xRDP – How to Install on Ubuntu Mate 16.10

Hello World, 

This is the end of the road for this series of posts related to xRDP and Ubuntu Editions.  So far, we have been installing xRDP on the following Ubuntu Editions : 

For all the mentioned distribution, it was quite simple to have the xRDP installed. xRDP solution has matured with time and provide a standard way to configure and install it on Linux Systems.  While installation is quite straightforward, using xRDP through various Ubuntu Editions is not always that straightforward.  There is a little catch for some of the distributions examined which might impact the way remote connection is used within your organization. 

In this post, we will have a quick look at the Ubuntu Mate Edition.  In the past, mate desktop was the best alternative desktop to work with and enabled users to perform remote connection to their Ubuntu computer. 

So, let’s have a look if a pure Ubuntu Mate Edition works also that well….

Step by Step Process 


For this post, we have make some assumptions.

  • ubuntu Mate 16.10 (Final Release version) is used
  • Installation is performed on fresh new install
  • No Alternate Desktop interface is needed. We will connect directly to the Ubuntu Mate Desktop
  • We will configure our system to match on localized version (i.e. we are using a Belgian french keyboard)
  • No additional configuration is needed to reconnect to the same session if you are using the latest version of the xrdp package found in the Ubuntu Repository
  • Your system is connected to Internet (so you can download necessary packages)
  • We have installed Ubuntu Gnome as a Virtual Machine using Virtualbox

Step 1 – Install the xRDP package 

Since now, you should know that installing the xRDP package version 0.9.0 is as simple as issuing the following command in a Terminal Console

sudo apt-get -y install xrdp 


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When the password is prompted, enter your credentials and wait for completion.

To check which xrdp version has been installed, issue the following command

xrdp -v

You should see that version 0.9.0 is installed

Step 2 – Configuring xRDP to use your desktop environment

Like Xubuntu or Kubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome, there is no need to specify any desktop environment in your /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh file because the system will try to detect it automatically. So, we can move to the next stage…. 

Step 3 – Configuring xRDP Keyboard 

To be sure that your keyboard layout will be matching your localized layout, you should execute the following command on your system while locally logged on into your system.


# Set keyboard layout in xrdp sessions 
cd /etc/xrdp 
test=$(setxkbmap -query | awk -F":" '/layout/ {print $2}') 
echo "your current keyboard layout is.." $test
setxkbmap -layout $test 
sudo cp /etc/xrdp/km-0409.ini /etc/xrdp/km-0409.ini.bak 
sudo xrdp-genkeymap km-0409.ini

These commands will try to detect your keyboard and will configure xrdp remote session to use the same keyboard.  This step is needed because, by default, the keyboard layout inside remote session are set to English US.

Step 4 – Test your configuration

Let’s make a connection test.  Simply open your remote desktop client, provide ip or hostname and hit connect button.  After  some time, you should be presented with the xRDP login page.

Ensure that the Sesman-xorgxrdp option is selected and proceed with your connection 


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After passing your credentials, you will be connected remotely to your Ubuntu Mate Desktop 


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Final Notes 

The initial test shows that a connection can indeed be performed. After some more tests, the Ubuntu Mate edition seems to work quite well with xRDP version 0.9.0. With Ubuntu Mate Edition, the same user can be connected concurrently locally on the system and through remote session.  This case scenario does not create any issues.  The logout functionality seems to work as well.  The only glitch detected so far is the shutdown button which terminate the remote session but do not shutdown the machine in reality. 

In this final post, it seems quite obvious that xRDP and Ubuntu Mate edition are working well together compared to other Editions).  Installation is easy and straightforward. There is no issue have users logged into the local machine and remotely. Performance wise, remote session are workable with decent refresh rate…. 

This conclude this series of posts related to xRDP and Ubuntu Editions. Now, you are wondering what will happen ?  This is actually a good question.   It might be useful to summarize our finding (in our next coming post) and see where are the potential issues and which workaround could be provided…  

Wait and See 

Till next time 

See ya


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