Configure VNC on SUSE 10.1

VNC, or remote administration, allows a remote desktop service between windows and linux. If you are like me you have a mixed network, and it is nice to be able to reach the linux box from a windows box. One my major interests is to be able to run a Kdevelop app from my windows laptop while I’m watching TV.

To accomplish this, make sure the software is installed using YAST Software Management:
Installed VNC components
Perhaps not all of these are required.

Under Network Services in YAST, click on Remote Administration, and enable it. Also choose whether you want to use a firewall. I have a router between my local network and the Cable Modem so I do not use the firewall.

By default only one VNC service, host:1, is enabled. host:1 is the string that most VNC viewers will want to connect to your host. The default service gives you a 1024×768 window. This wasn’t large enough to allow me to run KDevelop, which is my primary reason for using VNC.

If you are using Network Manager, like I am, to configure the other VNC services, use YAST and In Network Services group click on Network Services(xinetd)

At this point you see a list of services. In the list are vnc1, vnc2 and vnc3 services. From a VNC client, on windows or Linux, you use host:1 host:2 host:3 in VNC Viewer to get to these services.

Just had to turn them on in this YAST panel. I don’t know where the port definitions come from. They aren’t in /etc/services and they aren’t here to be edited. So apparently some other file relates vnc1-3 to ports 5901-03 to vnc1-3.

You can change the geometry as well as other options in this panel. I edited vnc 3 to use geometry 1600×1050 to match my wide screen monitor and voila… Back on my 1920×1024 laptop I have a have a 1600×1050 window to my SUSE machine.

It may be best to turn off any wallpaper desktop background when using VNC to improve performance. For a windows client, I use the open source, tightVNC. There is also a free version of the client at Real VNC