87 Comments to “Share your Ubuntu Desktop Using Remote Desktop”

  1. jj says:

    Does this article relate only to systems behind a firewall, like a home network? OR
    Does all this also apply across the Internet. For example, My sister calls from the next town and asks me to look at her screen for some reason and I have to connect through 2 ISPs (mine and her’s) she uses DSL and I use a cable modem?

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  2. admin says:

    this should work across internet also and is there any error messages

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  3. Chris says:

    I believe vino-serv listens on port 5900 by default, so you should have that forwarded on through your firewall.

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  4. Michael says:

    From this thread I figured out you can turn on remote desktop thru a putty window by typing:

    gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/enabled true

    and disable the auto prompting by typing:
    gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/prompt_enabled false

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  5. David says:

    Remoting into a system using VNC is really handy. One thing to remember is that most VNC connections are NOT encrypted. I tunnel my VNC session through ssh.

    $ ssh -L :localhost:

    For example. If I’m vnc’ing from a computer called home-box to work-box. I’ll tell ssh to connect to home-box.some-isp.com using port 5910 on localhost. I’ll connect to work-box.columbia.net using default port of 5900. The ssh command line I’d use is:
    $ ssh -L 5910:localhost:5900 work-box.columbia.net
    to login to the remote computer.

    Then I’d tell vnc_viewer on home-box to connect to localhost:5910

    Now all your vnc traffic to work-box is nice and encrypted.

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  6. David says:

    Oops, I used greater-than and less-than signs to show enter your values here and that got dropped as bad html. My bad.
    The part the reads:
    $ ssh -L :localhost:
    should read:
    $ ssh -L local-vnc-port:localhost:remote-vnc-port other-computer

    Hope this works better.

    David

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  7. JJ says:

    This is awesome. Unless someone shows with pictures how easy it can be, its hard to realize that it really is. THanks.

    ubuntugeek rocks

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  8. AC says:

    Thanks for that tip David (and especially the example) just what I was looking for because I only use ssh to connect in from outside.
    Thanks.

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  9. :) says:

    Hey, I’m trying to set up my Ubuntu so that I can access it from a college Windows XP machine. I have installed NX and that was no luck, I opened ports 22 and 44 on my router but still no look. I have installed the VNC server on my machine and downloaded the viewer for a XP machine.
    I have opened the ports 5900 and 5600 just incase on my router and nothing is working

    My router is a Linksys WRT54

    Please help!

    And if possible is there a program that I can use to recover lost files for Ubuntu ex3/ ex2 partitions?

    Many thanks

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  10. Najeeb says:

    I have a problem with VNC to Ubunthu…

    I am getting connection to remote desktop , but it showing a blank screen only.

    Iam connecting from a windows xp based pc in same LAN network .

    Looking for a solution

    Regards,

    [Reply]

  11. admin says:

    @najeeb

    try this

    Edit the following file

    gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom

    Just add the following line

    DisallowTCP=false

    save and exit the file

    [Reply]

  12. DK says:

    Hi,

    tnx, I have it working too. But when I connect to it using VNC from a windows machine, the CPU goes to 100%. Is that normal on a P IV 1,7 Ghz? Even a blank desktop with 1 terminal with htop gets it to 100%.
    When I connect to it using a ssh connection with Putty, it almost doesnt take any CPU power at all.

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  13. DK says:

    Never mind, I found and set up X11VNC. That runs with a LOT less CPU.

    [Reply]

  14. Freeware says:

    Just what I’ve been looking for, will try this out. Switching over to Ubuntu and being able to remote from a Windows PC will be very handy indeed.

    [Reply]

  15. Marco says:

    Hello! i can use only port 443 for company reasons.
    Can you please explain me how to set this port on the server side of connection ?

    [Reply]

  16. Nishad Islam says:

    I can’t connect my edge wireless modem in Ubuntu Linux. So I need a download link of a multimedia player of Ubuntu Linux To Download from my windows XP and Please Give a Solution As Early As Possible. And How can remote my Ubuntu Linux to Windows XP.

    [Reply]

  17. kingkoy says:

    Is this possible for machines that uses dynamic IP address?

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  18. Chaumurky says:

    Marco, you can either set your ssh server to run on port 443 (in /etc/ssh/sshd.conf) or set your ADSL router (if you use one) to forward port 443 to 22 on your servers internal IP. In both instances, set up your firewall accordingly to allow traffic on port 443 to that IP as well.

    As an aside, have a look at GSTM to manage your SSH tunnels in Gnome. It opens up a whole new world!

    [Reply]

  19. Chaumurky says:

    Oops that should be /etc/ssh/sshd_config

    :)

    [Reply]

  20. Jmaxwell says:

    thanks a lot! works just like directed

    [Reply]

  21. Andrei says:

    I was able to connect from the outside into the Ubuntu machine following the above steps but am wondering now if there’s a way for the host machine to find out how many users are actually viewing their shared screen?

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  22. W says:

    I try the instruction and the error is

    vncviewer: ConnectToTcpAddr: connect: Connection timed out
    Unable to connect to VNC server

    [Reply]

  23. heian says:

    the option in Vino to change the port, doesn’t work well.
    Only ports selected above the standard port (5900 and higher) then it works well. When a port below 5900 is selected, it still listens at the standard port.

    Not sure somebody has reported this as a bug

    [Reply]

  24. mountaindew says:

    I guess this setup probably don’t use encryption, how do I setup ubuntu so that it uses encryption? I know that tightvnc is the client that can do encryption but not sure if ubuntu supports that.

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  25. Kephas says:

    @mountaindew

    If you use ssh command suggested above, it will be encrypted (at least between the two hosts connected with the tunnel) :)

    [Reply]

  26. bg says:

    Unfortuantely, the Windows VNC viewer you suggested is not compatible with Vista, or at least the free version is not.

    [Reply]

  27. Ballin says:

    Google search bought this page up, after hours of experimenting I found out how to fix the black screen when trying to rdesktop (in my case through VPN) in Ubuntu.

    This is caused by the MTU value of your ethernet connection.

    If you sudo ifconfig you will see a MTU value for [eth0]. Mine was set to 500 and something, when I set this to 1500 it worked.
    Other people seem to be the other way around, ie. set to 1500 and they need to set it to 1400 or something – try experimenting.

    To set the MTU : sudo ifconfig eth0 mtu 1500

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  28. Haywood R. Jackson III says:

    Thanks…I am using windows vista home and using the free version of realvnc viewer…works just great! Thanks!

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  29. Brett says:

    Very nice tutorial. Thanks alot.

    Also, very good comments on using SSH tunnel. Much more secure.

    I have one question though. If during the course of working on a remote box I decide I need to reboot it, it will come back up to the login screen. Since this method requires a user to be logged in, Im stuck with only CLI access from then on. Is there a way to remotely login a GNOME session, or script an autologin session somehow?

    [Reply]

  30. Duane says:

    So is there a way to ssh into a system which is not logged in and start/get gui login/desktop?

    [Reply]

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