Connect to Ubuntu Mate Desktop from Windows 10 or Server 2012


What would be the best way to connect from a Windows 10 computer to the Ubuntu Desktop 18.4? RDP?, VNC? ??


1 Like

Without knowing exactly what you're trying to do--my first approach from any computer to any Unix-like box would be ssh.

Any connection into an Ubuntu box is likely to require some setup, enabling, or software addition on the Linux box first.

I tried an rdp client years ago; it was slow compared to ssh with X forwarding; BUT, I was working from Linux to Linux, where X forwarding is "built-in" over ssh. That may have changed in recent years, but if you can work on the command line, I can guarantee regular ssh is the fastest, simplest, and most secure way.

If you really have to access the mouse, and really have to "manipulate" the Desktop, (like for user support) you may not have any choice but RDP. I am very uncomfortable with having an RDP port open on any network except the most trusted and thoroughly firewalled wired local network.

What I don't know is if the ssh built in to Windows 10 is a fully functioning client, with full X-forwarding capabilities, nor do I know how secure it is compared to the Linux/Unix versions.

1 Like

HI Charles-nix,

Thanks for your input. I do have to take over the desktop on occasion to help a client if there is some issue.
What I will be doing is remoting into the server with encrypted software, then using the internal RDP on the server (in this case it's Server 2012 but I could use a Windows 10 PC if that ends up being a difference) to take over the desktop of a Raspberry PI 3 (don't know if A or B yet) and making changes if necessary. Also to give instruction at times.

I tested in my lab and got close but an error came up which seems to be common. I will post the error in a short bit.

Is there anything I need to do with Ubuntu Mate to prepare for access?

Thanks Steve

You're outside my area of knowledge now, but the question is more clear for others to answer. As far as I can tell from a quick search, regular ubuntu has a rdp server installed and ready to enable. Not sure if U-Mate does, though.

You probably know this already, but you need a server daemon installed and running on the Raspberry Pi machine. xrdp is one common option; am sure there are others.

I also found this older post on this very forum which may be of help.


Believe it or not I figured this one out by finding a small blip on the net.

Xrdp is already installed on 18.04 Ubuntu Mate.

The trick that I found to work is when you're asked for the username make sure the username is not capitalized. Once I did that and put in the password I was able to connect to the Ubuntu mate (Umate) desktop.

Thanks for the help !!


For future reference, the quickest way to get access to a remote desktop is usually VNC. You still need to run a server on the remote system, but VNC servers are more common and lighter weight than RDP. VNC simply transfers a bitmap image of the remote desktop to your client, while RDP needs an intelligent client and renders the desktop there.

So keep that in mind if you face this scenario again on a different remote computer. And I concur with charles-nix; best is to simply ssh into the remote host if you don't need access to the desktop, because every Linux / Unix system normally has ssh installed.