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Developer(s) RealVNC
Stable release 4.1.3 (Free) / 4.5.1 (Personal) / 4.5.1 (Enterprise) / 2009-7-29; 143589551 ago
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris AIX (Enterprise only)
Type Remote administration
License GPL / Commercial

RealVNC is a server and client application for the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) protocol to control another computer's screen remotely. The company RealVNC Ltd. — founded by the same AT&T team which created the original VNC program — produces the RealVNC software. RealVNC runs on Windows, Mac OS X (Enterprise edition only), and many Unix-like operating systems (both free and enterprise-class). A RealVNC client also runs on the Java platform. Beta versions of the Enterprise edition exist for the Pocket PC and for 'VNC-over-HTTP' tunnelling for Windows and Linux.

RealVNC comes in one of three editions:

  1. Free Edition – free, open source version distributed under the GNU General Public License; runs on various flavors of Unix (Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX) and some versions of Windows (not Vista or Server 2008)[1]. Note that users who wish to use this free version, as supplied by the site, may need (for example) to patch and compile the XFree86 source code by themselves, as the free binaries available for download are outdated and typically fail to operate in modern environments.[2] Fortunately, almost all Linux distributions include an updated/customised version of the RealVNC free edition. For example, in Debian and its derivatives, the RealVNC server and client appear under the packages named vnc4server and xvnc4viewer, respectively.
  1. Personal Edition – commercial version geared towards home or small-business users, with authentication and encryption; only runs on Windows.
  2. Enterprise Edition – commercial version geared towards large enterprises, with enhanced authentication and encryption; runs on Windows, Mac OS X and various flavours of Linux and UNIX.

As of release 4.3 (released August 2007) separate versions of both the Personal and Enterprise editions exist for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. The (as of 2009) latest release (4.5.1) includes features such as HTTP proxy support, chat, an address book, remote printing, unicode support, and connection notification.



RealVNC clients using vncviewer can run in full-screen mode; they use the F8 function-key as the default key for bringing up an options menu (which includes the option to, among other things, switch off full screen mode or to forward a Control-Alt-Delete key-sequence).


Server component of RealVNC allows computer to be remotely controlled by another computer. The software can be installed for legitimate purposes, but it can also be installed from a remote location by an attacker with malicious intent. It is detected as RemoteAccess:Win32/RealVNC by Windows Defender[3].


RealVNC uses the RFB protocol. It defaults to TCP port 5900. When making a connection over the internet, the user must open this port in the local firewall as well as configure port forwarding to forward TCP Port 5900 (or the customized port respectively) to the local machine address if behind a NAT Router.

As an alternative, one can tunnel VNC through SSH, avoiding the opening of additional ports and automatically traversing the NAT router. SSH also provides encryption of the connection between the VNC server and viewer.


RealVNC components are used by Marratech client.


  1. "VNC feature comparison". RealVNC Limited. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  2. Adam Tkac, Red Hat (2008-02-04) (html), VNC compilation against Xorg 1.4, "VNC-List Archives" at,, retrieved 2008-09-26 
  3. Microsoft (2006-06-18) (html), RemoteAccess:Win32/RealVNC, "Microsoft Corporation" at [1],, retrieved 2009-12-14 

See also

External links

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