Remote Desktop (using RDP)
One of the various ways to use remote graphical desktop environment sessions with Linux is to use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). (Alternatives include VNC, TeamViewer, and more.)
Microsoft Windows natively supports RDP: it acts as a Remote Desktop server and comes with a Remote Desktop client.
By default, the RDP protocol uses TCP port 3389.
Remote Desktop on the TU/e campus
In January of 2019, TU/e system administrators saw a huge increase in automated attempts to guess the passwords of valid TUE accounts through RDP. On our Windows systems, the account is locked out after 3 invalid login attempts; as a result, many users were unable to log in and work. To end this, port 3389 was closed from off-campus access.
Therefore, to connect to an on-campus system using Remote Desktop, either:
- the system you connect from must itself be on campus, or
- you must first establish a VPN connection.
Remote Desktop clients for Linux
Various Remote Desktop clients for Linux support the RDP protocol, and hence, can be used to connect to Windows systems:
- Remmina, an RDP client, VNC client, and SSH client in one; generally the best option, e.g. it is more flexible with window resizing than the other options
- rdesktop, possibly the simplest of all, but still supporting many features such as TLS encryption, audio forwarding, and directory sharing
- xfreerdp, the FreeRDP client, supports full-screen use of all of your monitors
Remmina comes preinstalled on the IMS Ubuntu desktop.
Otherwise, install the remmina package from the Ubuntu package repository, or via snap; in a terminal:
sudo apt install remmina
sudo snap install remmina
After installation via snap we need to map some features to remmina:
sudo snap connect remmina:avahi-observe :avahi-observe
sudo snap connect remmina:cups-control :cups-control sudo snap connect remmina:mount-observe :mount-observe sudo snap connect remmina:password-manager-service :password-manager-service
VNC uses port number 5900 by default while RDP uses port number 3389. For RDP this is less important, but VNC clients often also use 5901 or 5902. Logging in to a remote system and taking over its desktop is more commonly done on Windows than on Linux. It is usually faster on Linux to use the terminal due to far less network traffic involved.
On Ubuntu 18.04, start remmina by clicking in the left bottom corner of your Ubuntu screen, and typing remmina. Double-click on the Remmina icon.
Using Linux as an RDP server
To use your Linux system as a Remote Desktop server, install the
xrdp package and configure it by editing its configuration file.
This allows you to access your graphical Linux desktop environment remotely, but it does not support any of the more advanced RDP features.
xrdp uses a VNC server. It can be configured to automatically close the session when the user disconnects.
See Also / Unsupported