How to install xRDP [UBUNTU 16.04]

Someone once told me xRDP was hard to install, they were wrong:

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install xrdp

You’re done, that’s it. Now for some configuration, here’s where it gets “fun”…

The golden rule: Don’t use Gnome. Just don’t even try it. You will just get a head ache, give up and fall back to something more remote desktop friendly.

Now, depending on your systems current configuration you may already have a desktop environment. I was running this on a server with no desktop environment. This means the first thing is picking one.

I decided to go with Mate in the end. Reasons being it is just remote desktop friendly, I had ran it with VNC before so its nice and familiar. Please feel free to use what is familiar to you. I also had xfce going but that just doesn’t fit my needs.

To install Mate just run the following: sudo apt-get install mate-desktop

The basics are the file at /etc/xrdp/ is executed when you login with RDP, so at the end of this file we want to start our desktop environment. With Mate this is nice and easy (example below).

sudo nano /etc/xrdp/


if [ -r /etc/default/locale ]; then
  . /etc/default/locale


. /etc/X11/Xsession

The only thing I have added in the above example is mate-session. Now this is ready to RDP into, give it a try! If you are not using Mate, you just need to change mate-session for your DE’s equivalent. Apart from Gnome, Gnome you can burn. Gnome issues source. If you get Gnome working, you have more patience than me my friend.

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