This article is a summary of the excellent article written on the digital ocean website and that you can consult fully on https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-set-up-vnc-server-on-debian-8.
Install the window manager
sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies
We will install all we need to have a remote desktop
First of all, we will need to find a way to connect to the host remotely. There are a number of ways to do so but my preferred way is to use VNC.
sudo aptitude install tightvncserver
Create a vnc user (optional)
sudo adduser vnc
sudo adduser vnc sudo
su - vnc
You will be asked to two passwords. The first one will be used to access your desktop the second one (optional) would be used to provide a view-only session to your users.
On my machine, I had the following error:
Couldn't start Xtightvnc; trying default font path. Please set correct fontPath in the vncserver script. Couldn't start Xtightvnc process.
This was due to the fact that vnc was looking for fonts in /usr/share/fonts/X11 which are not installed. To fix this issue, simply install the missing fonts by typing :
sudo aptitude install xfonts-100dpi xfonts-75dpi xfonts-base
To stop the server:
vncserver -kill :1
To change the display setting:
vncserver -geometry 1600x1200
Secure the vnc connection
By default, the VNC protocol only encrypts the password/login request, all the subsequent traffic is exchanged without any protection. In order to protect the connection, we will use a ssh connection to connect to the vnc server.
Kill your current vnc session ()
Restart a session that will only accept incoming connections from localhost
From your PC, start a ssh connection with the following arguments :
ssh [user]@[your vps] -L 5901:localhost:5901
On linus, start your vnc client and connect to the host with the following address: