How to Install and Use TeamViewer on Linux [Complete Guide]

Brief: Step-by-step beginner’s guide to installing TeamViewer on Linux. It also explains how to use TeamViewer on Linux.

TeamViewer is a remote desktop application primarily used to connect to a different system quickly and securely. It lets you remotely connect to someone’s desktop, transfer files, share screen and video conferencing.

It is extremely popular for its simplicity and ease of use. It is mainly used to provide technical support to remote computers.

It’s a cross-platform software available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android and there is a web browser support too. Though TeamViewer is a proprietary software, it is available free of charge for non-commercial use and offers almost everything the paid version has to offer.

Starting with TeamViewer 13, it has a native Linux client for 64 bit systems. Earlier versions used Wine underneath it.

TeamViewer features

  • Allows you to take a remote control of a system.
  • Supports video conferencing, group calls, desktop sharing.
  • There is a 256 bit AES session encoding and 2048 bit RSA key exchange for a secure connection.
  • Wake-on-LAN feature allows switching on your computer remotely.
  • Supports rebooting your system or servers while on the go.
  • Switching between multiple screens is easy.

Installing TeamViewer 13 in Linux

TeamViewer provides .deb binaries for Debian and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. It also has .rpm packages for Fedora and SUSE. There is also a tarball for other Linux distributions.

You can grab a copy of TeamViewer from the official download page:

Download TeamViewer

I will be installing TeamViewer on Ubuntu so I downloaded the .deb file. You can use the graphical installer by double-clicking the downloaded package and following the subsequent instructions.

If you face dependency issues, I suggest you try installing it with GDebi package installer.

Alternative command line way

Alternatively, if you prefer the terminal way, navigate to the download folder and run the below command:

sudo dpkg -i teamviewer*

In case you are notified of installation failure due to missing dependencies, type the below command to complete the installation.

sudo apt-get install -f

Once installed, you can open TeamViewer from the application menu or run it from the console using the command:

teamviewer

How to use TeamViewer on Linux to connect to other systems

Here are a few things you should know about using TeamViewer for remotely connecting to other systems:

  • Both host and target systems should have TeamViewer installed. Preferably, they should have same TeamViewer version on both the system.
  • Host and target can be any supported operating systems. For example, you can use it to connect to a Windows system from your Linux system.
  • By default, each system is given an ID and a 4 digit password that is generated randomly at each start of the application.
  • If you are trying to connect to a remote system, you’ll need to know the ID and the password of the target system.
  • Similarly, if you are giving someone access to your system, you need to provide them the password and ID of your system to the remote system.
  • Both systems must be connected to the internet.
  • You are not required to create an account on TeamViewer to use it.

Now that you know a few things, let’s see how to do it:

Step 1

Start TeamViewer on both host and target systems. You’ll see the ID and password of your TeamViewer application on your screen. Similar info will be displayed on the remote system.

This is important information as it will be required to make the remote desktop connection.

Using TeamViewer in Linux
An ID and Password is displaced on the screen

Step 2

For connecting to a system, both the host and target machines should have TeamViewer installed. You will need the unique ID and password of the system to which you want to connect to. Open TeamViewer and under the “Remote Control” type in the ID in Partner ID option, and click on “Connect to partner”:

Using TeamViewer in Linux to connect to a remote desktop
Enter the ID of the target device

Quite obviously, it will ask you to enter the password of the target system.

Connect to a remote desktop in Linux using TeamViewer

Once you enter the correct password and hit Log On, you should be immediately connected to the target system.

Step 3

Once connected, you have the full control of the target system. I have a system running Ubuntu from which I established a remote desktop connection to another system running Elementary OS and then I ran a command there! 

running TeamViewer
Connected to elementary OS from Ubuntu system

The top bar provides different options for TeamViewer. Under the Actions tab, you can find options to end the session, reboot your device or even invite additional participants. 

View tab contains the most useful options. You can select the screen fit, optimize speed and quality and select the screen resolution for the target system. 

Files & Extras gives you the option to take a screenshot or record a session. You can share a file between the two system via drag and drop or using the file manager. 

Do more with TeamViewer

There are ways to optimize your TeamViewer experience. Let’s see some of them.

1. Using TeamViewer account for easy access

TeamViewer provides an ID and password which can be used to take control of your system. However, signing up for a free user lets you store these credentials, and quickly connect to a system without the hassle of typing it every time.

