xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 18.04,20.04,22.04,22.10 (Script Version 1.4.6)

Hello World, 

In our previous post, we have mentioned a bunch of issues that have been encountered when using the xrdp-installer script (ver. 1.4.5).  Since the issues detected are quite significative, we have decided to release (quick and dirty) a new version of the script which should tackle the most important issues detected.  This script replaces all the previous versions 

The new version of the famous xrdp installation script will be set to 1.4.6 (i.e. xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh). Version 1.4.6 should be seen as an emergency release in order to quickly fix the detected issues.  We will need to perform some additional tests to validate the script and then mark it as stable 

So, let’s go ! 

Overview

By now, you should know that the xrdp-installer script aim to ease installation and post-configuration actions of xRDP on top of Ubuntu Operating system.  xRDP is a piece of software that enable remote desktop services on Linux.   This means that windows users can use their Remote desktop client (mstsc) and perform a remote connection to Ubuntu Computer.   

Initially, the script was supporting only Ubuntu with Gnome Desktop interface. However,  recent version of script tries to detect the Desktop interface in use and try to perform the post-configuration actions as required.  Recent version of the script also can run against Debian Operating system as well.  Please note that supporting other Flavors is based on a Best effort approach

What’s new in this release (Version 1.4.6) ?

Fixing package conflict between fuse and fuse 3 on Ubuntu 22.10″   

As explained in our previous post, Ubuntu 22.10 ships with fuse3 package by default.  When performing a custom installation, the script will try to install fuse package.  The fuse package conflicts with the newer fuse3 package and some important packages are removed from your Ubuntu machine (such as ubuntu desktop !!).  The xrdp-installer-1.4.6 will not try to install fuse package anymore. Instead the libfuse-dev package will be installed when performing a custom installation  

Downloading the latest stable xrdp & xorgxrdp package from Github    

The xrdp-installer script can perform a standard installation (i.e. using Ubuntu packages from repositories) or a user can decide to run a custom installation from sources files.  In the previous versions of the script, when custom mode was selected, the script would download files from the Github dev branch repository.  Some users pointed out that they would prefer to use the latest releases versions rather than dev versions on their systems.  I think that these users have a point.  This is why in version 1.4.6, the script will always try to download the latest release version sources files.  

Adding MP3 codecs support in audio redirection     

Our famous reader Hiero has also made a small suggestions in order to improve sound redirection.  xRDP supports mp3 codecs in audio redirection via LAME encoder.  This feature can help reduce network traffic and improve sound quality.  So, now when we use custom install mode and we compile the xrdp package, we pass the  –enable-mp3lame which will include the mp3 support to xRDP software

mp3xrdp_lame

Click on Picture for better Resolution

We have not fully tested this featue and we still need to see if this improve xRDP sound redirection feature…. 

Compilation Fails on Debian 11.x (Still under investigation) 

Some users have reported that the custom installation was not working on Debian OS. The error was caused by the checkinstall package that is used to compile xrdp and xorgxrdp software solution.  We have installed Debian 11.6 and run the script 1.4.6.  We have not encountered the issue (so far ?). If you are using Debian OS, if you have time, please give it a try and provide feedback 

How to Use the Script

The xrdp-installer-1.4.6 script will work in a similar way as the previous versions. The following section will explain how to download, extract, set executable mode and perform the installation using the script.  The script provides some switches that can be used to customize the installation process.  

So, let’s see how this would be working…. 

Disclaimer

The script is provided AS IS.  Use it at your own risk !!! 

Prerequisites and assumptions  

The following conditions should be met in order to have the best results while using the script

  • We assume that your machine is connected to internet while performing the installation.  This is needed as additional packages and software needs to be downloaded and installed on your Ubuntu machine

Script version & Supported Ubuntu Version

The xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh script will support the following Ubuntu operating system version assuming that Gnome Desktop is the default Desktop interface

  • Ubuntu 18.04.x
  • Ubuntu 20.04.x
  • Ubuntu 22.04.x
  • Ubuntu 22.10.x
  • Debian 10 
  • Debian 11 (only if you select custom mode installation !!!) 

The xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh script can be run against the following Ubuntu flavors but we cannot guarantee that everything will work as expected (best effort)

  • Kubuntu (20.04 and later)
  • Ubuntu Budgie (20.04 and later)
  • Ubuntu Mate (20.04 and later)
  • Xubuntu (20.04 and later)
  • Lubuntu (20.04 and later)  
  • Linux Mint (Experimental at this stage) 
  • Pop!_OS  22.04 

Note :  If you are running any of these distributions and you want to help us improving the support on those, please download and test the script.  Do no hesitate to share your findings so we can try to incorporate them in the next release 

Step 1 – Download the script

To download the script, you have multiple options.   You can from a Terminal issue the following command 

wget https://www.c-nergy.be/downloads/xRDP/xrdp-installer-1.4.6.zip

You can also simply use your browser and click on the link to download the script :  

Step 2 – unzip the file 

After downloading the zip package containing the file, you will need to unzip it first. To unzip the package, you can use the Terminal console and issue the following command 

unzip xrdp-installer-1.4.6.zip 

You can also use the GUI and the Nautilus file manager to select the downloaded package, right-click on it and select the option Extract Here

Step 2 – Set Execute Right on the script

Download the xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh script to your system, extract content and mark it as executable . To do this, perform the following action in a terminal console

chmod +x  ~/Downloads/xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh

Note : Adjust the path where the xrdp-Installer-1.4.6.sh script to reflect your environment

Step 2 – Run as normal user 

The script needs to be run as a normal user.  The script will start running and will prompt you for password when sudo actions are initiated.  If you run the script as root or using sudo command, the Download folder does not exist for the root user and the script fails to run as expected.   To overcome this situation, the script also check which user is executing the script. If the script is run under sudo or root accounts, a warning message will be displayed and the script will not execute

Step 3 – Switches and parameters 

The xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh script can be executed as is (with no parameters or switches). This will perform a standard (and basic) installation of xRDP.  No sound or custom xrdp login script will be made available.  However, remote desktop, drive redirection and clipboard redirection would be available with this installation mode.  

The xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh script accept also some additional parameters that will help customize the xrdp installation and enable additional features.  The script provides the following parameters 

--help or -h          => will display a basic help menu
--sound or -s         => will enable sound redirection 
--loginscreen or -l   => will customize the xRDP login screen 
--remove or -r        => will remove the xrdp package 
--custom or -c        => will perform a custom installation (i.e. compiled from sources)

Step 4 – Perform xRDP installation using the script 

The following sections will provide some examples and scenario on how you can use the script….. 

Standard Installation – No Parameter

As mentioned above, you can decide to use the default xrdp package available in the Ubuntu repository and perform a basic installation which will provide you remote desktop capability and will also customize the remote sesssion.  The script will ensure that the same look n’ feel will be maintained when the user logs on locally or remotely. 

To perform a standard installation, you execute the script with no parameters.  Open a Terminal console, browse to the location where the script has been downloaded and issue the following command 

 ./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh

When the xrdp installation package will start, you be requested to enter your password. Provide the password and proceed with the installation. Wait for completion of the script.  The machine will not reboot automatically when done so you can review the actions performed by the script….

Standard Installation with Parameters

The script can be used to perform a standard installation and still passes some parameters to get the most of the xRDP packages and their features.  For all the Ubuntu versions, we could use the following combination of parameters 

./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -s      (this would enable the sound redirection) 
./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -l      (this would customize the xrdp login screen -see here)

Obviously, you can combine the switches (any order) to have more features enabled  

./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -s -l      (this would enable the sound redirection and customize the xrdp login screen)

Important Notes

The script can be run multiple times on the same machine.  If you have run initially the script with no parameters but you decide afterward to enable additional features, the script can be re-executed and the additional features will be enabled.  

Custom Installation – Default Installation 

Custom installation script is really flexible. Custom installation means that the script will compile the xrdp package from the source binaries. The custom installation script always uses the latest xrdp package version available 

To perform a custom installation, you will need at minimum to pass one parameter.  The following command line shows you how to perform a custom installation  

./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -c     (this would perform a custom installation but will not enabled adv features like sound redirection or custom login screen)

Custom Installation – Additional Options  

If a user wants to enable additional features, you will pass some additional parameters as shown in the following examples 

./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -c -s     (this would perform a custom install and enable sound redirection)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -c -l     (this would perform a custom install and customize xrdp login screen)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -c -l -s  (this would perform a custom install, enable sound and customize login screen)

Important Notes

The script can be run multiple times on the same machine.  If you have run initially the script with no parameters but you decide afterward to enable additional features, the script can be re-executed and the additional features will be enabled.  

Remove Installation option

This version of the script also ship with the option to remove xRDP package.  The removal option should be only used  if you have uses this version of this script to perform the installation.  To remove the xrdp package, you would simply execute the following command  

./xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -r     (to remove the xrdp packages)

Step 5 – Test your configuration 

After the script has run and after the reboot/shutdown and start process, it’s time to test and see if you can indeed perform a smooth remote connection to your Ubuntu machine.  Start your favorite rdp client and simply enter your credentials and start testing your installation.  If everything is ok, you will see a similar Desktop interface where Gnome Desktop is used and the Dock is visible. 

Limitations

Switch between standard and Custom install

This version of the script can be run multiple times on the same machine.  However, because of this new behavior, you cannot perform a standard installation and then decide to perform the custom installation.  Once you have selected your installation mode, you will have to stick to it.  This is kind of checked by the script.  

So, if you have performed a standard installation but afterwards you might want to use the custom installation option, the script will ignore the request.  If you want to move from standard install mode to custom mode (or vice versa), the correct process is 

  • remove xrdp (using the xrdp-installer-1.4.6.sh -r option) 
  • perform a new installation using your selected installation mode (standard or custom install mode) 

Known issues, Fixed Issues and limitations 

Known Issues 

Black Screen or disconnected immediately after connecting

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….  

In the past, we have provided some workarounds that could be used to allow multiple connections for the same user.  However, in Ubuntu 22.04, we have encountered some additional issues and again we strongly recommend not using these workarounds…..

Some workarounds (provided as is) to try to fix the issues are available. We do not recommend to use them ! Use at your own risk !!!

Final Notes

This is it for this post !   

The script version has not been tested extensively because we needed to fix quite quickly the discovered issues.   The script should be seen as an emergency release in order to maintain usability.  Please if you have time or want to help us in creating the best xRDP installer script, download the script, test it and provide constructive feedback.  If you find a bug or an issue with the script, let us know as well so we can try to fix it.     

Last but not least !  Special Thanks to Hiero who discovered and shared the information with you… Really appreciated  🙂 

Till next time 

See ya  

 su

2 thoughts on “xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 18.04,20.04,22.04,22.10 (Script Version 1.4.6)

  1. Hi

    Thank you for your efforts, just installed it on Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS and works like a charm.

    One small issue for me, I cannot open nautilus or nemo open as admin in the rdp session.

    Any solution of workaround for this please if you can suggest.

    Regards

  2. @Patel,

    Thank you for visiting our blog and providing feedback. In the past, some workarounds exists to still open the gui interface within xRDP. Nowadays, it seems that newer version of gnome is not allowing this anymore… A possibility might be to disable the Polkit feature… We will need to look into this but we are a little bit short in time for blogging at the moment… So please be patient if you want us to come up with a possible workaround

    Hope this help
    Till next time
    See ya

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