Fedora live CD and VNC

I was installing the latest Fedora 21 via Unetbootin-built USB and had an issue with monitors. They were in a vertical position and could not be easily rotated. I did not have a spare monitor to attach in a horizontal orientation.

The machine in question had a Nvidia GT 730 graphic card. By default Xorg chooses to use nouveau drivers. For some reason, they do not allow the rotation of the screen via xrandr – the output was:

$ xrandr -q
...
default connected 1920x1080+0+0 0mm x 0mm
...
$ xrandr --output default --rotate left
xrandr: output default cannot use rotation "left" reflection "none"

I tried installing proprietary nvidia drivers, using the instructions here:

However, that did not work – looks like it was running out of space on the root mount, which had this:

Filesystem           Size  Used  Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/live-rw  2.9G  2.4G   538M  82% /

Running the given commands:

$ su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm'
$ yum install akmod-nvidia-304xx "kernel-devel-uname-r == $(uname -r)"
yum update -y

resulted in IO issues. Might have been just a faulty USB. :)

Anyway, I opted to use my laptop and set up a VNC connection instead. Here are the steps:

  • Install TigerVNC

Instructions here: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/21/html/System_Administrators_Guide/ch-TigerVNC.html

root# yum install tigervnc-server
root# cp /lib/systemd/system/vncserver@.service /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@.service
  • Configure TigerVNC

Edit VNC server systemd config:

root# vi /etc/systemd/system/vncserver@.service

and change to liveuser, add geometry parameter as appropriate for your situation

  • Update SELinux policy

Due to this bug: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1062968

root# yum update selinux-policy

In my case, this updated selinux-policy to 3.13.1-105.9.fc21 and worked fine with it.

  • Set up the password
liveuser$ vncpasswd
  • Enable VNC port

Credits: http://www.howopensource.com/2011/08/vnc-error-unable-to-connect-to-host-no-route-to-host-113-solved/

root# iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 5901 -j ACCEPT
  • Reload the configuration and start the server
root# systemctl daemon-reload
root# systemctl start vncserver@:1.service

Credits: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=272137&page=4

Edit VNC xstartup file:

liveuser$ vi ~/.vnc/xstartup

Comment out this line:

exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

Add this line at the end:

/usr/bin/xfce4-session &

Restart VNC server:

root# systemctl restart vncserver@:1.service

Now you should have a running VNC server that you can access with some VNC client. I used vinagre as the laptop had Xubuntu, but any other should work. Fedora installation worked fine using this setup and was really quick.

The nicest thing – VNC session was horizontal :).