Why unable to ssh to vnc xfce4 desktop on Ubuntu 16.04 server?

Followed tutorials on setting up Ubuntu 16.04 server and using vnc to open xfce4 desktop. Always end up with gray blank screen. Google seems to suggest that many people who encounter this problem are using Digital Ocean. Many people claim different solutions; none of which work for me. Using debian based OS on computer, tightvncserver, and vncviewer.



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Accepted Answer

Would it be possible for you to use X2Go instead of VNC? It’s more stable for something like you’re trying and has SSH built in, which makes it more secure.

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LXDE with x2go work for root and user sign in (add <startlxde &> to .vnc). Xfce4 with x2go did not allow user sign in, only root. Thanks again, hansen.

If I ssh as root into server, I can sudo -l <user>. But, I have heard it is insecure to ssh as root, so I would rather start out as user.

Thanks for the tip, hansen! X2Go Client works, for me vncviewer and Remmina do not.

Root sign in works perfectly using x2go client. For some reason, user sign in using the x2go client session opens the x2go window, but it shuts down immediately, with message “session terminated.”

Currently using password (ssh keys next step). User password accepted after entering “ssh user@ip_address” , so password is working.

Tried useradd <username> in server desktop; username is already in system. Reset password using passwd <username>.

Still can’t sign in as user. Tried logging out as root, but desktop shuts down immediately, so can’t log in as user. Google shows user log in should work x2go client. Anybody have any ideas?