Finally fixed Remmina under Ubuntu 17.10


When I've done upgrading to Ubuntu 17.10 and rescuing it, I've found that remmina doesn't grab all the keys to guest system even using wayland backend.

It turns out that Wayland graphics server is promising, but still raw enough. Not all drivers and applications developers supports it right now. If fact, remmina has wayland support, but also has the issues.

Partial solution with GDK_BACKEND

Remmina is the RDP GUI-client I've using every day. It uses freerdp library under cover. As stated in this GitHub issue discussion, Remmina supports wayland. There is check which backend is available when we start the remmina. But for some reason GDK selects wrong backend. To workaround this issue you can simply set backend manually:

GDK_BACKEND=wayland remmina &

With manually specified backend remmina works better, but some keys are still not processed correctly in guest system:

  • Switching windows with Alt+Tab you cannot switch back with Alt+Shift+Tab without releasing initial Alt+Tab key
  • Switching language with Alt+Shift does not working
  • You cannot start Windows Task Manager with Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys
  • Win key doesn't works

Weird user experience for me. Until now I suffered and does work in remmina with wayland backend.

Solving the issue with XOrg

In anticipation of Ubuntu 18.04 I've decided to find it's release date and what's new will come in the release.

One of the pages stated following:

Xorg becomes the default display server again

Ubuntu 17.10 switched to the newer Wayland as the default display server. Quite naturally, it became a big issue as a considerable number of applications wouldn’t work on Wayland. This forced people to switch back to Xorg from Wayland.

It seems Ubuntu has learned the lesson and it is moving back to Xorg as the default display server. Wayland will still be available as an option and users will be able to switch to the display server of their liking.

"WTF? It was possible?" :) I started to google how to switch display server to XOrg in my Ubuntu 17.10. It turned out so simple! We can switch display server right on the login screen:

switch wayland to xorg


After switching to XOrg display server all my troubles are gone. Now remmina works well, as before I've upgrade Ubuntu to 17.10! I don't need to specify GDK_BACKEND anymore and all my keys are passed to guest system correctly. If you have any issues with Wayland display server, you definitely should switch to XOrg display server (as the Ubuntu developers decided too).

If you have no XOrg display server installed, you may install it with:

sudo apt-get install xorg openbox

Happy RDP sessions!

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