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You are here: Home / BioFrontiers Workshops / Previous BioFrontiers Workshops / Short-read 2015 / Visualization information / Connection to a VNC session from Mac

Connection to a VNC session from Mac

Open terminal on your mac.

enter command:

ssh -L <assigned port>:localhost:<assigned port> <identikey username>@<assigned host>

Ex: ssh -L 5908:localhost:5908

Once in your assigned host start your vnc server with the command:

vncserver :<last digit of assigned port> -localhost

Ex: vncserver :8 -localhost            -- Note space between vncserver and :

You will be asked to create a password for your VNC session. You can set it to anything you like but it must be at least 8 characters. The entire process is documented below.


At this point you will have an open VNC session over your SSH connection.

From your mac open the connect to server window the key combination.

command + k

Or, from the 'Finder' menu, Go -> Connect to server


In the connection window enter the address for your local session

vnc://localhost:<assigned port>
Ex: vnc://locahost:5908



This will bring up the window asking for the password to connect to your desktop session, you set this a few steps ago.


At this point you have a desktop session open on your assigned machine and can use it as though it were your computer. If you see a window asking you to authenticate to download packages as root such as below, just click cancel.



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