Remote desktop

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Comparison of remote desktop software


It seems nomachine is using port 4000.

odroid@odroid:~$ sudo nmap -sV localhost

Starting Nmap 7.01 ( ) at 2016-11-16 20:10 EST
Nmap scan report for localhost (
Host is up (0.000051s latency).
Other addresses for localhost (not scanned): ::1
rDNS record for odroid
Not shown: 997 closed ports
22/tcp   open  ssh             OpenSSH 7.2p2 Ubuntu 4ubuntu2.1 (Ubuntu Linux; protocol 2.0)
4000/tcp open  remoteanything?
7001/tcp open  X11             (access denied)
Service Info: OSs: Linux, Unix; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel

odroid@odroid:~$ sudo lsof -i :4000
nxd     735   nx    3u  IPv4  19208      0t0  TCP *:4000 (LISTEN)
nxd     735   nx    4u  IPv6  21234      0t0  TCP *:4000 (LISTEN)

NoMachine. I ran the service on my Ubuntu 12.04 server. I also tested the client on my Android 6.0 tablet and Odroid xu4 running Ubuntu 15.10. I am using the version 5.0.63. I need to use my server's user account info to connect.

odroid@odroid:~/Downloads$ ps -ef | grep nx
nx       12168     1  1 21:11 ?        00:00:20 /usr/NX/bin/nxserver.bin root 12151 --daemon
odroid   12199 12168  1 21:11 ?        00:00:12 /usr/NX/bin/nxnode.bin
nx       12225 12168  0 21:11 ?        00:00:00 /usr/NX/bin/nxd
odroid   12263 12199  1 21:11 ?        00:00:13 /usr/NX/bin/nxclient.bin --monitor --pid 1153
nx       15916 12225 24 21:28 ?        00:00:08 /usr/NX/bin/nxserver.bin -c /etc/NX/nxserver --login -H 5
odroid   15944 15916 33 21:29 ?        00:00:04 /usr/NX/bin/nxnode.bin -H 5
odroid   16130  8527  0 21:29 pts/1    00:00:00 grep --color=auto nx

odroid@odroid:~/Downloads$ ls /usr/NX/bin
drivers       nxd         nxkb        nxplayer      nxsh         nxusbd
nxagent       nxesd       nxkeygen    nxplayer.bin  nxspool
nxauth        nxexec      nxlocate    nxpost        nxssh
nxclient      nxfs        nxlpd       nxprint       nxssh-add
nxclient.bin  nxfsm       nxnode      nxserver      nxssh-agent
nxcodec.bin   nxfsserver  nxnode.bin  nxserver.bin  nxtunctl

If for some reason some nx programs disappeared, restart the service by

sudo /usr/NX/bin/nxserver --restart

It is interesting that nomachine is faster than 'ssh -X' method when I tested running a Qt application launched from Qt Creator. For example, the progress bar is not moving when it is supposed to move forward and backward when the app is launched through 'ssh -X'.


ThinLinc Overview and Tutorial - How to Install and Utilize this Linux Remote Desktop Solution. Not successful from my testing. Also, the instruction "sudo apt remove thinlinc- " does not work to uninstall it. The admin guide has no information about uninstallation.

Remote desktop connection from Ubuntu to Ubuntu (vino)

  • Ubuntu Gnome Desktop (youtube) It works when I tested it on Ubuntu 18.04.
    sudo apt install vino
    # Go to GNOME settings -> sharing -> enable remote desktop. 
    # Type a password (not username is needed for remote desktop).
    sudo ufw allow from any to any port 5900 proto tcp
    sudo apt install dconf-editor 
    # go to org -> gnome -> desktop -> remote access -> require encryption -> turn it off

    In Remmina, type a new name. In the 'Protocol' drop-down list, select Remmina VNC plugin. Enter the server IP and enter the User password (again, no Username is needed). Hit "Connect". Done! Or use IP:5900 in order to quickly connect (use nmap localhost to check the exact VNC port).

