This week we will have a quick look at the tool rdesktop. Rdesktop
is a RDP client (RDP stands for Remote Desktop Protocol) which is used
to share your desktop with another machine. RDP is a Microsoft thing
and it’s most used on Windows.
I am personally using it because sometimes I need to use Microsoft
Word/Excel or Windows only software and I have a dedidated virtual
machine for this. So I use rdesktop to connect in fullscreen to
the virtual machine and I can work on Windows. The RDP protocol is
very efficient, on LAN network there is no lag. I appreciate much more
using the VM with RDP than VNC.
You can also have RDP servers within virtual machines. VirtualBox let
you have (with an additional package to add on the host) RDP server
for a VM. Maybe VmWare provides RDP servers too. I know that Xen and
KVM can give access through VNC or Spice but no RDP.
For its usage, if you want to connect to a RDP server whose IP address
is 192.168.1.100 in fullscreen with max quality, type:
$ rdesktop -f -x 0x80 192.168.1.100
-x 0x80 bit is needed to set the quality at maximum. If the
machine needs username and password you can add
-u my_user -p
my_plaintext_pass to login automatically. I have an alias in my zsh
shell, I just type “windows” and I get logged in in fullscreen to the
To exit fullscreen type ctrl+alt+return to switch to windowed mode
and again to go in fullscreen mode. I wasn’t able to remember the
keyboard shortcut the first times and was stuck in Windows ! ;-)
In the OpenBSD ports tree, check x11/rdesktop.