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Old 01-11-2008, 05:30 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2008
Posts: 43

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Is there a Linux to Linux remote desktop app?

for being able to connect from one linux box to another one and view a graphical interface?

I know that if you run startx on the local machine you get a GUI but I don't think it works remotely, or if it does i think you have to get down there in the belly of the linux beast and start matching up config files or something. Also, I'm asking in terms of connecting say a Debian box to a Slackware one.
Old 01-11-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Hyderabad, India
Distribution: Fedora
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Use VNC.
Old 01-11-2008, 05:55 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2008
Posts: 43

Original Poster
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thanks! also is there anything free that also allows file transfer?
Old 01-11-2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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Registered: Dec 2005
Distribution: Slackware -current, 14.2
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If you want to view the active desktop of the remote machine, use x11vnc - as far as file transfer, use ssh (scp), ftp, or vpn.

As for 'free', pretty well everything 'Linux' *can* be free. I make it a point to use only FOSS, but I can't rule out that there may be something specific to an application that I might have to pay for, at some point.

Old 01-11-2008, 06:56 AM   #5
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Norway
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I would recommend SSH with X forwarding. IMHO it is easyer then vnc, and it however MUCH faster and responsive. That is my experience. Note that you can start an entire DE trough a ssh-tunnel, so it isn't limited to a single application. In between SSH and vnc, there is XDMCP. That could also be something for you to check out. I don't know what distro you are using, but XDMCP is included in at least XDM, GDM and KDM. It can be a little harder to set up, but in the end, it is probably the easiest to use (Once installed). You would simply press menu -> remote login (Kdm). It searches available computers on the network, and you choose which one to use. Click it, the username and password appears again. Enter your username and password. Once you are logged in you would work on your remote machine as it was your local machine.

I have used all three together for different purposes. SSH, When I'm supposed to work a while on the remote computer, and want it to be responsive and fast.
XDMCP, when I'm lazy and just want to login on my remote machine and work normal.
And vnc when I'm on a different computer and want to "take over" an existing x-session on the remote machine.
Old 01-11-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Distribution: Archlinux, Debian
Posts: 139

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Hi guys,

I have read about VINO (, so maybe you try this (I have tried by myself, because I have no need).

Old 01-11-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: CentOS
Posts: 174

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Originally Posted by Dinithion View Post
In between SSH and vnc, there is XDMCP. That could also be something for you to check out. I don't know what distro you are using, but XDMCP is included in at least XDM, GDM and KDM. It can be a little harder to set up, but in the end, it is probably the easiest to use (Once installed).
XDMCP is easy to set up, I use it all the time - but it really only is workable if you are close on the network to the other machine (IE same lan)

This a CentOS system running Gnome so hopefully it isn't too different on your distro.

To enable it on the host you want to log into -

In the gnome menus (typically left side of top gnome panel) navigate the menus:

System -> Administration -> Login Screen

That starts the gui tool for gdm

Click on the remote tab.

Change the style from "Remote login disabled" to whatever greeter scheme you want - I choose "Same as Local" (and have different gdm greeters for my different hosts).

That machine now allows remote gui login via xdmcp

On the machine you want to connect from - first make sure that xdmcp login is shown in its greeter.

System -> Administration -> Login Screen
In the "Local" tab - check the box for "Include Hostname Chooser"

I typically run two instances of X.
Edit /etc/gdm/custom.conf

Near the bottom of the file you'll see:

add these lines under it:


ctrl-alt-f7 will be one gui login
ctrl-alt-f8 will be second gui login - which you can use to login to the other host via xdmcp. Choose xdmcp in that login screen, and will scan your subnet for xdmcp servers. If you are not on same subnet, you can enter the ip/hostname manually.

Select the xdmcp server - and it will grab the login screen for that host.

To work locally - ctrl-alt-f7
To work remotely - ctrl-alt-f8

It's like a kvm over a network switch built into X11

Note that anything that requires DRI will not work remotely, since the video card on the remote host is not attached to the display you are using.

Hope this helps, and hopefully RH/Fedora aren't too different from whatever distro you are using.

If you are *not* on same subnet, then I recommend working in the cli or if you must use gui, tunnel x through ssh for just the app you need.
Old 01-11-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian Testing
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Originally Posted by Dinithion View Post
I would recommend SSH with X forwarding. . .
and use keychain so that you don't need to type password each time.
OP seems only familiar with Window$, and haven't realized the power of such seamless integration -- you can't even tell with GUI is from local and which is from remote. This is much more powerful than Window$ remote desktop.


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