Ubuntu 16.10 – XRDP Behavior changed again


Hello World, 

In one of our previous posts, we have been through the traditional step by step process to install Ubuntu 16.10 on a fresh computer (no upgrade).  The release does not bring much new things but provide small improvements that makes Ubuntu 16.10 more stable.  Ubuntu 16.10 also introduces the possibility to test the new Unity 8 Desktop interface (if your computer meets the necessary requirements to have the Mir server component working…) 

Click on Picture for Better Resolution


XRDP & Ubuntu Releases…

The logical next step is to move forward and see if the xrdp functionality is still working with this release.  Indeed, we have noticed that the way to install xrdp and make it works may differ in each Ubuntu releases…. Until the release of Ubuntu 16.04, the only way (as far as we know) to have Ubuntu working with xRDP was to install an alternate Desktop (i.e like xfce, Mate-desktop,…).  You can find the most common way of installing xrdp on Ubuntu checking this post

In one of our recent posts, we have demonstrated that was possible to perform a remote session to Ubuntu and accessing the Unity Desktop through xRDP package when combined with the TigerVNC package solution. (See link below)

XRDP – How To Remote Connect to Unity Desktop on Ubuntu 16.04

Again, it’s seems that Ubuntu 16.10 is changing the way we can work with xRDP package.  In this post, we will simply check what’s has changed and what could work to have xrdp functionality back again (whatever the desktop or method we would be using. 

Ubuntu 16.10 is not a long term support (LTS) release and support will not be extended.  So, many people might not care about this release and they can stick to Ubuntu 16.04.  On the other hand, check beforehand what has changed can help us in providing a working solution in the next Long Term support release of Ubuntu…

So, let’s look inside this release and let’s find out what might have changed…… 

What’s Changing in Ubuntu 16.10 ?

New xRDP Package available

Yes, you read it correctly. A new version of the xRDP package is available in Ubuntu 16.10.  For long time, the xrdp package available within Ubuntu repository was the 0.6-x.xx.  In 16.10 release, the xrdp package has been updated to the latest available version (which is package version 0.9.0)

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

This version introduces noticeable changes in the way you will be using xRDP software with this package version.   The first thing you would notice, if you have installed the xrdp package on your system and you are performing your first remote desktop session, is the fact that the login screen has changed. 


It’s not anymore the black background showing up but a green one.  In the drop box selection, you will also notice an immediate change.  The default one is not anymore the sesman-Xvnc but has been replaced with the sesman-xorg-xrdp option. This option assumes that the new rdp driver module that support drives redirection and clipboard support will be used when performing the xrdp installation on your Ubuntu machine.  

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

In one of our previous posts, we have demonstrated that xRDP was capable of performing drive redirection and use clipboard functionality (see this post for a small teaser).  We have also provide instructions about how to implement such capabilities (see this post for more info).  To make this possible, we have been using the new rdp driver provided by the team behind the xrdp package.  

The fact that we can see the default option in the xrdp login box set to sesman-xorg-xrdp means that out-of-the-box drive redirection and clipboard feature would be available after installing the xrdp package 0.9.0.  After a quick check, we can confirm that indeed, drive redirection feature is indeed available with this version (see screenshot below) 

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

TigerVNC Server package and Issues

New TigerVNC Server package available for Ubuntu 16.04

In one of our previous post, we have demonstrated that with Ubuntu 16.04, it was possible to perform a remote desktop session and connect to the Unity Desktop Environment.  No need to install any alternate desktop.  The solution works in Ubuntu 16.04 even if the solution is not perfect and we do not have full capabilities on the Remote Unity Desktop.

To make this happen, we needed to install a different VNC Server package (i.e. TigerVNC Server Package).  Since recently, there was no binaries available for Ubuntu for TigerVNC package. However, this situation has changed with the release of TigerVNC 1.7.0    A deb package is available that can be used to perform the installation of the TigerVNC package

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

You can download the package at the following location : https://bintray.com/tigervnc/stable/tigervnc/1.7.0#files/

VNC Capability seems to be broken on Ubuntu 16.10 

To prepare our next post about xRDP and TigerVNC, we have downloaded and installed the TigerVNC Server 1.7.0 package on our system.  After performing the configuration, we have tried to perform a Vnc Connection to Ubuntu.  The result was a black screen with no way to input anything.  

Click on Picture for Better Resolution

Ubuntu 16.10 seems to have broken something again.  We did not spend too much time in investigating this issue for the moment.  A update might fix it. For the moment, we know that the vnc capability is not an option to perform remote connection to our Ubuntu machine.  


