Last but not least, Linux support arrives for Chrome Remote Desktop

Last but not least, Linux support arrives for Chrome Remote Desktop

Summary: Google has released details for how to set up Chrome Remote Desktop on some Linux distributions.


After pushing Chrome Remote Desktop to mobile, Google has finally announced official beta Linux support for its remote access and administration product.

Earlier this year, Chrome Remote Desktop support was extended from Windows and OS X to Android, allowing users of the extension to get remote access to their Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops from the Chrome browser.

But while Google promised that iOS support would come later this year, at the time there was no mention of equivalent support for remote access from a Linux machine.

That changed with a recent update to Google's support pages where it has included instructions for how to set up Chrome Remote Desktop support on some Linux distributions. As the page notes, the beta Linux program is limited to Debian and Ubuntu 12.04 or higher.

Unlike the desktop versions for Mac and Windows, there is no Chrome extension for Linux machines on the Chrome Web Store yet, and the app is "currently in active development".

To run the app, users will need to create a separate virtual desktop session. Currently there are a 32-bit and 64-bit Debian package available to install.

Users running Ubuntu 12.10 or higher will need to follow Google's configuration steps to set up a the virtual desktop session while Ubuntu 12.04 will select Unity 2d desktop by default.

One user has managed to get the beta product working under Fedora, however, they reported that there are a few errors. Google has listed a number of trouble-shooting options for users on its product forums.

The arrival of remote desktop support for Chrome on Linux is late but it merely adds another way for Linux users to remotely access devices over the internet. 


Chrome Remote Desktop requires users to have a Google Account and Google also recommends adding a six-digit PIN to the app in the event that someone hijacks the account. It allows a remote connection with the same Google Account, so long as the device is on and connected to the internet. To handle remote connections with other account owners, users can share access via unique access codes that are generated for each session.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Google, Linux

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • nice to see

    Google hasn't totally forgotten about Linux. did they ever put out a Drive app for linux like they said they would?
  • I'm wondering what the case for this is

    XRDP works rather nicely on the Linux side and doesn't require the user to do any manual setup on the server side.
    John L. Ries
    • This was my thought also.

      Okay for a novice open ssh isn't the easiest thing to set up, but vnc and xrdp are just easy and work anywhere - I can Remote Desktop from my ios and android devices. This just seems to be fixing a problem that wasn't really there tbh. It's like google are trying to capitalise on the fact people don't know their devices can already do this without a google account.
  • I use remmina remote desktop

    on Ubuntu
    • I use it as well...

      ...on both Fedora and OpenSUSE.
      John L. Ries
  • I use NoMachine

    No other remote access tool for Linux works faster than NoMachine's including in the browser. I have tried all of them, and they just aren't the same thing.