Ubuntu Remote Desktop with X2Go

This tutorial explains the installation and usage of X2Go on Ubuntu. X2Go is a remote desktop application to access X-Desktop enviroments over a network connection, it is well suited for low bandwidth connections, has support for sound with PulseAudio and allows desktop sharing. The application has two parts, the x2goclient for the client side and x2goserver (which has to be installed on the desktop system that shall be accessed). The X2Go client software is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Install X2Go Server

To install the server side application just type one of the following commands to install the prerequisites, depending on your Ubuntu version.
For an older version of Ubuntu, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

For the recent version you may use:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Then add the X2Go PPA software repository, update the packagelist and install the server:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:x2go/stable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install x2goserver x2goserver-xsession

Install X2Go Client

Now, after installing the application on the server you will have to install the client side application on the system of your choice by typing:

sudo apt-get install x2goclient

This will install the client side application on your system. The X2Go client will get added automatically to your application menu.

How it works?

Every time a new session is started the script x2gostartagent is executed on your server. The x2gostartagent file creates a new session by finding the unique session ID and adds it to its own database.

Desktop Bindings

To improve the usability, X2Go provides Desktop Binding tools for various desktops. Here are the commands to install them:

Gnome Bindings

sudo apt-get install x2gognomebindings

(Not available for GNOMEv3 environment yet)

MATE Bindings

sudo apt-get install x2gomatebindings

KDE/Plasma Bindings

sudo apt-get install plasma-widget-x2go

LXDE Bindings

sudo apt-get all x2golxdebindings

XFCE4 Bindings

Bindings for XFCE4 have not been created yet, but you can install GNOME bindings for that purpose.

Using the client side application

The next steps describe the setup of the first connection to your X2Go server:

Session name: Fill out your session name.

Host: This can be your host name or IP address.

Login: This will be your user name with which you will be logging in on to the remote server.

SSH port: This will be your port number that you will be using to connect to your remote server, the default used is 22, you may change it as per your settings on SSH config file (/etc/ssh/sshd_config).

RSA/DSA key: You may specify the key, if created. The key decryption will prompt password for decryption.

Session type: Select your desktop manager that you are using currently on the remote server.

After the successful configuration of the session you are ready to go. You will have something like this on the top right corner of the window:

Click on that window you will get a login screen like:

Make sure you type in your own user name and password for the system and click on login. It should take you to the desktop of your server:

Here it is you have successfully logged in on to your system. You may also want to check Pyhoca-GUI as a client application.

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9 Comment(s)

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By: Rick

Worked perfectly! Thanks for the great tutorial!

By: BP


I'n having a real problem getting this to work. I am using a windows client version of x2go to access my ubuntu desktop. But when I in put the info and go to connect this comes up;

kex error: no match for method server host key algo: server [ssh-rsa,ssh-dss,ecdas-sha2-nistp256], client [ssh-ed25519]

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


By: javier

How can I connect through proxy sock 5 ? I need to connect through Tor via proxy (port 9050) specifiying a .onion hostname.

By: franjeg

with gnome NOT

i use other,  mate or xfce


please test it.

By: Denis


Help me. I ran x2go couple time and see desktop. BUT THEN. 

When I run x2go I see nothing only one terminal. And thats all.

How mw fix it neeed this desktop very much. 

Please help me.

By: Jason

Well... That certainly didn't work.

By: Cameron

It seems some information is missing.  Do I have to start the server before I can connect a client to it?  Does the client start the server somehow?  I have installed the server on my cloud VM and the client on my Windows 7 workstation.  When I start the client and give credentials, the connection just hangs.  There is no error message.  How do I tell if the x2goserver is running?  Where is the log?  How do I tell what's missing?


By: Cameron

Please delete the useless "How it works?" section.  It's a placeholder that prevents anyone from adding a coherent description of either how it works or how it is used.

By: ot

Nice to see others using BackBox Linux, great distro. Light and stable, avec peestingnt tools but can be used for everyday work as well. For people who want to try it: https://backbox.org

Thanks for writeup ;)