My VNC based development environment with Visual Studio Code running on Ubuntu

I've used this setup for my development environment for several years - giving me a developer desktop I can access anywhere. Even from my mobile phone. I've been fixing bugs, writing code and deployed emergency fixes from the bus, train and mountain tops.

The setup is based on a lightweight desktop environment. There are lot of alternatives, but I've chosen fluxbox. From a plain AWS Amazon Ubuntu 16.04 ec2 instance I've started like this:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fluxbox

Download and extract tigervnc from (I downloaded the binary file from named tigervnc-1.7.0.x86_64.tar.gz )

then extract:

tar -xvzf tigervnc-1.7.0.x86_64.tar.gz

You need to install:

sudo apt-get install x11-xkb-utils

You need to edit .vnc/xstartup:

nano .vnc/xstartup

last line replace "twm &" with:

fluxbox &

Then you can start the vnc server:


For code editing I'm using Visual Studio Code - which you can download from here

Install it by running (replace code.deb with the exact name of your downloaded file):

sudo dpkg -i code.deb

You may have to run (to install dependencies):

sudo apt-get install -f

Also vscode won't run unless you install libxss1 and libasound2:

sudo apt-get install libxss1
sudo apt-get install libasound2

Now you should be able to launch visual studio code by typing:


For VNC clients there are a lot of options. On my mobile phone I use Jump remote desktop (works great on both Android and iOS). For desktop there are several alternatives, but I like tightvnc on windows, jump remote desktop on osx, and on Ubuntu I use the built-in alternatives.


paul leonard said…
I got away with install tigervnc (similar to you) but then did this.

sudo sed -i 's/BIG-REQUESTS/_IG-REQUESTS/' /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

paul leonard said…
Here is the link that I followed

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