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rdesktop allows you to control a Windows NT and Windows 2000/2003 computer via a remote desktop from your linux workstation. You do not need to install an extension to your Windows computer.

Installing rdesktop

Main article: installing software

To install rdesktop, find out your distribution and proceed accordingly


Install rdesktop for Gentoo

emerge net-misc/rdesktop


Install rdesktop for SUSE:

yast -i rdesktop


With synaptic, do a "quick search" for "rdesktop", and mark it for installation. Or, as root

apt-get install rdesktop


If this is not possible, you can compile rdesktop:

wget http://kent.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/rdesktop/rdesktop-1.6.0.tar.gz
tar xvzf rdesktop-1.6.0.tar.gz
cd rdesktop-1.6.0
./configure && make -j4 && make install

Using rdesktop


rdesktop <IP of your terminal services server>


$ rdesktop

This starts rdesktop, opens up a terminal session on the machine you indicated (in this case, and opens a Windows login screen where you can type your username and password for the Windows machine.

Making your windows machine audible

If no sound is audible on your Linux machine it is possible that the setup of your machine is effectively blocking the rdesktop program to get a lock on /dev/snd. Particularly when using Alsa this can be the case. A way around it is to use the aoss wrapper; this can be done by using the following command:

$ aoss rdesktop -r sound .... other flags and parameters... 

The sound may be delayed somewhat.