I am searching for a desktop sharing solution on ubuntu that has the same features as remote desktop on windows. I tried a VNC, FreeNX XRDP, remote X but none of them fulfils my requirements which are

  • I can start working locally then go home and connect to the same desktop with all my applications runnung

    • vnc : yes, NX : no, remote X : no
  • If I connect remotely I dont want my local computer show what am I doing

    • vnc : no, NX : yes, remote X : yes
  • When connecting remotely I want the remote desktop to be resized to the same as my local

    • vnc : no, NX : yes, remote X : yes
  • perform well

    • vnc : no, NX : yes, remote X : no

Is there any tool that has a yes for each feature? As it is shown NX does almost everything but the first requirement


You can use the Shadow function of NX. This gives the ability to view display 0 of the remote machine. You don't mention how NX isn't fulfilling the first requirement so I'm guessing you didn't know how to desktop share.

Example from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=835326:


EnableFullDesktopSharing = "1"
EnableAdministratorDesktopSharing = "1"
EnableDesktopSharingAuthorization = "0"
EnableSystemDesktopSharingAuthorization = "0"

With this 4 changes look like this it worked to connect with the nx client. In nxclient I choose "shadow" in configure-general-desktop.


I suggest you set up an NX session, and then use that both remotely and locally.

Obviously, using NX to use a local session on a local machine isn't what you might call elegant, but if it let's you work how you want, then it's a win!

You could do the same trick with a VNC server that sets up an additional X server - so that it doesn't have to show on screen - but you'd still have the performance problems.

  • Hello, I'm Joe and I'll be your local echo today :) – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Nov 16 '11 at 14:06
  • thank for both of you :) I am not quite sure how could I set up an NX session locally. I can connect to NX through local host but as you said it is not too elegant, neither resource efficient. Is there any better way to do that? – Peter Szanto Nov 16 '11 at 14:18
  • I use NX all the time with remote servers, but I've never tried to set it up on my own machine, so I don't know as such, but I'd imagine that just pointing the NX client at localhost would work just fine. – ams Nov 16 '11 at 17:22

You need an X session sharing over SSH. Google for it. You will have to connect even locally over SSH to get the first requirement, though.

  • oh forgot to mention I tried remote X too, but it neither can connect to a full desktop nor can connect to an application that wasnt started through remote X. I will update my question accordingly – Peter Szanto Nov 16 '11 at 13:14

You can connect to your console with NX. However, that will use VNC as a backend, which probably means it won't resize properly if you have other resolutions on your other computers.

One possibility is to login to your NX session on the local machine. That way, you can resume the session from another machine without any difficulty. You would then create a session type for it so you would log directly into your NX client from the login screen, just as you would switch between Unity and Unity 2D, for instance.

Of course, as a local desktop, it isn't an optimal solution for everything, but it does work.


Try yuuguu.com. They offer an excellent service for web conferencing and screen sharing.

  • thanks, it might be a good alternavie to webex, and other desktop sharing solutions, but not really a solution to what I am looking for which is remotely access a PC that noone is in front of. – Peter Szanto Feb 13 '12 at 8:40

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