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How to use xRDP for remote access to Ubuntu 14.04

How to use xRDP for remote access to Ubuntu 14.04

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To remotely control my Windows machines, I always prefer to use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol ) as it performs much nicer than VNC  (Virtual Network Computing ). VNC has this streak of “JPEG” quality and slow behavior, whereas RDP is fast and crystal clear.

RDP is however a proprietary protocol from Microsoft. So how can we use RDP to control our Ubuntu box remotely?

This is where xRDP comes in play, an open source remote desktop protocol (RDP) server. It actually runs VNC protocol over RDP as far as I understand, yet if behaves much better than VNC by itself (possibly because of the used desktop manager). Since Ubuntu 12.10 (if I’m not mistaken), xRDP doesn’t seem to work with the Ubuntu desktop anymore … unless you use an alternative desktop manager. This seems related to 3D acceleration and nobody seems to care (since 2011, according to bug reports).

Note. if you really need Copy/Paste functionality between the two machines, then please use Ubuntu’s default installed “Desktop Sharing”

instead (MacOS X users read this forum post ).

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Desktop Manager

Since the current desktop manager of Ubuntu (Unity which runs on Gnome) no longer seems to work with xRDP, an alternative desktop manager needs to be installed.

I tried OpenBox. but wasn’t very impressed by the amount of work needed to get a reasonable desktop.

We will use another desktop manager that has been around for quite a long time is XFCE. which is lightweight and fast.

Note : A light weight desktop manager helps making a remote desktop connection much more enjoyable.

Installing xRDP and XFCE

Installing xRDP and XFCE is pretty easy, once you know what to do …

Just make sure you have an Internet connection before you start.

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