...and OpenSUSE-13.2 manage headless server

I have a network of PCs, some linux (OpenSUSE 13.2) and some windows (7 and 10). All PCs have static IP addresses. I have built a new Leap 42.1 PC to do the backup.

This backup PC will be headless, so I want to be able to connect to it and manage it from my OpenSUSE 13.2 KDE desktop. At first, I installed the KDE desktop on the 42.1 PC (because I am most familiar with it), but in a previous post I was advised not to use KDE, so I removed all KDE packages and installed IceWM.

The 13.2 PC has vncviewer installed, and I connect to the backup PC with the following command:

The following output is displayed in my terminal:

Connected to RFB server, using protocol version 3.8
No authentication needed
Authentication successful
Desktop name "x11"
VNC server default format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0
Warning: Cannot convert string "-*-helvetica-bold-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*" to type FontStruct
Using default colormap which is TrueColor.  Pixel format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0

On my desktop, I get a window displayed with the title “TightVNC x11”, but the window contents is a black screen. This window stays visible for a while (couple of minutes, and then I get the message:

vncviewer: VNC server closed connection

and the window closes.

Why am I not able to see the Leap 42.1 desktop and how do I correct this situation?

Thank you,


You will want to follow (or continue to post) in a couple of other threads on this topic in the Networking Forum

Summary to date in those threads…

Use the YAST applet to install Remote Administration(VNC) on your server. If you don’t, you may not have installed the essential xserver component.
If you install using the YAST applet, you should have Display 1 available to you instead of invoking a Display 2.
You may need to start or enable xinetd.service for the vnc server app to automatically start on boot.
Inspect /etc/xinetd.d/vnc to see what configurations are automatically available to you.
Try using the Java applet instead of vncviewer.
I didn’t mention until later those threads, but my SOP is always to run “zypper update” before installing a major subsystem like xinetd and VNC. And, it might be useful to update the system again afterwards sometimes to make sure latest packages are installed.

Currently those threads are at the point where it might be useful for people to publish what hardware they’re running, in particular the GPU and what display driver they’re using (from mainline kernel or something else).

Although I haven’t gotten around to it yet in those other Forum threads,
I’d suggest running an alternative to VNC, like X over SSH if the VNC problems can’t be worked out.


Do you have any plans to publish your excellent short guide with an URL which is easier to find?

Have you considered just not installing any graphical desktop on what is essentially a file-server. Most of the management/maintenance required on a PC is related to the desktop environment.

If you just installed a basic server with the File Server pattern (this gives you samba which might be useful for the Windows boxes) you could avoid some hassle and a lot of CPU cycles. Set up an ssh service, give your admin user a passwordless ssh key-pair with your desktop account’s public key in the authorized_keys file and grant passwordless root sudo permission (I find visudo easier than yast). You will find that you can administer your server just fine from a Konsole terminal (with screen if required) on your desktop machine. Make a micro-script in ~/bin to let you login to the server by typing the machines name and you are all set.

Most server maintenance can be performed with YaST2 (the ncurses version) systemctl, journalctl and zypper plus your favourite editor. If you hanker for graphical tools most useful stuff on your local desktop, e.g. Dolphin, Krusader, Okular etc., will work seamlessly and securely across the network + ssh to manipulate files on the server.

Just a suggestion from someone that has spent too much of his life managing remote Unix and Linux machines.