  • How to Remote Access to Ubuntu 16.04 from Windows. The instruction is the same for older versions of Ubuntu.
    • On a Ubuntu server. Go to Dash, type 'desktop sharing' and select it. Check sharing. Close the dialog. Open a terminal and run ps -ef | grep vino to make sure the server is running.
    • Disable encryption. Run sudo apt install dconf-editor. Go to Dash and type 'dconf' and select 'dconf editor'. When it opens, navigate to org -> gnome -> desktop -> remote-access, and uncheck the value of 'require-encryption.' Another way is to run gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false.
    • On a client machine (eg another Ubuntu), open a remote desktop client program (eg Remmina). Choose VNC as the protocol. Enter necessary information to connect to the server.
  • How to connect to a remote desktop from Linux Remmina's minimal UI makes it easy to remotely access Linux PCs and Windows 10
  • How to set up remote desktop on Ubuntu, access it from macOS
    $ gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false
    $ gsettings get org.gnome.Vino require-encryption


  • File sharing from Linux to Windows.
    • Remmina does not support drag and drop of files between the local and remote desktops. However, you can share a local folder with the remote desktop and access its contents from the remote machine. To do this, you need to create a new Remmina RDP connection or edit an existing one. In the “Basic” tab, choose a shared folder from a local Linux machine. In the “Advanced” tab, change the sound to local. Save the connection and connect to the remote desktop. The shared folder should now appear in the remote desktop’s file explorer

Tightvnc server

Tunnel the VNC traffic through SSH connection

On the server,

$ sudo apt remove --purge snapd
$ sudo apt-mark hold snapd

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
$ sudo apt autoremove

$ sudo apt install xfce4 tightvncserver

$ tightvncserver  # require 8 characters for password

Now the client can connect to vnc://[IP address]:5901. TightVNC don't connect you to the desktop that you're logged into, but rather start a fresh one of their own. To kill the server, run vncserver -kill :1 .

Editing the startup script with nano .vnc/xstartup and at the very end add the line:


Now restart TightVNC and this time when you connect you're interfacing directly with the Xfce desktop.

Tip 1: VNC server system startup script. VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux. PS: I try to use /etc/rc.local file but "ps -ef | grep vnc" shows vncserver is not up automatically and "systemctl status rc-local.service" shows some problems even rc-local is active & running.

Tip 2: If you want to make your remote desktop remotely accessible, it's terrible to forward traffic in the router directly since VNC traffic is not encrypted as seriesly as SSH traffice. Instead we tunnel the VNC traffice over an SSH connection. On the client desktop, we first set up the SSH connection from our desktop to the server:

$ ssh [user]@[i-address] -L5901:localhost:59000

The SSH session starts as usual, but in the background we've connected port 59000 on our local machine to port 5901 on the host. So in the remote connection dialog, if we instead connected to localhost:59000, we are doing so over our SSH tunnel. For a server not hiding behind a home router, you should add a firewall rule to prevent access to VNC directly.

Tip 3: If we need to change the vnc password, we can do it via the command vncpasswd. How to change VNC password on Linux. This works for any VNC server software.



RealVNC Is lame. On client, I need to

  1. Sign into the account
  2. Remember and type the server password.
  3. To use the virtual keyboard, I need to use my finger to click the virtual keyboard icon; not try to use the cursor to click the virtual keyboard icon.

It seems RealVNC will start itself again if it was not stopped when the OS shutdown.

Alternatives: TeamViewer or AnyDesk (no free plan). Raspberry Pi's documentation about VNC

The default vnc server included in Ubuntu is not quite compatible with other clients. For example I can connect to Ubuntu 14.04 from Ubuntu 16.04 but not from a Mac. The 3rd party software is better. See the following screenshot after I have installed RealVNC server.


Note that RealVNC Server is not free for commercial users but is free for home subscription/users up to 5 computers (running the server) & 3 users (team members); see An email and a password can be used to sign in your account for activating the license in VNC Server.

