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VNC Setup

Download and install an SSH client on your Windows or MacOS computer.        


  • Open a terminal window and type
> ssh user@hostname
  • Where user is the username and hostname is either the computername.domain.etc, or ip address of the remote machine


  • [1]PuTTY - A freeware implementation of Telnet and SSH for Windows. You only need to download the application file putty.exe for Intel x86, but if you like the traditional installer you can download putty-0.60-installer.exe. 
  • Download a VNC viewer like [2]TightVNC (for Mac OSX you would have to use the Java viewer) or RealVNC.  



  • First time users will need to edit their .xstartup file """(You will only need to do this once!)


  • Edit $home/.vnc/xstartup by uncommenting the lines as instructed in the file itself. 
# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
twm &
  • If you edit the xstartup file you will need to use the vi command. Basic vi commands can be found [3]here. 

PuTTy Config

  • If you start PuTTY under Windows Vista/7 you will get an .exe run warning.
  • Click Run to continue
  • The configuration window will appear. Type in the Host Name or IP address (of instrument or workstation).   
  • Type in a name for the session and click Save. Once saved you won't have to enter the information again. Then click Open.
  • A terminal window will open asking for your NMR login name and password, which may or may not be the same as your company or university username and password.
  • After you enter your password it will ask for an "Input display server name:", just hit enter.

VNC Server Startup

  • Startup the VNC server (on the workstation you are logging into) with PuTTY or your MAC terminal window 
  • At the prompt type:  

 > vncserver -geometry 1440x900

  • You can experiment with the geometry that suits your monitor (e.g. 1280x1024, 800x600, etc.).
  • You will notice that a new process was started You will need this information (specifically the session number) when starting and killing VNC.


Start the VNC Viewer application

  • TightVNC
  • In the Connection details window type in the VNC server name followed by colon session number.
  • It will ask you to enter your password. NOTE: the password is unique to VNC and will not change when you update your password on the NMR server. Enter your password and click OK.
  • The Linux desktop will appear and from hear you wil be able to start VNMRJ.

Killing the VNC Session

  • When finished, close the VNC Viewer by clicking on the X in top right corner DO NOT USE LOGOUT via Action Menu
  • With VNC View closed, kill the VNC session in your SSH terminal window (i.e. the PuTTY window) by typing

 > vncserver –kill :#

  • where # is the number of the seesion you started (e.g. vncserver -kill :1)   

    DO NOT FORGET TO KILL SESSION after you are done.

VNC Password

  • To change the VNC password type
> vncpasswd


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