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I have an Ubuntu machine at work that I often need to connect to, either from another computer in the same LAN or from home. I usually use SSH (optionally with X11 forwarding) but sometimes I need to connect to the machine with the full GUI available.

I've so far been using TeamViewer for this, but the problem is that this same machine is also used by other people at work, which often makes this a non-option.

I've looked at a few answers and a lot of them seemed to be recommending NoMachine for this, but unfortunately NoMachine only seems to offer this functionality in its (paid) Enterprise version with a feature called Virtual Desktops.

I've also checked out TigerVNC, which was recommended by an article I found on Google, but it doesn't seem to be available for 16.04, according to Ubuntu's package search.

Is there a free alternative that would allow me to remotely access a Virtual Desktop of the work machine without disturbing the work of anyone using that machine on-site?

  • tightvncserver is available from the universe repo and has similar functionality to TigerVNC – steeldriver Mar 12 at 17:45
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Multiseat will allow you to have more than one user running separate X sessions. Each using their own display and input devices on a single machine. With this setup, you can [theoretically] run vncserver on the remote machine, when logged in from your "seat", without disrupting another user who's logged in.


TigerVNC source code can be found on their Git releases page, or binaries can be found on Bintray, and are linked from each Git release. The current release is v1.9.0

  • I say "theoretically" because performance of this setup depends on your hardware, and the resources each user needs for their work. – Starbuck Mar 12 at 16:29

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