Ubuntu 19.10 stable released on 30th October 2019. With it came a bunch of new features like NVIDIA graphic drivers built in the ISO, faster boot with LZ4 compression, etc. Additionally, you have media and screen sharing baked in the OS. In the earlier versions, you would need to install a third-party DLNA media server and the VNC server. But with Ubuntu 19.10, you have all that built-in. So on that note, here is how you share screen and media in Ubuntu 19.10 with any device.
How to Share Screen And Media on Ubuntu 19.10
Ubuntu 19.10 lets you share screen and media without any setup or installation. To do that, head over to the Settings menu and navigate to the Sharing tab. The screen sharing and media sharing option will be greyed out because sharing is turned off by default. So firstly, we need to enable sharing by clicking on the toggle at the top-right corner.
Next, you will see the screen sharing and media sharing option now available. To begin with, if you want to share your screen click on “Screen Sharing”. On the pop-up window, click on the toggle on the title bar to enable Screen Sharing.
Within the Screen Sharing pop up, you can further set up the connection preferences. By default, every time a user wants to connect remotely, you will have to accept the request on Ubuntu. But, you can also choose to set up a password instead and escape all the hassle. Moreover, you can also allow the remote system to control the screen.
In case you face errors stating “Upgrade your VNC server or lower the level of encryption”, run the following command on your Ubuntu system.
gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false
This command disables encryption for your VNC server and post that, you should be able to connect successfully.
Next up if you want to share media, click on the media sharing option under the same Sharing menu. Click on the toggle beside Media Sharing in the pop up dialogue. By default, Ubuntu will share the Music, Videos, and Pictures directory.
The media sharing list is totally customizable. You can add custom folders and even remove the existing ones.
Now head over to the other TV or console device where you want to browse the media contents on your Ubuntu laptop. In my case, we have a NVIDIA Shield Android TV so I will be using the VLC media player app to browse content from the Ubuntu media server.
Open the VLC media player app on the Sheild TV and navigate to the Browsing section. Next, open the “Local Network” folder.
Within the Local Network folder, open the folder with your Ubuntu system name. In my case, the laptop name is TechWiser and media server name is gisame. Hence, my server name is represented as “TechWiser’s media on gisame”.
Once you are within the folder, you will see the media folders shared from the Ubuntu system. You can share Music, Images, and Videos through the Ubuntu Media server.
In case the video doesn’t show up on the other side, make sure your Ubuntu server has the correct codecs for the particular video file. To test the codec, play the video on the local Ubuntu system. If the video playback fails, there is a codec issue and the media file won’t be displayed on the shared media network.
The infamous Ubuntu 19.10 Media Bug
After the rollout of the stable Ubuntu 19.10 version, some users working on non-GNOME environments reported a bug. The Rygel media server auto starts in the background and starts sharing files as soon as you log into the system. This background activity is not prompted or notified to the user. For the unknown, the Rygel media server is the service that backs the Ubuntu media sharing feature.
Ubuntu addressed this issue in high priority and a long-term fix is on the way. For time-being, you can totally disable the Rygel media server in case you don’t want to share local media on the network. To do that, use the following command.
sudo apt remove rygel
The newly installed Ubuntu 19.10 and the vanilla GNOME environment don’t contain this bug.
For more queries or issues regarding Ubuntu 19.10, let me know in the comments below.