How to connect in RDP with a Linux system

The establishment of a RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is fairly straightforward on Windows operating systems.

Natively everything is supported but this is not the case for Linux systems such as Ubuntu, Debian or XUBUNTU.

This tutorial explains how to set up a remote desktop on Linux systems.

What is a Remote Desktop?

The Remote Desktop is a practical solution that allows you to carry out a remote control on a server or a position.

Once logged in you have access to remote desktop of your machine.

Windows rdp
Here is the Remote Desktop Connection Tool on Windows

We can therefore install a utility to get started on Linux servers.

The remote connection makes it possible to carry out maintenance operations more easily by connecting from your main station, for example.

Of course there are free tools for personal use like Teamviewer.

Prerequisites to install a Linux RDP

To be able to get started on Ubuntu, Debian or Kubuntu servers you must have install a graphical interface on these systems.

Among the interfaces there is Gnome or XCFE.

The installation is relatively simple and is done from the command line. Here is an example to install the Gnome interface on Debian or Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install gnome

Step 1 – Installing the RDP server

The first step is to install the “RDP server” service. It allows you to host sessions remotely. To access the server you will need to use an RDP client.

You have to open a teminal (or connect in SSH to your machine):

To connect in SSH I strongly recommend that youuse the Putty tool

putty ssh linux
example of SSH connection with Putty

Once logged in with an administrator account (root account), here is the command to enter:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

We install the‘XRDP utility.

Then we need to start the XRDP utility using the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp start
start xrdp
Our service is started.

Logically you can check that XRDP is started with this command:

sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp status
xrdp service
On the screenshot above we notice that our service is activated.

Step 2 – Connect using the RDP client

Connection to your Linux machine is done using an RDP client. On Windows there is the application “Remote Desktop connection”

You can find it in programs by typing “Desktop Connection” in the Windows search bar.

Remote Desktop Connection Windows app

The easiest in my opinion is to use the Windows + R key combination and type “mstsc

MSTSC command
The mstsc command opens the “remote desktop connection” application

Now you need to enter the name or IP address of your Linux computer.

Ip linux mstsc server

Click on the connection button, a connection test pattern should be displayed. You must enter the user login and password.

If all goes well you should be logged into your Ubuntu, Debian or other Linux system.

Congratulations you have just installed an RDP connection for a Linux system!

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