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Paolo Iannelli

Big Daddy at Mega Labs

Amsterdam Area, Netherlands
Information Technology and Services
C, Python, Big Data, Scalability, High Availability, Performance
Expert Software Engineer with more than 12 years of experience.
Strong in critical thinking, problem solving and high performance architectures.
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How To connect to Virtual Machines (VMWare) using VNC

Posted on : 16-07-2011 | By : Paolo Iannelli | In : System Administration, Virtualization

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If you need to connect to a Virtual Machine but you cannot use the VMWare console for different reasons (for instance you are travelling and you have only your macbook pro with you, that doesn’t run VMWare vSphere), you might be interested in this how to.
You will be able to connect to a virtual machine, simply using a VNC client like RealVNC or UltraVNC, as soon as the virtual machine is running.

To achieve this, your virtual machine needs to be turned off and you should go to the settings page.

Go now to Options -> General -> Configuration parameters… and add 4 new rows :

  • RemoteDisplay.vnc.enabled = TRUE
  • RemoteDisplay.vnc.key = leave empty, will be auto-filled
  • RemoteDisplay.vnc.password = 8 characters password
  • RemoteDisplay.vnc.port = anything between 5000 and 5999

Once you filled up all the fields, you may click OK and start the virtual machine.

Using a VNC client, you should be able to connect now to the VM using the VM Host ip address (or FQDN) and the port specified, along with your 8 bytes password.

Although this is a cool feature, you have to take in account that VNC uses a week password encryption protocol and that VNC traffic is sent thru the network unencrypted. You may connect to VNC also tunneling through a SSH connection, but this is not part of this tutorial.

Briefly, I would recommend to use this functionality only if you plain to encrypt data via the above-mentioned tunnel or when you have no other choices rather than the official VMWare management console (that encrypt communication using SSL certificates). It might also still be appreciable to use this feature only on private environments, where no data is exposed to the Internet.
I hope this post was useful  and if you have any questions, just let me know!