How to enable VNC before login

Using GNOME, it is possible to share the desktop. Settings → Sharing → Screen Sharing
However this works only when the user is logged in.

Do you know a way to enable screen sharing before log in?

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I’d like this functionality too, but as far as I know the screen sharing (vino server) starts only after the user first logs in.

An ideal solution would be detachable sessions that you can open remotely, then lock and continue locally or vice versa, but unfortunately GNOME developers don’t seem to be interested in this feature.

Have you tried a combination of XDMCP with VNC?

if connect to ssh with same gnome remote desktop machine, can unlock it with the following command.

loginctl unlock-session

then can connect to gnome remote desktop.


I am also in this situation, and I can ssh to my machine, however, loginctl unlock-session does not do anything.

Note that the command given appears to unlock an already existing desktop session but does not appear to launch a new session when the machine does not already have one running.

See man loginctl for more information.

Note also that this thread was almost 3 years necro.
I am closing it.