Remote Desktop with Linux: 5 Apps Which You Can Use

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Remote Desktop with Linux

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

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 remotely access a device from a geographical distance. In addition to desktop sharing, many tools can now conduct file transfers and offer highly secure remote access.

The main purpose of this article is to help Linux users to find out the remote desktop app for usage with the Linux distro which they are using. 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 in the world. It is fast, secure, and provides a reliable connection to IT professionals and on the go individuals. AnyDesk is free for personal use and comes with 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 quite low and non-perceptible. For security, AnyDesk uses TLS 1.2 technology and RSA 2048 asymmetric key exchange encryption, and you can “whitelist” trusted users.

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

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

Download AnyDesk for Linux

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 type of user.

NoMachine is free forever for non-commercial users. It includes a great selection of powerful features aimed at a range of users. While NoMachine specializes in remote Linux connections, it’s a versatile option for any platform. NoMachine started out 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 are able to view and remotely control your Linux desktop with negligible lag on a 50Mbps internet connection. On top of this, the NoMachine interface comes with a selection of additional tools. You can zoom in and out, focus on certain 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 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.

Download NoMachine for Linux

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. It has excellent screen-sharing options.

This software has great image quality compared to other remote software products. 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 provides a number of features like session recordings & conversion to AVI, drag & drop files, and multi-monitor support.

It is being used for years for remotely accessing a system over the Internet. TeamViewer is known as 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. Don’t worry if you’re on a different Linux distro. They do 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.

Download TeamViewer for Linux

Apache Guacamole

Apache Guacamole

Apache Guacamole is a clientless remote desktop gateway. This means you’re free to use it without installing any kind of plugin or client app. Once you’ve installed Guacamole on a server, you can log into all your desktops remotely 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 kind of server environment. Guacamole itself is not a remote desktop protocol. It’s a proxy between the remote desktop and the client, so the remote desktop can be displayed and controlled in a web browser. Apache Guacamole remote desktop gateway works extremely well with any Linux distribution.

Guacamole allows access one or more desktops from anywhere remotely, without having to install 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 having to install 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 provides support for both mouse and touch events simultaneously, without choosing one over the other, while the interface is intended to be usable regardless of screen size. You should be able to use Guacamole on just about any modern device with a web browser.

Download Apache Guacamole

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 remote desktop service started on it. 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 both window and fullscreen mode.
  • Floating toolbar.
  • Keyboard grabbing.
  • Maintain a list of remote desktop files for most frequently used servers.
  • Make quick connections.
  • Viewport fullscreen mode: remote desktop automatically scrolls when the mouse moves over the screen edge.
  • Floating toolbar in fullscreen mode, allows you to switch between modes, toggle keyboard grabbing, minimize, etc.
  • “VNC Incoming Connection” protocol.
  • Password encryption.

Download Remmina

8 Comments

  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.

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