How to Use Remote Desktop in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)

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In this tutorial we will see how to enable remote desktop access in ubuntu desktop and accessing remotely.vino is VNC server for GNOME.VNC is a protocol that allows remote display of a user’s desktop. This package provides a VNC server that integrates with GNOME, allowing you to export your running desktop to another computer for remote use or diagnosis.

By default ubuntu will come with vino-server so it is very easy to configure to enable remote desktop sharing in your ubuntu machine.If you want to access ubuntu machine remotely you need to login in to your ubuntu system.

Important note :-Remote Desktop will only work if there’s a GNOME login session.Leaving your computer with an unattended GNOME login session is not secure and not recommended.

Enable Remote Desktop in Ubuntu

First you need to go to System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop

Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen

In the above screen you need to configure remote desktop preferences for sharing and security

For Sharing

you need to tick the box next to the following two options

  • Allow other users to view your desktop
  • Allow other users to control your desktop

For Security

you need to tick the box next to the following two options

  • Ask you for confirmation (If you tick this option some one need to click on allow from remote desktop once it connected if you don’t want you can untick this option)
  • Require the user to enter this password:
  • Password: Specify the password

Now you need to click on Advanced Tab select your options click on close

For Network

  • Only allow local connections
  • Use an alternative port
  • Disable the wallpaper when connected

For Security

  • Require encryption
  • Lock Screen on disconnect

For Notification Area

  • Always display icon
  • Only display an icon where there is someone connected
  • Never display an icon

Connecting from Ubuntu Machine

Go to Applications--->Internet--->Remote Desktop Viewer once it opens you shold see similar to the following screen and If you want to connect remote PC  click on connect from top menu.

Enter you remote host or if you click on find

Now it should automatically detect the available remote desktops select your remote PC and click ok

You can see the remote host details and port number click on connect

Enter the remote host password to connect and click ok

Now you should be able to connect your remote desktop.In intrepid we have more security options to choose like you can encrypt complete session.

Connecting from Windows Machine

If you are trying to connect from your windows machine you need to install vncviewer of your choice i have
installed from here this program once you install this you can opem from start—>All programs—>RealVNC—>VNC Viewer 4—>Run VNC Viewer once it opens you should see the following screen here enter the remotemachine ipaddress:0 format and click ok.Now it will prompt for password enter your password and click ok

Now on the remote machine you should see the following screen asking for permission to allow this connection you need to click on allow this will come up only if you tick “Ask you for confirmation” option under sharing.

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46 Responses

  1. kenbw2 says:

    What about connecting across the internet?

  2. macsim says:

    @kenbw2, just nat your 5900 port to your computer

  3. Max says:

    Is there a way to print documents from a remote machine running windows?
    I never managed to print documents stored in a remote windows machine using remote desktop tools in Ubuntu. I suppose it depends from drivers. Is there a hack to solve this? Thank you

  4. Neowster says:

    Pardon my ignorance as I never tried remote connection manually before. Over the internet, what should I type into the address bar to access the remote machine? Assuming I have a dynamic ip, and the ip of the remote machine is connected to a router with 192.168.2.x etc. Thanks.

  5. nhasian says:

    Neowster: you would need to enter the router’s ip address to access your computer remotely. for this to work you MUST have port 5900 forwarded to the correct ip address like 192.168.2.x Hopefully your router has some kind of functionality to always assign the same ip address to your computer. alternatively you can just set your computer to have a static ip address instead of dynamic. either way will work.

    the tricky part is getting a linux computer to remote control a vista host running a vnc server…

  6. ubuntu lover says:

    i had the same question as Neowster. I would also like to know how to do port forwarding. Do i need to get into the router page to do it? if u can run me through the steps of port forwarding plz, it would b of gr8 help.


  7. nhasian says:

    unfortunately the instructions are different for every router. if you dont have your manual handy, try:

  8. Al Biheiri says:

    how did you login if you selected require encryption? I was never able to login when I select this option. I havent tried the remote desktop app your showing. Does that actually work with encryption on?

  9. Jon says:

    I think that using the emulated RDP protocol client on linux is easier than messing around with VNC. Slightly easier, in my opinion although both are easy.

  10. zeddock says:

    The one who posts a simple solution for remote desktop control without the need for IT know-how and details will win-over users to Linux. Until it is a full solution… it is not a solution!

    Port forwarding? PLEASE!

    This is written under an expectation that even though you need help you know the inner workings of port-forwarding on both ends of the connection!

    Come on?!?!

    PS. No flames necessary. I hope this perspective might help those of you who know how to do such things, to realize a weakness in an otherwise great OS. Stop assuming users know… or should be made to learn! The computer is a tool, not a lifestyle, religion or hobby, for most.

  11. Ben Hughes says:

    Zeddock – show me an OS that will let remote desktops work from the outside internet without port forwarding… It has nothing to do with the OS, it’s a function of the NAT routers we all use.

