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I'm looking for a remote access solution (from a machine to the Ubuntu computer) that acts like RDP in Windows, i.e. a user can be logged in on the actual machine, and someone else can be logged in remotely.

I know about XDMCP, but it doesn't work in Ubuntu 10.10 with GDM. I know I can use another desktop manager, but others don't look as nice as GDM (at least ones I have seen).

Is there some other solution?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted


Any of the NX server/client solutions can do what you ask about. The NX server will spawn a new session for each remote connecting, so it wont disturb other users connections or the person at the terminal.

There are a few servers freenx, neatx, and nomachine's server. I think everyone uses the same client app from nomachine (available for linux and windows).

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NX is great definitely A++ in my book. I think it also uses less resources. – madmaze Dec 1 '10 at 2:47
It is definitely more network friendly. Its not sending pictures like VNC and its not raw x protocol messages. Great for accessing through VPN's. – KFro Dec 1 '10 at 6:05
Thank you, NX really is great, I'm using freenx and it's working just like I wanted. – Steve Dec 9 '10 at 3:48

As far as I'm aware, Ubuntu comes with a VNC server, vino, and client, vinagre, by default.

Since with this approach you can easily attach to an existing session, it is probably the closest thing to RDP on Windows. If you want to be able to start a session remotely with some level of ease, XDMCP is probably the way to go.

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I don't think I was very clear in my question, but when I said "a user can be logged in on the actual machine, and someone else can be logged in remotely', I meant two different users/usernames. VNC wouldn't work for that purpose. – Steve Dec 9 '10 at 3:50

Seems like you need vnc.

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Same as my comment on oKtosiTe's response – Steve Dec 9 '10 at 3:51

Why not use kdm or wdm? It's not as if you would spend a lot of time staring at the desktop manager.

If you insist on gdm, there's a mention of an upstream fix in Ubuntu bug #408417, and some workarounds are suggested in Ubuntu bug #669670.

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