I just want to say thank you again to M0E-lnx and nightflier for all of your help and suggestions.
What I need is to be able to connect to this machine remotely through vnc. I thought I would need to autostart vnc to achieve this. But I have discovered a better way. Instead of having vnc running all the time with 5900 open. I can just have 22 for ssh open and then start x11vnc(btw I switched from tightvnc to x11vnc cause I can control local display of remote machine) from my desktop like this:
ssh -t email@example.com "x11vnc -display :0 -bg"
this starts vnc on port 5900 then I can connect with:
I'll just make a small script to automate those two commands.
I think this is better from a security point of view, plus now I don't have to setup every window manager(jwm,fluxbox,etc)
nightflier, I think because I had switched to x11vnc that might have been the problem I'm going to reinstall tightvnc and test it again just to see if I can make it work.