xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 18.04,20.04,22.04 (Script Version 1.4.3)

Hello World, 

Holidays are coming soon and we are still working on the xrdp-installer script.  We are happy to let you know that a new release of the famous xrdp-installer-script is available for you to test and download.  Initially, the script was focusing on Ubuntu+ Gnome desktop interface.  However, based on feedback and requests from users, we are trying to support more distributions (still not perfect but work in progress). Version 1.4.3 brings some minors features/improvements and fixes also some minor bugs 

Thanks to our readers  and more specifically thanks to Hiero πŸ™‚ who is really active lately and providing really good feedback and share good ideas in order to improve the script.  

The new version of our famous xrdp installation script will be set to 1.4.3 (i.e. xrdp-installer-1.4.3.sh).  This script replaces all previous versions.    

So, let’s proceed with this latest version…. 

 

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

What’s new in this release (Version 1.4.3) ?

Informational message when performing the remote desktop connection (Credits to Hiero)

Credits goes to Hiero (one of our readers) for this feature.  Hiero contacted us recently and made an interesting suggestion in order to avoid the frequent issue with xrdp black screen symptom.   As you should know by now,  xRDP does not allow you to perform a local and remote connection using the same user account at the same time.  It’s either a local connection or a remote connection.  If you try to perform concurrent connections with the same account, you will end up with a black screen.  Some workarounds exists but we do not recommend to use them as they can also introduce some other issues… You can find more information at 

Hiero came up with the idea to introduce a warning message box when performing your remote desktop connection.  The popup would show up only if the user trying to connect via RDP is already logged on locally on the Ubuntu machine.  After integrating his code into the script, we have tested the functionality.  So, if a user has already an existing local connection on the computer, when he will perform the remote connection, he will get the following message 

Msg_xrdp_01

Click on Picture for better Resolution

This is a nice little addition.  In the future, we might want to perform the same kind of check (if possible) when a user is remotely connected via xRDP and tries to login locally.  As you can imagine, the same symptom/behavior will occur.  When login locally (while already logged remotely), only a black screen will be show to you…. We might want to have the same kind of warning message implemented but we have no timeline yet…. 

Basic error detection for sound redirection compilation   

Since some readers reported some issues when running sound redirection from different distribution flavor, we have noticed that no error handling was available in the sound redirection code section.  To overcome this limitation, we have slightly modified the code to have a really basic (quick and dirty) error detection system. The idea here is to simply notify the user if there is a problem during the execution of the script.   

To find the root cause of the issue, you will still need to have a look into the output provided by the script which can probably provide you hints on why the sound redirection installation didn’t work as expected.  Again, really a minor change but might help increase awareness in case of problem with sound redirection compilation process…. 

Installing additional packages for sound redirection feature 

Again, thanks to a multiple readers, we have noticed that sound redirection was generating a lot of questions.  On some distributions, the sound redirection compilation was not performing as expected.  After a quick test (multiple actually) on different distributions, we have noticed that some packages needed for the compilation was missing and probably does not ship by default.  Again, to overcome possible issues when try to get sound redirection working, we have added some code to ensure that necessary packages will be installed.  The following additional packages will be installed when running the script with sound redirection option enabled 

  • meson,
  • tdb-tools,
  • libtdb-dev,
  • doxygen,
  • check

Our focus is on Ubuntu + Gnome Desktop and based on several tests we have made, it’s seems that this version of the script is running ok and sound redirection should be working fine.  If you have different distributions, please give it a try and provide feedback.  If you find that something is not working as expected, let’s us know and we will try to fix this…  

Minor Bug fixing 

As we were reviewing the script, we have also discovered some part of the code that was not covering all possible scenario which could have impacted the installation of the xRDP software.  We have modified this part.  We have not performed extensive testing but we think it should be ok.  The modified code should better detect if you have used standard mode or custom mode. If you have performed a standard mode installation and you are trying to run on top of it a custom installation, the installation will not go through.  If you want to move from standard mode to custom mode, you have to remove the xrdp package (xrdp-installer-xx.sh -r) and perform the custom installation afterwards. 

