Ubuntu and VNC

I seem to occasionally find myself sparring with Ubuntu on getting VNC server configured correctly. I use the default (RealVNC) vncserver package included with Ubuntu. There are two main points of configuration I seem to rediscover each time:

Make sure vncserver is looking in the right place for configuration

For my setup, the “right” place means ~/.vnc/xstartup. I’ve seen vncserver look to /etc/X11/Xsession by default. To change this, make sure the following line is in /etc/vnc.conf:

$vncStartup = "~/.vnc/xstartup";

Now you need to make sure the configuration exists in your user home directory. Following is the contents of ~/.vnc/xstartup (note: there are several commented lines I leave there for posterity:

#!/bin/sh
# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
unset SESSION_MANAGER
#exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
#gnome-session --session=gnome-classic &
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
#x-terminal-emulator -geometry 1280x1024+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
#x-window-manager &
startxfce4 &

Then I just have a simple script in my home directory to start a vnc session, looks something like this:

#!/bin/bash
vncserver :1 -geometry 1440x900 -depth 16 -name my_lil_desktop

 

EDIT (2015-01-23) : Today I installed version 14.10 of Ubuntu. By default, it uses the ‘vino’ application for remote desktop tasks. It did not work out of the box for me, and this seemed to be the case for many, based on what I read online. At any rate, I fell back to the configuration described in this post but had to install vnc4server first, as it was not installed along with 14.10. I initially tried tightvncserver but it did not work with this configuration; vnc4server, however, did.

Asus RT-AC68R Periodically Drops Wireless (2.4GHz) Connection

This does not strike me as specific only to this router, but has to do with a configuration setting around 20MHz vs. 40MHz channel bandwidth.

I picked up an Asus RT-AC68R a while back and it’s been fantastic. One bit of behavior I wasn’t crazy about was the periodic – and somewhat frequent – dropping of the wireless connection. This happened with multiple devices (all of which happened to be Apple). I read around a bit online and there were a few suggestions, ranging from configuration to third-party firmware, but the one I homed in on had to do with channel bandwidth. I live in an urban environment and there are many APs within range of me. Evidently, by default, the Asus comes configured with 2.4GHz to use a channel bandwidth of 40MHz (or 20/40) as opposed to a strict 20MHz bandwidth, and this has been identified as a potential issue in crowded AP environments. I limited the channel bandwidth to the more concise 20MHz and my dropped connections have disappeared in the weeks since.

BBC Questions the Harm of Fat In One’s Diet

Not as amusing as an emotionally-fueled blog post with misguided assertions and misrepresentations, but interesting, nonetheless; I like dietary advice like I like my wine: dry.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29616418

It comes back to variety and moderation. Statements indicating unequivocally that food or ingredient X is “bad for you,” advocating for complete elimination with no mention of dosage or consumption rate, are invariably arbitrary and lack thoughtfulness; as so many things in life, it’s just not that simple.

I enjoy the fact that through the fads and in the face of growing mountains of research, the tried-and-true Mediterranean diet (full disclosure of personal bias, here!) continues to withstand scrutiny.