Please see Connect via RDP to Ubuntu 14.04 using XRDP for an updated version of this post.
If you need to connect to a Linux machine, and in the scope of this guide, Ubuntu 13.10 (I’m sure this guide should be fine for earlier versions as well), then your options include:
- Pure and simple SSH – The admin’s super tool! (just install openssh-server – works every time!)
- VNC – I don’t like this method because you need to install software on your client AND server
- XRDP – This still involves VNC to some degree but you can use the normal Windows Remote Desktop Client
The latter is the one I’ll guide you through here.
In my example, I need to connect to my home PC. If you’re trying something similar, it is assumed that proper port forwarding has been setup on your home router/firewall. Also, there are issues in getting Unity to work using this mechanism. To overcome this, I installed xfce4. I’m sure you can use other window managers as well, but try them at your own peril.
So, on the home PC, here’s what you do
Step 1:Install XRDP and xfce4
user@techedemic-home:~$sudo apt-get install xfce4 xrdp
Step 2:Execute the following to make xfce4 the default window manager for the RDP connections
user@techedemic-home:~$echo xfce4-session > ~/.xsession
Step 3: Time to try it. In my case, I’m connecting from work via RDP to my home pc
Step 4: You will be prompted for your credentials. Use the same as you normally use to log onto your Ubuntu PC
Step 5: You’re in and you’re working over RDP