How to Enable or Disable Remote Desktop in Ubuntu Linux

This post describes steps you can take to turn on or off remote desktop sharing in Ubuntu Linux.

There are many remote assistance tools available today. A popular remote support tool is TeamViewer. However, Ubuntu Linux now has a built-in Remote Assistance tool that lets someone you trust take over your PC and fix a problem from wherever they are.

You must have the GNOME Remote Desktop package installed for Remote Desktop to be visible. The default Ubuntu Desktop comes with the package installed, so no actions are needed.

If you don’t want to use third party tools to allow others to connect to your PC, then use the built in Remote Desktop feature that comes with Ubuntu Linux.

Before you can use it, you’ll need to enable access. It is disabled by default. However, you can enable it if you want someone to connect and access your Ubuntu Linux machine.

Below is how you turn it on if you want to use it or turn it off if you don’t want it.

How to turn on or off remote assistance in Ubuntu Linux

As described above, Ubuntu Linux has a built-in Remote Assistance tool that lets someone you trust take over your PC and fix a problem from wherever they are.

Below is how you enable or disable it in Windows.

Open the Activities overview and start typing Sharing.

ubuntu linux activities overview jpg

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below

ubuntu linux system menu top bar settings jpg

Next, click on Sharing to open the panel.

ubuntu linux sharing control panel jpg

If the Sharing switch in the top-right of the window is set to off, click to switch it on. If the text below Computer Name allows you to edit it, you can change the name your computer displays on the network.

ubuntu linux sharing switch on jpg

Next, click Remote Desktop tile as highlighted below.

ubuntu linux remote desktop tile jpg

To let others, view your desktop, set the Remote Desktop switch to on. This means that other people will be able to attempt to connect to your computer and view what’s on your screen.

To let others, interact with your desktop, set the Remote Control switch to on. This may allow the other person to move your mouse, run applications, and browse files on your computer.

ubuntu linux enable disable remote desktop jpg

The Authentication section displays the login credentials to be used in the client software on the connecting device

You can use the suggested password or enter your own in the Password field.

How to connect to Ubuntu Desktop via Remote Desktop Connections

On Windows machine, open Remote Desktop Connections app. Then type in your Ubuntu Linux machine hostname or IP address.

Use the username and password defined with the Sharing settings in Ubuntu Linux and connect.

windows remote desktop username password jpg

In no time, you should be connected to the Ubuntu Linux machine.

windows ubuntu remote desktop connections 1024x685 jpg

That should do it!


This post showed you how to enable or disable Remote Assistance in Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to share, please use the comment below.

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