In episode 114, Tom and Larry discussed how to setup Vinagre/VNC Remote Desktop on Ubuntu. Although VNC is still available, the technology has progressed since 2010, and our recommendations have changed as a result. Now we recommend X2Go, which is more secure and more flexible.
Installing the X2Go Server application on the remote computer is particularly easy on Ubuntu MATE, so we will describe that method here. If you use a different version of Linux, look for it in your "Software Center" or "Software Manager." More options can be found at the X2Go Wiki.
Installing the X2Go Client application on the local computer is even easier. These instructions are for Ubuntu MATE. If you use a different version of Linux, look for it in your "Software Center" or "Software Manager."
Once the X2Go Client is installed on your remote computer and the X2Go client is installed on your local computer, you will need to setup a session before making the connection. Before you configure the X2Go Client, you will need the IP address for the remote computer. The easiest way to do this is to click the network connection icon in the panel, and select "Connection Information" from the mentu. The connection
Now you are ready to connect to the remote computer with X2Go. Of course, the remote computer will need to be running first. X2Go does not have access to your computer's power button!
So far we have assumed that both the remote and the local computer are on the same home network. If they are on different networks (there is a router between the remote computer and the local computer) you can use port forwarding on the router to get the connection to work. Port forwarding allows you to connect to the IP address of the router (provided by the ISP) and have that connection passed through the router, to the IP address of the computer on the local network. For X2Go, the port you want to forward is 22, the SSH port. How you do that will vary from router to router. These two screen shots from two different routers may give you an idea of how you setup port forwarding on your router. Please note that using Remote Desktop across the Internet is EXTREMELY insecure. With many remote control applications, your password us completely unencrypted, so your transmission could easily be intercepted, and the remote computer could easily attacked and taken over! You definitely want to ensure that the software you are using encrypts the session, if you want to do this routinely.
Theme music for the Going Linux podcast is generously provided by Mark Blasco. http://www.podcastthemes.com
Going Linux Podcast by Larry Bushey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.