To start VNC server, use (

sudo /etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start

The RealVNC will have an icon sitting on the tray at the top-right corner.

Before using VNC viewer, we also need to create a VNC password in VNC Server.

On Mac, the viewer can be launched from Applications -> VNC Viewer (if we have drag and drop the app to the Applications folder).


How to Connect with VNC to a Linux Computer Across the Network

Remote Desktop Protocol

GNOME RDP (preferred)

  • How to Remote Desktop to an Ubuntu Computer
    • VNC is it is no longer considered a secure protocol.
    • The VNC back end for the GNOME remote desktop functionality has been turned off by default in GNOME.
    • Wayland interferes with VNC.
  • VNC and RDP Ubuntu 22.04, Jammy Jellyfish, Remote Access, Screen Sharing, with lock screen fix (works when I tested on MS Remote Desktop Client app in iPad/macbook). This is based on GNOME RDP. There is no extra software to install.
    • Settings - Sharing - Turn on the Sharing toggle switch on the right corner of the Setting app.
    • Checked 'Remote Desktop'
    • Optionally checked 'Enable Legacy VNC Protocal' if you want to use VNC for connection
    • Checked 'Remote Control'
    • Optional: Change Authentication User Name/Password
    • In the Authentication section - change the password.
    • Press 'X' to close the dialog
  • Checking out Remote Desktop Solutions For Linux on Ubuntu 22.04 (GNOME 42). Before Ubuntu 22.04, users need to use a VNC client to connect to Ubuntu. But since Ubuntu 22.04, users can use either xrdp or vnc software to connect to Ubuntu desktop.
  • How to Install GNOME Desktop in Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04. There are a few choices:
    • ubuntu-gnome-desktop package
    • ubuntu-desktop-minimal package
    • vanilla-gnome-desktop package
    • gnome-session package
    • Tasksel

Ubuntu 22.04 VNC

HomeLab 3: Install and configure Apache Guacamole as Docker Container

Remote desktop connection from Windows 7: xrdp

  • How to Install Xrdp Server on Debian 11
  • (2022/12/11). For some reason Ubuntu 22.04 does not work. Debian 11 GNOME does not work either. Debian 11 KDE works. No special instruction needed except when we log into Debian we need to select KDE Plasma. NOTE:
    • xrdp will not duplicate/share the desktop's screen to the remote client,
    • although I log in to the desktop with KDE, the client still use GNOME (neofetch),
    • we need to use an account on the OS to log in (no separate account was created for xrdp),
    • I use iPad's RDP to test.
    sudo apt install xrdp
    sudo systemctl status xrdp
  • On Windows, open its Remote Desktop client utility mstsc.exe.
  • Instruction from Rock Pi 4.

Remote desktop connection to Windows 7 from xubuntu: rdesktop

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rdesktop
rdesktop -f -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD
rdesktop -g 1280x720 -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD

where -f option means full screen and -g means geometry.



AnyDesk (cross platform, closed-source)

Guacamole (Remote Desktop in the browser)


