How do I fix a blank VNC session?

If you find yourself facing a blank VNC session, try restarting the VNC service. Log in to the server as root and run:

service vncserver restart

After the service has restarted, you should be able to return to a fully-functional VNC session.

This behavior typically results from a VNC user accidentally logging out of the GNOME desktop interface instead of simply disconnecting the VNC session.

How do I view the Linux system logs?

Nearly all Linux log files are located under the /var/log directory. You may view these log files using the text viewer or editor of your choice.

Command Line

From the command line, a common method for viewing the syslog message file is:

less /var/log/messages


View a step-by-step screencast of this process:

To view the system log files from the GUI interface:

  • Log into the GUI via any method (ie VNC, DRAC, physical console)
  • Navigate to System -> Administration -> System Log

Common Linux Logs

  • /var/log/message: general system log
  • /var/log/boot.log: boot log
  • /var/log/dmesg: kernel messages/log
  • /var/log/secure: authentication log
  • /var/log/cron: scheduled (cron) job log
  • /var/log/maillog: mail server log
  • /var/log/yum.log: software update log


How do I access the Linux GUI via VNC?

VNC is a remote desktop protocol similar to Microsoft Windows Terminal Services or RDP. The server must be powered on and running Linux for VNC to operate.

First, you must have a VNC viewer application for your PC, Mac or mobile device. In this example, we’ll be using the free RealVNC viewer.

Launch the viewer and enter your server’s IP address, followed by “:1” to signify the VNC service listening on the first available port and press Connect:


When prompted, select Continue:


When prompted, enter your VNC password:


You will now be at the GUI desktop. When you are finished, just close the VNC window to end your session.

Install Linux via VNC

If your server doesn’t have a DRAC, iLO or other network KVM, you can access the RHEL installer over the network using VNC:

  • Boot from the RHEL DVD
  • At the prompt, type:
linux vnc
  • Skip the media check
  • Select language
  • Select automatic
  • Select network interface
  • Select DHCP or manual IP configuration
  • (Manual only) Enter IP address, subnet mask, gateway and DNS server
  • When prompted to connect, use a VNC viewer like TightVNC to access the server and continue in the graphical installer

Here’s a screencast showing the entire process from start to finish:
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