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I'm coming from Fedora, where there's a useful package called "vnc-ltsp-config", which installs VNC so that it functions just like a normal Gnome desktop (i.e. it provides a login prompt, and then starts a new session for your user).

Does Ubuntu have anything similar to this? The normal VNC package appears to operate via the unuseful default, where you can only login to an existing desktop. How do you configure Ubuntu to create a new session when someone logs in via VNC?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

x11vnc Install x11vnc

Install X11vnc server on the remote desktop for access to the login screen, or access to an existing session.

Lightdm via VNC

On the remote machine run x11vnc as root (e.g. through a ssh session)

root@remote:# x11vnc -auth /var/lib/lightdm/.Xauthority -display :0

Then on our desktop here view the remote login screen with

vncviewer -via user@remote :0

The remote session started from the login screen will survive after we closed our vncviewer session.

View existing remote desktop

On the remote machine run x11vnc as the user logged in (e.g. through a ssh session where you can log in as the remote user)

user@remote:$ x11vnc -display :0

To export the display :0 for remote viewing.

On our desktop here run the viewer by

vncviewer -via user@remote :0
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I'm sure this is possible with VNC on Ubuntu, but try NX from NoMachine. It's free (as in beer) for Linux and has a nice session management client that will not only start up a new remote desktop session for you, but let you reconnect to existing sessions.

NeatX and freeNX are free (as in speech) NX servers. x2go is a free NX replacement.

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