Monday, October 29, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 - Remote desktop from Win7 give blank screen

There is always problem here and there with fresh install Ubuntu. It is really unlike Windows 7, no matter what you have install things will normally work just right away without much configuration.

XRDP session in Ubuntu can't escape as well. I believe a lot have experienced login from Windows 7 to Ubuntu will see only the wallpaper without any taskbar. There are many many work around online and most of them required a lot of command line input and even some require reinstallation / removal of certain piece of software inside.

Gathering info from all those advices, one can realize it actually something to do with what is being loaded up upon login from remote. The gnome-session-fallback seems not working on Ubuntu 12.10 possibly due to Unity-2D is completely gone out of 12.10. And if you are like me who prefer xfce4 than any other, then the solution is as simple as below:
  1. locate the in /etc/xrdp
  2. you can do vi or simply fire up leafpad with sudo privilege. the last line of it should be ./etc/X11/Xsession
  3. replace it with xfce4-session (or you can simply add a "#" in front of the "xsession" line to disable it and enter xfce4-session in a new line)
  4. now login again from remote desktop connection and voila!
Configuring different desktop session:

  1. Lubuntu: lxsession -s Lubuntu -e LXDE
  2. Gnome Fallback: gnome-session --session=gnome-fallback

Thanks to NuxIT from for the idea of such a simple solution. The original discussion thread can be found here:

Additional resources:


  1. Well, that didn't work. Same problem, blank desktop.

    1. Do you have XFCE install in your Ubuntu? If not, you can install it by:
      sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

    2. maybe outdated,but ...
      you shouldn't login as root in your windows rdp program

  2. Thanks, I had the same problem and I am able to see the desktop and menu items now.

    1. Great to know my article help to solve your problem. Happy Ubuntu!

  3. Thanks. It works for me too!