I exactly followed these instructions on the official RPi site to install TightVNC on my Pi (model 2). The Pi has a static IP address and I can ping it and SSH in (obviously), so I know it's working.

When I try to connect using the Windows TightVNC client, however, I get a message that the server actively refused the connection. I'm using 192.168.x.x:0 to connect, but I also tried 192.168.x.x:5900 as recommended elsewhere, neither worked. What do I need to do to get TightVNC to properly work?

ps aux | grep vnc returns the following:

root      1888  0.0  0.0   1768   376 ?        S    11:26   0:00 /bin/sh /etc/init.d/vncboot start
root      1899  0.0  0.3   4756  3752 ?        S    11:26   0:00 /usr/bin/perl /usr/bin/vncserver :0 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 32 -pixelformat rgb565
root      2055  0.0  0.0   1692   272 ?        S    11:26   0:00 vncpasswd /root/.vnc/passwd

netstat -l returns this:

Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State
tcp        0      0 *:ssh                   *:*                     LISTEN
udp        0      0        *:*
udp        0      0 localhost:ntp           *:*
udp        0      0 *:ntp                   *:*
Active UNIX domain sockets (only servers)
Proto RefCnt Flags       Type       State         I-Node   Path
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     4914     /tmp/.X11-unix/X0
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     4887     /var/run/dbus/system_bus_socket
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     4913     @/tmp/.X11-unix/X0
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     6965     /tmp/.pcmanfm-socket--0-pi
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     4972     /tmp/ssh-yoCLTWKx0wUO/agent.2194
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     8238     /tmp/.menu-cached-:1-steven
unix  2      [ ACC ]     SEQPACKET  LISTENING     419      /run/udev/control
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     5730     @/tmp/dbus-GF4T9MxwNb
unix  2      [ ACC ]     STREAM     LISTENING     5779     /tmp/.menu-cached-:0-pi

I know this was asked a long time ago, but I found an solution to this problem.

If you start it using display :1 (or something more than 0), you have to enter the IP like this: 192.168.x.x:590<displayNumber> (like this

I hope this helps a future user

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  • In the TightVNC viewer you have to specify the port number, i.e. (yes, double colon) – user36573 Nov 8 '15 at 13:31
  • Happy it helps! – jdtech Apr 22 '17 at 4:49
  • I find it baffling that I've gone through numerous tutorials that don't mention this fairly critical piece of information! Thank you. – Manachi Jan 13 at 8:09

After you install TightVNC on server(pi) and client(remote computer) you have to put a password on server end. Type vncpasswd in tight vnc server's terminal (i.e pi). Give a password and then try to login your pi.

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I think that the number 0 of Xserver is for the real screen (HDMI on pi).
So, do not login the GUI desktop after booting up. Or you can try to use :1 instead.

tightvncserer :1

Below is a config file for auto startup.

# Provides: tightvnc
# Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start VNC Server at boot time
# Description: Start VNC Server at boot time.

# Set the VNCUSER variable to the name of the user to start tightvncserver under
eval cd ~$VNCUSER
case "$1" in
   su $VNCUSER -c '/usr/bin/tightvncserver :1 -geometry 1200x700 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565'
   echo "Starting TightVNC server for $VNCUSER "
   pkill Xtightvnc
   echo "Tightvncserver stopped"
   echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/tightvnc {start|stop}"
   exit 1
exit 0

Save this file to /etc/init.d/tightvnc, and add it to start-up list.

sudo chmod 755 tightvnc
sudo update-rc.d tightvnc defaults
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  • Running OS X default VNC connection. After enabling VNC on Rpi Gui config I couldn't connect anymore... Starting TightVNC with :1 at Rpi command line fixed the issue for me. Auto start-up worked like a charm as well. Thanks!! – brasofilo Feb 14 '17 at 3:33

This does NOT work. Many people (including myself) have tried, unsuccessfully.

If fact, it probably does work, but only if you try to connect as root, which is not a good idea, and not what most people expect.

tightvncserver can not share the user desktops until the user is logged in.

I suggest you first logon using ssh and start tightvncserver. You can then connect using a VNC client.

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