How to use xrdp on Linux Mint 15 to allow remote desktop connections from Windows 8.

Posted: June 13, 2013. At: 6:47 PM

How to remote desktop into a Linux desktop with the xrdp command.

Very easy when you use xrdp.

Remote desktop connection to a Linux desktop.

Remote desktop connection to a Linux desktop.

This is how to use the Windows 8 Remote Desktop client to connect to a Linux machine running Linux Mint 8. This is a way to remotely control a Linux machine with a graphical desktop. This makes remote administration of the Linux server or desktop very easy indeed. Although, it would be best to use a VPN connection if you are accessing a machine like this over the Internet for the greatest level of security.

To install the xrdp server on my computer, I used this command.

sudo apt-get install xrdp

This installed the xrdp server. Then I had to create an ~/.xsession file to define the desktop that the xrdp server would display to a client.

Type this command

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

and then add this to the ~/.xsession file using this command.

echo "gnome-session-fallback" > ~/.xsession

This will create the .xsession file that you need. Once this is all ready; open the Remote Desktop dialog and type in the IP address of your Linux box. You might get this error when you use the Windows RDP application to connect to your Linux machine. You may not need to do this though, this is optional. And this may not work very well on Windows 8. Not tested on Windows 10.

Windows Remote Desktop message.

Windows Remote Desktop message.

This is nothing to worry about. Just click Yes and then connect to your Linux box.

Windows 8 Remote Desktop dialog.

Windows 8 Remote Desktop dialog.

This screenshot below is what the xrdp login dialog looks like. This is a very easy to use remote desktop solution for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. allowing users to administer a Linux box from a Windows laptop. You can also use Putty to access the Linux server; this may be downloaded here: But the remote desktop system allows easy display of graphical windows.

xrdp prompting for the login credentials.

xrdp prompting for the login credentials.

So give this a try and see how you go on your own LAN. This is a good way to administer a Linux machine using the graphical desktop. I used the gnome-session-fallback desktop over a LAN with the RDP application and it worked quite well, but videos were a bit slow. You need to use the .xsession file to specify which desktop is loaded in the xrdp session. This is a good way to choose a suitable desktop for RDP. But this really does work. I just tried this again on my Debian 7.1 laptop and it loaded the Xfce4 desktop by default; therefore I defined the gnome-session fallback environment instead. This is a good way to control your PC remotely.

RDP into a Windows machine from Linux with the Remmina RDP client.

There is also a way to RDP to Windows from Linux using the Remmina client. This will be very useful for controlling a Windows computer from a Linux box. This also works very well.

But the xrdp system is a good way to remotely administer a computer and show off the capabilities of Linux. So give this a go and see how useful it is to access your Linux desktop from a Windows machine. This is a very useful Remote Desktop client for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Easy way to connect to a Windows machine to perform remote administration tasks.

Remmina RDP client.

Remmina RDP client.

This way, controlling a Windows machine from a Linux box is also possible. A very nice solution for remote Windows Server administration. Sure, you can use the Server Manager on a Windows Server machine to remotely control another Windows Server box, but the Remote Desktop utility is still a widely used tool.

What do you think?

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  1. Nato says:

    this works great, but how to connect from mint to windows 7 ?

  2. Joshua says:

    Thanks for sharing John. Almost the same exact scenario (in general). Just installed Linux Mint 15 (XFCE build) on a desktop at home and use Windows 8 on my work laptop. Could you kindly advise on why you chose to use “Fluxbox” to create the .xsession file? I was under the assumption that since Linux Mint builds the GUI into the build version, in my case XFCE, that it’s already using some form of a windows manager? If that’s true, then why wouldn’t you use the native windows manager versus installing a second one just for rdp purposes. <<< Please understand, I'm fairly new to linux, but absorbing everything from you, the pro's, like a sponge.

  3. Roger says:

    cut and pasted it and can get the logon window to flash up then it disappears and windows 8 will not reconnect till I close the Remote Desktop connection and start again, Tried dropping the win 8 firewall but no avail. Any ideas?



  4. Mickey says:

    Thanks much!