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

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

This series 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
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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2 years ago

What about the other way round – Windows machine remote desktoping to Ubuntu?

2 years ago

Sadly this don’t work when you have to login with a windows pin code.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Microsoft disable PIN for RDP as its extremely vulnerable to hackers.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard

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.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard

The solution is simple: Switch the login method from PIN to password.

2 years ago

@AVirm if it’s your desktop, then try to setup xrdp, but if that is a server, then learn to use ssh and ansible.