After a fresh install of Linux Mint 15 with Mate, and enabling Desktop Sharing, I was getting ‘Connection Refused’ when trying to VNC from other machines. The same steps on Linux Mint 15 with Cinnamon on the same box showed VNC was working and hence the problem was caused by Mate. After some research it appears this is a known issue, but luckily there is an workaround until it is fixed properly – follow the steps here.
It seems like a lot of people are using an alternative VNC server like tightvnc which gives a different desktop to the console, but for some reason I just want to have one desktop, which is the console one, so if i’m working directly on the machine, I can walk away and work remotely picking up where I left off locally.
Mint continues to be my preferred distro, hopefully this issue is resolved in a future update.