How to Remote Control Ubuntu From An Android Tablet

Few days ago, Laura discussed how you can use the Splashtop app to access your Windows/Mac remotely from an iOS device. The bad thing is, it only works on Windows and Mac (though the app is available for Android too). If you are using Linux, or more specifically, Ubuntu, the remote desktop client is already installed by default and you can easily turn it on to allow remote access from another device. Here’s how it works.

In Ubuntu, open the “Desktop Sharing” app. Check the box “Allow other users to view your desktop”. Make sure you check the box “Allow other users to control your desktop” as well.

ubuntu-allow-desktop-sharing

For security sake, it is best to set a password so others can’t access your desktop easily.

That’s all you need to do for your Ubuntu.

There are several apps in the market that allow you to connect to a remote device, but the one that I found to be working best is Wyse PocketCloud RDP/VNC. It is free, fast and easily configurable.

In your Android tablet,

1. Download and install Wyse PocketCloud RDP/VNC (market link)

2. Run the app. Select the “Add Connection” link at the top right corner.

android-vnc-add-connection

3. Select the Manual Connection, follow by “VNC”.

android-vnc-manual-connection

android-select-vnc

4. At the configuration window, choose “Windows” under the Operating System dropdown (it will work for Mac as well). Give the connection a nickname. The most important part is the Host address. This is where you enter the IP address of your Ubuntu machine. If your Android tablet is on the same WiFi network as your Ubuntu machine, all you have to do is to enter the local IP (192.168.x.x) of your Ubuntu machine. However, if both are not connected in the same network and your Ubuntu machine is using a dynamic IP, you may want to configure it with a dynamic DNS. Lastly, tap “Save”.

android-vnc-configuration

5. Back to the main screen, tap the big “Connect” button. If everything is set up properly, you should be connected to your remote machine in less than a minute.

android-vnc-connected

Wyse PocketCloud even comes with a mouse icon that you can use to simulate left and right click of the mouse and also the keyboard so you can type on the screen.

To exit, simply press the Back button and it will prompt you if you want to exit the session.

As can be seen, it is very easy to connect remotely to your Ubuntu machine. There is no need to install additional software on your Ubuntu. In addition, even on a slow network, the remote connection on the Android tablet works well too.

What other apps do you use to connect remote to your desktop?