Is there a way to remote desktop into a Linux desktop from Windows and have it just like Windows? So if i remote desktop to a Linux desktop from a Windows machine I want to the see that Linux desktop session. So I don't want a new session, I want to display the exact session that's on the Linux desktop. I want to display the same exact tty(7) as the Linux desktop displays.

I know it's possible to remote desktop to a Linux desktop with the xrdp protocol but as said it just creates a new session with a "new" desktop. I wonder if this is possible due to software like screen and tmux use this technology.

3 Answers 3


You can use xming and X11 forwarding in putty

From http://acs.newpaltz.edu/linux/help/xming :

To run Xming:

Launch Xming. An Xming icon will appear in the Windows system tray. Xming does not require additional configuration.

Launch PuTTY.

In the left menu pane, expand the "SSH" option under "Connection".

Select "X11", and the options controlling SSH X11 forwarding will appear.

Check the box to enable X11 forwarding, and enter ":0.0" for the X display location.


Go back to the "Session" category, enter the server information, and open the session.

You should now be able to launch graphical applications such as "gedit" from the command line.

If you wish to open multiple applications in multiple windows, append "&" to the end of the command to allow the execution of multiple programs.


gedit &

eclipse &

You may need to specify a different display number.

See: Is there a command to list all open displays on a machine?

However if you are looking for only an ssh session, then putty should work. When you login you can setup a screen session.

If you get logged off after some time you can then:

List the screen session:

screen -ls


bob@bob-p7-1298c:~/Desktop/scripts/SG-bash_amazon$ screen -ls
There are screens on:
    13091.pts-25.bob-p7-1298c   (11/27/2014 09:52:29 PM)    (Detached)
    11763.pts-8.bob-p7-1298c    (11/27/2014 06:44:40 PM)    (Detached)
2 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-bob.

And pick the sessions back up by:

screen -x 13091


screen -x 11763
  • Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but this seems to be a way to open applications remotely, rather than display existing applications remotely. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 21:59
  • Thanks for the answer but unfortunately this is not what i'm looking for. This is just "basic" X11 forwarding. I want to forward the whole desktop session. So if you have used TeamViewer on Windwos or Windows own RDP, then you could forward the complete desktop session. For example if I have application running on the server and the client that has the screen (X) forwarded to him/her closes that WINDOW it will also close on the server. This exactly how Windows rdp works like. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 21:59
  • 1
    What about vncviewer or tightvnc or realvnc or ultravnc? Are these what you are looking for?
    – jmunsch
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:25

Did you try Teamviewer for Linux? http://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/linux.aspx It is free for non-commercial use. I use it for my Debian 6 webdav server without major problems and get the same desktop as if I were sitting behind Debian itself...


Not exactly what you're looking for, but the closest thing I know of is Xpra (http://xpra.org/). (Doesn't let you grab existing apps, but does let you detach and reattach much like screen or tmux.)

  • I've looked into it but unfortunately this is not what i'm looking for. Maybe what I want doesn't work on Linux. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:01
  • It kind of depends on the software you're using, but X doesn't make this easy. One way might be like this: docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdenetwork/krfb/krfb-configuration.html Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:02
  • The thing is that is has to work with Windows remote desktop client. My brother and father has to be able to connect to the Linux machine, they refuse to use Linux for that. I've just tried it and got a protocol error (code 0x1104). Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:14
  • Xpra has a Windows client, it's written in Python. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 2:26

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