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pi-top Web VNC Tool

Project description


Serve a display or the window of a particular application via VNC & http using x11vnc & novnc.

The script can share an existing display or create a new one, depending on the provided display id. New displays are created using Xvfb and it’s dimensions and color depth can be specified via command line arguments.

It’s also possible to share particular windows from a display by using the ‘window-title’ argument. This will look for a window with the provided name in a given display and will only share that particular section of the display. If this argument is not provided, the whole display is shared.

A python module pt_web_vnc is also included which provides synchronous and asynchronous wrappers around the pt-web-vnc script.


pt-web-vnc <COMMAND> --display-id <DISPLAY_ID> --HEIGHT <SCREEN_HEIGHT> --WIDTH <SCREEN_WIDTH> --ssl-certificate <SSL_CERTIFICATE> --window-title <WINDOW_TITLE> --run <RUN_COMMAND> --background-colour <COLOUR> --with-window-manager

  COMMAND: {start, stop, url, clients}
    start: start sharing a display or app based on the given arguments.
    stop: stop sharing the given display.
    url: print the novnc URL where the provided display is being served.
    clients: print the number of clients connected to a particular display.
  --display-id DISPLAY_ID: integer, id for the display to use/create. If the provided display ID doesn\'t exist, a new one will be created.
  --height SCREEN_HEIGHT: integer, height in pixels for the virtual display to create. Defaults to 1080.
  --width SCREEN_WIDTH: integer, width in pixels for the virtual display to create. Defaults to 1920.
  --depth SCREEN_DEPTH: integer, pixel depth for the virtual display to create. Defaults to 24.
  --ssl-certificate SSL_CERTIFICATE: path to combined SSL certificate & key file. Optional.
  --window-title WINDOW_TITLE: Title of a window in a display to share over VNC. Optional.
  --run RUN_COMMAND: Command to run before starting VNC server.
  --background-colour COLOUR: string with a colour name to use as background for the virtual display.
  --with-window-manager: start a window manager in the specified DISPLAY_ID. For now, the window manager used is 'bspwm'.


Start a virtual display with custom dimensions and background

$ pt-web-vnc start --display-id 100 --height 500 --width 1000 --background-colour red
# Get the URL to connect
$ pt-web-vnc url --display-id 100
$ pt-web-vnc stop --display-id 100

Run an application in a virtual display and share its window

By using the --run argument to start an application and providing its window title via --window-title it’s possible to share a particular window.

# Start chromium and look for its window title
$ pt-web-vnc start --display-id 50 --run 'chromium-browser' --window-title 'New Tab - Chromium'
# Get the URL to connect
$ pt-web-vnc url --display-id 50
$ pt-web-vnc stop --display-id 50

Share an existing display

It’s possible to share your main display instead of creating a new one by providing its display id. In most cases, the id for your main display will be 0.

$ pt-web-vnc start --display-id 0
# Get the URL to connect
$ pt-web-vnc url --display-id 0
$ pt-web-vnc stop --display-id 000

Python module examples

Create and share a display with custom dimensions and background colour

>>> from pt_web_vnc import start, connection_details, stop
>>> start(
>>> # Get connection details
>>> details = connection_details(display_id=50)
>>> details.url

>>> # Stop sharing
>>> stop(display_id=50)

Asynchronously start sharing display 0

>>> import asyncio
>>> from pt_web_vnc import async_start, async_connection_details, async_stop
>>> # Start sharing display 0
>>> # Get connection details
>>> details =
>>> details.url
>>> # Returned object also contains parsed elements of the URL
>>> details.scheme
>>> details.hostname
>>> details.port
>>> details.path
>>> # Stop sharing display 0

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