Remmina - works out of the box

· by Raghu Rajagopalan · Read in about 2 min · (365 words) ·

I’ve been less than happy with KRDC - the remote desktop client that ships with KDE Neon. I don’t think it’s been getting the TLC that it deserves…​ So out of this frustration, with the Coronovirus lockdown in effect, my work setup was basically log in to work laptop and VPN, and then ssh into home desktop to do anything on that machine. This works as far as you don’t need a graphical program on your linux desktop, which, to be honest is about 90% of the time. OTOH, when you land in the other 10%, it’s not pretty. None of the VNC clients seem to work well - they feel slow and laggy and only good for basic interaction. I even tried the non free NoMachine NX server and client and while its an improvement over VNC, the margin is , sadly, by not much.

A few days ago, I decided to look into RDP from Linux again - hoping something had changed. The truth is that on the KDE side, things are static. I usually don’t install stuff that requires GNOME due to the usually large dependencies it pulls in. However, this time, I enabled snapd and thought I’d give Remmina a shot. While installing Remmina snap was quite simple and there were some instructions to give it access to the password manager (which I did).

Fired up Remmina and created a connection to my work machine and voila, works! Now a large part of having to be physically on the work machine is to attend meetings. Most RDP/VNC clients will play audio out from the server on the client but not route microphone input from client to the server. This is a deal breaker. Thankfully, with remmina, you just have to drop to the advanced tab and click on "Enabled local microphone"

Some things are still iffy - remmina on startup asks key ring password but doesn’t work with kwallet. I have to just press esc to continue. Overall though, it’s a godsend. Also, while Snap gets a lot of flak, I’m actually quite happy with it at first contact - Neon repos only have remmina 1.2 which is far too old.