xRDP – xRDP shows only black screen after authentication windows – HowTo Fix !

Hello World, 

We have noticed that a lot of people hit the same issue over and over again.  When trying to connect via remote desktop protocol (rdp) to the Ubuntu machine, and after providing the credentials in the xRDP Login page,  the user will only see a black screen displayed and the desktop interface is never loaded and displayed.   This post will basically explain why this happens and how to reproduce the issue.  

The “problem” is actually well known and there is really an simple and easy fix for that.  So, let’s explain the situation….. 


Reproducing the “Black Screen” Situation

Let’s assume that you have performed a successful xRDP installation (manually or using our famous xrdp-installer-xx.sh script) and you are ready to test your rdp connection to your Ubuntu machine.   Let’s also assume that you are still logged on into your Ubuntu machine system locally with your user account (which could be called User1).  So, you move to your Windows machine (or Linux machine), fire up your favorite remote desktop client and provide the ip address or the hostname  


Click on picture for better Resolution

Since xRDP installation has been successful, you will be presented with the xRDP Login page where you will need to provide the user credentials on the Ubuntu machine.  In our example, User1 (yes the one currently logged on locally on the ubuntu machine) account will be used 


Click on picture for better resolution 

If the credentials are correct, you will see your remote desktop session showing a black screen and that’s it !!!!!  The desktop interface will never load within your remote session 


Click on picture for better resolution 

Black Screen situation Explained

As mentioned and explained multiple times,  this situation will happen (or can happen) when the same user account is used concurrently locally and remotely.  In other words,  the problem is related to the fact that the same user account is already logged in locally and a remote connection is attempted at the same time.  With xRDP software solution, a specific user account can be logged on either locally or remotely but not both…. 

The (Standard) Solution 

To solve this issue, there is a simple fix.  You need to ensure the account you are using to login via the remote desktop client is not currently logged on locally on the Ubuntu target machine. If this is the case, perform a logout operation as shown in the screenshot below….


Click on Picture for better Resolution

Try again the remote desktop session and you will see that magically, you will be able to perform your remote desktop connection and that your desktop interface will be loaded and made available for you 


Click on Picture for better Resolution

As mentioned in the title, this is the most command and most standard approach to fix this issue.  This is basically the recommended approach to be used.  

However, there are other techniques (easier to implement that can be used) and we will share them with you soon…. In the next post, we will show you how to implement these techniques

Final Notes 

Voilà ! This is it for today ! 

We hope that this post will be useful to all these people that have encountered the xRDP black screen situation.  We have quickly and simply demonstrated how to overcome this minor but annoying xRDP “issue”.  It’s important to understand how xRDP works and how sessions are created with the software.  When using xRDP software, it will always create a new session for the logged on user.  There is no way (as far as we know) to connect to the console session and start your session where you left it !   

In a coming post, we will show you some tips and tricks that can be used to allow simultaneously local connections and remote connections… 

Till next time 

See ya




Leave a Reply