I wanted to display the screen of my Galaxy I smart phone on my Linux notebook and a quick search of the Web turned up the droid VNC server as a solution. The droid VNC server allows users to demo their phone applications via a computer hooked up to a projector for seminars and classroom presentations. In case you’re needing to do the same thing, I’ve laid out the steps to make it happen. Download the VNC server from Google Play and it requires that the phone is rooted. My phone is running Android version 2.2. The setup was straightforward. Start the program and click the options button, then Settings. Under the Settings heading, you'll find options to set the VNC password, rotation of the screen and the screen scale. Tap the password item and put in a short password. Hit OK to save it. Next, tap the screen scale and choose either 100 or 50. The 100 setting gives a full-height display on the notebook. Click the back button to return to the main screen and push the green Start Server button. A couple of URLs will appear, along with the word Running in the middle of the screen. You'll use the top URL if you want to access the phone's screen from an application on your notebook like Remote Desktop Viewer. You can also access the Android phone screen using a browser, such as Chrome, by entering the Web URL listed. Take note that connecting via an application usually uses the 5901 port, whereas the Web connection uses the 5801 port. You'll need either a VNC viewer or plug-in, in order to see the phone screen in your browser. After the viewer starts you'll be asked for the password. Put in the password and your phone screen should appear on your notebook.

Looking Good?

The VNC server is a little quirky on my Samsung Captivate (Galaxy I). While the screen shows up nicely on my notebook, it doesn't rotate when I turn the phone sideways. That’s because it simply isn't implemented yet. Another thing is that the built-in soft phone, email, browser and application buttons across the bottom of the touch screen are cut off on my 1280 x 800 notebook display. Sometimes this is a problem with full screen applications like Google Earth, or when viewing photos in Gallery. If this happens, you can stop the server by hitting the red stop server button and then changing the screen scale to 50. Don't forget to restart the server. And when refreshing or restarting the notebook’s viewer, the screen will be half-sized. The mouse works on the notebook to choose applications on the phone. Of course, you can also just touch the desired application directly on the phone's touch screen to control things, as well. Because the notebook and smartphone can run over WiFi, you can walk around your venue with the phone in your hand, while the image updates automatically on your notebook screen. If you want to hook up a projector to your notebook and run the droid VNC server on the phone, you’ll be able to demo your applications during a class or seminar. The speed is pretty good, especially if you’re running the phone in performance mode. To shut down the droid VNC server, hit the red Stop Server button and then tap the Home button to exit the program. Give droid VNC server a try and let me know how you use it.

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