How to Access Remote Desktop from Browser Using TightVNC

VNC stands for (Virtual Network Computing) is an open-source graphical desktop sharing tool for managing and control machines remotely using a VNC client called VNC Viewer.

You must install a VNC client on your machine to access remote desktops, but if you don’t want to install a VNC client on your machine and want to access it remotely.

[ You might also like: 11 Best Tools to Access Remote Linux Desktop ]

In such a scenario, what you will do. Well, you can still access VNC using modern web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc. But How? let me tell you.

TightVNC is a modern and much-enhanced desktop sharing program that provides a standard web browser program called TightVNC Java Viewer.

TightVNC Java Viewer is a remote control program that written in Java programming language that connects to any remote VNC enabled box where Java is installed and lets you control and manage with your mouse and keyboard right from the web browser, just like you sitting in front of the computer.

It’s an easy and friendly solution for system administrators to manage their remote desktops directly from the web browser without installing any additional software.

It requires that the remote machine must have a running VNC Compatible server such as VNC, UltraVNC, TightVNC, etc. But, I recommend you install a TightVNC Server.

Please use the following article that shows how to install TightVNC Server on Linux systems.

Apart from this, you also have a running Apache web server along with Java installed on it. Follow the below guide that shows you how to install Java in Linux systems.

After installing TightVNC Server and Java, let’s proceed further to install a webserver on it. Use the following “yum command” and apt command to install the Apache server in your Linux distribution.

# yum install httpd httpd-devel [On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Rocky Linux/AlmaLinux]
$ sudo apt install apache2 [On Debian, Ubuntu and Mint]

Now we have all the needed software installed on the system. Let’s move ahead to download and install TightVNC Java Viewer.

Install TightVNC Java Viewer to Access Remote Desktops

Go to the TightVNC Download page, to grab the latest code or you may use the following “wget command” to download it.

Go to Apache web root directory (i.e. /var/www/html), create a empty directory “vncweb“. Use the wget command to download the files inside the folder. Extract the files using unzip command and rename the viewer-applet-example.html file to index.html as shown.

# cd /var/www/html
# mkdir vncweb
# cd vncweb
# wget https://www.tightvnc.com/download/2.8.3/tvnjviewer-2.8.3-bin-gnugpl.zip
# unzip tvnjviewer-2.8.3-bin-gnugpl.zip # mv viewer-applet-example.html index.html

Open index.html file using any editor or nano editor as suggested.

# nano index.html

Next define the IP address of the Server, VNC Port Number, and Password of the VNC User that you want to connect. For example, my server IP address is “172.16.25.126“, Port as “5901” and Password as “abc123” for my VNC user called “tecmint“.

<param name="Host" value="172.16.25.126" /> <!-- Host to connect. -->
<param name="Port" value="5901" /> <!-- Port number to connect. -->
<!--param name="Password" value="abc123" /--> <!-- Password to the server. -->

Access VNC Desktop of user “tecmint” from the browser by going to.

http://172.16.25.126/vncweb

You will get a “Security Warning” message that says that unsigned application requesting permission to run. Just accept and run the application as described below.

VNC Web Access

VNC Web Access

Enter Password to access “tecmint” Desktop.

VNC Web Password

VNC Web Password

Again Enter Password.

VNC Remote Desktop Password

VNC Remote Desktop Password

That’s it, you successfully connected to Remote Desktop.

VNC Remote Web Access

VNC Remote Web Access

If you’re accessing from any other computer, you might get a “missing plugin” error, just install the plugin and access it. You can grab the latest Java plugin on the Download Java page.

Posted by Contributor