Linux: How to remote desktop to Fedora Linux from a Windows 10

By | June 2, 2016

After connecting my two sites using IPSEC see ipsec site-to-site with virtual tunnel interface/
it is easy to ssh to the remote site and OpenVPN see OpenVPN site to site

Let us go a step further and activate also remote desktop. I want to be able to connect from my Linux machines but also from the Windows 10 machine I usually use as the monitor console client for all my internal network.

STEP 1: Install dependencies
Install on the remote Fedora server the xrdp and tigervnc server.

su -
dnf install xrdp tigervnc-server

STEP 2: Firewall rules
To be able to connect to the remote desktop we need to open the remote desktop ports.
The following ports have to be oppened in the remote system local firewall:

3389/tcp
3350/tcp

Note that we are not going to open this ports in the site firewall (EdgeRouter Lite), DO NOT DO THAT you do not want to expose the server to the internet. By opening the ports only in the remote server local firewall we make sure that only internal systems can access the remote desktop.

STEP 3: Security context
Just in case selinux is active change the security context of the xrdp binaries.

chcon --type=bin_t /usr/sbin/xrdp
chcon --type=bin_t /usr/sbin/xrdp-sesman


STEP 4: Force MATE desktop

I do not want to hog the connection between sites we force a more traditional desktop like GNOME 2. We can do this by forcing as prefered desktop MATE desktop project see MATE

echo PREFERRED=mate-session> /etc/sysconfig/desktop

STEP 5: Start and enable remote desktop services

systemctl start xrdp-sesman
systemctl start xrdp
systemctl enable xrdp
systemctl enable xrdp-sesman


STEP 6: Test connection

1. Start the “Remote Desktop Connection” windows client.
2. Enter the IP of the remote server and the user under which we want to connect.
3. Make sure to go to “Display” tab and change “Choose the color depth of the remote session” to True color (24bit). The default True color (32bit) is not supported by our remote rdp server.

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