How To Configure Remote Desktop On Linux VPS / VM

Desktop environment is a bundle of programs that provides a graphical user interface (GUI). It provides end-users with a user-friendly and intuitive way to interact with computers. When it comes to virtual private servers (VPS) or Cloud Servers if you need a remote desktop environment you typically go with a windows VPS, you can simply use predefined applications and services to RDP to the windows server. When it comes to Linux VPSs you typically will be given a SSH access to manage and configure your server, although most Linux system administrators are comfortable managing their VPS through SSH access but sometimes the desktop environment is required during the application installation.

Unlike Windows and Mac, for Linux environment, you have many different desktop environments to choose from such as GNOM, Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, XFCE and etc… Most often than not (depending on the desktop environment) you need to have console access to complete the desktop environment installation and setup on your VPS or hosted server. Here at Cirrus Hosting every Cloud VPS/VM comes with console access free of charge.

XFCE is a light, fast and stable desktop environment and in this blog, we will cover how to setup XFCE on Debian 10.3 and remote desktop to your Linux VPS.

It’s a fairly simple and straight forward process, first you need to SSH to your server and type:

# apt install xfce4

Apt package manager will download and install all the required packages. Once the installation is completed we need to set up a remote server software. In this example, we are going to use tightvncserver:

# apt-get install tightvncserver

After installation is completed we need to run and you will be required to create a password to access your desktop.

# vncserver

To connect remotely to your desktop environment you can use VNC viewer. Type your server IP address and the password you created earlier to access your desktop.