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I have a SUSE desktop Linux system running. Now when I am trying to vnc into that system from a VNC client (from a Windows XP box), all I get is a blank desktop with a XTerm running on it. My SUSE desktop had loads of apps and terminals running -- can't see any of them. Any idea what might be going wrong here?

I had earlier invoked vncserver on my SUSE desktop as "vncserver" and no options. Maybe I need additional options to make the desktop visible? Or maybe tweak vnc script or xinitrc files, not sure.

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"I had earlier invoked vncserver" and it worked then? – soandos Aug 8 '11 at 1:45
Are you using multiple screens on your Linux desktop? If so, then perhaps your VNC client is only showing one of them? (I assume you know that the desktop background image, a.k.a. "wallpaper," is often temporarily removed to make the sessions work more efficiently.) – Randolf Richardson Aug 8 '11 at 2:23
@soandos -- I was merely mentioning how I invoked vncserver. – Fanatic23 Aug 8 '11 at 2:37
@Randolf -- The issue is not with wallpaper being removed, although I am indeed using multiple screens. I don't even see the start panel or any other terminals etc. – Fanatic23 Aug 8 '11 at 2:38

Most VNC servers create a new X session and share that. If you want to share your current X session, you have a couple options:

If you're using KDE, use KDE Desktop Sharing, a.k.a. krfb. It's included in most default KDE installations, but I can't speak for SUSE. If it's not installed, you can install it by locating it in YaST or from a terminal by running:

zypper install krfb

Once installed, just run Desktop Sharing from the Internet menu in Kicker, or by running krfb in KRunner or a terminal. I suggest you set Allow uninvited connections and configure a password in its configuration to prevent having to deal with the invitation system intended for allowing other users to share your desktop.

If you're using GNOME, use vino instead. It's available in the openSUSE repositories so I imagine SUSE Linux Enterprise has it too. Install it from YaST or run:

zypper install vino

Once installed, you can find it on the Preferences submenu of your System menu.

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+1. Using vino is definitely a step in the right direction for me. However, the data sent is un-encrypted. Any thoughts? Also is vino resource hungry like krfb is known to be? What processes run on the server side for vino? – Fanatic23 Aug 9 '11 at 0:30
@Fanatic23: vino has it's own VNC server, vino-server. I have no idea how performant it is. (I don't use it, or GNOME for that matter.) Supposedly it supports VNC's (admittedly poor) built-in encryption with just a check box in the configuration. You could also use SSH or stunnel. – Patches Aug 9 '11 at 6:12

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