5 Best Remote Desktop Apps for Linux

This guide was written to help Linux users choose the best remote desktop app for usage with their Linux distro.

With more people working from home than ever before, having the right remote desktop access software has become very important. Maybe you’re helping a family member or colleague with an IT issue, or perhaps you’re working from home. Accessing any system remotely is the need of the day.

Generally, a remote desktop connection is defined as any software allowing you to access a device from a geographical distance remotely.

In addition to desktop sharing, many tools can now conduct file transfers and offer highly secure remote access.

The primary purpose of this article is to help Linux users find out the remote desktop app for usage with the Linux distro they are using. So, let’s start. So, let’s start.

AnyDesk

AnyDesk remote desktop connected with another Linux system

AnyDesk is a platform-independent application that allows you to connect to a computer remotely from anywhere. It is fast, secure, and provides a reliable connection to IT professionals and on the go individuals.

AnyDesk is free for personal use and has monthly subscription fees for business use with multiple user support.

AnyDesk is built to offer high performance and security. In terms of performance, AnyDesk users can expect frame rates of 60 fps for most internet connections, though the software is built for low latency even with low bandwidth.

At 16 milliseconds, AnyDesk’s latency is relatively low and non-perceptible. AnyDesk uses TLS 1.2 technology and RSA 2048 asymmetric key exchange encryption for security, and you can “whitelist” trusted users.

Unattended access is usually a desired feature for a remote desktop program, but quick, on-demand access is often relevant, and AnyDesk makes it easy to do both. Overall, AnyDesk is an excellent remote desktop app that you can use with your Linux distro.

You can install Anydesk on any Linux distribution, so it doesn’t matter which one you are using.

NoMachine

NoMachine

NoMachine is remote PC access software with high performance and security. Whether you are looking for a personal solution or a program to support an entire business, this versatile software performs well for any user.

NoMachine is free forever for non-commercial users. It includes a great selection of powerful features aimed at users. While NoMachine specializes in remote Linux connections, it’s a versatile option for any platform.

NoMachine started as Linux-based software, so the company has a lot of experience and know-how when it comes to working with and troubleshooting Linux devices.

Fortunately, though, NoMachine performed very well. You can view and remotely control your Linux desktop with negligible lag on a 50Mbps internet connection. On top of this, the NoMachine interface comes with additional tools.

You can zoom in and out, focus on specific aspects of the remotely accessed device, and share audio. File transfer is fast and straightforward, and you can even customize the appearance of your interface.

All communications are secured with SSL certificates to prevent data breaches. Overall, NoMachine provides more than enough security features to protect your account.

From NX version 4 architecture of the NoMachine free edition has changed significantly. There is no longer a server and a client model. Instead, there is only one package containing everything you need to make two NoMachine instances communicate with each other.

TeamViewer

TeamViewer remote desktop in action

TeamViewer is a well-known remote-access and desktop-sharing application. It’s a closed-source commercial product, but it is free of cost for non-commercial purposes. You can use it on your Linux desktop, Windows, macOS, and other operating systems.

TeamViewer is used for remote access, remote control, remote support, web conferencing, desktop sharing, and file transfer between computers. In addition, it has excellent screen-sharing options.

This software has excellent image quality compared to other remote software products. In addition, the ability to text and voice chat through the computers is great for remote support.

So, if you are providing remote service, you need this. It also offers many features like session recordings & conversion to AVI, drag & drop files, and multi-monitor support.

It has been used for years for remotely accessing a system over the Internet. TeamViewer is known as an all-in-one solution for remote access & support. It is a fast and safe remote management tool designed to help managed IT service providers proactively monitor remote systems, client endpoints, and networks.

TeamViewer supports Linux and packages for both Debian-based and RedHat-based distributions. So don’t worry if you’re on a different Linux distro. They offer a generic tarball, and some, like Arch Linux, do have packages available.

TeamViewer is a time-tested remote desktop app, which you can use with ease on your Linux distribution of choice.

