How to configure Remote Desktop (GUI) on my VPS Ubuntu 12.04

July 23, 2014 34.3k views

I want to access VPS as Desktop remotely, how can i configure it on my Ubuntu 12.04 VPS securely.

Looking for help..


3 Answers

Spin up a new 1GB or larger droplet running Ubuntu 14.04 x64 and follow these two articles:

by Bulat Khamitov
VNC will allow you to connect to your server remotely, as well as be able to use your keyboard, mouse, and monitor to interface with that server. Get it setup on your Ubuntu 12 cloud server.

I found the following worked for me. This is simple to do and quite quick to setup.


Your Droplet
The source recommends creating your droplet with a hostname, but I don't see the utility. Anyway, after creation, ssh in and execute the following:

# For this first line, I was having issues with the digitalocean ubunutu mirrors and switched them out.  This may not be neccessary if digitalocean fixes the issues later.
sudo sed 's/' -i /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties software-properties-common -y
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:x2go/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x2goserver x2goserver-xsession -y
sudo apt-get install xfce4 -y #optional

You'll need to do this (assuming you're on ubuntu/mint, but probably works on any debian as well):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:x2go/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install x2goclient

Now, start your x2go and create a new session:

  • hostname: ip address of your droplet
  • username: probably root
  • assuming you are using ssh keys, just check the box to use default key
  • Optionally disable print sharing or else you might get a warning when starting the session, but you can also just ignore the error message.
  • start your session in x2go. BOOM! Done. Start installing apps or whatever...

This is a super basic setup that may not work for everyone. In my case, I have crap bandwidth and needed a place to download a few gigs of data, massage it with csvkit, awk, etc and reupload without it taking hours and hours for data transfers.

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