A list of best remote desktop clients for Ubuntu and other Linux distros.
Remote desktop clients allow you to connect to any other desktop/server and perform tasks remotely. It’s one of the important aspects of IT support and other commercial use cases. In Linux, there are many remote desktop clients available. Some of them are free, while others are paid versions. All of these clients support popular remote desktop protocols (RDP) such as VNC, RDP and others.
This article looks at some of the best free remote desktop clients for Ubuntu and other distros. The list includes free and open-source apps and some free-to-use but proprietary apps.
Note: You need a remote desktop server (such as Xrdp) in your target system to establish a remote connection successfully. Then only you can connect using the following apps. It’s a two-way process. If you want to get more insight, refer to one of our case studies: Connecting to Ubuntu from Windows via RDP.
Table of Contents
Best Remote Desktop Clients for Ubuntu + Others
The first remote desktop client is a native GNOME app – “GNOME Connections”. This GTK-based app brings a simple user interface. It’s a perfect app for beginners. It’s also a perfect way quickly set up and connect in a minute (if you know the IP and other details).
In addition, it comes with clear instructions on whether you want to connect to a Linux machine or Windows. GNOME Connections support VNC (for Linux) and RDP (for Windows) protocols.
Installing this app is super easy with Flatpak. Set up your system to use Flatpak and install it using the following command.
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Connections
The next app is KRDC, a KDE app that allows you to view and control remote desktop sessions on another machine. It supports VNC and RDP protocol. You can also control the resolutions and passwords; of course, it integrates well with your Plasma desktop.
So, this is it if you are looking for a native-KDE app for a remote desktop. For the KDE Plasma desktop, it should be installed by default.
If not, the ideal way to install it is using Flatpak. Set up your system to use Flatpak, and then use the following command to install.
flatpak install flathub org.kde.krdc
Remmina is one of the oldest remote desktop clients for Linux systems. Probably the “go-to” client when you are in need. This free and open-source app is available Linux as well as for macOS. It supports many remote protocols, such as RDP, VNC, NX, X2GO, SPICE, HTTPS and SSH.
Moreover, it is powerful with its simple yet profound user interface and is super-active in development and bug fixes.
This app is already in all the major distro’s repositories. You can search for “remmina” in your Software app in Ubuntu and related apps in other distros. And hit install.
Alternatively, you can also use the following commands to install.
Furthermore, you can also set up your system for Flatpak and install it as Flatpak using the following command.
flatpak install flathub org.remmina.Remmina
TigerVNC is a free and open-source “platform-neutral” implementation of the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol that comes with both client and server packages. You can use this remote desktop when there is a need for high performance because it works best and is optimized for 3D/Video data over a remote connection.
Furthermore, it still provides a 32-bit installer, along with the usual 64-bit and a command line interface. The client program name for TigerVNC is
vncviewer and options are present here.
You can get the pre-compiled deb and RPM packages from the Sourceforge page here.
X2Go is a Linux-based remote desktop software based on NX technology which is developed by NoMachine. It is a collection of client and server packages that enables you to connect to remote machines via proxy.
For the remote client part – it comes with two options. You can use either the X2Go client or Pyhoca-GUI (based on Python). All of these are bundled together in the repositories available for Linux. In addition, all the components are also available for Windows and macOS.
You can download this software’s client and server parts from the below page.
Chrome Remote Desktop
If you prefer a remote connection over a web browser or have limitations in installing an RDP server, you can try out a remote connection via Google Chrome.
The Chrome Remote Desktop service is created by Google and is available over the internet. This service runs via WebRTC protocol over a browser and uses some proprietary technology.
Once launched, a server component is downloaded from the host machine and uses Chrome to provide the functionality. And in the client machine uses a Google Chrome Extension to enable your remote connection.
You can open the below URL to access this service via Chrome and WebRTC-supported browser.
Furthermore, it provides an on-the-fly PIN-based authentication mechanism for remote viewing of your systems. And it is limited to being used by up to 100 clients only.
More remote clients
The above list should suffice for most of the common use cases. However, if you are still hungry for more remote desktop clients, here’s a list I have prepared for you with a brief of their nature.
Free and open-source
- TurboVNC (Free and open-source)
- UltraVNC (Free and open-source)
- FreeRDP (Free + require compilation + support Wayland)
Commercial closed source and requires a license to use
- Thincast (Free to use; Flatpak package; Available for Raspberry Pi; Closed source & Proprietary license)
- NoMachine (Free for personal; Paid for business; Popular, available for Linux, Windows, macOS, Raspberry Pi)
- AnyDesk (Free for personal; Paid for business; closed source)
- VNC Connect (Paid; closed source)
- TightVNC (requires a license with an email address to be used in Linux)
- itopia (Free with a trial version; Flatpak)
This article lists some of the latest remote desktop clients for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Some of them are free and easy to use. You can use them for remote support, studying, and other use cases. IN addition, I also mentioned WebRTC-based remote service, which doesn’t require any installation except a browser extension.
Furthermore, for the benefit of everyone, I have mentioned some of the commercial ones as well. Because if you are a small and medium enterprise, you might want to check the paid version apps with support.
Finally, which one of the remote client software is your “go-to” app? Let me know in the comment box below.