Remotely connect to your HTPC via X11VNC and RealVNC

Because most of the time, your HTPC doesn’t have a keyboard or a mouse, you’ll want to remotely control it. Sometime SSH is not enough for what you need to accomplish, so you will want to control you computer “graphically”. For exemple, if you are stock in the login screen without a keyboard and a mouse, it could be complicated to use SSH to go play in the files to login to a new session or just enter a session. VNC will come very handy in this situation. To do so you will need two things: A X11 server and a VNC viewer. For the server, the easiest for Ubuntu and Kodibuntu would be X11VNC. It is very simple to install and to use. On the windows side, we would suggest RealVNC, as it is free, simple and very easy to use.

We HIGHLY suggest to use X11VNC in conjunction with SSH. If you play a video while X11VNC is running in the background, the playback is highly risked to be jumpy. We strongly recommend to open X11VNC only when you use it.

  1. Install X11VNC:
    sudo apt-get install x11vnc
  2. Start x11vnc:
    x11vnc
  3. That is all you need.
  4. WARNING: Do not run X11VNC at startup. YOU DON’T WANT X11VNC TO RUN WHILE YOU PLAY A VIDEO!. Run it via SSH only when you need it. There is a great chance X11VNC server will make your video playback jumpy. To Run it, open an SSH terminal and type x11vnc. Wait 2-3 secondes and connect with VNC viewer. X11VNC will close automatically after the VNC session is finish.
  5. Windows Putty Users: DO NOT Forward X11 display:x11vncputty

Install RealVNC Viewer on Windows and Connect to your HTPC:

  1. Download the RealVNC Viewer here: https://www.realvnc.com/download/viewer/
  2. Find the local IP Address where the X11VNC server is open and type it here:
    Here is a guide to set up your Home IP addresses (Static IP – How to setup your home network)vnc

Remotely control the login screen via X11VNC (Kodibuntu):

To be able to control the login screen in kodibuntu, you will need 2 things. First start x11vnc server as root. Secondly, give the right Xauthority file. To do so, just use these commands:

  1. sudo su
  2. x11vnc -auth /var/lib/lightdm/.Xauthority -display :0