Setting up a Remote Desktop Connection from Windows to Ubuntu

The Ubuntu box running my FOG server is connected to my router with no KVM as I didn’t want a separate keyboard and mouse for it. I didn’t want to buy a hardware KVM and I didn’t have a separate monitor so using a cross-platform KVM software (Synergy?) was out of the question.

So my answer was to remote into Ubuntu from Windows. I initially used a set of instructions from TechRepublic which I got in an email some time ago to set up my connection but I came across a simpler method that only requires one piece of software installed on Ubuntu and uses the Windows 7 built-in Remote Desktop Connection tool. It’s been months since I set this up (hence the past tense) but writing this post has always been on the cards.

The quick how to instructions below is using Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04.

Instructions for Ubuntu

Open the Ubuntu Software Centre from the Applications menu


Type in XRDP in the search box on the top right hand corner of the window. When you see Remote Desktop Protocol (RDO) server come up in the search result click on the Install button.


Enter the root password to authenticate the installation


That’s it, you’re done on Ubuntu. Make a note of the IP address of your Ubuntu box (mine’s a static address).

Instructions for Windows

On Windows 7 launch the Remote Desktop Connection window and enter the IP address for your Ubuntu box


Enter your Ubuntu username and password in the login box


And there you have it:



One thing I noticed however that trying to shut down Ubuntu from the menu only shuts down the remote connection while the physical Ubuntu PC remains turned on. The workaround is to shutdown from the Terminal:

sudo halt

or restart:

sudo reboot

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