Remote desktop capabilities still missing in Fedora 29 Workstation

The release of Fedora 29 marks the second anniversary of the introduction of Wayland as the default display manager for Fedora Workstation. It’s also the forth biannual release of Fedora that doesn’t support remote desktop sessions out of the box.

There have been a lot of progress towards reintroducing remote desktop capabilities to the default Fedora Workstation setup since I last wrote about it. The Fedora Project wiki lists remote desktop services as a proposed change for Fedora 29, but these plans seem to have been abandoned in .

The Fedora 29 repositories now include the gnome-remote-desktop package that includes a screen sharing service and adds user interface for configuring screen sharing to System Settings: Sharing. The package isn’t installed by default as it isn’t working. You can install it and enable the service, but it will crash when you try to connect to it.

Fedora 29 also ships with an updated version of GNOME Boxes, the virtual and remote machine management tool, that added support for managing remote systems over the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). I can’t actually confirm that this is working, though, as GNOME Boxes always crashes when I try to connect it to either Windows 10 Professional’s built-in RDP server or rdpwrapper for Windows Home.

You can connect to VNC servers using Boxes. However, I still prefer using just about any other Linux client to connect to VNC servers as Boxes’ implementation has quite a few issues. For example, the mouse cursor you see locally doesn’t match the remote position when you connect to the built-in VNC server on macOS unless the local and remote systems have the exact same screen resolution. If you provide the wrong credentials to Boxes, it’ll get stuck displaying an infinite progress spinner without providing any feedback about the problem. Trying to connect Boxes to the GNOME remote desktop service over VNC crashes both the remote desktop service and Boxes.

If you need remote desktop capabilities then you better stick with using GNOME with an X11 session and another client like Vinagre.