VNC Gray Screen Ubuntu 14.04

Posted May 3, 2014 157.9k views
Hi, I have been trying to follow some tutorials to get the VNC server running. All that the result currently is that I get a gray screen. This seems to be in line with what other users are experiencing as I read through some fora. Has a solution for this been created already? Would be great to see if there is an update for this. Also, don't really know if it has to do with the new Ubuntu! Niels
  • In my case, all of my storage are full. Deleting files to have vacant space plus restarting the service fixed it.

  • Open xstartup file.

    $ nano ~/.vnc/xstartup

    Add the following line.


    unset DBUS

    gnome-panel &
    gnome-settings-daemon &
    metacity &
    nautilus &
    gnome-terminal &

    Save and close it. After that install GNOM

    $ apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop -y

    Once finished, restart the droplet.

    Now, it should work. I had the same issue and solved now.

  • Works !!!

    Just one error in the lines: not !/bin/sh but # !/bin/sh

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11 answers

This seems to be a common problem with Ubuntu 14.04 and gnome.

The following tutorial solved the issue for me: Ubuntu VNC Grey Screen


Have you tried this tutorial already?

I am using ubuntu 14.04 and that was the tutorial that solved me the gray screen problem.
by Bulat Khamitov
VNC will allow you to connect to your server remotely, as well as be able to use your keyboard, mouse, and monitor to interface with that server. Get it setup on your Ubuntu 12 cloud server.
Yeah, still gray screen
I think somehow this is a problem with Ubuntu even though we cannot exclude this is an issue with Digital Oceans images. Let's post a Service Request.
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

finally: dconf > desktop > gnome > remote-access > enabled - uncheck !!!

issue fixed.
Remote Desktop sharing working after reboot !!!
Or: dconf-editor > disable REQUIRE ENCRYPTION
I'm trying to get a VNC on Ubuntu 14.04 on EC2 display the Unity desktop.
Should the dconf commands are gnome specific of could they work for Unity?
Those commands seems to be for a GUI desktop. How can I apply those to a vncserver session when my only access to my EC2 is via PuTTY SSH sesshin?

@ra2233: Unity is a shell for the GNOME desktop environment, so the dconf commands should work on Unity.


I’m also getting a gray screen when I login to VNC. I’m using Ubuntu 14.04. Has anyone solved this? The fixes listed here don’t work.


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