xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 20.04,22.04,23.XX (Script Version 1.4.9)

Hello World, 

Today, we are releasing the version 1.4.9 of the xrdp-installer script.  This is more a maintenance release that will mainly include Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).  Since more and more people are asking me about Linux Mint support and LMDE, it might be time to add these distributions in the list of supported candidates… 

So, let’s see what has changed in this release… ! 

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 1.4.9) ?

Adding Support for LMDE (6 or higher)

As requested by our readers, we have updated the script in order to support the latest version of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).  The script should be able to correctly detect LMDE flavor as a supported OS and the script will execute accordingly.  For Linux Mint flavors, we are offering best effort support.. So, some stuff might not work as expected  

Removing Support for Ubuntu 23.04   

Since Ubuntu 23.04 has reach standard end of support, this Ubuntu version has been removed from the supported list and the script will normally not execute against Ubuntu 23.04.  Ubuntu 23.04 was a short term release and you should have upgraded to Ubuntu 23.10 by now.  

Additional Polkit exception for Linux Mint and Flatpak 

Again, based on some feedback from our users, we have been informed that if you have flatpak software packages installed on your Linux Mint/LMDE machine, you might get a security prompt when you will need to perform some updates.  To avoid/bypass the recurrent polkit popup that might should up, we have created an additional exception rules if you are running flatpak solution.

How to Use the Script

The xrdp-installer-1.4.9 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-1.4.9.sh script will support the following Ubuntu operating system version assuming that Gnome Desktop is the default Desktop interface

  • Ubuntu 20.04.x
  • Ubuntu 22.04.x
  • Ubuntu 23.04.x
  • Ubuntu 23.10.x
  • Debian 10 
  • Debian 11 (only if you select custom mode installation !!!) 
  • Debian 12 

The xrdp-installer-1.4.8.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)
  • LMDE (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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.sh

Note : Adjust the path where the xrdp-Installer-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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)
--dev or -d           => will perform a custom installation using dev branch (unstable version)

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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.sh -s      (this would enable the sound redirection) 
./xrdp-installer-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.sh -c -s     (this would perform a custom install and enable sound redirection)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.9.sh -c -l     (this would perform a custom install and customize xrdp login screen)
./xrdp-installer-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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-1.4.9.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 but it should work in most cases.  The script should be seen as a maintenance 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.   

We are waiting to see what’s coming with Ubuntu 24.04 and see if a new script release will be needed or not…

Till next time 

See ya  

8 thoughts on “xRDP – Easy install xRDP on Ubuntu 20.04,22.04,23.XX (Script Version 1.4.9)

  1. Hi,

    1st of all: thx a lot for maintaining this great installer script.

    I faced an issue with the generated startwm.sh: looks like the XDG_DATA_DIRS setting is read at install and static. I installed flatpak later on, so flatpak export dirs are overwritten every time, which results in missing launchers in Start Menu.
    Commenting out “export XDG_DATA_DIRS …” in startwm.sh fixed the issue for me.
    What is the reason of setting XDG_DATA_DIRS via startwm.sh?

  2. @Mic,
    thank you for visiting our blog and sharing your findings…. The xdg_data_Dirs is indeed set at installation time of xRDP and it’s used because the same reason you encountered (missing launcher, missing icons or applications not running as expected if XDG_DATA_DIRS is not populated correctly).

    When we tested the script, flatpak was indeed already installed so we didn’t notice this potential issue. We will need to change the logic in the script to take into account this scenario….

    Thank you very much for this feedback… we will try to fix this and update the script….

    Till next time
    See ya

  3. Hi.

    I have a Ubuntu 20.04 VPS. xRDP works great but only when IPv6 is enabled. For other reasons, I need it disabled – but the consequence is that xRDP stops working.

    I have tried to follow this: https://stackoverflow.com/a/71189557

    Although running sudo netstat -tulpen and it showing that xRDP is listening on IPV4 (shows tcp when running netstat -tulpen, it still does not work. However, I did notice that xrdp-sesman is still listening on IPV6 (shows tcp6 when running netstat -tulpen). I have tried to use the same logic when modifying the xrdp-sesman port configuration, but that just causes it to not listen at all.

    I would really appreciate your help. Is there a way to force xrdp to use IPV4 if IPV6 is disabled?

    Thanks
    Spare

  4. @Spare,

    Thank you for visiting our blog and sharing your experience. So, we have done a small test and it seems that latest version of xRDP can run when ipv6 is not running…. If you perform a custom install (xrdp-installer-xxx -c ), this should only enable the ipv4 protocol for xRDP and you should be able to connect. If you have performed a custom install, if you run xrdp -v, you should see that enable-ipv6 is not listed as option during compilation process

    We have disabled ipv6 through Grub, thorugh sysctl and through the network manager gui and commandline. We can see via netstat that no ipv6 are listening and we can perform the connection

    maybe provide more information on what you did to disable ipv6 and any changes you made on xrdp

    Hope this help
    Till next time
    See ya

  5. Hi Griffon,

    Thanks for your swift response. I just confirmed running “./xrdp-installer-1.4.9.sh -c” fixed the problem. I did have some trouble with the script saying unable to execute make or something along those lines – I had to install a dependency as the previous line said it failed to install something, I believe it was xserver-xorg-dev or something along those lines.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your support, and thank you for making this script!

  6. @Spare,

    Thank you for the feedback… Happy to see that you were able to solve your issue… We will double-check the version 1.4.9 of the script to see if we need to update it.. Nevertheless, version 1.5 is on its way as well since Ubuntu 24.04 will be released quite soon now…

    Till next time
    See ya

  7. @Derio;

    Thank you for visiting our blog and providing some feedback. happy to see that the script can be helpful… hope you enjoyed using it

    Till next time
    See ya

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