Here's one way to get a working VNC desktop with Ubuntu Server Edition version 10.10 x64. You can use this on a dedicated server or on a VDS.
1. In a plain SSH window to the server, type:
apt-get install ubuntu-desktop tightvncserver
Hit enter when it asks to confirm that you want these packages installed.
If the "apt-get install" step downloads very slowly, try hitting control-C to abort it, then re-run the command; sometimes, a slow mirror is chosen.
2. Type these commands:
tightvncserver -nolisten tcp :1
3. It will ask you for a password. Choose a good one here, and enter it twice, as it asks. Then tell it "n" when it asks "Would you like to enter a view-only password?" (unless you want one). When you run tightvncserver again after your next boot, it will not repeat these questions.
4. Open up a VNC viewer application and connect to w.x.y.z:1, where w.x.y.z is your server's IP address. It will ask for the password, and then display a desktop window to you.
Note that we recommend against running desktop applications on a server, for performance, security, and stability reasons. As Ubuntu docs state
, a web-based administration package is usually a better choice (or simply using the command-line directly).