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Thread: Remote Desktop not working

  1. #1
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    Remote Desktop not working

    Hi everyone.

    Iím new to this forum and new to Linux.

    I have a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.04 desktop on a NUC that I will use to run Plex and associated programs. I need the desktop graphics as I learn CLI on my journey. This project is essentially a server that requires a Remote Desktop

    Iím failing at the first hurdle and I canít figure this out. Iíve read lots of how toís but nothing is working. I understand the Remote Desktop protocol is VNC and Vino is the deamon that supports the feature. Encryption is turned off (for cross platform compatibility) and the service is running and listening on port 5900. The firewall is also set to allow any network to access the port 5900.

    I have been using RealVNC on windows 10 and iOS with no luck. The iOS app reports ĒThe port on which the computer is listening for a connection could not be contactedĒ. Iím not sure if thatís a clue to the problem or a red herring.

    Everything is setup logically and as expected and it should work but something is missing... Could you help point me in the right direction, please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    You need to test the system in a structured way. First see whether the name of the device resolve (if you use DNS); Then see whether the IP address actually reach the host; then see whether a datagram on the port reaches the service. To do that, you may need to install a few basic utilities.

    DNS test:
    $ nslookup hostname

    IP routing test:
    $ ping ipaddress

    Connect to server test:
    $ telnet ipaddress 5900

    In each case, look at the error messages and google them for enlightenment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    There are multiple remote desktop tools. Just because one is already installed, doesn't mean you have only that choice. IMHO, there are many better options, for a number of reasons, but your needs and mine may not align.

    Regardless, you should check these things:
    * is the server running, whatever that is? For any client-server connection to work, there must be a server listening on the expected port, waiting for client connections.
    * does the "server" have a static IP? Are you 100% positive that is the IP being used by the client?
    * is the system firewall allowing all the ports and types of traffic that the server (or client) need to make a connection?
    * is the router setup to allow connections between computers on the same LAN? Many routers will block connections between computers on the same subnet or between wired and wifi LAN segments.

    Nobody will be able to help you when you make claims but don't actually PROVE IT. So,
    Everything is setup logically and as expected and it should work
    is clearly NOT the case. You should prove these things, step by step.

    BTW, plex runs a webserver that listens on 32400/tcp, so if you point a browser at that port with the correct IP, then you should see a website with "P-L-E-X" all over it when the plex server is running.

    With all that said, 20.04 gnome3 desktop has some new remote desktop solution that is supposed to be point-n-click between Ubuntu 20.04 systems and later. I doubt it works for other OSes as easily. The "Ubuntu Desktop Guide" should have a page about setting that up. Ok, I couldn't find it. Found this: https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/access-...top#1-overview which is the client-side setup, but not the server side.

    I dumped all RDP/VNC stuff years ago and switched to x2go, which uses a more efficient protocol and uses ssh tunnels so the connections are secure even over the internet when ssh-keys are used for authentication. There are x2go clients for Linux, OSX, and Windows. I know the Linux and Windows clients are very solid. Anyways, if you are interested in x2go, ask. x2go feels about 2-3x faster than the others over the internet. It isn't great for video, but for typical office-productivity stuff, it is excellent when just ssh isn't enough. x2go uses an ssh connection, ssh credentials, and the ssh port just like 50 other ssh-based tools. Takes about 10 min to setup on the client and server side. I've posted steps in these forums, I'm certain.

    BTW, setting up plex doesn't have any local GUI, so that won't help. ssh or a local terminal will still be needed. Setting up the file permissions for plex is easiest using a shell too, IMHO.

  4. #4
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    I final figured it out after reading your posts and applying some unilateral thinking!

    In terminal I used this command:
    netstat -artpe
    I found that port 5900 was being used BUT vino was looking on it on it's self assigned 127.0.0.0 IP address. I used 'dcongf editor' to find the network interface and deleted the 'lo' network so that it accepts on all networks.

    thanks for your help.

  5. #5
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    Quote Originally Posted by optimusprime11 View Post
    I final figured it out after reading your posts and applying some unilateral thinking!

    In terminal I used this command:
    netstat -artpe
    I found that port 5900 was being used BUT vino was looking on it on it's self assigned 127.0.0.0 IP address. I used 'dcongf editor' to find the network interface and deleted the 'lo' network so that it accepts on all networks.

    thanks for your help.
    You are welcome, but really VNC shouldn't be available except on localhost (127.0.0.x) for security reasons. Either an ssh tunnel or full VPN should be used to make the connection to the VNC server, then access VNC through that tunnel on the localhost:5900 port. If you google "ssh vnc tunnel", you'll find this is a very popular search.
    A reputable result: https://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/tunne...ssh-howto.html

    "ssh vnc tunnel putty" will locate guides for doing this from Windows. As usual, Windows makes things harder.

  6. #6
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    Quick update.

    As I have been getting further down the rabbit hole I’ve decided to stop trying to recreate the ‘windows experience’ and run this server as a proper, headless server. I’m now learning CLI and the Ubuntu language.

    Thanks for your previous advice, it was much appreciated.

  7. #7
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    You can run GUI programs remotely using SSH:
    $ ssh -Y user@server "mousepad filename"

    Mousepad will then pop up on your local desktop.

    With SSH, you don't need a remote desktop and your local machine already has one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    What are you trying to achieve? What will you do when you get connected to the system via VNC? What is the purpose of the connection?

  9. #9
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    Jun 2020
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    In essence i'm configuring a home server for media inc FTP, Plex etc. When i thought about I don't actually need a GUI, it was just familiar to me. I am out of my comfort zone (not a bad thing) with CLI and need to learn a few things along the way.

  10. #10
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    Re: Remote Desktop not working

    Quote Originally Posted by optimusprime11 View Post
    In essence i'm configuring a home server for media inc FTP, Plex etc. When i thought about I don't actually need a GUI, it was just familiar to me. I am out of my comfort zone (not a bad thing) with CLI and need to learn a few things along the way.
    Please don't use plain FTP. Use sftp, scp, NFS, and/or ssh w/ rsync or sshfs.
    http://linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php is a shell reference book. No hassle download.

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