Better VNC viewer in Ubuntu 8.04

Another post regarding my recent switch to Ubuntu as my primary OS, this one concerns the VNC client/viewer bundled.  I’ve been having problems with Remote Desktop Viewer which is the bundled and preferred VNC client in a default installation of Ubuntu 8.04, I’ve had random freezes and disconnects with a logout/login of my machine sometimes resolving the issue temporarily.

The alternative is to use the Terminal Server Client application to connect to a VNC server, should just be a case of selecting VNC in the protocol dropdown right? nope, it’s greyed out*sigh*

To enable the VNC option in the Terminal Server Client dropdown you need to install the xtightvncviewer package either in Synaptic or with

sudo apt-get install xtightvncviewer

I fired up the Terminal Server Client, selected the VNC protocol, set the display to full screen and connected to my server.

Job done? not quite. I’m now prompted by my server with a “press ctrl-alt-del to logon” message. That’s where I had some problems, pressing ctrl-alt-del caused Ubuntu to ask me how I want to shut down. I needed some way of sending a ctrl-alt-del to the remote machine but I couldn’t see any obvious way of doing it. Queue the next problem, I’d selected full screen and that’s what I got, completely full screen, I couldn’t even switch to an alternative workspace since the VNC viewer remained on top.

I really didn’t want to restart my machine just because I couldn’t get rid of one window so I started randomly hitting buttons whereupon I found that F8 was rather useful! Pressing F8 with the VNC viewer focussed brings up a small menu with a number of options one of which was to toggle full screen and another was to send ctrl-alt-del to the remote machine, hooray!

I’ve found this VNC viewer to be a bit quicker at screen refreshes (though it does more of them) and more stable than the bundled viewer in Ubuntu, feel free to leave a comment to the contrary or suggesting another alternative that you may use.