How do I remotely control another desktop (both are Ubuntu 12.04) from my client machine?

Is it possible to use Remmina Remote Desktop Client?

  • 1
    i don't see a solution for controlling one ubuntu remotely from another when both are on different networks :(
    – MycrofD
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:01

4 Answers 4


Overview of Solution

You need to change some settings on your host machine (to enable desktop control) and create a Remote Desktop Client profile on your client machine in order to connect to the host machine and ultimately view and control the host machine's desktop.

And yes, it is possible to use Remmina Remote Desktop Client on your client machine.

Enable Remote Control of Host Machine

Do the following on the host machine:

  • vino-preferences also in Dash under Desktop Sharing

enter image description here

  1. Tick Allow other users to view your desktop
  2. Tick Allow other users to control your desktop
  3. Tick Require the user to enter this password
  4. Enter a difficult to guess passphrase
  5. Close

Create Remote Desktop Client profile on your Client Machine

Do the following on the client machine:

  • remmina also in Dash under Remmina Remote Desktop Client

Ctrl+N or Connection > New

enter image description here

  1. Fill in your IP address [] where it says Server
  2. Connect

View and Control Host Machine

On the client machine, when asked for the VNC password, enter the passphrase you previously entered into the host machine.

If successful at this step, you should now be viewing and controlling the host machine's desktop from your client machine.

  • 5
    what if the computers are on different networks?
    – MycrofD
    Mar 20, 2018 at 19:59
  • 1
    If the computers are on different networks, the standard solutions are (1) either put them into the same VPN or (2) configure port forwarding and Dynamic DNS. Both are not exactly simple to set up.
    – tanius
    Apr 11, 2019 at 13:27

First, you need to allow the compter you want to remotely control to be controlled. Launch Remote Control Preferences, and allow Ubuntu to be remotely controlled. You can also set a password if you want. You can now control that computer remotely from another Ubuntu computer. Make sure to choose the VNC protocol when connecting to the computer. If you would like to control Windows 7 from Ubuntu, you need to choose the RDP protocol (You will need to have remote control allowed on the Windows 7 computer).

  • @phil - if you are happy with the answer, please click the tick button next to the answer to close the thread. Thank-you.
    – fossfreedom
    Jun 24, 2012 at 19:43
  • 14
    How do I launch "Remote Control Preferences"? Thanks. Sep 15, 2012 at 7:13
  • 1
    @AlikElzin-kilaka Look for "Desktop Sharing" in the menu bar
    – mlegge
    Apr 2, 2016 at 19:49

I have been using Remmina, and I'm very happy with it. Remmina is able to display and control a remote desktop session. If you don't have it installed you can do so from the USC

Ubuntu remote desktop access is based on technology called (VNC)

  • 1
    Remmina is really awesome if you are controlling more than one computer at the same time.
    – Nemo
    Sep 19, 2012 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Mitch , Is it possible to control a Ubuntu 12.04 machine using Remmina with VNC, which on different network? If so how?
    – tuxtu
    Mar 28, 2013 at 18:00

Some machines will ask whether you want to allow connections on the server, during the client connection, live, such that if you don't actually see it happening, it might not work.

Secondly, if you plan to connect Ubuntu and Windows 7 machines, you must select the RDP option, otherwise, eg, Ubuntu to Ubuntu connections will use VNC.

Finally, depending on how your network is set up, you might have to use host names, IPs or FQDNs. Check them all before freaking out, as this will save you some time.

As an added bonus, there is also a trick to connect remote desktop connections behind networks where port forwards are needed to connect to machines behind the entry point. For example, if you have an access point of host.domain.com and it connects to a server on the network, you can set up a port forward using SSH, and then specify the RDP or VNC post like so (in putty for RDP on WIndows 7, this would be the example):

Source: 8585 (or whatever port you want)
Destination: 192.168.x.x:3389 (where x.x is your network)

Then, when using RDC in Windows, for example, you would use localhost:8585 as the server name and voila. This can work on Linux too, with a command like:

ssh -i /path/to/key -L 8585:192.168.x.x:3389 [email protected]

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .