Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

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Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by homeuser » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:35 pm

A Newbie here. I have set up two machines (laptop and a desktop) with new clean copies of Linux Mint Mate 18.3. What I want to do is be able to remote to the desktop from the laptop. I installed tightvncserver on the desktop and I am able to connect and enter the connection password but then I get a blank screen. I know I must be missing something basic but how can I get a desktop? I have found lots of "solutions" on the Internet but nothing I've tried has yet worked. Thanks for any clues you can provide.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by Termy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:34 pm

I recommend looking into TeamViewer. It's a nice lil program. Works with Windows and Linux. (I believe Mac as well) As for what you installed, I'm not sure.

https://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/linux/

Or at least, it's an option. I dunno how trustworthy it is, however. I've used it on and off for years without issue, and know others who have, but that's anicdotal, I guess.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:05 pm

Don't feel bad... it took me a lot of trial-and-error (mostly error) to get it working on my system when I first installed it. I've been remoting from Windows into Mint for a couple of years, but I'm a long way from being the expert. Maybe this will help until someone with a lot more experience comes in here to help.

What tripped me up was NOT starting the server/service on the target (Mint) machine.

Try opening a console window and type x11vnc
If that does not launch a program you may not have it installed so open Synaptic package manager and look for x11vnc. If it's not installed then install it and try launching it again. When it starts running you can minimize the console window.
When you get it running on the TARGET machine, then try to connect from the other machine.

TeamViewer can be a reasonable option, but it requires enormous overhead compared to remote desktop between two computers that are on the same LAN.

Edit: I've never run Mint-Mate so I may be saying things that make no sense at all.
Last edited by tovian on Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by Termy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:08 pm

tovian wrote:Don't feel bad... it took me a lot of trial-and-error (mostly error) to get it working on my system when I first installed it. I've been remoting from Windows into Mint for a couple of years, but I'm a long way from being the expert. Maybe this will help until someone with a lot more experience comes in here to help.

What tripped me up was NOT starting the server/service on the target (Mint) machine.

Try opening a console window and type x11vnc
If that does not launch a program you may not have it installed so open Synaptic package manager and look for x11vnc. If it's not installed then install it and try launching it again. When it starts running you can minimize the console window.
When you get it running on the TARGET machine, then try to connect from the other machine.

TeamViewer can be a reasonable option, but it requires enormous overhead compared to remote desktop between two computers that are on the same LAN.
Oh my bad, I didn't realise this was to be a local task. I assumed online, for some reason. xD What about the RDP? I came across packages for that recently; they're preinstalled in Mint. Remote Desktop Connection Protocol or something. The Microsoft thing they use in Windows.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by prestonR » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:44 am

If Mate is your 'target machine' you shouldn't need to install anything, neither x11vnc nor tightvnc, because it has vino server already installed. On your desktop, go: Menu >> Control Centre >> Desktop Sharing and activate it there, then reboot.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:09 pm

prestonR wrote:you shouldn't need to install anything...
Good info.
What client should be used on the "Remote" machine (what connects with the vino server) ?


Termy wrote:What about the RDP?
I believe that's the Microsoft/Windows protocol for Remote Desktop. There are Linux programs that can go that route, but if both machines are Mint (Linux), as in this case, I don't think RDP would be the best candidate.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by Termy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:51 pm

Ah, yeah, I know what RDP is, I just thought the OP wanted to connect to a Windows machine, for some reason -- oops.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by prestonR » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:07 pm

I use remmina. Allows to send a pre-command like a Wake-on-Lan if the server's gone to sleep, e.g wol mac:address:of:server You could do this with gwakeonlan or by adding a launcher to your taskbar with that command too, though.

WoL only works on ethernet. On wifi once the network is dropped you're out, so on wifi you'd have to make sure that the connection is kept if you want to allow suspend on the server.