  • - Self-hosted open source remote management solution for Windows, macOS & Linux.
    • VPN, Public IP address, or Port forward is not necessary to access each remote machines
    • Use script execution function to automatically apply a system update on a remote machine
    • Two factor authentication:
      • Use the Pushover app to receive one-time tokens
      • Use TOTP time-based one-time password
  • RPORT the free and open source remote management tool
  • RPort has the ability to create a tunnel to a remote RDP server with a built-in HTTPS proxy and uses the Apache Guacamole Server to connect to the remote RDP Server. This brings the remote desktop into your browser without the need for an RDP viewer. However, you don’t need a fully featured Guacamole installation, only the guacd daemon is needed 1. RPort has its own version of guacd installed to /opt/rport-guacamole and by default, it listens only on localhost port 9445. See RDP-Proxy, Pre-compiled Guacamole Proxy Daemon packages.
  • RPort - Update on using this Awesome Open Source Remote Machine Management system! (3/9/2023) & Notes
    • The tool is more like a remote machine management system, not remote support
    • It's nice we can install RPort on a Linux container such as Promox LXC
    • If a fqdn is not provided, a random fqdn will be created according to the manual. For my testing purpose, I use my local IP as the fqdn.
    • The RPort admin url is XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:5000
    • In the Inventory tab of a client, it can show "Update Status" & what can be updated.
    • I create a client on Ubuntu. I also create an SSH tunnel (the client needs to have enabled openssh-server). After I launch the tunnel, it open Remmina from my Linux machine and connect to the client through RPort server IP and port 20000. By default, a tunnel will be closed after 5 minutes of inactivity.
    • Using noVNC requires a VNC server running on the remote host.
    • Question: On a client machine such as linux, we need to run two commands "curl >" & "sudo sh -x -s -r -b -i". If we don't need RPort anymore on the client machine, follow this: remove RPort on a client
    • Question: How do we remove RPort from the server? "ps -ef" shows "/usr/local/bin/rportd -c /etc/rport/rportd.conf". That is rportd is a server program. So if we kill the process, it'll not be running.
    • After I restart the server, RPort is not started? To do that, we need to Run the server with systemd; see Quick Start

VM on Proxmox

  • On iPad the noVNC method works fine. Not bad.
    • I can open the virtual keyboard using the drawer on the LHS.
    • The cursor/mouse is directly controlled by the finger we use.
    • change Local Scaling in the drawer - settings.
  • SPICE/Virt-viewer: Windows client only.
  • VNC Client with a Proxmox VM. It works when I use the Remmina client on Linux. But when I use RealVNC client on iPad, it will shut down the VM immediately.

Remote desktop using Chrome


used in Linux Data Science Virtual Machine by Microsoft.

Remote desktop connection through vmware workstation

We shall be able to remote desktop connect to a Windows guest machine if the guest machine has configured to use bridge connection and a static IP. If there is a problem, it is likely caused by Window's firewall. See the two screenshots. We can just turn off the firewall of home network but keep the firewall on for the public network.

We don't need to use port forward for the remote desktop connection.

ViewActiveNetwork.png Firewall.png

Share your keyboard and mouse between computers: KVM

Why You No Longer Need a KVM Switch for Multi-PC Setups


Share your keyboard and mouse between computers with Barrier

Barrier KVM - Contol Multiple Computers With Single Keyboard & Mouse (youtube)


TinyPilot Use your Raspberry Pi as a browser-based KVM

Dummy HDMI adapter

VNC + headless Raspberry Pi

Turbo charge your Headless Raspberry Pi

Mirror/second screen: Deskreen

This Trick Allows You to Extend Your Display On any OS and Device!. Turns any device with a web browser into a secondary screen for your computer over WiFi with this trick on Linux, Windows, or Mac. A dummy VGA or HDMI is needed.

Remote desktop connection to NCI (outdated)

Note the information here is outdated now.

The version 1.7.1 of rdesktop program in Ubuntu 14 has a bug with mouse cursor (invisible). To fix the bug, download the version 1.8.3 and build it. See

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential libx11-dev libssl-dev libgssglue-dev libpcsclite-dev
tar zxvf rdesktop-1.8.3.tar.gz 
cd rdesktop-1.8.3
sudo make install

After that the new rdesktop is located under /usr/local/bin folder. The old rdesktop installed through apt-get is not deleted.


resolution: 1024 x 768

Use remmina or rdesktop or freerdp (sudo apt-get install freerdp-x11)

rdesktop -d NIH -u XXXXX -g 1024x768

To share a folder from the local machine, use "-r" option

rdesktop -d NIH -u XXXXX -g 1280x1024 -r disk:remotedisk=/home/$USER/Downloads

The new secure connection relies on the SmartCard is using