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I have a computer running Windows 7 with no monitor or keyboard, connected to a local network. I have a few laptops running Linux, also connected to the local network. I want to feel like I'm sitting in front of the Windows computer, but using one of the Linux laptops.

How do I do that?

Maybe I can use some Linux software to connect to remote desktop? Or do I have to install client/server software on both machines? As this is a local network, I expect an excellent experience with no lag.

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Terminal server ? – user2284570 Sep 11 '15 at 19:43
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If it's a Windows 7 Ultimate/Professional/Enterpreise, you should be able to establish a remote desktop connection. In Linux use the terminal server client [1] with the IP address of the Windows box. If it's a Windows 7 Home version (which offers no remote connection by default) try a VNC server [2] on the Windows 7 machine. Ensure that the VNC server is started as a service.

[1] If not installed, try sudo apt-get install tsc
[2] http://www.tightvnc.com/

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I could've sworn there was a manual change to some HKEY* that enabled remote connection in Win 7 Home version. I remember doing it once but it's been a while. – Daz C Sep 11 '15 at 16:37

You can access via an RDP client like grdesktop or similar, given that the Windows machine is enabled for remote access. Another solution is to use VNC (TightVNC).

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If you want to keep it simple, you can also use LogMeIn free.

I am currently using Logmein between my Android tablet and headless Windows 7 machine. No problems. 5-10 minutes to setup and no hassles with networking if that's a problem.

Logmein has a beta LogMeIn Hamachi2 for Linux (https://secure.logmein.com/labs/)

I have been using it on my netbook with Ubuntu just fine.

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You can use the VNC protocol or the native RDP one. For using RDP go to the Windows host -> system properties -> remote access -> enable conexions with any version (sorry, dunno the exact text in English).

On linux you can use any rdp client as tsclient or rdesktop. Vinagre has a nice GUI and is able to use rdesktop if installed. Vinagre is a VNC client too.

Using rdesktop from CLI is easy as: rdesktop IP.NU.MBE.R

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