I recently did X on a headless Debian blade. This post is about the setup that worked for me. I used Xvfb to setup the virtual X frame-buffer. The usual choice for accessing virtual display is vnc, so i decided to go with x11vnc. Used blackbox as window manager for the setup(because it is believed to be pretty light weight).
However, this setup has a problem. x11vnc doesn’t handle key modifiers(Shift/Ctrl/Alt) too well, it aborts when key combinations involving Shift key are used in vnc session with the setup. Since there was not much help available around x11vnc and the bug, i decided to give tightvnc a shot which worked really well.
Here is how the setup be repeated:
$ sudo aptitude install xvfb tightvncserver blackbox
$ Xvfb :1 -screen 1 1300x700x16 & # starts X (display=:1) (set width, height and depth for screen 1)
$ DISPLAY=:1 blackbox & # start the window manager
$ DISPLAY=:1 vncserver -depth 16 -geometry 1300x700 -alwaysshared # to startup vnc server (it prints port that vnc listens to).
Note that the x11vnc -create option that starts up Xvfb can probably also be made to start up blackbox as the wm. Ask if you are interested. The -create option does the xmodmap for the missing modifiers as well.
Ya, looking at the link you posted i think that xmodmap snippet should fix it.
I will explore x11vnc -create(if it can start blackbox as well, that will make things much simpler).
And you are right about the vncserver thing, it does start X and bring up blackbox too).
So, `vncserver -depth -geometry x` is actually enough to bring up the whole thing.
Thanks for the comment, im sure this will help people. :-)