  12. Odell says:

    I would like to know how to have remote desktop work from the login screen. All the solutions I’ve found so far either don’t work or require me to use a stupid SSH connection. Where’s an easy solution for this?

  13. zeddock says:

    OK. Windows XP. Used it all of the time through…

    OK. OK. I am sure you are going to tell me that the port forwarding happens… but as a USER, I don’t care. I just want it to work.

    So, if I can get that simplistic tool to work on XP, just tell me where to get it on Linux…. Ubuntu?

    You can act like I don’t understand but as long as users of OSes as tools exist, this sort of thing is a barrier for OSes and other tools. With the wealth of superior capabilities which I believe exist on Linux, in my case Ubuntu, I am surprised this need has not already been fulfilled.

    Thanx for listening.

  14. TheGacko says:

    Zeddock — is a company as with LogMeIn. It provides a third party to your remote connection.

    Basically — It gets around the NAT problems by being a man-in-the-middle as most firewalls will allow outgoing connections on HTTPS. It takes two outgoing connections to its own servers to create a tunnel to see the other PC.

    A stand alone tool such as VNC (above) or RDP in the windows world or any such remote protocol (SSH, Citrix) cannot do this as its a point to point connection.

    You cant configure such point-to-point remote controlling protocols without revealing it to the internet for people to connect to. thus port forwarding.. There has been moves to make it easier via UPnP but this hasnt really worked well.

    I have not found a true equivalent alternative to LogMeIn for Linux (but I understand a LogMeIn client is in the works) but I would be great if such a service could be offered by Canonical or other company. It is possible to setup a service yourself through using SSH tunneling. although you will need another server out there on the internet to act as a man-in-the-middle. Unfortunately this server will require port forwarding.

  15. zeddock says:

    Great response. Thanx for the information.
    Anyone want to help me go into business offering this service for Linux or maybe Ubuntu specifically?


  16. mocoloco says:

    So what I would really like to see is an option for reverse VNC connections implemented in Gnome’s “Remote Desktop”. For the unfamiliar, rather than requesting permission to control a remote machine, a reverse connection is requesting/granting that someone else take control. When I need to help someone, let me be the one to worry about port forwarding, plus the user won’t have to contact me first to ask me to initiate a VNC connection, I would just directly see their request for a reverse connection.

  17. CafeNinja says:

    Great work. Keep it up. Served me perfectly and found YOUR article in the first page of search results from Google. Bang on.


  18. Lars says:

    You mentioned that vino is the vnc server, but how do you get it running?

    On my machine (Intrepid), Synaptic says vino is installed but I don’t see a gui way to launch it. “man vino” says nothing. System / Administration / Services doesn’t list it.


  19. Trailokya Ojha says:

    what about internet connection?

    can it possible in internet also?

  20. mcp says:

    Do you get “remote desktops” for ubuntu/linux? I want to make multiple remote desktop connection on my network.

  21. El Perro Loco says:


    To start vino, if you are using Ubuntu (Gnome), go to System > Preferences > Remote Desktop.

    (In a “normal” installation, you won’t find it under Services.)

    Yeah, I don’t think it is too logical, either. (Being a big fan of Linux does not prevent me from seeing – and being annoyed by – its quirks…)

    Have fun!

  22. Lars says:

    @El Perro: Thanks.

  23. feoras says:

    How can I blank and lock the remote screen so no-one can see my work if they are walking by in the office?

    It is a laptop so I cant just switch off the monitor.

  24. Mark says:

    How do you use and enable the encryption? I have the VNC viewer installed in Windows, but if I enable encryption in Ubuntu Remote Desktop, then I’m unable to use the VNC Viewer to access the desktop. How do I get the encryption to work properly?

  25. Luis says:

    guys. in order to get accessible machines over internet without NAT, you may use logmein. otherwise you will need ALWAYS to forward the packages. i.e. if you try to connect to a public IP, your ISP modem will not relay it to your privat IP, unless you FORWARD IT. Basically, is like this: I?l assume as example that your public IP is and your privat IP is To access your internal IP, you MUST go to your ISP modem/router and relay/forward it. It will be under Port Forwarding or Virtual Servers. There you have to forward your public 5900 port to your IP. It will certainly work.

  26. Thy Raven says:

    I am trying to connect to my Ubuntu Desktop while at work. My work has Win2K Pro on the box and I cant seem to get this to work using a web browser going to

    any ideas?

    Thy Raven

  27. mortar says:

    The web port if supported is 5800 not 5900.

  28. Thy Raven says:

    Neither port seem to be working and I have both forwarded in my router. what else would be causing the error? All I get is RFB 003.007 on the 5900 port and page cant be displayed on the 5800 port.

  29. Karl says:

    Is there any way to make this work after a power-fail? Vinagre is not started until after login I guess and therefore you cannot connect. Setting auto-login seems insecure.

  30. mememe says:

    I just wish that TeamViewer would be ported to linux, and then, every problem would be solved. Simple.

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