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I've locked down SSH using a private key and would like to do the same for VNC Server.

having a look for guides but haven't found much yet. If someone could point me in the right direction it'd be appreciated.

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With the free version of VNC you cannot use certificates.

If you log into the RealVNC site you will find:

If you have a Professional or Enterprise subscription, you can specify smartcard/certificate store authentication for VNC Server instead of system authentication. This means that connecting VNC Viewer users are transparently authenticated using a digital certificate they own, without having to enter a password.

Even if you have this level of subscription, it gives a few connection issues:

Note you cannot connect from a device running VNC Viewer for iOS, Android or Chrome in this release.

More details are at this KB article

Tight VNC allows ssh tunnelling (but requires port forwarding if Internet connection is required) but I’ve not used it on a Pi. For up to date versions / commercial licensing you have apply here. Older versions are detailed on that page.

One other package is Tiger VNC - never used it though but it reads like it may do your job.

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  • Appreciate your help. will take a closer look!
    – J1raya
    Apr 19, 2020 at 22:40

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