RealVNC on Ubuntu

Step-by-step guide on how to install RealVNC server on Ubuntu with MATE desktop.

How to install RealVNC server on Ubuntu

So why bother with RealVNC if it is not in the Ubuntu package repository? Other VNC servers are easier to install. It is a perfectly valid question. However, if you used RealVNC on Raspberry Pi OS you know that it is an extremely reliable server. I never hangs, crashes, or disconnects. At least, it never crashed on me. I can’t say the same thing about other VNC servers. It does not need any configuration. RealVNC offers free desktop and mobile clients. It just works and this is the main reason why it is so popular. I am assuming that this is also the reason it is the default VNC server on Raspberry Pi OS. Installation on Ubuntu is a bit more complicated than it is on Raspberry Pi OS. But, you can still get it up and running in 10 or 15 minutes.

I am assuming that you have Ubuntu and desktop environment already installed. If not, you may want to check out How to install Ubuntu with MATE desktop guide.

This guide covers

1. Download required lib files

Start by downloading the required lib files. They are located in the official Raspberry Pi Github repository at official Raspberry Pi Github repository. To simplify the process, I recommend downloading them from Raspberry Pi. Transferring the files to Raspberry Pi won’t be necessary.
raspberry pi vnc library file list

We need ten lib files listed below. 

File list

Each of the files in the above list is linked to the appropriate page on GitHub and should direct you straight to the download page. Repeat the step for each of the files.

raspberry pi vnc server library files download

2. Move downloaded lib files to /usr/lib

The default download location for most browsers is /home/”user_name”/Downloads. Firefox or Chromium download files to the above folder by default. Let’s move them to /usr/lib by executing the command below.


*If you selected a different download destination, you will need to replace /Downloads with the location.

cd /Downloads && sudo mv *.so /usr/lib/ 

3. Check Ubuntu OS version

If you opted for 64bit Ubuntu distribution, we have to add 32bit (armhf) architecture to dpkg sources. Not sure which architecture is your Ubuntu operating system? Check it with the command below.

dpkg --print-architecture 

If the output of the above command displayed armhf, you have a 32bit operating system. Since armhf is already in your dpkg repository, you can skip to step number 4. If you see arm64, you have 64bit OS. In that case, we need to execute the command below.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture armhf && sudo apt update 

4. Download and install RealVNC package

Now we can download the RealVNC package than install it. The wget command below downloads the RealVNC Debian package from the RealVNC website. The second command installs it on our system.

wget https://www.realvnc.com/download/file/vnc.files/VNC-Server-6.7.2-Linux-ARM.deb
sudo gdebi VNC-Server-6.7.2-Linux-ARM.deb 

5. Configure system for RealVNC autostart

RealVNC is installed, but, we will not be able to connect to Raspberry Pi just yet. The VNC server service has to be started. The two commands below start the service and enable it.

sudo systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service && sudo systemctl enable vncserver-x11-serviced.service 
That is all for how to install RealVNC server on Ubuntu. If there were no errors when the above command was executed we can connect to Raspberry Pi. Grab RealVNC Viewer for your operating system from RealVNC website and install it. If you are on an iOS device download RealVNC Viewer from the app store. If you have any questions or comments about this tutorial, visit U Press Me Facebook page and post under this guide

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