Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) allows users to remotely connect to and control a computer, making it a valuable tool for managing servers or accessing desktop environments from different locations. While typically associated with Windows, RDP can also be set up on Ubuntu, enabling connections from various clients, including Windows, macOS, and other Linux distributions. This capability facilitates tasks such as system administration, remote support, and resource sharing.

Ubuntu includes a built-in tool called “Desktop Sharing” that functions as an RDP server. This tool simplifies the setup process as it does not require additional software installations. It works with VNC-compatible clients and can be configured to accept connections from RDP clients, ensuring quick and easy remote desktop access with minimal setup.

Steps to enable RDP server on Ubuntu:

  1. Open the Activities menu and search for “Desktop Sharing”.
  2. Launch the “Desktop Sharing” application.
  3. Check the box for “Allow other users to view your desktop”.
  4. Check the box for “Allow other users to control your desktop” if control access is needed.
  5. Set a strong password to secure the desktop access.
  6. Note the IP address shown at the bottom of the application window.
  7. Restrict access to specific IP addresses for additional security (optional).
  8. Click “Close” to activate the RDP server.
  9. On the remote machine, open an RDP client and enter the IP address of the Ubuntu machine to connect.

    Depending on your client software, you might need to specify the port number (typically 5900 for VNC-based connections).

This guide is tested on Ubuntu:

Version Code Name
22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish
23.10 Mantic Minotaur
24.04 LTS Noble Numbat
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