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How to Connect to Your Server Using VNC

In this guide I will show you how to connect to your VPS (or any server) using VNC.

What is VNC and How Does It Work?

VNC, or Virtual Network Computing, is a platform that enables remote control of a computer, server, or other devices. It allows you to manage a remote instance through a graphical interface, using your local keyboard and mouse to interact with a distant computer.

The transmission itself relies on the open-source Remote Framebuffer protocol, which is compatible with operating systems like macOS, Windows, and Linux. The Remote Framebuffer protocol was developed as a versatile solution accommodating various systems and configurations, surpassing the capabilities of older protocols.

While VNC is user-friendly and easy to set up, it lacks the robust security features found in mainstream protocols like SSH or Windows Remote Desktop. Despite its security limitations, VNC proves invaluable in situations where conventional connection methods are unavailable. Our customers can leverage VNC when working with their virtual instances, VPS or VDS.

VNC Clients

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of logging into the server via VNC. Our selected tool for this demonstration is a free VNC client known as UltraVNC. While UltraVNC is featured in this tutorial, it’s worth noting that there are several good alternatives available. Examples include RealVNC, TigerVNC, and others.

Getting Started with UltraVNC

Prepare your VNC login credentials in the following format: <VNC_IP>:<VNC_PORT>. For example,

The default port number is 5900, but it might vary based on your server setup. If you’re uncertain about the credentials, contact your provider.

If you’re a Madpopo customer, log in to the Customer Control Panel, navigate to the Your Services page, locate the server you want to connect to, and copy-paste the VNC credentials.

Once you’ve entered this information, click the connect button and input your VNC password.

Madpopo customers have the option to easily change the VNC password by accessing the Customer Control Panel’s page for their instance, then navigating to Manage > VNC Password.

Always double-check your spelling, as the VNC login is case-sensitive. Additionally, be mindful of your keyboard layout to avoid any errors during login (e.g., the positions of Y and Z may be swapped due to a different keyboard layout). To test the active keyboard layout, you can input a few test characters at the login prompt and erase them before entering your actual login name.

Connecting to Your Operating System Using VNC
Connecting to Linux Server

After entering your password and selecting the “Log On” button, the command line will open. The program will prompt you for your server login information. If you can’t recall where to find the VNC login data, reach out to your provider.

For Madpopo customers, locate your username in the Customer Control Panel, under sections like VPS, VDS, or Server control. The typical username for Linux servers is root unless you’re utilizing advanced features like custom OS images. If you’ve forgotten your server’s password, access the Customer Control Panel > * Control > Manage > Password reset.

Upon successful login, your command line will start with your username and hostname, for example: <USERNAME>@<YOUR_SERVER>:~#

If your Linux system has a GUI, you can launch the graphical interface now and perform tasks on your server using both the mouse and keyboard.

Connecting to a Windows Server

When you try to log in to your Windows Server, the system will prompt locked screen:

To log in, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and the password field will appear. Your physical keyboard may not function at this stage; hence, use a dedicated button located on the left side of the UltraVNC control panel.

Connecting to Your Server which Does Not Run OS

VNC access proves valuable in scenarios where the operating system fails to boot entirely. By utilizing VNC, you can continue working on your server even without physical access. A common use case includes performing a manual file system check or booting the OS from an alternative kernel.

VNC Troubleshooting: The Black Screen

If you encounter a black screen after logging into VNC, don’t immediately assume an issue. Simply click on the UltraVNC window and press Enter. This action should prompt the operating system to display the login screen.

Finishing Your VNC Session

Always remember to log out of VNC after completing your work on the server! VNC does not log out automatically, as it operates independently of your operating system. To log out in Linux, simply run the command:


Security Concerns over Using VNC

Although VNC technology is convenient and user-friendly, it falls short in terms of security.

It’s crucial to note that VNC access is not as secure as connections via SSH or Windows Remote Desktop. In typical scenarios, it’s advisable to connect to your server using more secure methods.

We recommend employing VNC only when your server is inaccessible through SSH or Remote Desktop.

For Madpopo customers, it’s advisable to either change the VNC password in the Customer Control Panel or consider disabling it for enhanced security.

Sanyog Shelar

passionate about programming and system architecture design, and he uses his deep knowledge to help clients achieve their goals. He also shares his expertise on various cybersecurity issues and offers practical advice on how to protect against common threats. In addition to his technical skills, Sanyog is an expert in server management and is able to provide expert advice on how to manage web applications at the server level.

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