The University of Arizona

7.12. VNC via SSH Tunneling

Math IT SupportRemote Access to Math AccountsVNC via SSH Tunneling

How to create your remote desktop:

Before you can connect to your remote desktop, you must create your remote desktop service.

Different ways to connect to your remote desktop:

In the instructions below, wherever we write "bobcat", graduate students should substitute "iguana".

  • If you are running Microsoft Windows you'll need both an SSH Client and a VNC Viewer.
    • PuTTY - SSH Client [Download]
      You'll need to make sure you have PuTTY setup for SSH Tunneling.
    • TightVNC Viewer [Download]
      Note that you only need the "Viewer", which is the smallest of the many available downloads. To connect, first launch PuTTY and open the session you created using the instructions above. Then launch the viewer, and simply type "localhost" for the Remote Host. If your SSH Tunnel is set up properly and connected, you will be asked for the password you setup when you created your remote desktop service.
  • If you are running Linux or Mac OS X, you can create your SSH Tunnel directly from the command line:
  ssh -L -p 31415

where xx is your VNC desktop number.

  • For Mac OS X, you can download the client "Chicken of the VNC". While logged in with the previous command, you can run "Chicken of the VNC" and enter "localhost" for the host and the password you setup when you created your remote desktop service.
  • For Linux, while logged in with the previous command, open a new terminal window, and enter the following command:
  vncviewer localhost

How to disconnect

  • To disconnect from (i.e., stop viewing) your remote desktop, simply close the viewer (the outermost window).
  • There is no need to close individual windows inside your virtual desktop, nor is there a need to log out the Gnome session inside your virtual desktop. (In fact, if you accidentally do this, then you must kill your remote desktop and create a new one.)