How to configure xRDP server on Ubuntu 18.04

The instruction describes how to configure the xRDP server to connect to Ubuntu 18.04 with light-weighted environment as Xfce or MATE using the RDP protocol. This can be very useful when connecting from Windows operating systems without special tools.

What is xRDP?

Xrdp is a free, open-source implementation of Microsoft’s RDP (remote desktop Protocol) that allows non-Microsoft Windows operating systems (such as Linux and BSD) to provide a fully functional RDP-compliant remote desktop.

Installation and setup

Connect to the virtual server using SSH and perform the system update:

sudo apt-get update

Install and enable the xRDP tool:

sudo apt-get install xrdp
sudo systemctl enable xrdp

Choose and set the environment, Xfce or MATE, and allow xRDP to use it:


sudo apt-get install xfce4 xfce4-terminal
sudo sed -i.bak '/fi/a #xrdp multiple users configuration n xfce-session n' /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh


sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment mate-notification-daemon
sudo sed -i.bak '/fi/a #xrdp multiple users configuration n mate-session n' /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh

Open the RDP port for remote connection:

sudo ufw allow 3389/tcp

Restart the xRDP server for the changes to take effect:

sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp restart

Desktop Connection

To connect, open the Windows Remote Desktop application. Enter the server IP address and username and click Connect:

Screenshot №1. Remote Desktop Connection

When connecting, a security warning will appear, since the connection is made to the Unix/Linux OS. Click Yes:

Screenshot №2. RDP Certificate accept

In the following window, select Xorg in the session field, enter the password, click OK:

Screenshot №3. XRDP

As a result, you will be connected to Remote Desktop. Xfce environment desktop:

Screenshot №4. Xfce

MATE environment desktop:

Screenshot №5. MATE