Been trying to work out how to get the server to adapt the wake state of the client, so if the client suspends the server does and if it wakes the server wakes but no luck so far... The cheapo alternative is to add wol mac:address:of:server to the auto start of the client so every time you boot the client the server wakes.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:49 pm

prestonR wrote:I use remmina.
...
The cheapo alternative is to add wol mac:address:of:server to the auto start of the client...
I've been wondering why I had a Remmina icon on my desktop - I had forgotten what I used it for (only in testing).
Now I remember - Thank You.


I've turned WOL off in all computers I've owned or worked on. I believe it adds risk that neither I nor my clients need.

I'm not sure if port-forwarding at the main router triggers a WOL event, but that might be another possibility. I changed the default RDP listening-port and I use port forwarding to my "secret port" to get to my RD target. I never allow that target machine to sleep or hibernate when I need it; when I'm not planning a RD session I just turn it off.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:59 pm

Termy wrote:I recommend looking into TeamViewer. It's a nice lil program. Works with Windows and Linux. (I believe Mac as well) As for what you installed, I'm not sure.

https://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/linux/

Or at least, it's an option. I dunno how trustworthy it is, however. I've used it on and off for years without issue, and know others who have, but that's anicdotal, I guess.
I have been using Teamviewer for years, working with folks with different OS's...

I have seen others, tried them, and went back to Teamviewer.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by homeuser » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:59 pm

Thank you all for your help. I am a bit lost so I truly appreciate it!
I have thought of teamviewer and I have used it in a Windows environment but was hoping to use a different approach.
PrestonR - On Mint 18.3 - Mate (at least on the image I download from here) vino is not installed with the initial install, and when I go on my desktop, and Menu I do not have "Control Centre" what I see is "Settings" or "System" I have searched both and I cannot find any reference to "desktop sharing". Are you working in Cinnamon?
I've tried installing vino, x11vnc and tightvnc, one at a time on clean installed copies of Mint but the furtherest I've gotten is when I use a vnc client on the laptop and try to connect to the desk computer I get a login prompt, once I enter the password I've set up for the remote desktop, I see a blank screen. So it seems I'm able to login but not getting a desktop.
Does anyone know if perhaps I should try the Cinnamon version of Mint if that has an easier setup?

Again thank you all for the suggestions. As a Newbie this is all a bit overwhelming!

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:47 pm

@homeuser - Don't get discouraged... somehow, someone will help you figure this out.

I am setting up a new Mint-18.3/64/Cinnamon system on my LAN. After you asked about Cinnamon I went over to the new box and installed x11vnc. I launched it from a console window.

Then I went to a Windows-10 box where I had TightVNC already installed. I launched that, gave it the IPAddress of the (Mint-Cinnamon) Server, and almost instantly I had the Mint system on the Windows-10 monitor - it didn't even challenge the Windows box for a password (maybe because Windows supplies the default and I use the same user-id/password on all my test boxes).

Then, I went to a Mint-17.2/KDE box. I installed the TightVNC viewer there. I launched the program (xtightvncviewer) and it showed me a "where's the server" dialog. I put in the IP of the Cinnamon box which promptly rejected the connection. I tried it again several times, each time hard-coding a port number in the range VNC uses... No Joy. It seems that Mint-18.3/Cinnamon loves Windows, but doesn't like an older Mint at all. Now, I'm peeved annoyed. I will spend far too much time trying to figure this out. I got myself into it, I'll have to dig my way out !!
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by prestonR » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:02 pm

homeuser wrote: PrestonR - On Mint 18.3 - Mate (at least on the image I download from here) vino is not installed with the initial install, and when I go on my desktop, and Menu I do not have "Control Centre" what I see is "Settings" or "System" I have searched both and I cannot find any reference to "desktop sharing"
:shock: My Mate 18.3 desktop, menu open, 'Control Centre' on the left, 'Desktop Sharing' on the right
mate.png
Ok, can you open a terminal and run

Code: Select all

vino-preferences
That should open the same window as if you'd click 'Desktop Sharing'. Obviously, vino has to be installed.

Hey, and as tovian said, chin up, that screen shot IS my remote machine ... I may not know much but I definitely know how to remote into a Mate18.3

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by homeuser » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:44 pm

prestonR,
Wow, your desktop looks completely different from what I'm seeing. I like yours better! Anyways,
I've attached an image of what I'm seeing.