2. Recording a session

You can always record a TeamViewer session for a later access or for the records. Once you are connected to TeamViewer, navigate to Extras in the Toolbar and you will find the option to start, pause and stop recording. Once a recording is done, you are prompted to save it.

3. Multiple Sessions support

TeamViewer supports multiple sessions simultaneously, you can take control of a second system without being disconnected from the first one. Click on the + sign in the top left corner to add another machine. For IT support people, this can be very useful. 

4. Easy file transfer

You can share a file by selecting File Transfer from the TeamViewer toolbar. You can either select the file which you want to share, or drag and drop a file using option File box. This is important since you can push an application to the target machine and install it without having a physical access.

5. Manage Visual Settings

Visual Settings options lets you optimize your connection to the target machine by giving you options to choose the Quality, Scaling, Screen resolution. It can be accessed via View option. In case there is a lag, you could select Optimize speed under Quality options, or disable GUI animations.

6. Connect with a smartphone

TeamViewer app is available for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile which can help you take a look at your system anywhere, anytime. This lets me access my system and check if some downloads are completed, or even change the music track without reaching out to my system. 

I tried taking a control of my system with my Phone and it worked like a charm.

Remote desktop

Final Words on TeamViewer

TeamViewer is a great tool when it comes to getting control of someone’s system for troubleshooting or monitoring your own system with your mobile handset. And since it is available for almost every platform, there’s always a way around to help someone by connecting to their system. 

Are you a TeamViewer user? What other tools do you use for remote desktop connection in Linux? Let us know in the comments how it helps you! 

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16 comments

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I have been using Teamviewer for a couple of years with great success helping family and friends with computer problems. I can highly recommend it.

Thanks for your feedback, Loren.

In addition to teamviewer, you can also use on premise R-HUB remote support servers for solving issues remotely. It provides a simple and easy to use interface and works from behind the firewall, hence better security.

Will check it out as well. Thanks, Prasantha.

Just use Anydesk. Works great on linux and windows.

Thanks for the suggestion, Marco.

Teamviewer for Linux is a crap running on Wine and it works like crap. I use it professionaly at work and the only version that works OK [but shows you as a "Chrome" user on a customer site] is Teamviewer for Chrome. I suppose it is just a native app and that's the reason. People behind Teamviewer should get their asses together and develop native Linux application. It's outrageous it's not here since so many years!

Author

It is a native Linux application. You can easily install it as a standalone application and not through Wine. The article covers it as an app for Linux and works just as smooth as on Windows.

The standalone TeamViewer application for Linux is actually installed and run with it's own local Wine installation in /opt/teamviewer/tv_bin/wine

At least up until version 12, but 13 might change that as mentioned by @Jaco

It should be noted, that Teamviewer is by no means FOSS. It even runs an always on daemon service, and there is no way to tell if the said daemon opens a teamviewer-backdoor to your pc even when Teamviewer is not running.

If you disable the daemon, the program will not run.

I have disabled my daemon and I run Teamviewer with a script that first enables the daemon, then launches the app, waits for the app to exit and in the end disables the daemon again.

Not to mention there are plenty of FOSS alternatives.

Will do a separate article on FOSS alternatives :)

TeamViewer is an indispensable program which allows me to connect with several of my non-technical friends and family members. In every case, I am helping those who I've convinced to switch over from Windows to Linux/GNU. I am not only assisting them with any Linux issue, but with things like banking or how to run app or even how to get a certain job done. I'm the go-to-guy for all of those things, and TeamViewer helps me get the job done quickly.

Years ago, I supported over 175 PC-based POS systems. My employer paid for a yearly subscription to LogMeIn. Initially, it sort of ran OK, but in the subsequent years, that remote app was nothing but frustration and grief. It became bloated and convoluted with all kinds of bells & whistles which were totally pointless. It was all graphs and charts for eye-candy and didn't serve any real purpose. I tried to convince the boss to change over to TeamViewer but that request fell on deaf ears.

I've used other services too, and nothing seems to match the speed and convenience of TeamViewer, in my estimation.

I would also like to mention that for the Linux version, "Wine" is used as there doesn't seem to be a native version. I don't know if anyone thinks that's a negative thing, but I do find it seriously impacts the speed at which the program launches. (It may not be that noticeable on the latest hardware but it sure matters on computers that are over five or six years plus.)

Author

As I mentioned above, TeamViewer has a Linux application and it works just as fine as on Windows without Wine.

With v13 they actually created a native client...thus no more wine. The host client works like a dream but the actual/desktop client is not available just yet. I use VNC as an alternative until they have the desktop client ready.