How to start VNC session on OpenSolaris 2009.06 EC2 AMI

Following instructions describes steps to access GUI on OpenSolaris 2009.06 EC2 AMI Instance using VNC Viewer.

Enable following desktop related services

svcadm enable svc:/application/graphical-login/gdm:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/icon-cache:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/desktop-mime-cache:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/mime-types-cache:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/input-method-cache:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/gconf-cache:default
svcadm enable svc:/application/desktop-cache/pixbuf-loaders-installer:default

Set xvm_vnc property to true for x11-server SMF service.

svccfg -s x11-server setprop options/xvm_vnc = boolean: true

Set the root password, you may need it to get back to your session in case if screen saver starts.

root@domU-12-31-39-02-5C-D1:~# passwd
passwd: Changing password for root
New Password:
Re-enter new Password:
passwd: password successfully changed for root

Setup VNC server

Create .vnc directory under /root if it does not exist

mkdir /root/.vnc/

Create /root/.vnc/xstartup file with following lines.

[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
gnome-terminal -geometry 100×60 -title “$VNCDESKTOP Desktop” &

Note: if xstartup file is already exist, replace it with above lines to start gnome terminal session for VNC.

Provide execute permission on xtartup file.

chmod +x /root/.vnc/xstartup

Start the vncserver and set the password.

root@domU-12-31-39-02-5C-D1:~# vncserver 

You will require a password to access your desktops.

xauth: creating new authority file /root/.Xauthority

New ‘domU-12-31-39-02-5C-D1:1 (root)’ desktop is domU-12-31-39-02-5C-D1:1

Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /root/.vnc/domU-12-31-39-02-5C-D1:1.log


Authorize VNC Port
Here we are done with configuring EC2 instance for GUI Remote Access.
Finally we need to authorize the corresponding VNC port on users machine where VNC client is installed.

divyen-patels-macbook:~ divyen$ ec2-authorize default -p 5801
GROUP default
PERMISSION default ALLOWS tcp 5801 5801 FROM CIDR
divyen-patels-macbook:~ divyen$

Screen Shots
VNC client connection configuration

Use public DNS address associated with EC2 instance as the host name.

VNC client connected to OpenSolaris 2009.06 EC2 Instance.

For more details on OpenSolaris AMIs visit