As an editor who blogs about Linux, I have to test many operating systems in my day-to-day life. What I usually do is download an ISO of the system in question and either create a Live USB or open the ISO in Virtualbox, depending on my needs. But what if you don't need to download anything? What if we are inexperienced users? In these cases we can use remina, the remote desktop tool that is installed by default in Ubuntu.
The question would be: how? Simply by getting an address and a port from the DistroTest.net website. At the time of writing, this website allows us to test 628 versions of 219 different operating systems. We can test the systems making use of a remote desktop, which means that the performance will not be as good as we would like but, hey, that we will test it without having to install anything and without being any experts. Here we explain what you have to do.
Testing a DistroTest system in Remmina
Remmina comes installed by default in Ubuntu. I have tried Ubuntu Budgie and it works without configuring almost anything. The steps to follow would be the following:
- If we don't have Remmina installed, we install it. It is in the software center of many Linux operating systems, such as Ubuntu (although it is already installed in Ubuntu). As I'll explain later, you may not need Remmina specifically.
- Let's go to the web DistroTest.net.
- We choose the system we want by clicking on its name.
- We click on «Start».
- We wait. Depending on the operating system, the queue can be of several users or only 1. We have to wait for our turn to arrive (it does not take long). Depending on the system, they will allow us 2-3 hours maximum to be connected.
- When our turn comes, we copy the number that appears in «Server».
- We open Remmina.
- We unfold the window and switch to VNC.
- In the text box next to it, we paste the number (or address) that we have copied in step 6.
- We add the port behind. Being 4 digits, I choose to put the colon and the port number by hand. It should look like xx.xx.xx.xx: yyyy.
- We press Enter and that would be it. We can (rather we should) enlarge the window so that everything is visible.
There are some systems that do not work, but it is probably temporary. I also have to say that this works in other remote desktop programs, like the KRDC from Kubuntu. In fact, the header capture is from KRDC. The method is practically the same. Another option is to do it directly from the browser, but it tends to fail more. I leave you with a video so you can see how everything works.