I have a old computer, where I want to install Linux. It will be server but I want to use as normal operating system. But I have problem, because I don't have display for this computer, because this display is for another computer. I will have monitor only during installation time.

For configurating and using Linux I want to have remote desktop. For example "FreeNAS" have this option; I type 192.168.xxx.xxx and I can config server. But I want full Linux, not only NAS server - for example Ubuntu. Is there a Linux Distribution with remote desktop by default?

3 Answers 3


Most linux distributions come with ssh. Double check to see that ssh will initiate on boot. From there you can log in from a different machine, install, configure, and whatever else you need to do. You can install vnc if you want to be able to see the computer's desktop and work on it remotely. A better option is to just use the -X flag when using ssh, because then you can load the graphical part of specific applications. If you do use vnc it is also suggested that you tunnel it through ssh for added security. Especially if you will not be connecting to this machine locally.
You will be able to do this for your choice of linux flavours. Just make sure that you have openssh starting so you can always connect.


Almost all popular Linux OS by default can be accessed remotely. Eg: Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Debian etc.

For graphical, you need to simply enable the Desktop Sharing in Ubuntu and in Fedora it is Remote Desktop.

For CLI access you have the openssh.

  • Ok :-) Thanks for answer. I will use lubuntu, because it isn't new computer. I hope that desktop sharing can be enabled on system start and it will work with Windows
    – kubaork
    Sep 7, 2014 at 18:46

To configure and use a standard Linux server, you normally don't need any graphical interface - everything can be done via command-line access (eg ssh).

Even if you want to run single applications with a graphical interface on your server (there are a few which cannot be avoided, but not too many, for example Oracle RDBMS Installer), you don't need 'remote desktop' as such, all you need is another Linux (or any UNIX) with a local X graphical desktop, and then you can run the graphical application on your server and have its output directed to the station with the local graphical desktop (through DISPLAY environment variable directly, or with ssh using X display port forwarding indirectly). If you have a firewall in between, you probably want to use ssh to cross the firewall, since then you'll not have to deal with the X forwarding traffic separately.


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