I have a raspberry pi 3 with a raspbian image (Linux raspberrypi 4.14.79-v7+ #1159 SMP Sun Nov 4) and activated the realvnc from the interface config GUI (Real VNC Server 6.3.2).

On the Pc I am using windows and the real vnc viewer 6.18.907.

If I connect to the server I get the currently running desktop session. Some times it would be better to get a new independent session.

Is it possible to chose between this two options? at best from the clients side on connection.

  • This looks like a Real VNC question with no substantial connection to Raspberry pi. If you configured Real VNC like you want on a laptop, and that configuration wouldn't work on an RPi, that would be an RPi question. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 9:38
  • I think it is related, since it explicitly references the vnc that is shipped with raspian and in the configuration that shipped with raspbian. I think by default the most VNC-servers do not connect to the running desktops - at least this is my impressions from google search Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 9:53

1 Answer 1



Whether you have the normal RealVNC mirroring of your desktop you can create a virtual desktop (or multiple virtual desktops - if so inclined).

You can create a virtual desktop (on the Pi or via ssh) by running vncserver. This will produce something like:-

VNC(R) Server 6.3.2 (r39069) ARMv6 (Oct 17 2018 11:16:05)
Copyright (C) 2002-2018 RealVNC Ltd.
RealVNC and VNC are trademarks of RealVNC Ltd and are protected by trademark
registrations and/or pending trademark applications in the European Union,
United States of America and other jurisdictions.
Protected by UK patent 2481870; US patent 8760366; EU patent 2652951.
See https://www.realvnc.com for information on VNC.
For third party acknowledgements see:
OS: Linux 4.14.79 armv7l

On some distributions (in particular Red Hat), you may get a better experience
by running vncserver-virtual in conjunction with the system Xorg server, rather
than the old version built-in to Xvnc. More desktop environments and
applications will likely be compatible. For more information on this alternative
implementation, please see: https://www.realvnc.com/doclink/kb-546

Running applications in /etc/vnc/xstartup

VNC Server catchphrase: "⋯"
             signature: ⋯

Log file is /home/pi/.vnc/MilliwaysPi3A:1.log
New desktop is MilliwaysPi3A:1 (

You can connect to this session in VNC Viewer using MilliwaysPi3A.local:5901 or (obviously the hostname or IP will differ on your system)

PS The default virtual desktop may be unacceptably small. It is possible to specify size on the command line, or by setting the default resolution in raspi-config.

  • okay that at least makes it possible but still involves ssh-ing into, start a new desktop and connect to that specific one. but i guess there is no mechanism to make the client able to decide - maybe by setting up a second server (as your suggestion does) and configure them to start a new desktop for every incoming connection (end terminating it on disconnect after a timeout) Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 8:48
  • @vlad_tepesch You should ask your own question rather than hijacking someone else. You can have as many VNC instances as you like.
    – Milliways
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 9:41
  • hijacking some other ones question? Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 15:24
  • @vlad_tepesch You are asking a different question, and annoying the OP to boot. DO NOT ask questions in Comments.
    – Milliways
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 22:43
  • I am the OP and my initial question (the last sentence) already contained the question that I rephrased in this first comment Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 7:02

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