The Ubuntu 16.04 and 14.04 default desktop environment is Unity. How can you remotely connect to it from a Windows 10 client?

The xRDP-over-XFCE solution is not the answer. We really want to use Unity.

I've tried various VNC solutions. None seems to work anymore. If somebody can confirm which one still works and how you set it up, it will be greatly appreciated.

The Remmina client with VNC via ssh tunnel works well from Ubuntu to Ubuntu. Is there any reason it can't be built for windows? Does Remmina depend on GTK+ features which are not available on Windows?

  • 1
    Hi..did you find out the answer? I am also looking for the solution.
    – Arst
    Feb 12, 2017 at 11:27
  • Not really but using ubuntu in virtualbox in windows, ugly.
    – minghua
    Feb 12, 2017 at 16:54
  • Somebody suggested to upgrade to ubuntu 16.10 or later to which you can connect from a windows client directly. Though it is still probably 3 steps to run manually. The link XRDP – How To Remote Connect to Unity Desktop on Ubuntu 16.10 - by Griffon.
    – minghua
    Apr 30, 2018 at 16:27
  • Upgraded to ubuntu 18.04. Just installed xrdp. Believe also need to run systemctl enable xrdp according to this link. You can choose cancel when it prompts "authentication is required to create a color pro...".
    – minghua
    May 2, 2019 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


I think that you can use "Desktop share" to remotely connect it from win10 client. you only need to do the following steps:

  1. sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
  2. Check org > gnome > desktop > remote-access > enabled uncheck org > gnome > desktop > remote-access > require-encryption
  3. Use ”Desktop sharing” set the password for vnc, and uncheck “You must confirm each access to this machine”.
  4. Check the port: netstat –an|grep 5900

I hope that it is helpful for you.

  • 1
    Linda or Daisy, thanks for chiming in. Have you actually tried this solution? What client to use on the win10 side? How to set it up?
    – minghua
    Feb 12, 2017 at 16:46
  • What do we do if netstat -an|grep 5900 returns nothing? Jun 2, 2018 at 16:10

Since Ubuntu 16.04, it's possible to have xrdp working against the Ubuntu Unity Interface even if some small issues still exists....

If you have Ubuntu 16.04, you can perform the following actions

> 1.install TigerVNC
> 2.install XRDP
> 3.Configure preferred desktop to be used in xRDP (Unity is one option)

Full Instructions on how to perform this can be found at http://c-nergy.be/blog/?p=9962

If you have Ubuntu 16.10, you can use the following procedure which is much more simpler and straight forward

sudo apt-get install xrdp  

and you are done..

Full instruction can be found here as well

Hope this help Till next time

  • Note the three issues: [1] need to right click on the black screen and open a terminal then run unity. [2] a pop-up for authenticate need be dismissed by clicking cancel button. [3] user cannot be locally logged on at the same time. Despite, this is a great news to know. Will give it a try.
    – minghua
    Apr 8, 2017 at 21:07

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