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EC2 Linux Mint Serena Desktop HVM

Linux Mint Version 18.1 (Serena)  is a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system featuring the Cinnamon Desktop.  Built with TLC’s customized and optimized XRDP v0.9.1  Xorg integrated RDP session handler, this is a state-of-the-art remote workstation solution for centralized access to your important software and files that you can access from just about any PC, Phone or Tablet!  MS Windows clients can use the Remote Desktop application.  Android, iPhone and Applle Mac user can download a choice of free or paid-for RDP clients!  On Android, we recommend Microsoft’s free RDP client, but just about any RDP client should work.

Designed to work well with lower cost t2 small and medium EC2 instance types, if you keep the number of simultaneously open applications limited, you will not sacrifice much performance compared to large or xlarge types. Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and has one of the best software managers. This is version Linux Mint 18.1 (code named Serena) which includes Libra Office, FireFox, and much, much more.


1.  Launch your AMI and ensure you enable Public IP address

2.  Wait until your server fully boots

3.  Note the Public IP address assigned to your instance AND your instance ID

4.  On Windows: Search for Program or File–> Type in the words ‘Remote Desktop’and press enter

5. Select the Remote Desktop Connection application in the search results

6. In the window that opens, enter the IP address noted in Step 3, press ‘Connect’ Button

7 The next screen will warn “The identity of the remote computer connection cannot be verified’ — click the ‘Yes’ button to continue

8.  Leave the first box as-is, it should say ‘Xorg’; in the box below called username, type in ec2-user; in the box below that called password, enter the instance ID as noted in Step 3 above; press OK button – it may remain blue momentarily then will turn black.

9.  THE SCREEN WILL REMAIN BLACK FOR 40 TO 60 SECONDS!!!!  This is the time it takes for the ec2-user desktop to be created and various settings made before your session can begin.  PLEASE BE PATIENT!

10. When finished DO NOT LOGOUT OF THE MINT DESK TOP SESSION.  Instead, simply disconnect your RDP client. As long as you do not shut-down your instance or restart the Mint desktop, the next time you return to your RDP session and log into the Xrdp log in screen, it will take you to your previous Desktop session instantly, no more black screens or waiting!