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I'm trying to use my MacBook to Remote Desktop connect to my ubuntu server. I am able to ssh, but I can't seem to figure out how to Remote Desktop connect.

Any suggestions? Also my ubuntu workstation is 1200 miles away so I can't physically access it but I can access it through ssh so hopefully I can configure what I need through ssh.

I tried the instructions in the first answer on here: Can I access Ubuntu from Windows remotely?, but when I tried to RDP from a windows PC, ti stated that: Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons: 1) Remote access to the server is not enabled 2) The remote computer is turned off 3) The remote computer is not available on the network

It shouldn't be #2&3 since I can ssh to the server just fine. So I suspect #1 is the culprit.

  • For RDP you need a desktop. If you have one installed then installing and configuring xrdp should be as in your linked answer. – user589808 Mar 17 '17 at 0:22
  • You can't RDP from a macbook/laptop? – David Mar 17 '17 at 0:37
  • ALso, I did try from a desktop and received the error above. – David Mar 17 '17 at 0:37
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    David - when @CelticWarrior says "you need a desktop", he doesn't mean a laptop wont work. He means you need a gui installed on your Ubuntu server. If you have a basic server from the "server" download link on ubuntu.com, it won't have a gui (aka a desktop) unless you added and configured one (i.e. Unity, Gnome, etc.). Without a desktop/gui, something like xrdp will not work. – James Mar 17 '17 at 0:47
  • James: Ah I see. So in the link in the OP, I followed those instructions and installed xRDP and xfce4. Aren't these all that is needed to set up the "desktop?" – David Mar 17 '17 at 1:05
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I successfully logged-in remotely from my iMac macOS Mojave desktop into my hackintosh, which is a retrofitted 2012 Apple Macbook Pro running smoothly Ubuntu 16.04:

From the Ubuntu Desktop in 16.04

  1. Download and install vino by running sudo apt-get install vino within the Ubuntu terminal.
  2. Next run vino-preferences.
  3. After the vino application preferences window prompts, ensure that the "Allow other users to view your desktop" and "Allow other users to control your desktop" options are selected beneath the "Sharing" field; it is also recommended to select the "You must confirm each access to the this machine" and "Require the user to enter system-password".
  4. Run sudo-reboot and then log-in to the Ubuntu 16.04 desktop.
  5. Retrieve and the device-IP address by running ifconfig -a; the local-IP address of the device will be returned within the terminal-output under the field: "inet addr:" (e.g. inet addr: 10.3.1.233). After noting the local-IP address of the device, proceed with the next set of instructions from your macOS desktop.

From Ubuntu 18.04-2 LTS

  1. Evidently, vino functionality was merged in Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS Gnome Control Center, so it's much easier- simply go to "Settings".
  2. Within "Settings", scroll down to the "Sharing" tab within the left-hand side of the window.
  3. Turn on "Screen Sharing"- select "Allow connections to control the screen" and "Require a password" underneath "Access Options" then proceed with the below instructions to remotely access your Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS desktop from your macOS desktop.

Logging-in From macOS Mojave

  1. Access the "Spotlight" by hitting CMD + Space-bar
  2. Within the Spotlight field, enter vnc://your_server_ip:5900 (e.g. vnc://10.3.1.233:5900).
  3. If successful, the Screen Sharing application should automatically launch within your macOS desktop to remotely view your Ubuntu 16.04 or Ubuntu 18.04.2-LTS device on your local-network as depicted by the screen-shot below- enjoy!

enter image description here

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