Final Notes 

It’s seems that Ubuntu 16.10 has introduced some changes that might have a huge impact in the way remote connection will be performed…VNC Server used to work out of the box and could connect to Unity Desktop straight away.  This release seems to break this capability.  This release has also shipped with a new xrdp package version which introduces also some changes (new session option, drive redirection option,..).  

As you can see, new challenges are coming up with this release.  In the coming post, we will try to provide information about installing xRDP and see if this new package version is usable and can provide some benefits 

Till next Time 

See ya



9 thoughts on “Ubuntu 16.10 – XRDP Behavior changed again

  1. This is a nice post. I upgraded the Kali Linux today and faced a lot of issues. I was able to resolve it doing the following:

    sudo apt-get install xfce4-session xrdp

    root@kalibox:~# systemctl restart xrdp-sesman
    root@kalibox:~# systemctl restart xrdp

    You will need to enable xrdp and xrdp-sesman separately now.

    root@kalibox:~# systemctl enable xrdp
    root@kalibox:~# systemctl enable xrdp-sesman

    root@kalibox:~# sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
    There are 7 choices for the alternative x-session-manager (providing /usr/bin/x-session-manager).

    Selection Path Priority Status
    0 /usr/bin/gnome-session 50 auto mode
    1 /usr/bin/gnome-session 50 manual mode
    2 /usr/bin/lxsession 49 manual mode
    3 /usr/bin/mate-session 30 manual mode
    4 /usr/bin/openbox-session 40 manual mode
    5 /usr/bin/startlxde 50 manual mode
    6 /usr/bin/startxfce4 50 manual mode
    * 7 /usr/bin/xfce4-session 40 manual mode

    Press to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 7

    I spend countless hours trying to make the “sesman-xorg-xrdp” option works without any success , so i swictched to the “sesman-Xvnc” works flawlessly.

    Note: This has been tested to works on Kali linux 4.7 .

  2. @Lateef,

    thank you very much for the feedback and sharing your experience and procedure with us.
    As soon as we have some time, we will look into it and try your proposed approach
    This is really cool that you share your stuff with us 🙂

    Till next time
    See ya

  3. Lateef: thanks a lot. Worked for me. You have a typo though. The correct command needs two dashes — in the config resulting in:

    sudo update-alternatives --config x-session-manager



  4. @Jörg

    Hello Jörg, indeed the template I’m using for the website tends to changes the text formatting… I will see if I can change that….
    thank you for the feedback and the comments

    Till next time
    See ya

  5. Hi Griffon,

    I am glad I could contribute – at least a bit. I do have a problem which puzzles me though and I wonder if you can help. First of all I was able to install and configure XRDP 0.9.0 on Ubuntu 16.10 with MATE desktop. Locally I am using Cinnamon. Goal was it to connect to Ubuntu from my iPad where I use the MS RD client app (iOS). Whilst generally it works keyboard strokes (neither from onscreen keyboard nor from an attached keyboard to my iPad) are recognized (in a xterm). Actually not “all” are not recognized and the arrow keys are. I did not recognize anything else. I tested remote functionality from within my Ubuntu server (Remmina) and it works and keystrokes are recognized (on my ThinkPad locally).

    Do you have an idea what the reason (or solution) to this could be?

    Additionally trying to test things I was logged in to Ubuntu Cinnamon desktop locally whilst connecting to MATE via RDP (from iPad). I found that the logout-Button pressed remotely on my iPad RDP-session displays in Cinnamon (locally). And a required mate-session-save –force-logout logged out the local user as well. Is this a “normal” behavior?

    I do appreciate your work a lot! Thanks a lot for all of this.

    Kind regards,


    Additionally I no

  6. Typo above: I noticed that enter/CR and the arrows were recognized correctly from my iPad.

  7. @Jorg,

    Do not understand fully your issue. My understanding is that you have keyboard issues (for some specific keys only) while remote connecting to ubuntu, right ?
    Have you checked this article (http://c-nergy.be/blog/?p=3858) ? Is this the problem you are mentioning ?

    For the logout button, this should have been fixed in Ubuntu 16.10. In Previous versions, there was indeed a issue with the graphical logout button and we needed to use the command line. In our tests with 16.10, we have been able each time to use the Graphical logout button with no issues

    Which sesman are you using…? If you have version 0.9.x for xrdp, you must select the xorgxrdp option in the xrdp login box…

    Hope this help
    Till next time
    See ya

  8. Hi Griffon

    Correct I do have keyboard issues while remote connecting from an iPad (current iOS) to Ubuntu 16.10 with Mate Desktop running xrdp 0.9. I noticed that the arrow keys and enter are the only keys working. If I press “Ctrl” (on the iPad’s on-screen keyboard) or Shift (same) a button like an individual number or letter is recognised (Ctrl, r) creates an r, (Shift, l) creates an L.

    The logout button is working now.

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply