VNC with SSH-tunneling over PuTTY

Having SSH is totally great to administer your servers and such, but if you ever face a situation that absolutely requires a few clicks to be made on the GUI, then at best you are screwed. For the technically savvy this might not mean an obstacle at all – but for anyone else who does not dream in assembly and speak in pointers referring to pointers of a mirrored stack, this quick and dirty trick could sure come in handy – and might even save the day!

A totally lifelike situation: trying to manage the Wireless configuration page of your router, behind which sits your NAT’d server, as your only point of connection to the whole network…try navigating across that so-called router admin page (or just plain clicking to a submenu) with lynx or links. Pure form of punishment right here, ladies and gentlemen.

Prequisites: you must have an SSH and VNC server (vnc4server) up and running on your server to which you are about to connect to (we’ll be using the default ports throughout the steps)


  1. Download PuTTY and run it (from Debian/Ubuntu boxes, it’s in the repo)
  2. Session -> fill out the external IP and the forwarded SSH port
  3. Translation -> set it to UTF-8 (optional)
  4. SSH -> Auth -> Tunnels -> fill in as follows:
  5. Source port: 5901
  6. Destination: (the local LAN IP of the server)
  7. Hit the ADD button
  8. Connect and log in
  9. Start vncviewer and enter “localhost:5901
  10. Voilá!


This is a shortened, reblogged version of the Smoothwall tutorial – click here to view the original source!

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