I installed Google Chrome Remote Desktop without any problem, i can connect to the machine but for some strange reason all i get when i connect to the computer is the wallpaper and the mouse pointer i don't see the current desktop session in progress, and i was wondering if anybody could provide a solution to my problem? I have gnome and Open box desktop environment installed.


There is no solution, since there is no problem.
Chrome Remote Desktop (as a default behaviour) does not allow you to control the ongoing session.
Instead, it creates another virtual session on tty20, as explained in the reference.

By default, the system will create a virtual desktop that is 1600x1200 pixels in size.

It is something completely different from, say, Teamviewer, because it does not allow you to manipulate an open session.
Instead, it creates a new one.
The first time that I saw it I was surprised to, and I ended up uninstalling it ;)

Googling a bit I found that there is a workaround to modifiy this behaviour, this.
I just want to point out and stress that this is not the way it is intended to work, so it might end up breaking something.

  • 1
    its funny because on Windows it uses the current session and even displays it to the monitor for the world to see. i was surprised to get a new session on linux – pcnate Apr 23 '19 at 20:04

You definitely can control the active desktop session on Ubuntu 18.04 via Chrome Remote Desktop by simply following these instructions exactly. It works perfectly.

@MDMower's answer to "Configuring Chrome Remote Desktop with Ubuntu Gnome 14.04" [note: works perfectly on Ubuntu 18.04 as well!].

Update 26 Apr. 2020

Actually, Chrome Remote Desktop on Linux has been super buggy and I haven never been able to get it to consistently work for any period of time longer than a few months over the last 3 years. See this answer here, for instance: Automount when clicking on disks in GUI file manager suddenly stopped working in Ubuntu 18.04.

Therefore, I've switched to NoMachine and recommend you do too. It works extremely well and is virtually bug-free and very well-supported. See my link just above for more details.

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