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rdesktop connected to a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition host
rdesktop connected to a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition host
Developer(s)rdesktop team
Initial releaseApril 4, 2001; 18 years ago (2001-04-04)
Stable release
1.9.0 / October 11, 2019; 4 months ago (2019-10-11)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Operating systemUnix-like
Microsoft Windows[1] (unofficial)
TypeMicrosoft Remote Desktop Services client

rdesktop is an implementation of a client software for Microsoft's proprietary Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Rdesktop is free and open-source software, subject to the requirements of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 3 and is available for Linux and BSD as well as for Microsoft Windows.

As of August 2013, rdesktop implements a large subset of the RDP 5 protocol. Unlike Remote Desktop Connection in modern versions of Windows, rdesktop still supports the older RDP 4.0 protocol used by Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition and Windows 2000 Server.

Feature set[edit]

RDP5 features supported:

  • Bitmap caching
  • File system, audio, serial port and printer port redirection
  • Mappings for most international keyboards
  • Stream compression and encryption
  • Automatic authentication
  • Smartcard support
  • RemoteApp like support called "seamless" mode via SeamlessRDP
  • Network Level Authentication

Still unimplemented are:

  • Client redirection upon reconnect (of disconnected session)[2]
  • Remote Assistance requests
  • USB device redirection

Support for the additional features available in RDP 5.1 and RDP 6 (including multi-head display spanning, window composition and console connection) have not yet been implemented, although some have been officially documented on MSDN.[3]


Rdesktop is commonly used on desktop ReactOS and Linux installations to connect to Microsoft Windows running Remote Desktop Services. There are many GUI clients, like tsclient, Gnome-RDP and KDE Remote Desktop Connection (KRDC), which are graphical front-ends to rdesktop. The program has also been integrated into several thin client Linux distributions like Thinstation and the PC TSC project, as well as some thin client appliances.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ windows build
  2. ^ http://forums.sun.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5398718
  3. ^ See for example, [1], [2], [3] some documents of RDP 6.0

External links[edit]