Apache Guacamole

Apache Guacamole

Apache Guacamole is a clientless remote desktop gateway. This means you’re free to use it without installing any plugin or client app. Once you’ve installed Guacamole on a server, you can remotely log into all your desktops through any modern web browser that supports HTML5.

Apache Guacamole is free and open-source software. Since the app supports every standard protocol like VNC, RDP, and SSH, you can use it to manage any server environment. Guacamole itself is not a remote desktop protocol.

Instead, it’s a proxy between the remote desktop and the client so that the remote desktop can be displayed and controlled in a web browser. As a result, Apache Guacamole remote desktop gateway works exceptionally well with any Linux distribution.

Guacamole allows access to one or more desktops from anywhere remotely without installing a client, particularly when installing a client is not possible.

By setting up a Guacamole server, you can provide access to any other computer on the network from virtually any other computer on the Internet, anywhere in the world. Even mobile phones or tablets can be used without installing anything.

One of the major design philosophies behind Guacamole is that it should never assume you have a particular device just because your browser has or is missing a specific feature.

Guacamole’s codebase supports both mouse and touch events simultaneously, without choosing one over the other, while the interface is intended to be usable regardless of screen size.

As a result, you should be able to use Guacamole on just about any modern device with a web browser.

Remmina

Remmina is a Linux native remote desktop app

Remmina is an open-source remote desktop client written in GTK+. It primarily targets system administrators and travelers that need to work with computers remotely in front of either large monitors or tiny netbooks.

Remmina is a native Linux app to connect to another computer with a remote desktop service. Remmina supports multiple network protocols such as RDP, VNC, SPICE, NX, XDMCP, and SSH within an integrated and consistent user interface.

There are plenty of plugins and configurable features in Remmina that enable users to meet their individual needs.

  • Remote desktops with higher resolutions are scrollable/scalable in window and fullscreen mode.
  • Floating toolbar.
  • Keyboard grabbing.
  • Maintain a list of remote desktop files for the most frequently used servers.
  • Make quick connections.
  • Viewport fullscreen mode: remote desktop automatically scrolls when the mouse moves over the screen edge.
  • The floating toolbar in fullscreen mode allows you to switch between modes, toggle keyboard grabbing, minimize, etc.
  • “VNC Incoming Connection” protocol.
  • Password encryption.

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  1. The number one requirement for me for a remote access software is the ability to do file transfers. This should be stated for each of the recommended programs. It’s only mentioned for Teamviewer and NoMachine.

  2. Don’t forget x2go. It’s based on the open source technology behind nomachine, but is a feature-complete, open source remote desktop and remote app client. Like NoMachine, it can talk to and proxy to RDP connections or X11 connections. x2go uses special X11 proxies over SSH to remote graphical applications or desktops. The proxy system eliminates costly round-trip messages that ordinary X forwarding over SSH has. This makes remote X11 sessions and remote X11-based applications as fast as RDP, and can even apply lossy compression, giving you more speed and reduced latency in exchange for some degradation of the graphics. I use x2go to run individual apps as well, not just desktops. Wayland developers tell us no one uses individual app remoting anymore, but I sure use it semi-regularly and I can’t think I’m alone. x2go makes it work well over connections that aren’t fast enough for regular X forwarding with ssh.

  3. I would recommend analyzing ThinLinc from Cendio as well. It supports multi-users, has load balancing, supports multiple authentication mechanisms, and allows transferring files from the local machine to the remote one. In their community, there is a performance comparison with x2go and SSH. The person who tested found out that ThinLinc had a better performance in connections with higher latency. It is based on open source but with enterprise capabilities and free for up to 5 users https://community.thinlinc.com/t/my-personal-thinlinc-use-case-and-some-performance-comparison/173

  4. We are a semi conductor company and we have been using ThinLinc to provide access for Linux Desktops to our engineers and designers and the performance of ThinLinc has been very satisfying so far.