Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) provides users with the ability to remotely connect and control another computer. While it's natively associated with Windows operating systems, it's possible to set up an RDP server on Ubuntu too. This allows Windows, macOS, and other Linux users to connect seamlessly to an Ubuntu desktop.
Ubuntu, by default, comes with a built-in tool called “Desktop Sharing” which acts as an RDP server. This means you don't need to install additional software. The tool works with VNC-compatible clients but is also accessible by RDP clients with the right configurations.
Steps to enable RDP server on Ubuntu:
Open the Activities
menu and search for “Desktop Sharing”.
Launch the “Desktop Sharing” application.
Check the box for “Allow other users to view your desktop”. If you also want to grant them control rights, check the box for “Allow other users to control your desktop”.
Set a strong password by clicking on “Require the user to enter this password”. This will ensure that unauthorized users can't access your desktop.
For ease of access, note down the IP address shown at the bottom of the application window. Remote users will use this IP address to connect to your Ubuntu machine.
(Optional) For additional security, you can restrict access to specific IP addresses by clicking on “Only allow connections from these IPs” and then adding the desired IPs.
Once configured, click “Close”. The RDP server is now active and ready to accept incoming connections.
On the remote machine, open an RDP client and enter the IP address of the Ubuntu machine to establish the connection.
Depending on your client software, you might need to specify the port number (typically 5900 for VNC-based connections).
Ensure that your firewall settings on the Ubuntu machine allow incoming connections on the relevant port to ensure seamless remote desktop access.
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