How to Enable Desktop Screen Sharing via VNC on Ubuntu 18.04 / 18.10

By default, Ubuntu desktop comes with a screen sharing feature that allows anyone to connect via VNC protocol. This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to enable it on Ubuntu 18.04 / 18.10 desktops.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol isn’t available on Ubuntu out of the box. You can use third party tools to enable it. However, if you want to connect to Ubuntu desktop from Windows, you will want to install VNC clients.

We’ll show you how to connect below:

Remote access allows anyone with account and access to connect and manage devices remotely from across the room or locations around the world. This is true with Microsoft Remote Desktop connection, VNC or TeamViewer.

The steps below should get you started on Ubuntu.

Step 1: Enable Remote Access to Ubuntu

Ubuntu machines by default have the protocol and server installed already. To enable remote access, logon to the desktop computer and go to System Menu ==> System Settings. as shown in the image below.

When system settings page opens, go to Sharing ==> Enable sharing by sliding the button to the right as shown in the image below

Ubuntu screensharing

When sharing is enable, click the Screen Sharing option on the page and turn on Screen Sharing as shown in the image below.

Ubuntu screen sharing

When you’re done, close out. Ubuntu is sharing will be enabled. now continue below to learn how to connect to Ubuntu from Windows.

Step 2: Connect to Ubuntu via VNC

Now that Screen Sharing is enabled, choose the remote access client to connect to Ubuntu. For other Ubuntu systems, search for Remmina Remote Desktop Client. This is an open source client that probably installed on all Linux systems. Use it to connect to other Ubuntu desktop remotely.

For Windows system, you will want to use VNC client to connect. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connections won’t work here, so you must use VNC or other compatible remote connection clients to work with Ubuntu.

To enable access outside of your local network, you must setup your firewall to forward the traffic to the Ubuntu desktop via a specific port number. Normally port 5900.

You will also want to run the commands below to disable encryption for Remote sharing. This feature creates problems for Windows machine while connecting.

sudo gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false

When you’re done, test it out. Find the Ubuntu desktop computer IP address and test. If everything was setup correctly, you should be able to access the Ubuntu desktop remotely.

This is how one enable Ubuntu remote desktop access.


This post shows students and new users how to enable Ubuntu remote desktop access. Once enabled, users will be able to connect remotely from other computers to the Ubuntu desktop. For Windows systems, folks will have to use VNC or other compatible VNC protocol clients.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connections client won’t work here.


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