Remote Desktop

For years the Ubuntu operating systems have been pre loaded by the developers with remote screen sharing/serving software. By integrating this RDP/VNC software directly into the operating system it allows the user to set up RDP extremely easy. It also seems to make the screen sharing platform rather more stable than some third party remote desktop viewers and broadcasters.
There are several ways to enable remote desktop on your Ubuntu, Mac or Windows computer system. The VNC sharing protocol allows you to both view and control another computer via a virtual network connection. This is one of the most common methods for enabling screen sharing between computers on separate networks. Remote desktop or RDP is generally the term used to describe a similar sharing protocol but more is more specific to Windows operating systems.

Choose your Ubuntu OS:

Remote desktop client for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Whats new with remote desktop in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Remmina. Remmina Remote Desktop Client has replaced TSClient – Ubuntu 11.04 – as the new native RDP client. RDP, VNC, SDMCP, NX, SSH, Avahi and Telepathy are among the remote desktop protocols supported by the new release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. The wide variety of remote protocols supported by Remmina will surely make a usefully client for those who remotely access computers with a wide variety of operating systems.

Remmina is availabe in three different packages; GTK+ application, GNOME application and the xfce panel plug-in. The Ubuntu software center has remmina availalbe for download.

Step 1. To set up Remmina you will first need to select the icon with a blank page and a plus sign to set up a new remote desktop profile.

Screenshot of Remmina home screen

Remmina Homescreen

Step 2. First you will want to give this new connection a name and select the protocol you will be using; RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), SFTP (Secure File Transfer), SSH (Secure Shell), VNC (Virtual Network Computing) or VNC (Incoming Connection).

screenshot of remmina rdp protocol setup

Step 3. Now enter the username, password, and domain of the machine you would like to connect to. Here you can also change the screen resolution and color depth. Adjust these parameters to attain the desired performance.


Set up remote desktop (RDP) – Ubuntu 11.04

Step 1. Click the small power symbol in the top right corner of the display area. Then click on System Settings.

Step 2. Once in System Settings, click on the Remote Desktop icon in the control panel.
ubuntu system menu screenshot
control panel network preferences pane ubuntu

Step 3. Now check the boxes most appropriate for you. Don’t forget to examine the default security settings and make sure you agree with them.
remote desktop preferences page ubuntu

Connect to Ubuntu remote desktop from any operating system.

Access Ubuntu Remote Desktop from outside Local Network:
If you want to access Ubuntu remote desktop outside of your local network you will need to use the public IP address of your router; the IP address you have with your ISP (Internet Service Provider). To do this you will also need to configure your router in such a way that port 5900 (port used for Ubuntu RDP connections) is open in the firewall. Also in the router setup you will need to forward port 5900 to the Ubuntu Desktop.

Access Ubuntu Remote Desktop from Mac OSX:
If you would like to access Ubuntu RDP from a Mac system on the local network, this is fairly easy. When both machines are connected to the same local network the Ubuntu screen share will show up in Finder, in the side panel, where all of the other known devices are located. Simply click on the screen sharing device you would like to connect to, then click the “Share Screen” button in the top right corner of the finder window. Now enter a valid username and password for the machine you are trying to access and voila.

Access Ubuntu Remote Desktop from Windows:
To access Ubuntu RDP from a windows computer you will first need a VNC viewer installed on that system. Real VNC provides a free version of their vnc viewer, VNC Viewer Free Edition. After installation all you will need to do is enter the IP address of this system you are trying to access and you should be able to connect and remotely control the screen.