Remote desktop apps are a very useful group of apps because they allow access to a computer anywhere in the world. While the simplest way to do this is via a terminal, if you don’t want to have to type commands but rather want a more advanced way to access a remote computer, here are five of the best remote desktop apps for Linux.
If you have been using the GNOME desktop environment, chances are you are already familiar with Remmina because it comes pre-installed on many Linux distros. Remmina is a GTK+ 3 application which consists of a main program and a bunch of plugins (RDP, VNC, NX, XDMCP, SSH, Telepathy). To connect to a remote computer you can either enter its address directly or choose it from the list of connection profiles.
If you are not happy with Remmina, there is also Vinagre, another remote desktop client integrated into the GNOME environment. One of its advantages is that with it you can have multiple connections open simultaneously. Also, you can browse the network for VNC servers – just don’t abuse this privilege. Vinagre doesn’t support as many protocols as Remmina, but it supports the main ones, e.g. VNC, SSH, and RDP.
KDE fans can use any of the other remote desktop clients, but if you prefer an app that is native to KDE, krdc is your option. krdc is a small and simple app. It might lack some advanced features, but if speed and simplicity are more important, krdc is a great choice. With it you can connect to a remote computer via RDP or VNC/RFB protocols.
TigerVNC is a more universal app because it isn’t tied to Linux only. In addition to the many Linux distributions (Fedora, OpenSUSE, FreeBSD, Arch Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise) it comes with, there are also versions for 64-bit and 32-bit Windows and a universal binary for Intel-based Macs. One of the best things about TigerVNC is that it is under active development and new versions with updates, fixes, and new features are regularly released.
TigerVNC is a client/server application – i.e. you can use it not only to access a remote desktop but also to run a VNC server on your computer, thus making it accessible remotely. If your Internet connection is good, you can use TigerVNC full screen for resource-heavy tasks such as running 3D and video applications.
NoMachine is one more multi-OS remote desktop client with a version for Linux. It comes as a personal and enterprise edition. You’ll enjoy it most if you have a high speed Internet connection because only then will you be able to fully utilize its abilities, e.g. watch online video remotely or render animation. Its authors claim “NoMachine is the fastest and highest quality remote desktop you have ever tried.” In addition to the standard features you can find in any other remote desktop app, NoMachine allows you to record your sessions.
If you have the need to remotely access a computer, you have no lack of choices. For Linux users any of the remote desktop apps mentioned above will suffice and allow you to access a computer remotely without any difficulty. If you have any favorite remote desktop apps for Linux that are not mentioned above, do let us know in the comments below.