Msg_xrdp_02

Click on Picture for better Resolution

How to Use the Script

The xrdp-installer-1.4.3 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-1.4.3.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
  • Debian 10 
  • Debian 11 (only if you select custom mode installation !!!) 
  •  

The xrdp-installer-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.sh

Note : Adjust the path where the xrdp-Installer-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.sh -s      (this would enable the sound redirection) 
./xrdp-installer-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.sh -c -s     (this would perform a custom install and enable sound redirection)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.3.sh -c -l     (this would perform a custom install and customize xrdp login screen)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.3.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-1.4.3.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-1.4.1.sh -r option) 
  • perform a new installation using your selected installation mode (standard or custom install mode) 

Final Notes

This is it for this post !   

The script version has not been tested extensively but we hope that the minor changes we have introduced will not cause any additional issues.  We wanted to release this version mainly because of the nice little addition about the warning message when concurrent connections from the same user exists.  This is really a useful one. Hiero has also shared some other ideas in order to improve support to other distributions.  This would be our next step.. reviewing Hiero recommendations & ideas and try to integrate them into the script. This might show up in the next version of the script….    

Thank you to Hiero for all the positive feedback provided so far and thanks for sharing your findings and suggestions…This is really highly appreciated…. πŸ™‚ 

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.     

Till next time 

See ya  

 

8 thoughts on “xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 18.04,20.04,22.04 (Script Version 1.4.3)

  1. As a tip for those with an Intel or Nvidia GPU in their systems;
    if you change the script, and add –glamour to the compile options you get hardware accelerated rendering! this has a huge impact on bandwith used (it goes up) but also massively reduces cpu usage and provides a smoother experience. Things like tux-racer over Rdp work fine now.

    It might be nice to offer this as an option when installing with the script, be aware the results differ per system but in my case (integrated GMA630 in an 10th gen corei7) combined with Ubuntu 22 is works like a charm.

    if any info or questions about how to set it up let me know.

  2. @Gijs,

    Thank you for visiting our blog and providing feedback. Thank you for sharing your findings… we are aware of the –glamour option but we never had time to look into this…
    At a later stage; we will have a look and we will probably contact you to share your findings if ok with you… Since we are working on an heavy project, not much will happen in the coming weeks but we will definitely look into this πŸ™‚

    Till next time
    See ya

  3. @MingQiang,

    Thank you for visiting our blog and providing feedback… We will see if we can add cutefish os as additional best effort option but will not done immediately. in the mean time, if we have time, we could give it a try and provide some guidance πŸ™‚

    till next time
    See ya

  4. Hi everyone,

    Did someone manage to compile pulseaudio on Linux Mint 21?
    I get a strange error, that no deb-src is added, although in software sources I have source code repositories checked.

  5. @Alexkara,

    Thank you for visiting the blog and providing feedback.. We have not yet fully tested the script against Linux Mint. We would need to check this one but it will take some time to us ( 3 to 4 weeks)… If someone else got some time or an idea of what could be the issue : )

    Thank you for feedback
    Till next time
    See ya

  6. Hello,

    I encountered two issues. One is on Linux MINT, the other is on Debian.

    – on Linux MINT
    Sound compilation fails.
    Linux MINT’s version of apt-add-repository does not support -s option.
    Therefore, source code repository is not added and download of pulseaudio source code fails.
    I enabled source code repository using synaptic->Settings->Repositories dialogue.
    After that, download source code and compilation succeeded and sound works well.

    – on Debian.
    I get following error during compile/install xrdp.
    /usr/bin/mkdir: cannot create directory ‘/usr/local/share/man’: No such file or directory
    /usr/local/share/man directory does not exist, at least just after Debian is installed.
    It is necessary to add “sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/man” for Debian.

    Hiero

  7. @Hiero,

    Thank you for the feedback…. The script has been updated to tackle the Debian issue… for Linux Mint, I have no solution at the moment…we will need to look into this. since Linux Mint is one of the latest addition and still marked as experimental, we will tackle this issue in the next release (if doable)

    Till next time
    See ya

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