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Want to have a remote connection and a GUI on a Linux server? Throughout this step-by-step tutorial, we will show you how yo get exactly that.


May, 19

Install GNOME and VNC Server on CentOS

Linux servers are based on a command-line interface by default, however, some might want to use them with a visual interface. In these cases, we can install an application which provides a GUI (i.e. Graphical User Interface). One of such applications is named GNOME and you can follow the steps outlined below to get it on your machine.

Please note: our Linux server is running Centos 7 and the following codes might vary for other distributions.

At first, we should update the OS:

Yum update -y

After completion, install Gnome with the following command:

sudo yum groupinstall -y "GNOME Desktop"

Please note: to install this package, you must have at least 2.2Gb of free space.

Now, reboot server after the installation is complete.

Install VNC server to have remote access to the server:

sudo yum install -y tigervnc-server 

Now, we want to configure the VNC server for the client. In this case, we should copy the generic VNC service unit file under /etc/system/system.

sudo cp /lib/systemd/system/vncserver@.service /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:4.service 

Please note: to make multiple connections with multiple clients, you should define users and make a copy of the file for each user. Also, you should change the port of each user.  We defined port 5904 for our user with vncserver@:4.service in the previous command.

Open the copied file to change the configuration with vi command.

sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@:4.service

go to [service] section and replace username and screen resolution with default values:


Type=forking# Clean any existing files in /tmp/.X11-unix environmentExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/vncserver -kill %i > /dev/null 2>&1 || :'ExecStart=/sbin/runuser -l root -c "/usr/bin/vncserver %i -geometry 1280x1024" PIDFile=/home/root/.vnc/%H%i.pid

Then save the file and exit. Run the following command to reload daemon and the user will be enabled during boot time.

sudo systemctl daemon-reloadsudo systemctl enable vncserver@:4.service 

Now we should add the ports to the firewall.

sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-port=5904/tcp 

Then, reload the firewall:

sudo firewall-cmd --reload

In this step, we should start the VNC server. Run below command and set a password to the VNC server.


The output should look something like this:

You will require a password to access your desktops.



Now restart the VNC server and reload the services:

vncserversudo systemctl daemon-reloadsudo systemctl restart vncserver@:4.service 

Open VNC viewer from your PC and type the server IP followed by port and click on Connect.


Enter the password we set previously:


You should now be able to see the welcome screen:


Oliver K

I’m Oliver k. I have MS degree in Computer Engineering. For nearly 5 years that I have been working on web programing and also in last 2 years I have worked on windows and Linux VPS. This is my honor to share my experiences with a new community.