What is X2Go?

X2Go is a linux tool similar to RDP for windows which allows remote access of a system with higher performance than is possible with VNC.

VNC simply sends a video stream, but like RDP, X2Go does some client-side rendering of the window to improve responsiveness. It also allows multiple users to start multiple sessions on a single system, similar to Microsoft Terminal Services.

Add Repository

First, install the X2Go PPA. While X2Go is available in the general repositories, this allows us to track the newest patches and get additional add-ons not available in the general repository.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:x2go/stable -y

Install X2Go Server package

With this command, x2go’s server component should be installed.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y x2goserver x2goserver-xsession

Additionally, you may want the following addons, depending on your desktop environment:

# Mate
sudo apt install -y x2gomatebindings

sudo apt install -y x2golxdebindings

# Plasma / KDE
sudo apt install -y plasma-widget-x2go

Note that X2Go server does not work well with Unity or Gnome. Mate is generally the easiest desktop environment to use, because it is simple, lightweight, and well supported by x2go. KDE is also fairly usable.

Client Installation

X2Go has two main clients available, the main client simply called x2goclient, as well as a lighter weight python client called pyhoca. However, pyhoca uses the configuration set in the main x2goclient, so no matter which one you prefer, you must install x2goclient.

The client is installed on your desktop/laptop, not the server.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y x2goclient

Once this is installed, run x2goclient from your terminal, or find it in your applications menu. From here, you can then set up a connection to a host.

Want more information about setting up the client? Look at the full client install guide