How to set up screen sharing on Linux Ubuntu

Messenger's conversation example
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The ability to share a screen helps to solve not only technical issues, but also is a great way to provide training or run presentations. Many companies use this feature on a daily basis. There are several ways to set up screen sharing on Linux Ubuntu. In this article we will discuss them and provide instructions.

Built-in desktop sharing on Linux Ubuntu

Built-in desktop sharing on Linux Ubuntu allows you to let other people view and control your desktop. This feature is very convenient when you need to troubleshoot or demonstrate something. To activate desktop sharing you need to do the following:

  1. Follow Settings and select Sharing there
  2. Activate Sharing switch in the top right corner if it is disabled
    Ubuntu sharing settings screenshot
  3. Click Remote Desktop
  4. Activate Remote Desktop switch to allow others to view your desktop. You can also allow Remote Control if necessary
    Ubuntu remote desktop settings screenshot
  5. In Authentication section set the credentials which will be used in the client software on the connecting device
  6. To allow others to connect to your desktop, you need to provide them Device Name, Remote Desktop Address, User Name and Password. You can copy this information to the clipboard using special icon

Any clients for remote connection can be used to connect to your desktop. For example:

  • On Windows you need to run "mstsc" command to start the Remote Desktop Connection session.
  • For Linux you can use Free RDP X11 client (xfreerdp) or Thincast (proprietary software) which is available as a flatpack
  • Screen sharing between two Mac computers can be done with help of built-in functionality. However, to connect to other OS, you will need to use third party software on MacOS. Free RDP client Thincast is available for Window, MacOS and Linux.

Third party desktop sharing software for Linux

Alternatively, it is possible to use third party software for remote desktop access and screen sharing on Linux Ubuntu. For customer support, issues troubleshooting and running presentations it is definitely more convenient to take advantage of such clients. There are a lot of remote desktop and screen sharing apps available on the market. In this post we will describe Virola free self-hosted messenger tool which allows sharing desktop with multiple people and taking control over it.

Screen sharing is a part of built-in Virola messenger functionality. To start screen sharing you just need to:

  1. Open the chat room with a user or users you would like to share your screen with
  2. Click "Screen sharing / Remote control" icon
  3. Select whether you would like to share your screen or give a remote control over it
  4. Adjust the shared area with help of movable elements
  5. Define picture quality if necessary
Virola's screen sharing example
  1. On the side of other users, a shared screen session will appear in a separate tab in the chat room. They can view it in a tab or undock to view in a full screen. At the same time users can switch to chats when necessary
  2. To stop screen sharing session it is enough to click "Stop screen sharing / remote control" icon
    Virola's stop screen sharing icon

Screen sharing is very useful during video and audio meetings if a participant wants to show something. It can be used for demonstration and training purposes. There is no need to enter connection details or launch other apps for this. No special skills are required to start screen sharing on Linux Ubuntu in Virola.

Besides screen sharing, it is possible to activate Remote Control and grant access to another person. In this case you need to:

  1. Adjust the sharable area with help of movable elements
  2. Click "Screen sharing / Remote control" icon
  3. If you are in a group chat, select a user who will take over your screen
    Virola's remote control users selection
  4. To stop giving remote control you need to click "Stop screen sharing / remote control" icon

Both screen sharing and remote control features can be used while talking to other Virola users. This is very convenient as it allows troubleshooting issues, training and just sharing information directly during video and audio meetings with a couple of clicks.

Virola corporate messenger is available for Linux and can be downloaded from Virola website. You can start using it for your team communication and install on your own secure server.