I want to setup a Linux desktop where friends with windows PCs can login remotely and play with it to get familiar with Linux. I've tried Ubuntu 14.04 but failed miserably while trying to share the desktop . I don't mind trying something else but I need it to be rather recent, stable and popular.
Have you used any Linux distro able to satisfy the above needs without too much tinkering (I don't want to spend more than half an hour configuring it).
It's only for demo purposes and light infrequent usage (one connection now and then) and I don't mind people breaking it because it'll be trivial to restore it (it will be a virtual machine on a KVM host).
If extra S/W besides what is included in the Linux distro is needed It must be free (as in beer) and free (as in freedom, open source). That's the reason I didn't use a popular solution like TeamViewer.
 There was no option for desktop sharing built in so I tried VNC which failed. Someone presents the main pain points here: https://medium.com/@mikemetral/my-experience-upgrading-from-ubuntu-12-04-to-14-04-5e6fac849ea3 He mostly worked around those issues but his solutions were either not good enough for my case (a half-backed desktop environment) or didn't work for me (keyboard mappings).
 Rather stable because I prefer to spent as little time as possible improving/fixing stuff in a machine that's for demo purposes only. Rather popular and recent because my friends are no Linux experts so I guess that a popular distro is best for getting their feet wet.