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I'm looking for a program to remote desktop from my macbook pro to the ubuntu VM I have set up on my home computer. I've read chicken of the VNC works but after using it, it seems to be incredibly laggy. Is there a better solution out there or do I just have to deal with it?

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migrated from Mar 4 '11 at 3:46

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If you just want a single program, you could also try ssh -X ubuntuVM and then run your programs, e.g.: firefox & – sarnold Mar 4 '11 at 1:35
off-topic, should go to – mauris Mar 4 '11 at 1:36
up vote 12 down vote accepted

This site lists a number of servers, such as Vino and krfb. On the mac, you can just use the Screen Sharing client (in Finder's Go menu, click Connect to Server, then enter the address vnc:// or whatever IP address the Ubuntu system is on, making sure to retain the vnc:// portion).

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This seems promising. I've tried this but it just seems to spend forever trying to contact the ubuntu VM, even after I authenticate the connection on ubuntu. Is this screen sharing meant for this purpose? – DamonKashu Mar 4 '11 at 1:44
Screen sharing is just a VNC client. It's definitely an issue with your server software (Chicken)…unless you have a slow network/router? – Inspire48 Mar 4 '11 at 2:19
@feifanZ answer is working for ubuntu 15.10, but there is a problem with ubuntu Vino required-encryption setting. simply run this gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false before trying to access. – insidepower Nov 2 '15 at 5:44

Consider using NX - it should be a lot faster than VNC.

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JollysFastVNC is reportedly the fastest VNC server available for OSX.

That said, in my experience slow connections in/out from Ubuntu often mean it's trying to do IPv6 when it shouldn't be.

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Just tunnel your X11 session over SSH. Nice and fast - because you're sending drawing commands, etc. Not whole bitmaps.

ssh -X user@hostname (or IP address)

And then just type the name of a program, eg:


You can run a whole desktop as well.

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How can I run "a whole desktop"? nautilus just brings up a directory window. – zkurtz Nov 14 '15 at 18:27

On Ubuntu 12.04 you can use "Desktop Sharing" (type it into the search bar) as the server and take FeifanZ's suggestion for the Mac client. I set the whole thing up in 30 seconds.

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TeamViewer is a very fast VNC-like software - it also bypasses firewall and port-forwarding issues, so incredibly easy to set up. I have only ever used it Windows to Windows, but they have a Mac and Linux version. You should be able to install the unattended version on the Ubuntu VM, so the username and password are always the same.

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