Linux and Remote Desktop

Lucid Lynx Ubuntu 10.04 in Remote Desktop (RDP)

Lucid Lynx Ubuntu 10.04 in Remote Desktop (RDP)

It really seems to me that I put up a post on this before…  I rely on my OWN blog to track all those funky things that I need to do once in a while so I know I can find them again – and this one is no different.   I really don’t set UP Linux machines on a daily basis so it’s helpful to have this kind of information stashed away.

I use internal Linux for testing.  Our websites are almost exclusively WordPress at this point, so it only makes good sense to say goodbye to my long-enduring IIS Servers.  IIS is just NOT the right platform for PHP/WordPress and all that.   There are so many reasons why I like Apache on Linux, and generally the whole LAMP stack, that I can’t even begin to go into it.  Anyway…

While my servers ARE right behind me, it’s really REALLY nice to have access to the Linux server on my own main desktop – and Linux remote desktop is the way to go!  Being a Windows user (for now – the more I use Linux these days, the more I keep thinking at this point in my career, I sure MAY be able to use Linux Desktop), using good old RDP connections are the easiest way for me to do things.  I realize that hard core Linux users are frequently big fans of command line type stuff, but I like the GUI at this point.

Anyway, for my peace of mind going forward, let’s discuss setting up an internal Ubuntu Linux server for remote usage!

This is for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).  I’m sure it would be just about the same regardless of the version. I do a base install of Ubuntu with the LAMP stack installed (since that’s my primary need)

sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install xrdp

That honestly, is it.  I am installing the openssh so I can pop in with Putty right off the bat and continue my setup from my own desktop.  If installing for a remote Linux VPS, this is probably already going to be installed.  Then setup the ubuntu-desktop so non hard-core Linux users like me can hop in and be somewhat comfortable. Then finally pop in the xRDP (X Remote Desktop Protocol).  At this point, one SHOULD be able to setup their Windows RDP client to connect using an admin password.  You WILL want to create some security around this login username if using it on something that is publicly accessible – perhaps locking in IP access and more – but that’s a different post – want to get back to my internal setup!

At this point, after updating via Synaptics Package Manager and a reboot to be nice and thorough, you should be able to click on your RDP icon from your Windows machine and connect.  You will see the XSESMAN type window pop up and give you some details as the connection is negotiated, a gray screen which will then refresh into the standard Ubuntu desktop.  That simple.

Author: Eric Erickson

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