Knowledge base

Knowledge base: All Platforms
Starting Listening VNC Viewer and establishing a reverse connection

A VNC Server user can establish a reverse connection to a listening VNC Viewer. In a reverse connection, network communications from the remote computer are outgoing.

Note: Reverse connections are not secure and should only be used in a locked-down environment.

VNC Connect (6.x)

Starting listening VNC Viewer

With VNC Connect, listening VNC Viewer must be started as a command. Open a command prompt and enter the following:

Windows

vncviewer.exe -listen [<port>]

Mac

/Applications/VNC\ Viewer.app/Contents/MacOS/vncviewer -listen [<port>]

Linux

vncviewer -listen [<port>]

Establishing a reverse connection from VNC Server

From the user interface

You can connect to a listening VNC Viewer from the VNC Server user interface.

Your desktop then automatically appears to the VNC Viewer user. Note that the VNC Viewer user does not have to enter authentication credentials.

Note: Before connecting, you must ensure the VNC Viewer computer’s router and/or firewall have been configured to allow access to listening VNC Viewer on port 5500.

  1. Open the VNC Server dialog.
  2. Click the menu at the top right of the dialog, then Connect to Listening VNC Viewer.
  3. Enter the VNC Viewer computer’s IP address. If you are connecting over the Internet, ensure you have followed these steps.

From the command line

You can establish a connection to listening VNC Viewer from the command line. Once the command has been entered, your desktop automatically appears to the VNC Viewer user. The VNC Viewer user does not have to enter authentication credentials.

Note: Before connecting, you must ensure the VNC Viewer computer’s router and/or firewall have been configured to allow access to listening VNC Viewer on port 5500.

Windows

If VNC Server is already running:

vncserver.exe -connect              #UserMode
vncserver.exe -service -connect     #ServiceMode 

To start VNC Server and initiate a connection to listening VNC Viewer (User Mode only):

vncserver.exe -iconnect <computer>

Mac

If VNC Server is already running:

/Library/vnc/vncserver -connect            #UserMode
/Library/vnc/vncserver -service -connect   #ServiceMode 

To start VNC Server and initiate a connection to Listening VNC Viewer (User Mode only):

vncserver.exe -iconnect <computer>

Linux

If VNC Server is already running:

vncserver-x11 -connect                    #UserMode 
vncserver-x11 -service -connect           #ServiceMode
DISPLAY=: Xvnc -connect              #VirtualMode 

To start VNC Server and initiate a connection to listening VNC Viewer (User and Virtual Modes only):

vncserver-x11 -iconnect       #UserMode
vncserver-virtual -iconnect   #VirtualMode 

Legacy VNC (5.x, 4.x)

Configuring Listening VNC Viewer

Starting Listening VNC Viewer

  • Under Windows or Mac OS X, search for or navigate to the Listening VNC Viewer program.
  • Under UNIX, you must start Listening VNC Viewer at the command line. If VNC Viewer is installed on your system, run:

vncviewer –listen [<port>]

  If you use the standalone version of VNC Viewer, run:

./<download-file> -listen [<port>]

Configuring and using Listening VNC Viewer

Windows or Mac OS X

The VNC Viewer icon is displayed in the Windows Notification Area or Mac OS X Status bar when Listening VNC Viewer starts (this icon may be hidden by default on Windows). 

Right-clicking this icon reveals the Listening VNC Viewer menu. No configuration is necessary, but if you want to change any settings before a connection is established, select Default Options.... From here, VNC Viewer can be configured before making a connection.

UNIX

Listening VNC Viewer does not have a user interface on UNIX. If you need to configure it before it starts, you must do so at runtime using VNC parameters.

Establishing a reverse connection from VNC Server

From the user interface

  1.      Open the VNC Server dialog.
  2.      Click More..., then select Connect to Listening VNC Viewer…

    3.      If you are connecting:

  •   Within a private network, enter the network address of the VNC Viewer computer itself. If you do not know what this is, ask the Viewer user to run a command such as ipconfig (Windows) or ifconfig (Linux and Mac OS X).
  •   Over the Internet, enter the network address of the router protecting the Viewer user’s computer. If you do not know what this is, ask the Viewer user to visit www.whatismyip.com.

Listening VNC Viewer listens for reverse connections on port 5500. If a reverse connection fails, it may be because the client computer is protected by a router and/or a firewall and these have not been configured to allow access to Listening VNC Viewer on port 5500.

At the command line

Establishing a connection at the command line differs per platform, and whether VNC Server is already running. Consult our documentation for instructions.

Listening VNC Viewer listens for reverse connections on port 5500. If a reverse connection fails, it may be because the client computer is protected by a router and/or a firewall and these have not been configured to allow access to Listening VNC Viewer on port 5500.


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