Saturday, September 8, 2007

RDesktop - remote desktop howto

We can never remove the fact that some companies still use any other desktop operating systems from their network. Several reasons for these are due to commercial and propriety softwares and customized applications that currently being managed and needed by certain specific company departments, whether those clients are located remotely or just a single department hop, providing support with these clients is never been at rest.

Here's a document entry on managing and connecting to Windows (TM) based operating systems (Windows 2000/2003, XP Terminal servers, Windows NT) from Linux box using a remote desktop tool called RDesktop.

rdesktop is an open source client for Windows NT Terminal Server and Windows 2000/2003 Terminal Services, capable of natively speaking Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in order to present the user's NT desktop. Unlike Citrix ICA, no server extensions are required.

rdesktop currently runs on most UNIX based platforms with the X Window System, and other ports should be fairly straightforward.

rdesktop was initially written by Matthew Chapman based on various scarce documentation, wire sniffs, and trial-and-error. It is released under the GNU Public Licence (GPL). Please send feedback, bug reports and patches to the appropriate mailing list. Patches can also be submitted to the SF patch tracker.

This X client for remote desktop to windows machine makes use of RDP on establishing protocol with Windows OS machines. Rdesktop connects to remote machines extremely fast compared to other remote desktop tools. By default, rdesktop establishes TCP/UDP connection to host's port 4899. Extreme works have been done to make Rdesktop to cover a lot of nice features that would be very usable with remote connection to window-based client machines.


# yum -y install rdesktop


Ctrl+F2, rdesktop


# rdesktop windows-machine-host
# rdesktop

The command issued above attempts to connect to a windows machine with an IP address of . If no firewall exists between the connecting host, and the client, a successful rdesktop connection would be established immediately prompting rdesktop machine for username and password details.

If you wish to connect with supplied username and password using rdesktop

# rdesktop -u username -p password

The above command connects remotely to windows XP machine and supply the needed username and password. This command does not work by default to Windows 2000 terminal machines as the default auto login configuration from Windows 2000 needs further tweaking. This tweaking method would not be discussed here. However, the command above works out right with Windows 2003 terminal server machines.

Rdesktop also features domain authentication during the remote connection attempt. The authentication attempt queries domain servers for centralized user authentication. This can be possible using rdesktop parameters.

# rdesktop -d

Screen geometry can also be specified before remote connection is being made. Here's a sample example of using rdesktop geometry parameter

# rdesktop -g 80%

which uses 80% of client screen to be displayed from connecting host.

Data transfer between the two host using rdesktop can also be encrypted by passing toggle rdesktop parameter like do

# rdesktop -E

For data compression during rdesktop data transfer can be done like so

# rdesktop -z

Audio sounds from rdesktop server can also be redirected to rdesktop machines. This can be handy if you would like to have livestream audio sounds and dumps it live to rdesktop client machines, which can be done like so

# rdesktop -r sound:remote

Alternatively, audio sound from client can be heard from rdesktop server by toggling the remote audio parameter like so

# rdesktop -r sound:local

Remote desktop protocol version can also be specified manually to rdesktop connection using the followinf rdesktop parameters

-4 uses RDP version 4
-5 uses RDP version 5

Remote client's disk, device, COM ports, LPT ports, printer details can also be specified from rdesktop command.

Using rdesktop, here is my captured simulataneous rdesktop screenshots with two remote machines Windows XP and Windows 2000 from Fedora 7 desktop:

Rdesktop Summary

Works and task between two or more remote hosts can be done in a more effective, and efficient manner using X based remote desktop tool like rdesktop.

Goodluck and have a nice weekend!

All windows operating systems are products, propriety and trademarks managed and owned by their own respective company.

Related Post:

Passwordless Remote Connection with XP


Karen said...

There are many vendors offering advanced solutions for effective remote access these days. RHUB remote desktop is one such alternative. It supports multiple platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, iPhone, etc. Further, TurboMeeting is versatile allowing Remote Access, remote support, web conferencing, and web seminars, through a single machine. Remote control speed is faster and it works on even lower bandwidths. Features include instant remote control, remote reboot, firewall and proxy-compliance, and file transfer/share, to name a few.

Anonymous said...

i have install rdesktop in fedora13 but when i want to remote windows 2000 i receive message ERROR: recv : Connection reset by peer...
please help.

Horace Jones said...

Application like this one are the reason that open source software is such a powerful tool. But for those that are seeking a solution that requires less customization, I suggest visiting the link, which leads to a provider of solid multi-platform remote desktop software.

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