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My network consists of an ubuntu laptop and an ubuntu desktop connected via a router. Now, I want to work on my laptop and see the output on the desktop screen, through the network. How do I achieve this? Thanks.

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You might have better luck with this over on – evilsoup Feb 12 '13 at 9:57
That depends, do you want to see the whole desktop as though you were sitting at the computer, or do you want to launch a specific application and have it appear on your laptop? – terdon Feb 12 '13 at 11:13
@terdon I want to see my laptop screen on the desktop monitor, which would make me feel like I'm sitting on the laptop but working from the desktop. – FireAndIce Feb 12 '13 at 12:02
Which version of Ubuntu are you using? – terdon Feb 12 '13 at 12:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two ways of doing this. You can either share your entire desktop (VNC), or you can run software on the server and have them displayed on your laptop (SSH).


You will need to install a VNC server on the desktop and client on your laptop. I believe that recent versions of Ubuntu have vino (client) and vinagre (server) preinstalled. So, follow these steps on the server (source):

  1. On the server, search for "Remote Desktop" in the menu and open it:

    enter image description here

  2. Tell it to allow other users to view and control your desktop and choose a password:

    enter image description here

3, On the client, run "Remote Desktop Viewer", you should be able to see and connect to your desktop:

![enter image description here][4]

There are other VNC client/server combinations you can try if this one is not good enough for you. See here.

B. ssh

There is also a simpler way of doing this by connecting over ssh.

  1. Install the ssh package on both client and server

    sudo apt-get install ssh
  2. Login to your server using X11 forwarding (-Y or -X)

    ssh -Y user@server
  3. You are now connected to your server. If you run a graphical application, it will be displayed on your local machine. For example, running gimp will cause gimp to be started on your desktop machine and be displayed on you laptop's screen.

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