TightVNC – cannot copy and paste from client to Windows 10

By | 23rd December 2015


  • Server OS – Debian
  • After installing Xfce on Debian server and confirmed working, TightVNC Server is installed.
  • Client  – Windows 10 Professional running TightVNC Client.
  • Issue – cannot copy and paste from TightVNC Client to Windows 10.


  • Checked the log file (~./vnc/machine:1.log) generated after vncserver started and found the following two errors
    • xrdb: No such file or directory
      xrdb: can’t open file ‘/home/username/.Xresources’
    • /home/username/.vnc/xstartup: 8: /home/username/.vnc/xstartup: vncconfig: not found
  • From web search, it seems that .Xresources is not really have any impact so workaround / suppress the error by creating an empty file
    > touch /home/username/.Xresources
  • Back to the issue, did web search and found a lot of references to adding the following to the xstartup to resolve the issue
    • “vncconfig &” or “vncconfig -iconic &”
    • or “autocutsel -fork”
  • Because vncconfig is already included in the ~./vnc/xstart hence attempt to install vncconfig
    > apt-get install vncconfig
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    E: Unable to locate package vncconfig
  • Web search did not return much useful information hence attempt to install autocutsel next
    > apt-get install autocutsel
  • Installation completed without error. Next to edit xstart, comment out vncconfig and add autocutsel

    # Fix to make GNOME work
    #vncconfig &
    autocutsel -fork

    Checked “man autocutsel”, the purpose of switch “-fork” is to run autocutsel as daemon in the background.

  • Restart VNC Server
    >vncserver -kill :1
    >vncserver -geometry 1600x900 -depth 24
  • Note “-depth 24” setting the colour depth to 24 – this is required in my case to get VNC to work properly.
  • Tested copy and paste between VNC client and Windows 10 – it works!

Final Words

I believe vncconfig would work if vncconfig is installed. The issue I have with installing vncconfig is probably due to some package repositoriy config issue (do not have much time to figure that one out). It may worth trying to install vncconfig to see if it works for you.

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