Sunday, 5 August 2012

Using Ubuntu 12.04 by VNC

I find the Unity desktop that ships with Ubuntu is clumsy to use over VNC. When changing workspaces, for example, it shows a full screen overview of what is on each desktop, which takes a long time to load over a slower connection. I'm sure it is very beautiful when sitting in front of the machine, but it is grating when used over a remote connection.

Also, there seem to be some exotic keystrokes (e.g., ctrl+alt+arrow to switch workspaces), or lots of middle and right button work on the taskbar, which often don't translate properly down a VNC.

To switch desktops, first install gnome with
apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

Then, to configure VNC to launch into this, change the file .vnc/xstartup so that it has the line:
exec gnome-session --session=gnome-classic

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