How to Connect to a Ubuntu 18.04 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP

The great thing about Linux servers is that they’re lightweight and considerably cheaper than Windows servers. The downside is that they’re not typically used with a GUI so they’re not readily set up to remotely control them like you would a Windows server using Remote Desktop Connection.

Even though that’s the case, you’ll find that it’s easy and fun to set up your server to remotely control it just like you would a Windows server. So let’s get to it.

Connecting to Ubuntu 20.04 using xRDP: For an updated and detailed guide on how to install xRDP on Ubuntu 20.04, along with using multiple desktop environments, switching through them, and fixing a few common issues, you can check out this tutorial How to Connect to a Ubuntu 20.04 Server via Remote Desktop Connection using xRDP on

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Step 1: Install xRDP

We’ll assume this is the first interaction with your server.

After you’ve logged in via SSH into your Ubuntu server, go ahead and update the package index using:

sudo apt-get update

Next, we’ll install xRDP. With xRDP installed on our Ubuntu server we’ll be able to connect to it using popular remote desktop clients such as the remote desktop connection on Windows, r-desktop, free RDP and others.

Install xRDP by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Step 2: Install Your Preferred Desktop Environment

Now it’s time to install our preferred desktop environment. You’ve got quite a few choices available, such as XFCE, Lubuntu, Xubuntu & MATE. We’ll be using XFCE since that is what I prefer to use since it is lightweight and it goes great on budget servers.

To install XFCE run:

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Now everything should be ready for us to connect to our server using Remote Desktop Connection from Windows and Mac (you can find it in the App Store). To connect from Linux, I use Remmina.

Step 3: Connect to it using Remote Desktop Connection

To connect to your server just launch the Remote Desktop Connection application and input your hostname or IP:


If this is your first time connecting, then you’ll receive some security warnings. Assuming this is your server and it is secure then just go ahead and confirm them.



And the last step is to input your username and password and connect using Xorg session:


And now you should have successfully connected to your Ubuntu Server using Remote Desktop Connection.


Should you have any troubles with this tutorial, just leave us a comment or contact us on Reddit/Contact Form and we’ll try to help as soon as possible.

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