VNC login to Ubuntu Server 18.04.5LTS running Lightdm presents a blank desktop

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Running a headless Ubuntu Server (…server) 18.04.5 LTS setup. Installed the lightdm package and x11vnc.
When I connect with vnc viewer, all goes smoothy – vnc credentials accepted, and I am presented with your standard ubuntu login screen (you can see the tool bar at the top, and the drop-downs work etc.)
Before logging into ubuntu through VNCviewer
But then I login (which is accepted) and I get the blank desktop wallpaper – no functionality – no cursor, icons, toolbars etc. Keyboard shortcuts don’t bring anything up either.
after logging into ubuntu through VNCviewer
NB: I’ve already been about the webernets and have seen (on here as well) others with similar problem, but their solutions have not worked for me.

Ubuntu 19.04 VNC stuck after login screen of LightDM
blank screen with vnc server
VNC over lightdm results in blank screen

Any many others. Happy to provide any info your need on various config files etc – just ask (not sure what’s needed upfront, so don’t want to clutter the post).

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