If you are looking to configure remote desktop on your Ubuntu server, you’ve found the perfect tutorial!

By default, when you buy a Ubuntu VPS server, you will not get GUI access to server, as these servers only come with command line access over SSH by default. However, with just a few commands you can configure Remote Desktop to access your Ubuntu via a GUI (graphical user interface).

Update your Ubuntu server:

sudo apt-get update -y

Install xrdp Package

sudo apt-get install xrdp -y

Install your preferred remote desktop Display Manager

sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies xorg dbus-x11 x11-xserver-utils

Once you install xfce, you will be prompted to choose the display manager – go ahead and select “lightdm”:

Error Troubleshooting:

Some times you might see the package manager will be locked, such as the below screenshot:

To fix this, first identify the process ID of the dpkg package.

ps aux | grep -i dpkg

Then you can kill the process ID accordingly:

sudo kill -9 process _id

Followed by deleting the lock files:

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/lock

sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/lock

Configuration of xfce desktop environment

After installation of display manager and you need to configure it to access via RDP

sudo sed -i.bak ‘/fi/a #xrdp multiple users configuration \n xfce-session \n’ /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh

Start xrdp application and xrdp-ssl cert

sudo systemctl status xrdp

sudo systemctl enable xrdp

sudo systemctl start xrdp

sudo adduser xrdp ssl-cert

Configure firewall

sudo ufw allow 3389

By now, we have successfully configured Remote Desktop on Ubuntu Server – you can now access it by entering your server IP address in your Remote Desktop client. It should then prompt a login screen like the below:

Once you’ve connected to your server over Remote Desktop, log in using the same user credentials as you utilized to access SSH.

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