Manjaro Linux + Google Chrome Remote Desktop (Working from AUR)

So I had been trying to get local remote access, tried all the big boys without much luck, and have had Google Remote Desktop (CRD) working before but it only opened a new Gnome session, which didn’t give me that “remote home” connection – so I began to fiddle and figured I’d writeup this little tutorial for someone lost in the woods like I was!

So first off, installing – use the package manager of your choice and add the CRD package from AUR (if you haven’t enabled AUR, there is no time like the present, but once you search for it, build it.

Now if you just do that you’re not done. Not just yet – in fact, it’s actually nicely already documented on the AUR page for CRD – I highly recommend you read it but the short version is this set of instructions:

Brinsky commented on 2019-12-06 13:58

Here’s how I got this working with the new web app (remotedesktop.google.com):
Build and install the package
run crd --setup
(Optional) Configure execution of your preferred window manager in ~/.chrome-remote-desktop-session
Go to http://remotedesktop.google.com/headless
Click “next” and “authorize” through each instruction
Copy/paste and run the provided “Debian” command, which should look like the following: DISPLAY= /opt/google/chrome-remote-desktop/start-host --code="<UNIQUE_CODE>" --redirect-url="<https://remotedesktop.google.com/_/oauthredirect>" --name=
Set up a name and PIN
Wait for successful output containing “Host ready to receive connections.”
Run crd --start

Now that should get you going fairly well – did for me! But if was not loading the active desktop at all, and in turn, I couldn’t access my desktop like say on a Mac/Windows rig – so reading through the AUR & Google search I found the link to the “Ubunutu” fix for this, which works exactly the same on Manjaro! So off we go to the helpful blog post.

Follow the blog post exactly, in all of this you are not a “terminal” person this guide requires a little leg work in the terminal, don’t let it freak you out, it’s going to be okay! So if you hit this error below like I did:

SyntaxError: Non-ASCII character ‘\xe2’ in file /opt/google/chrome-remote-desktop/chrome-remote-desktop on line 711, but no encoding declared; see http://python.org/dev/peps/pep-0263/ for details

The fix is incredibly easy – edit the quotes if you copy + pasted as I did you might have carried over “special” quotes which look like “ vs ” see the slight slant? In the file on 711 where there are quotes in the editor backspace each one and just makes a plain quote instead and save again and the restart should end with a happier note!

And that should do it! Stuck? Leave a comment. Happy to help debug if I can, I hit some other issues but most for me was “Oh that’s something I can fix” and I just did it so didn’t log every pitfall but the encoding type above was one that I hit and figured others may hit the same issue so hope it saves you a few minutes of research and helps you get free half-decent remote access without cost or too much fuss.

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