How to: Remote Desktop Ubuntu from Windows

This tutorial was written and tested using Ubuntu 11.04 as the server and Windows 7 as the client.

First you need to install xrdp server on the Ubuntu machine. You can do this by searching for xrdc in Software Center:

Click ‘Applications > Software Center’ or via the short cut on the desktop if your using Unity. Type ‘xrdc’ and click install.

Or alternatively open a terminal window and type:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

That’s the installation complete, now to connect:

From the Windows machine navigate to Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Remote Desktop Connection

Type the IP address of the Ubuntu machine and click connect.



When prompted enter your Ubuntu login credentials and click Ok.

Optional: Before connecting you can change your preferences based on your network settings.

You can now control your Ubuntu box from Windows!

Tip: If you find pressing the ‘d’ key minimises the active window in Ubuntu navigate to ‘System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts’ and change the ‘Hide all Windows and set normal focus to Desktop’ hot key to something other than just ‘d’.


Update 23rd June 2013. 

Ubuntu 12.10 has dropped unity-2d support, which will result in the error “Failed to load session ubuntu-2d”  when using xRDP.

To work around this it is necessary to install a desktop interface which does not require 3D acceleration. Open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

Once done, open ‘Files’ and navigate to your ‘Home’ directory. Press CTRL-H to show hidden files, or select ‘Show Hidden Files’ from the file menu. Create a new file:

Right click > Create document > Empty document. Name the document ‘.xsession’

Open the .xsession document and insert the line:

gnome-session --session=gnome-fallback

Now save the document and from the terminal type:

sudo chmod 755 .xsession

That’s it, you should now be able to remote desktop to your Ubuntu box from Windows.





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