Kali RDP Tutorial:How to Enable Remote Desktop on Kali

Explore the advanced features of Kali RDP with our easy-to-use guide. Click now to learn and master Kali RDP effectively!

Updated: 15 Mar, 24 by Lisa P 7 Min

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Mastering Kali RDP (Microsoft WBT Server) in the dynamic realm of cybersecurity opens doors to unparalleled efficiency. This comprehensive guide dives into setting up and optimizing remote desktop solutions on Kali Linux, including XFCE, VNC, and SSH. Whether connecting to Windows machines or enabling Linux RDP, our step-by-step approach ensures you navigate the complexities seamlessly. From the first paragraph, discover the power of Kali RDP, empowering you to excel in penetration testing and cybersecurity tasks.

When it comes to remotely accessing Kali Linux (Kernel Auditing LInux), the native solution provides a seamless and efficient way to connect. Follow these steps to set up remote access effortlessly.

Ensure SSH Service is Running

Before diving into the remote desktop setup, make sure the SSH (Secure Shell) service is up and running on your Kali Linux machine. SSH serves as the foundation for secure communication between devices.

To confirm if SSH is active, open a terminal and enter the following command:

service ssh status

If the service is not running, start it using:

service ssh start

Update and Upgrade Kali Linux

Keeping your Kali Linux system updated is crucial for security and compatibility. Execute the following commands to update and upgrade your system:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade -y

Install and Configure XRDP

XRDP (X Remote Desktop Protocol) is the key component for enabling remote desktop functionality on Kali Linux. Install XRDP using the following command:

sudo apt install xrdp -y

Once installed, start the XRDP service and set it to run on boot:

sudo service xrdp start

sudo update-rc.d xrdp enable

Configure Firewall Settings

To ensure smooth remote desktop access, configure your firewall to allow connections on the default RDP port (3389). Use the following commands:

sudo ufw allow 3389/tcp

sudo ufw reload

Connect to Kali Linux Remotely

With everything set up, you can connect to your Kali Linux machine remotely using an RDP client. Enter the IP address of your Kali system, and you'll be prompted to enter your credentials.

Enjoy the convenience of managing your Kali Linux environment remotely, enhancing your efficiency and flexibility in cybersecurity tasks.

Enhancing the remote desktop experience on Kali Linux often involves choosing a suitable desktop environment. XFCE, known for its lightweight and user-friendly nature, can be seamlessly integrated with RDP.

Install XFCE Desktop Environment

Begin by installing the XFCE desktop environment using the following command:

sudo apt install xfce4

Configure XRDP to Use XFCE

After XFCE is installed, configure XRDP to use it as the default desktop environment. Open the XRDP configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini

Locate the `[xrdp1]` section and change the `port=-1` to `port=ask-1`. Save the changes and exit the editor.

Restart XRDP Service

Restart the XRDP service to apply the configuration changes:

sudo service xrdp restart

Now, when you connect to Kali Linux via RDP, you'll be prompted to choose the desktop environment. Select "XFCE Session" to initiate the remote connection with the XFCE desktop.

While the command-line interface is powerful, having graphical user interface (GUI) access to Kali Linux through a remote desktop can significantly enhance user interaction. Let's explore how to achieve GUI access to Kali Linux using RDP.

  • Launch Remote Desktop Connection on the Windows system.

Remote Desktop (GUI) access to Kali

  • Input the IP address of the Kali machine and click on the "Connect" button.

Remote Desktop (GUI) access to Kali

  • Close the Xorg session and, after entering the necessary credentials, click "OK" to conclude the process.

Collaboration in cybersecurity often involves managing various systems, including Windows machines. Setting up RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) for Windows remote machines allows seamless connectivity. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to configure Kali Linux Remote Desktop Windows 10.

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows

On the Windows machine, navigate to "Settings" > "System" > "Remote Desktop." Enable Remote Desktop and note down the system's IP address.

Install Remmina (Optional)

For an optimal RDP experience, install Remmina on your Kali Linux machine. Use the following command:

sudo apt install remmina

Open Remmina and Add Connection

Open Remmina, click on "Create a new connection," choose "RDP" as the protocol, and enter the Windows machine's IP address and login credentials.

Connect to Windows Remote Machine

Click "Connect," and Remmina will establish an RDP connection to the Windows machine. Enjoy seamless remote access from your Kali Linux environment.

VNC (Virtual Network Computing) provides an alternative method for remote desktop access on Kali Linux. Explore how to set up VNC for Kali Remote Desktop for a versatile and user-friendly experience.

Install VNC Server

Install a VNC server on your Kali Linux machine. For example, using TightVNC:

sudo apt install tightvncserver

Start VNC Server

Start the VNC server using the following command:


Set up a VNC password when prompted.

Install VNC Viewer on Local Machine

On your local machine, install a VNC viewer. RealVNC or TigerVNC are popular choices.

Connect to Kali Linux via VNC

Open the VNC viewer, and enter the Kali Linux IP address followed by the VNC server display number (e.g., ``). Enter the VNC password when prompted.

While remote desktop solutions provide graphical access, terminal access using SSH remains a fundamental aspect of Kali Linux. Here's a guide on utilizing SSH for efficient and secure terminal access.

Install OpenSSH Server

Ensure the OpenSSH server is installed on your Kali Linux machine:

sudo apt install openssh-server

Start SSH Service

If not started automatically, initiate the SSH service:

sudo service ssh start

Connect via SSH

On your local machine, open a terminal and use the following command to connect to your Kali Linux machine:

ssh username@kali-linux-ip

Replace `username` with your Kali Linux username and `kali-linux-ip` with the actual IP address.

In conclusion, navigating the intricate landscape of Kali RDP opens a gateway to unparalleled flexibility and efficiency in the realm of cybersecurity. From configuring remote desktop solutions like XFCE and VNC to establishing connections with Windows machines through RDP, Kali Linux offers various options tailored to diverse user preferences. Terminal access via SSH remains a steadfast foundation, blending the power of the command line with the robustness of Kali's tools. Embracing these remote access methodologies not only streamlines penetration testing tasks but also underscores the adaptability of Kali Linux RDP to meet the dynamic demands of cybersecurity professionals. As we wrap up this exploration, remember that the journey doesn't end here—continuously fine-tune and secure your Kali RDP setup to stay at the forefront of cutting-edge cybersecurity practices.

Yes, you can use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) on Kali Linux. Follow the provided steps to set up and configure RDP for efficient remote access to your Kali Linux machine.

Yes, there is a Linux-compatible RDP solution. Kali Linux supports XRDP (X Remote Desktop Protocol) for establishing remote desktop connections. Explore the guide for detailed instructions on setting up Linux RDP.

Enabling XRDP in Kali Linux involves installing and configuring the XRDP package. Follow the guide to ensure a smooth setup, including steps to start the XRDP service and configure firewall settings.

To install Remmina in Kali Linux, use the command `sudo apt install remmina`. This optional step enhances the RDP experience on your Kali machine. Further details and usage are outlined in the provided guide.

Lisa P

Lisa P

Hello, everyone, my name is Lisa. I'm a passionate electrical engineering student with a keen interest in technology. I'm fascinated by the intersection of engineering principles and technological advancements, and I'm eager to contribute to the field by applying my knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems.