Debian 8: Remote connect to GNOME3 Desktop with VNC/XRDP

This article will describe installing tigervncserver and connecting to GNOME3 desktop with VNC and XRDP.


1 GNOME3 and tightvncserver cause error

GNOME3 and tightvncserver will cause error as below and cannot connect.


2 Preparation

Remove vnc4server and tightvncserver.

You can also switch vncserver to tigervncserver with update-alternatives command.

$ sudo apt remove -y vnc4server tightvncserver

Install git and devscripts.

$ sudo apt install -y git devscripts

3 Install libfltk

A libfltk in Debian 8 is a little old and tigervncviewer will be compile error.

This article will port liblftk in Ubuntu 16.04 to Debian 8.


Install packages for building libfltk.

$ sudo apt-get build-dep -y libfltk1.3
$ sudo apt install -y cmake

Download libfltk in Ubuntu 16.04.

$ mkdir fltk
$ cd fltk
$ URL=
$ wget ${URL}/fltk1.3/fltk1.3_1.3.3.orig.tar.gz
$ wget ${URL}/fltk1.3/fltk1.3_1.3.3-8.dsc
$ wget ${URL}/fltk1.3/fltk1.3_1.3.3-8.debian.tar.xz
$ tar zxvf fltk1.3_1.3.3.orig.tar.gz
$ cd fltk-1.3.3/
$ tar xvf ../fltk1.3_1.3.3-8.debian.tar.xz

Build libfltk.

$ dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc

Install deb files while installing depend package with running "apt -f install".

$ cd ..
$ sudo dpkg -i *.deb || (sudo apt -f install -y ; sudo dpkg -i *.deb)
$ cd ..

4 Install tigervncserver

tigervnc repository already has a devscripts files for Ubuntu 16.04.

This article will port it to Debian 8.


Download tigervnc from repository.

Checkout with hash which was used by this article.

$ mkdir tigervnc
$ cd tigervnc
$ git clone
$ cd tigervnc/
$ git checkout 044e2b87da7121ef6cbd59e88b101d7d8e282896 \
-b 044e2b87da7121ef6cbd59e88b101d7d8e282896

Move devscripts files to the top of directory with symbolic link.

$ ln -s contrib/packages/deb/ubuntu-xenial/debian

Convert package name which is different Ubuntu 16.04 from Debian 8.

$ sed -i -e 's/libjpeg-turbo8/libjpeg62-turbo/g' \
    -e 's/libgnutls30/libgnutls-deb0-28/g' \
    -e 's/libgnutls-dev/libgnutls28-dev/g' debian/control

Install packages for building tigervnc.

$ sudo apt install -y $(grep Build-Depends: debian/control | \
    sed -e 's/Build-Depends://g' -e 's/([^\)]*)//g' -e 's/,//g')

Make unused but failed patch to be empty.

$ rm debian/xorg-source-patches/xserver118-patch.patch
$ touch debian/xorg-source-patches/xserver118-patch.patch

Build tigervnc.

$ chmod a+x debian/rules
$ fakeroot debian/rules binary

Install deb files while installing depend package with running "apt -f install".

$ cd ..
$ sudo dpkg -i *.deb || (sudo apt -f install -y ; sudo dpkg -i *.deb)
$ cd ..

5 Run VNC server

Create password with vncpasswd.

$ vncpasswd
Would you like to enter a view-only password (y/n)? n

Run vncserver. Remote access port is 5900 + display nummber.

A port of below example is 5901.

$ vncserver

New 'ubuntu-16:1 (hiroom2)' desktop is ubuntu-16:1

Starting applications specified in /home/hiroom2/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/hiroom2/.vnc/ubuntu-16:1.log

Connect to vnc://<server>:5901 with remote vnc client.

Input password and connection will be completed as below.


6 Run XRDP server

Install and run xrdp.

$ sudo apt install -y xrdp # please check if vnc4server is not installed
$ sudo systemctl enable xrdp
$ sudo systemctl restart xrdp

Connect to xrdp with rdesktop or "Remote Desktop" on Windows.

Input username and password, and connection will be completed.