Linux for Starters

Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Remote Desktop to Windows from Ubuntu – Part 19

This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

It’s not uncommon for people interested in Linux to have multiple PCs in their home. Hardware comes in different shapes and sizes. They may be notebooks, tablets, home servers, media boxes, even single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi. Some of the devices may be headless (i.e. with no monitor attached). Regardless, with multiple devices, a convenient way to access them all from a central location is with remote desktop software.

This article looks at a common activity; accessing a Windows PC desktop from your new Linux machine over a local home network.

Configure the Linux machine

Before we start, we should install any system updates with the command:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Our recommended remote desktop client under Ubuntu is Remmina. By default, Ubuntu comes with this client already installed. Remmina has support for VNC and RDP protocols, the latter we’ll use to remotely control a Windows server. If you’re uninstalled the software or using a Debian/Ubuntu distro where it’s not preinstalled, type:

$ sudo apt install remmina

Start Remmina from the Dash or the command-line. Here’s an image you’ll see when you first start up the software.


Remmina offers several types of connections, including RDP, which is used to connect to Windows-based computers, and VNC, which is used to connect to Linux machines. As you can see in the top-left corner above, Remmina’s default setting is RDP.

We’ll need to configure a connection, but we first need to configure the Windows machine.

Page 2 – Configure Windows PC

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Remmina
Page 2 – Configure Windows PC
Page 3 – Create Connection in Remmina

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
Part 1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
Part 2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
Part 3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
Part 4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
Part 5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
Part 6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
Part 7Updating the system, install new software.
Part 8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
Part 9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
Part 10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
Part 11Getting help from your system.
Part 12Learn all about the file system.
Part 13Manipulating files from the shell.
Part 14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
Part 15Managing users on your system.
Part 16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
Part 17Gaming on Linux.
Part 18Protect your privacy with this guide.
Part 19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
Part 20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
Part 21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
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    1. One solution is to disable PIN login, log into the Windows machine using a regular username and password. Then re-enable PIN. Remote connection should still keep working with the previous credentials.

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