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So I have a Raspberry Pi 3 with a 5" screen that's too small to do dev work on so I want to be able to VNC in with a larger resolution virtual desktop. And in fact it works out of the box with the Real VNC server that comes with Raspbian. The problem is that after 5 second to a few minutes the VNC connection stops updating the screen. The clicks are still being sent, but nothing changes. If I re-connect I can see the updated screen. For a few seconds to minutes then it dies again.

Things I've tried:

  • Mac RealVNC client -> Pi RealVNC Server = stops updating (SU)
  • Mac Screen Sharing -> Pi RealVNC Server = won't connect (WC)
  • Mac TigerVNC client -> Pi RealVNC Server = SU
  • Mac RealVNC client -> Pi TightVNC Server = SU
  • Mac TightVNC client -> Pi TightVNC Server = SU
  • Windows RealVNC client -> Pi RealVNC Server = SU
  • Windows TightVNC client -> Pi RealVNC Server = SU
  • Windows RealVNC client -> Pi TightVNC Server = SU
  • Windows TightVNC client -> Pi TightVNC Server = SU..

I've enumerated a bunch options there ;)

There is no NoMachine client for ARM... boo.

There is no messages in the ~/.vnc/log.. files when the screen stops updating.

If I disconnect the local screen and run totally headless it works fine. So something about having the local screen attached is breaking VNC. But I have no idea what.

Any one have any ideas?

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I used to use VNC a lot (not with the Pi). You had to constantly restart the VNC application/screen to be able try and connect again and after about 5 minutes it was often successful.

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    With the screen attach reconnecting always works for me. But only gives me 5-10 seconds (typical) of usage before stalling again. Without the screen attached I used VNC for over an hour with no problems. Which is what I need... continuous access without update stalls. – fret Dec 3 '19 at 20:25

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