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Accessing Ubuntu Linux Remotely

October 4th, 2010

ubuntu-linux.jpgUbuntu Linux is a free and open source operating system that is quickly gaining converts. It’s probably the easiest to use of all the Linux flavors, boasts a slick interface, and best of all it’s absolutely free. The developers have pre-installed most of the major software packages that you might need while running Linux, and if you find something missing it’s relatively simple to install it yourself. A built in VNC (Virtual Network Computing) server even makes it a snap for accessing Ubuntu remotely. Configuration is all done through dialog boxes and you’ll soon be able to access your Ubuntu Linux computer from anywhere in the world.

Getting Started

Start your Ubuntu Linux system that you want to access remotely. Login to the system with administration privileges.

Setting the Remote Administration Preferences

Click “Settings” from the top menu. Select “Preferences” from the drop down menu. Click “Remote Desktop” from the submenu that appears.

Select your remote administration choices from the “Remote Desktop Preferences” dialog screen. Ensure that the first two choices “Allow other users to view my desktop” and “Allow other users to control my desktop” are selected. You can also choose to have the system prompt for a password.

Set the advanced preferences. Click the “Advanced” tab. Set any advanced preferences, such as a different port number, disabling the wallpaper (for faster connections) and enabling encryption. When satisfied, click “OK”. Click “Close” from the first “Remote Desktop” tab.

What’s Your IP?

Determine the IP address of this computer. Open another terminal window. At the prompt, type “ifconfig”. The computer might respond with a screen full of information. You are looking for four numbers separated by dots, for example “″. It will be under the section labeled “eth0″ if you are on a wired computer or “ath0″ on a wireless computer. Make a note of this address.

Get Out of There

Go to the machine that you want to use to access the Linux desktop remotely. This can be in another room or somewhere on the other side of the world.

Starting Vinagre

Login to the machine you are using for remote access. If this is not another Ubuntu system, you need to install the vinagre package. For that you will need sysadmin privleges. Open up a terminal window and type: “su yum install vinagre”.

The system will install the “vinagre” package automatically.

Fire Up The System

Access the remote desktop. Open up a terminal window. Enter this at the command line: “vinagre hostname:0″. Substitute your computer’s IP address for “hostname:0″. So, to continue the example from above, you would type: “vinagre″.


Login to the remote viewer with the password if you set that option.


See? Accessing Ubuntu remotely wasn’t as hard as you thought it was going to be, now was it? Actually, most things in Ubuntu seem to be a lot easier than other flavors of Linux. Try using your new remote session to explore Ubuntu and see what other ways you can use it to make your computing experience fun again.

This article was supplied by Scott Calonico from Constant Content.

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