I’ve been playing around with Crunchbang Linux for the last few days. I had a low spec old server lying around the house and wanted to see if it would perform better with a lightweight Linux distribution. The machine had been struggling under the latest Ubuntu 11.10, so I scrubbed it and installed Crunchbang.
The problem being that the machine runs in the attic office and doesn’t have a screen or keyboard, so remote access is essential. But Crunchbang doesn’t seem to come with a default remote desktop server, so we have to install one for ourselves.
Vino to the rescue
Vino is the default VNC server that ships with Ubuntu and has done for a long time now. And because Crunchbang is a distant cousin of Ubuntu, I figured this would be a good place to start! Installing Vino, of course, is a complete breeze – let me walk you through the steps…
- Fire up the terminal! Type in
sudo apt-get install vinoand follow the instructions on screen.
- Once Vino’s been installed, you need to configure it. To do this, open up a terminal window (Super-key + t) and type vino-preferences. Press return, and a familiar configuration screen should appear.
- You want to configure Vino to allow other users to view and control the desktop.
- Under security, untick the “You must confirm each access to this machine”. You want the machine to automatically accept your incoming connections – otherwise, you’d have to manually approve each connection!
- We set a password to secure access to the machine, and allow the network to automatically accept incoming connections. Once you’ve set the options (I’ve included a handy screenshot below to guide you), your VNC server should be up and running.
- The last step is to go to another machine on the network and try to connect. You can use the built-in remote desktop utility in most Ubuntu distributions, or alternatively install TightVNC for Windows.
Vino recommended configuration screenshot
Et voila! Remote access to your screenless, keyboardless server!