Using GNOME/CDE in VNC on Solaris

If you install VNC on Solaris, the default windowing manager is twm, which isn’t very sexy. Here is how you can switch to something a bit more interesting:

1. vi ./vnc/xstartup in your home directory.
2. Comment out xterm and twn by adding a “#” character at the beginning of the line.
3a. For CDE, add the following line:


3b. For GNOME, add the following lines:

gnome-terminal --geometry 80x24+10+10 --title="My Desktop" &

3c. For KDE, try the following. (Note: I haven’t try this yet. So, let me know if you have comment about this step.)


To run vncserver at the resolution you like, try the following on the command-line:

vncserver -geometry 1250x680

The above resolution configuration assumes you have a wide monitor. Please note that vncserver can run at just about any interesting resolution you want, so set it to fit within your local monitor.


19 thoughts on “Using GNOME/CDE in VNC on Solaris

  1. DUDE, you’re awesome. Thanks for throwing this down on your blog. I’m going to do the same in a few. Even though I use Linux, rather than Solaris. The resolution bit helped.

    All the best,

  2. It worked but getting xterminal grey window after connecting… couldn’t see my sparc desktop… only i can see a blank gray window… please help

    1. Hi fighter,

      I had same issue. Try the following :
      1) Stop vnc
      2) Delete the .Xauthority file (outside the .vnc folder)
      3) edit the xstartup file under .vnc folder as sugested above.
      4) own the .vnc folder as the user running vnc and set the permission to 775 for all the files.
      5) start vnc and wait for a couple of min. for new desktop to appear.


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