Basic VNC Logins

Although X is inherently network-enabled, Linux supports a second remote GUI access protocol: VNC. This protocol operates under a very different network model than does X. Instead of running a server on the user's system, VNC runs as a client on the user's local computer. The VNC server then runs on the remote computer. This VNC server also doubles as an X server, which connects to the X clients (user programs). Figure 26.5 illustrates this arrangement.

Figure 26.5: VNC's network model is complex, but in practice it can be easier to use.

VNC is a cross-platform tool. Figure 26.5 depicts its use when both the client and server run Linux or another Unix-like OS, but in fact the client computer, server computer, or both could run Windows, Mac OS, or some other OS. Under Linux, individual users traditionally run the VNC server. This section describes this configuration. The upcoming section, "Linking VNC to XDMCP," describes a way to run VNC that's more akin to a conventional Linux server, so that it can process logins from arbitrary users.

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