How to Setup Remote RDP access on an Azure VM running Linux Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

I was looking for a really light [Ubuntu] Linux (http://www.ubuntu.com/) desktop with two requirements:

  • it must have a small footprint
  • I must be able to RDP to the box from Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP)

My main requirement is that it should work on a Basic_A0 sized Azure VM instance ((0.25 cores, 0.75 GB memory), so that it's doesn't eat into my monthly MSDN subscription budget. The normal ubuntu-desktop is just too big, but I found people saying that xfce is pretty light.

Secondly, it needed to work with xrdp. The RDP requirement comes from years of using VNC and such tools in the past, and I have to say nothing beats RDP for remote networking. End of.

Here was the final solution that worked for me:

First, spin up an extra-small Ubuntu Linxu 14.04 LTS VM instance, login over SSH and add these bits:

    sudo apt-get update 
    sudo apt-get install xrdp 
    sudo apt-get install xfce4 
    sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal 
    sudo apt-get install gnome-icon-theme-full tango-icon-theme
    echo xfce4-session >~/.xsession 

Next, add startxfce4 to the last line of /etc/xrdp/startwn.sh. Your startwm.sh should now look like:

#!/bin/sh if [ -r /etc/default/locale ]; then
   . /etc/default/locale
    export LANG LANGUAGE 
fi  
startxfce4  

Finally, restart services:

    sudo service xrdp restart 

Source: Tweaking4All.com - How to use xRDP for remote access to Ubuntu 14.04