I've got three systems at home. Two of them run Linux, and my primary system runs Windows 10. To be more specific, the Linux systems run Mint and use the Cinnamon desktop environment.

Now just to test things out, I installed Mint on my main system and connected successfully to the other two successfully. However, under windows 10, I seem to have trouble connecting using either VNC or RDP protocols.

I first tried using TightVNC, having the viewer software on my Windows system, and tightvncserver installed on the Linux systems. Putting the IP address of one of the Linux systems into the viewer will then prompt me for a password, which it accepts, and then it shows me a grey screen with a X for a mouse cursor.

From this, I gathered that something must be going through on the network, so router issues aren't the cause. Regardless, I decided to try RDP.

I installed xrdp on the Linux systems and tried connecting using the built in tool mstsc.exe. Entering the IP address and nothing else will open up the black screen which asks for which connection protocol to use. As expected, none of the non RDP protocols worked, giving me connection errors, but none of the RDP options worked either. That is, rdp-any, freerdp-any, or sesman-x11rdp. The first fails, the second freezes, and the third just closes mstsc completely.

So now the question is, what is the cause? Did I fail to configure something on the Linux end, or is there something else I need to do on the Windows end? I've followed multiple guides online to try and set things up, but none have worked. At the moment, the only way I can connect to the Linux systems is by using TeamViewer, but via the internet, not via LAN.

I have purged all VNC/RDP software from my Linux systems, so I'm ready to start all over. I'd prefer to use mstsc from my Windows system, but I'm willing to settle for TightVNC as well.

EDIT: To be clear, the intention is to control the same desktop, not a new desktop on the Linux systems.


1) tightvnc can only be used as an "extra" or "virtual" X server that is not connected to the visible desktop. As you can see from man vncserver:

vncserver is a wrapper script for Xvnc, the free X server for VNC (Virtual Network Computing). It provides all capabilities of a standard X server, but does not connect to a display for itself. Instead, Xvnc creates a virtual desktop you can view or control remotely using a VNC viewer.

That's where the tight in the name comes from: By only providing a virtual X server and not bothering with the real display, the codebase can be much more lightweight.

2) I am not familiar with xrdp, but I believe it just provides a bridge between the RDP protocol and the VNC protocol. So you'd still need a VNC server to connect it to.

3) If you want a VNC server that is connected to the visible display, you need x11vnc.


I belive you have to set-up the "window manager" for the user you used to log-in with username and password if you ended up in vnc with a grey desktop and an X as mouse cursor. (you were asked also for login, not only password, right?)

Set-up a "window manager" for that user and/or check if you need to set-up a graphical login manager for your tightvncserver.

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