How to Enable Remote Desktop With SSH on Ubuntu

Written by chris hoffman Google
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How to Enable Remote Desktop With SSH on Ubuntu
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Ubuntu is a free, open-source Linux operating system. Ubuntu includes the GNOME desktop, which has a built-in remote desktop feature. Remote desktop allows users to use Ubuntu graphically as if they were sitting at the computer while working over the network or Internet. Remote desktop is turned off by default for security purposes. If your Ubuntu computer is running an SSH server, you can log in to the computer remotely with SSH and enable remote desktop on the command line so you can log in graphically over the network.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Click "Applications," "Accessories" and "Terminal."

  2. 2

    Type "ssh user@address" into the Terminal window, replacing "user" with your username on the remote Ubuntu computer and "address" with the remote Ubuntu computer's IP address.

  3. 3

    Log in to the remote Ubuntu computer by typing the user account's password when prompted and pressing "Enter."

  4. 4

    Type "gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/prompt_enabled false" at the SSH shell and press "Enter." This command disables the graphical remote desktop confirmation prompt, allowing users to log in remotely without another user being present at the computer.

  5. 5

    Type "gconftool-2 -s -t bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/enabled true" at the SSH shell and press "Enter."

  6. 6

    Close the SSH connection by typing "exit" into the SSH shell and pressing "Enter."

Tips and warnings

  • The Ubuntu remote desktop doesn't have password protection by default. Anyone that knows the address can connect. If it's exposed to the network, set a password after connecting using the graphical configuration tool. Open it by clicking "System," "Preferences" and "Remote Desktop."

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