What I'm not looking for is just a VNC-type ability to get the GUI for a remote machine. I need to be able to view and control what's actually going on on the screen of a remote linux appliance. I'm looking for something like TeamViewer Host for a bunch of linux machines that are going to be kiosks/digital signage, running a graphics-based kiosk style of desktop application; but I need to be able to see whats going on on them, remotely. Unfortunately TeamViewer doesn't currently have a "host" application for Linux.


  • Remote view and control of the desktop, including being able to see and control exactly what is currently being displayed on the monitor.
  • Reboot-tolerant, requires no direct access to the computer, ever, once it has been setup, and ideally can be set up remotely via SSH or other remote tunnel.


  • Be able to remote access from Mac or Windows
  • User friendly enough to initiate and use for low level customer support folks (low linux IQ) to access once it has been installed.

I'm open to either commercial or open source projects, free-er and cheaper is better, but I need a high level of user-friendliness and stability.

Haven't settled on a Distro for the platform yet, although i'm assuming we'll go with Ubuntu unless something (like this) pushes us in another direction.

  • you want to build a remote access card? Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:16
  • Wait what? You want an unattented GUI? So you want a GUI you won't watch? Why is that even remotely useful?
    – Wolfer
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:18
  • @Wolfer Sorry for the confusion, "unattended" was probably not the right word, just borrowed that from TeamViewer. Its for digital signage in remote locations. In other words, take the UI out of GUI for those that are witnessing it, and the attendees are not the operators.
    – B Robster
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:28
  • So you basically want a remote-desktop for unprivileged users? (So they can all play on localhost without any of them having admin privileges.) Or are you more into allowing users only a single graphical application without the ability to switch to anything different? (Kinda like in a netcafe.)
    – Wolfer
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:37
  • I want a remote-desktop for myself and authorized technical support to be able to look at and manipulate what's going on on the screen of a linux based digital signage appliance. End users are only going to be looking at the screen. Think menu board in a restaurant.
    – B Robster
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 13:45

2 Answers 2


There are 2 technologies that I'm aware of that would allow you to do this. The first is called VNC, the second is called XRDP.

Realize that the performance of either of these is OK in a LAN setting but less than optimal in a WAN setting but both completely usable.


With VNC you'll need to do some setup on the server to enable access. The setting up has been covered pretty extensively on U&L already, under Q&A that are tagged "vnc setup".

With the server component setup on your remote Linux box you can use different VNC clients from OSX or Windows to connect to it.


XRDP is a server component that you run on the Linux box that allows the regular RDP client that comes with Windows to connect to Linux boxes. Again it's been covered pretty extensively on U&L. Take a look at these Q&A's on XRDP for information.


Teamviewer just released unattended access setup for Linux. Here's the link

  • 2
    Welcome to U&L! This is not an answer. It's just suggestion and should be posted in Comments section bellow the question. Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 10:58
  • @YurijGoncharuk I am not familiar enough with Teamviewer to assess what is true but if the OP would use Teamviewer but thinks it does not work under Linux in the way he neds and this statement says that it is possible to use Teamviewer meanwhile in this way then this statement is obviously a fine answer. Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 14:27

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