Thanks
The Noob!
MyDesktop (1).jpg

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by homeuser » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:16 pm

prestonR,
I forgot to mention I installed vino from the package manager and did not see any errors. However I don't see it in the menu and I'm guessing there are some settings that should be configured.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by prestonR » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:02 am

I've never seen Mint Kde before but I maintain a Manjaro Kde and unless I'm very much mistaken this is the Kde desktop.
I'm guessing there are some settings that should be configured.
Yes, that's why I asked you to open a terminal and run

Code: Select all

vino-preferences
That should open the same window as if you'd click 'Desktop Sharing' in Mate. Can you please do that.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:41 am

homeuser wrote:prestonR,
Wow, your desktop looks completely different from what I'm seeing...
That does look like KDE as prestonR suggests. If the "Start Button" (I know, I know, that's Windows terminology) - the Icon in the lowest, left-most position of the screen - is a "K" inside a gear(cog)-wheel... then you are running KDE. This means you will need to check BOTH MACHINES to see what is running on both of them so that the proper RD can be set up.

You can also open a console window and type

Code: Select all

inxi -F
to find out - for absolute certainty - what DE you are running.

** You never did confirm whether you are planning to run one machine from the other OVER THE INTERNET or just within a LAN. If you plan on accessing one desktop from the other over the Internet this is all moot - you simply need to use TeamViewer.
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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by homeuser » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:17 am

Both machines are running Mint 18.3 with the kde desktop.
I will only be using the remote desktop on the local LAN and it is firewalled from the internet.

I opened a terminal and ran the command and this is what I get:

$ vino-preferences
Gtk-Message: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.

(vino-preferences:10374): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_entry_set_text: assertion 'text != NULL' failed
$
I have no idea what that means.

The preference window did open and I checked the allow others to view and to control.
On the chance it actually worked I tried connecting from the client at address:0 and address:1 but the connection is refused.
Sorry to be such a pain but I'm lost.

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Re: Remote desktop on Mate 18.3

Post by tovian » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:47 am

homeuser wrote:Sorry to be such a pain but I'm lost.
You're not being a pain - you're trying to solve a problem (and maybe learn a few things in the process). There's not a single person on this site who hasn't been there at one time or another.

Now, I just went to my Mint-17.3/KDE box and started x11vnc. Then, I went to my Mint-18.3/KDE box, installed XVNC4VIEWER (that's X VNC 4 VIEWER all run together), launched it, supplied the IPAddress for the Mint-17.3 box (the VNC Server) and they connected instantly - and work correctly.

I can give you my thoughts about what you could do next, but I'm not a strong enough Linux tech to actually recommend anything. I'm at the "try it and see what happens" level at this point. I don't want you thinking that you being advised by an expert - 'cause that ain't the case with me.
Last edited by tovian on Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Remote desktop on KDE 18.3 - NOT MATE!

Post by ralplpcr » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:48 am

Hi Homeuser,

Teamviewer indeed would likely be the easiest/fastest solution for you, IMO. Though as mentioned before, it's a lot of overhead & connection "hops" that simply aren't needed for 2 systems within the same LAN.

If you wish to try it, you can download a free copy from https://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/linux/ - choose the "Ubuntu, Debian" .deb packages, and be sure to choose the correct 32 or 64 bit package, depending on what you have.

If you'd prefer to do it the Linux way, I think the easiest method for KDE on the same LAN would be the X11VNC server and Remmina. It requires a little more setting up than TeamViewer, but it avoids routing your traffic through an outside company and is much less load on your system. Either way, once they're configured, it's as easy as double-clicking & you'll be connected.

Since you're running KDE, you can probably forget the comments about Vino. While you may be able to get it working, it's really designed for Gnome desktops, such as Cinnamon/Mate/XFCE. KDE is a different beast, and you'll likely run into several difficulties.

Let us know which you wish to try. We can easily give you instructions for Teamviewer or X11VNC + Remmina....

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