It’s not uncommon for people interested in Linux to access multiple PCs. 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. 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.
As you’d expect with Linux, there are always other open source alternatives. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at RustDesk.
RustDesk is remote desktop allowing maintenance of computers and other devices. The software aims for simplicity and ease-of-use, being designed to work out of the box.
If you want to access computers via a public network, normally a go-between is necessary. RustDesk uses a rendezvous/relay server which knows the clients’ ID and how to contact them. RustDesk provides its own relay servers without any payment which are hosted on virtual private servers, but you can also set up your own which lets you design your remote infrastructure.
There are packages for a variety of popular Linux distros including Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Manjaro, and even a package for ARM (Debian/Ubuntu).
If you’re running a different distro, you can build the software as the full source code is available.
With remote desktop software, users really want as many platforms supported as possible. RustDesk is cross-platform software. There are binaries available for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit). There’s also a web client available.