Make a remote desktop with your ovz linux vps - install x2go client

edited November 2015 in Tutorials

Tested and working 02/11/2015 

If you have any issues post below and you will get a reply.

Installing x2go remote desktop server on Ubuntu 14.04LTS VPS.



As you may already know, VPS' are coming without X11 (generally). So if you would like to do remote desktop to a VPS first you will need to install a desktop environment. I'd recommend XFCE4 or LXDE. They can work well on low hardware resources. Please try and avoid installing big desktop environments like Gnome3 or KDE. They will still work, but also consume a lot of resources and won't really help anything apart from being big. 

Let's start with installing XFCE4:

Before you start the installation update & upgrade your system.

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get update

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get upgrade

Now we can install xfce4. Please note, we are not installing "xubuntu-desktop". We're trying to keep the client light. 

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install xfce4

This will install quite a lot of stuff to your VPS, including X11.

Now we can install x2go:

x2go provides a repository for us to install x2go on Ubuntu. We will use "apt-add-repository" to add it. But first we need to be sure these two packages are installed. 

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install software-properties-common python-software-properties

We're ready to install x2go:

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-add-repository ppa:x2go/stable

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get update

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install x2goserver x2goserver-xsession

If everything installed without any issues, we can do the client installation so we can connect to our VPS. I am assuming you are using Windows PC as the client. 

You need to download the client from here :

Please find "Download X2Go Client (Windows installer (XP and Later)", download and install the client on your Windows Client computer. There's nothing special or complicated here.

Start x2go client. From top left corner select Session->New Session.

You will have a new window asking for information.


Host : Your VPS IP address

Login: The username you use for SSH connection to your VPS (usually it's root)

Right at the bottom you will see "Session Type" and please select it as XFCE

And click OK. Now you will go back to main x2go screen and see New Session on the right. Double click to it and it will ask for password. Enter the password (this is SSH password to your VPS) and click OK. It can take up to 30 seconds for connection to be established. 

Now you should be able to see your desktop. 

Congratulations :)

There are some tools might want to have:

XFCE comes with a "terminal-based" web browser called lynx and it's not good for daily use. You can install Firefox, Chrome, Opera etc. Or if you want to keep the browser light as well you can try Midori.

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install midori

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install firefox

I also like "terminator" terminal emulator software. It's great for doing several things at a time. You can have several terminal windows open in single terminal. Very useful.

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install terminator

And my all time favourite terminal emulator, "guake"

root@Linux-Remote-Desktop:~# apt-get install guake

After starting it will stay hidden until you press F12 and it comes up from the top of the screen (just like Quake terminal, this is where guake gets the name from ;) ) and it will disappear if you press F12 again. 

Finally, you might have some XFCE icon problems. If your desktop icons are not displaying correctly, on your VPS desktop please click Applications Menu -> Settings -> Appearance. Select "Icons" tab and select "Tango" (or whatever you like from the list). This should recover all the icons. 



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