Public | Automated Build

Last pushed: 13 days ago
Short Description
Centos container with "headless" VNC session, Xfce4 UI and preinstalled Firefox and Chrome browser
Full Description

Docker container images with "headless" VNC session

The repository contains a collection of Docker images with headless VNC environments.

Each Docker image is installed with the following components:

  • Desktop environment Xfce4 or IceWM
  • VNC-Server (default VNC port 5901)
  • noVNC - HTML5 VNC client (default http port 6901)
  • Browsers:
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Chromium

Build Status

master: dev:

Current provided OS & UI sessions:

  • consol/centos-xfce-vnc: Centos7 with Xfce4 UI session

  • consol/ubuntu-xfce-vnc: Ubuntu with Xfce4 UI session

  • consol/centos-icewm-vnc: Centos7 with IceWM UI session

  • consol/ubuntu-icewm-vnc: Ubuntu with IceWM UI session

OpenShift / Kubernetes

It's also possible to run the images in container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes or OpenShift. For more information how to deploy containers in the cluster, take a look at:


The usage is for all provide images similar, for instance see following the usage of the consol/centos-xfce-vnc image:

Print out help page:

docker run consol/centos-xfce-vnc --help    

Run command with mapping to local port 5901 (vnc protocol) and 6901 (vnc web access):

docker run -d -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 consol/centos-xfce-vnc

Change the default user and group within a container to your own with adding --user $(id -u):$(id -g):

docker run -d -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 --user $(id -u):$(id -g) consol/centos-xfce-vnc

If you want to get into the container use interactive mode -it and bash

docker run -it -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 consol/centos-xfce-vnc bash

Build an image from scratch:

docker build -t consol/centos-xfce-vnc centos-xfce-vnc

Connect & Control

If the container is started like mentioned above, connect via one of these options:


1) Extend a Image with your own software

Since 1.1.0 all images run as non-root user per default, so that means, if you want to extend the image and install software, you have to switch in the Dockerfile back to the root user:

## Custom Dockerfile
FROM consol/centos-xfce-vnc

## Install a gedit
RUN yum install -y gedit \
    && yum clean all
## switch back to default user
USER 1000

2) Change User of running Sakuli Container

Per default, since version 1.3.0 all container processes will executed with user id 1000. You can change the user id like follow:

2.1) Using root (user id 0)

Add the --user flag to your docker run command:

docker run -it --user 0 -p 6911:6901 consol/centos-xfce-vnc

2.2) Using user and group id of host system

Add the --user flag to your docker run command:

docker run -it -p 6911:6901 --user $(id -u):$(id -g) consol/centos-xfce-vnc

3) Override VNC environment variables

The following VNC environment variables can be overwritten at the docker run phase to customize your desktop environment inside the container:

  • VNC_COL_DEPTH, default: 24
  • VNC_RESOLUTION, default: 1280x1024
  • VNC_PW, default: my-pw

3.1) Example: Override the VNC password

Simply overwrite the value of the environment variable VNC_PW. For example in
the docker run command:

docker run -it -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 -e VNC_PW=my-pw consol/centos-xfce-vnc

3.2) Example: Override the VNC resolution

Simply overwrite the value of the environment variable VNC_RESOLUTION. For example in
the docker run command:

docker run -it -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 -e VNC_RESOLUTION=800x600 consol/centos-xfce-vnc

4) View only VNC

Since version 1.2.0 it's possible to prevent unwanted control over VNC. Therefore you can set the environment variable VNC_VIEW_ONLY=true. If set the docker startup script will create a random cryptic password for the control connection and use the value of VNC_PW for the view only connection over the VNC connection.

 docker run -it -p 5901:5901 -p 6901:6901 -e VNC_VIEW_ONLY=true consol/centos-xfce-vnc

5) Known Issues

5.1) Chromium crashes with high VNC_RESOLUTION (#53)

If you open some graphic/work intensive websites in the Docker container (especially with high resolutions e.g. 1920x1080) it can happen that Chromium crashes without any specific reason. The problem there is the too small /dev/shm size in the container. Currently there is no other way, as define this size on startup via --shm-size option, see #53 - Solution:

docker run --shm-size=256m -it -p 6901:6901 -e VNC_RESOLUTION=1920x1080 consol/centos-xfce-vnc chromium-browser

Thx @raghavkarol for the hint!

How to release



At this point we want to thank all contributors, which helped to move this great project by submitting code, writing documentation, or adapting other tools to play well together with the docker headless container.


The current changelog is provided here:


For questions, professional support or maybe some hints, feel free to contact us via or open an issue.

The guys behind:

ConSol Software GmbH <br/>
Franziskanerstr. 38, D-81669 Munich <br/>
Tel. +49-89-45841-100, Fax +49-89-45841-111<br/>
Homepage: E-Mail:

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