Software applications

Chrome Remote Desktop

Google has released Chrome Remote Desktop beta 1 for linux, allowing linux users to remotely login to a virtual session on their computers through the Chrome web browser. Normally I’m a Firefox fan, but I have to say this is a pretty nice feature and easy to set up on elementary OS. I’ve only used it a bit, but it seems to work well. Still it is worth noting that this is beta software and may be glitchy. Its also worth noting that Chrome Remote Desktop creates a virtual session. You won’t see the apps you left open on your computer, instead you’ll just see your desktop. It’ll look like you just logged into your computer but haven’t opened any files or application. Unfortunately, you can’t log in and pick up where you left off, but you will have access to your files and applications. If you have an elementary OS computer that you’d like to access remotely then Chrome Remote Desktop might work for you.

Start on your elementary OS machine. First if you don’t have it then you need to install Chrome.

To install “googlechrome” open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the following then hit enter
wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list && chmod 644 /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

You also need to download and install Chrome Remote Desktop Host Component.

32 bit 64


In order to work on elementary OS the host component needs to be set to use Pantheon  open the Terminal [CTRL]-[ALT]-[T] and paste the following then hit enter
echo 'exec /usr/sbin/lightdm-session "gnome-session --session=pantheon"' >> ~/.chrome-remote-desktop-session

Now fire up Chrome. This does require a Google account so go ahead and login or register if you don’t already have an account. Go here to install Chrome Remote Desktop. Once the the app is installed click on launch app. It will load up with two sections: Remote Assistance and My Computers. Ignore Remote Assistance and click “Get started” under My Computers and you should get a screen like the one below. Chrome Remote Desktop

Akhenaten.locale is another computer I’ve setup. You’ll probably just have the one entry telling you to enable remote connection. Click on enable remote connection, and you will be asked to create a six digit PIN number. Remember it. You’ll need it later. You’ll also be asked to enter your administrative password. It may take a minute or two, but if you haven’t offended the linux gods then Chrome should successfully enable remote connections.

Now just go find another computer with Chrome. Open it up, login and install Chrome Remote Desktop just like you did above. Click on “Get started” under My Computers again and your elementary OS machine should be listed. When you try to connect to the remote machine it will ask for the PIN you made up earlier. Enter the PIN and you remote machine will load in Chrome.


Screen Size

The default screen size of 1600×1200 is probably a bit big. To change this you just need to add a line to the ~/.profile file the computer you installed the Host Component on. Just paste the following into the Terminal and change 1366×768 to whatever resolution you want.

echo 'export CHROME_REMOTE_DESKTOP_DEFAULT_DESKTOP_SIZES=1366x768' >> ~/.profile

Now restart Chrome Remote Desktop Host.

sudo /etc/init.d/chrome-remote-desktop stop
sudo /etc/init.d/chrome-remote-desktop start

That should do it. Log back in from another computer and the screen resolution should be whatever you set it to.

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