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I have 16.04 running on Amazon EC2 as a experiment for a remote desktop host. I'm connecting to it via the proprietary nomachine (NX) server. The connection is good but I only have 800x600 display resolution. The Unity control panel confirms this. xrandr -q output is:

Screen 0: minimum 800 x 600, current 800 x 600, maximum 800 x 600
default connected primary 800x600+0+0 0mm x 0mm
   800x600        0.00* 

Is there anything I can do ?

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I was not able to solve this problem. It's a limitation of EC2 and the free NX server. Instead I tried some different remote servers, and decided that tigervnc is the best. Only v1.7 (currently in beta) has debian packages. The project has .deb build scripts but apparently not for stable releases, which is perhaps why it is not packages in repositories. It works well, it's an active project and it's the best VNC server I tried. The performance is much better than I expected; having the EC2 machine is the same country as me may help (latency rather than bandwidth may be the more important part of a decent VNC connection).

I found this link very helpful: http://www.hiroom2.com/2016/05/24/ubuntu-16-04-remote-connect-to-gnome-classic-desktop-with-vnc-xrdp/

Out of the box, xfce supports a range of different screen resolutions (as soon as I changed to tigervnc). I am not using the official tigervnc client, I'm using Jump, a mac client. It works really well: good performance, easy to change desktop size.

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