wasn't using the version of Xvnc that is supplied with Solaris 10 Update 10.

Again, the solution is simple.

1) Kill the running Xvnc process

2) Start a new Xvnc process using the Solaris supplied executable

$ export PATH=/usr/X11/bin:$PATH
$ vncviewer


3) Use a VNC viewer to visit the Xvnc server and run vncconfig:

$ vncconfig &

vncconfig.png

4) Now, cut & paste works between my laptop (e-mail, web browser, etc.) and my VNC session.

5) You will want to make sure that vncconfig is started automatically in your .vnc/xstartup file.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday Dec 04, 2012

Solaris 11 VNC Server is "blurry" or "smeared"

I've been annoyed by quality of the image that is displayed by my VNC viewer when I visit a Solaris 11 VNC server. How should I describe the image? Blurry? Grainy? Smeared? Low resolution? Compressed? Badly encoded?

This is what I have gotten used to seeing on Solaris 11:

Solaris 11 Blurry VNC image

This is not a problem for me when I view Solaris 10 VNC servers. I've finally taken the time to investigate, and the solution is simple. On the VNC client, don't allow "Tight" encoding.

My VNC Viewer will negotiate to Tight encoding if it is available. When negotiating with the Solaris 10 VNC server, Tight is not a supported option, so the Solaris 10 server and my client will agree on ZRLE. 

Now that I have disabled Tight encoding on my VNC client, the Solaris 11 VNC Servers looks much better:

Solaris 11 crisp VNC image

How should I describe the display when my VNC client is forced to negotiate to ZRLE encoding with the Solaris 11 VNC Server? Crisp? Clear? Higher resolution? Using a lossless compression algorithm?

When I'm on a low bandwidth connection, I may re-enable Tight compression on my laptop. In the mean time, the ZRLE compression is sufficient for a coast-to-coast desktop, through the corporate firewall, encoded with VPN, through my ISP and onto my laptop. YMMV.

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Jeff Taylor-Oracle

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