Alternatives to LogMeIn on Ubuntu Linux

Log me In!

Nope, sorry I can’t log you in. I can however, show you a variety of different software to use in Ubuntu for anyone who might be interested. Logmein is a secure over-the-web remote desktop application which allows you to remotely interact and manage your computers while you are away; it is a Windows-only program however.

It has been reported to work on Fedora by some people:

However this is not recommended, due to the bugs involved. Instead you can use a variety of native Ubuntu applications, and some applications are only a click away in the Software Center.

Ubuntu Remote Desktop

Ubuntu has its own remote desktop application built-in and the good news is that you can access it from vncviewer. The even better news is that vncviewer is free and cross-platform, so you can view your Ubuntu machine from a Windows box.

Remote Desktop Setup

First you will need to enable it, as it is switched off by default for security reasons. In order to do that, just go to the top left and click on "System", then "Preferences", and then "Remote Desktop".

Once you have done this, a window should open much like the image to the right (you can click on it to enlarge it). Make sure that the first two check boxes are checked, and ensure that "You must confirm each access to this machine" and "Require user to enter this password" are checked. Enter a password into the field, then click "close".

VNC Free Edition

Now you may use VNC free edition from another computer to connect. You can download it here:

As you can see, you can get it for both Linux and Windows. There are also many other VNC viewers out there which are compatible with the current way Ubuntu manages things, so take your pick. Remember to make your password as secure as you can when you are connecting through VNC; the last thing you want is a random hacker getting access to your machine.

Other Methods

There are a few other ways to do this as well. If you do not need the entire desktop, you can use the SSH protocol. There are plenty of free programs for every operating system to support SSH and some portable ones too, so if you are on a work or school machine, you can still use this.

The first thing you will need to do is set up an SSH server on Ubuntu. This is quite simple to do so go ahead, open up your terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

This will install openssh onto your machine..once that is done all you need to do is run (from the terminal window):

ssh -Y <username>@<host>

From another PC with SSH, this will then allow you to launch GUI applications which will appear on your current PC.

SSH if Port 22 is blocked

If you cannot get to your home computer from your work or school computer because port 22 is blocked, all you need to do is change the port that ssh runs on, if you set this to 80 you should be able to connect just fine from school or work (because they need to allow outgoing connections on Port 80 to allow you to access the web)

In order to change the default, just run in the terminal window:

sudo gedit /etc/ssh/sshd_config

and change the line which says:

Port 22

To the port of your choice 🙂 Finally you will need to restart the ssh daemon, save and close the file which you were editing then type at the terminal:

sudo service sshd restart

Now that you have set the host to receive on port 80, all you need to do is set whatever SSH client you are using to connect on port 80.