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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

rdesktop (1)


rdesktop - Remote Desktop Protocol client


rdesktop [options] server[:port]


rdesktop(1)                 General Commands Manual                rdesktop(1)

       rdesktop - Remote Desktop Protocol client

       rdesktop [options] server[:port]

       rdesktop  is a client for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), used in a num-
       ber of Microsoft products including Windows NT Terminal Server, Windows
       2000 Server, Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server.

       -u <username>
              Username for authentication on the server.

       -d <domain>
              Domain for authentication.

       -s <shell>
              Startup  shell  for  the  user  -  starts a specific application
              instead of Explorer.

       -c <directory>
              The initial working directory for the user.  Often used in  com-
              bination with -s to set up a fixed login environment.

       -p <password>
              The  password  to authenticate with.  Note that this may have no
              effect if "Always prompt for password" is enabled on the server.
              WARNING: if you specify a password on the command line it may be
              visible to other users when they use tools like ps.  Use -p - to
              make  rdesktop  request  a  password  at  startup (from standard

       -n <hostname>
              Client hostname.  Normally rdesktop  automatically  obtains  the
              hostname of the client.

       -k <keyboard-map>
              Keyboard  layout  to  emulate.   This  requires  a corresponding
              keymap file to be installed.  The standard keymaps provided with
              rdesktop  follow the RFC1766 naming scheme: a language code fol-
              lowed by a country code if necessary - e.g.  en-us,  en-gb,  de,
              fr, sv, etc.

              The default keyboard map depends on the current locale (LC_* and
              LANG environment variables). If the current locale  is  unknown,
              the default keyboard map is en-us (a US English keyboard).

              The keyboard maps are file names, which means that they are case
              sensitive. The standard keymaps are all in lowercase.

              The keyboard maps  are  searched  relative  to  the  directories
              $HOME/.rdesktop/keymaps,  KEYMAP_PATH (specified at build time),
              and $CWD/keymaps, in this order. The keyboard-map  argument  can
              also be an absolute filename.

              The  special value `none' can be used instead of a keyboard map.
              In this case, rdesktop will guess the  scancodes  from  the  X11
              event  key  codes  using an internal mapping method. This method
              only supports the basic alphanumeric keys and may not work prop-
              erly on all platforms so its use is discouraged.

       -g <geometry>
              Desktop   geometry  (WxH).  If  geometry  is  the  special  word
              "workarea", the geometry will be fetched from the extended  win-
              dow  manager hints property _NET_WORKAREA, from the root window.
              The geometry can also be specified as a percentage of the  whole
              screen, e.g. "-g 80%".

       -f     Enable  fullscreen  mode.  This overrides the window manager and
              causes the rdesktop window to fully cover  the  current  screen.
              Fullscreen mode can be toggled at any time using Ctrl-Alt-Enter.

       -b     Force  the  server to send screen updates as bitmaps rather than
              using higher-level drawing operations.

       -A     Enable SeamlessRDP. In this mode, rdesktop creates a X11  window
              for each window on the server side. This mode requires the Seam-
              lessRDP  server  side  component,  which   is   available   from
              http://www.cendio.com/seamlessrdp/.  When using this option, you
              should specify a startup shell which launches the desired appli-
              cation through SeamlessRDP.

              Example: rdesktop -A -s 'seamlessrdpshell notepad'.

       -B     Use  the  BackingStore  of the Xserver instead of the integrated
              one in rdesktop.

       -e     Disable encryption.  This option is only needed (and  will  only
              work) if you have a French version of NT TSE.

       -E     Disable  encryption  from  client  to  server.   This  sends  an
              encrypted login packet, but everything after this is unencrypted
              (including interactive logins).

       -m     Do not send mouse motion events.  This saves bandwidth, although
              some Windows applications may rely on receiving mouse motion.

       -C     Use private colourmap.  This will improve colour accuracy on  an
              8-bit display, but rdesktop will appear in false colour when not

       -D     Hide window manager decorations, by using MWM hints.

       -K     Do not override window manager key bindings.  By default  rdesk-
              top attempts to grab all keyboard input when it is in focus.

       -S <button size>
              Enable  single  application  mode.  This option can be used when
              running a single, maximized application (via -s). When the mini-
              mize  button of the windows application is pressed, the rdesktop
              window is minimized instead of the remote application. The maxi-
              mize/restore  button  is  disabled.  For  this to work, you must
              specify the correct button size, in  pixels.  The  special  word
              "standard" means 18 pixels.

       -T <title>
              Sets  the  window  title.  The  title must be specified using an
              UTF-8 string.

       -N     Enable numlock syncronization between the Xserver and the remote
              RDP session.  This is useful with applications that looks at the
              numlock state, but might cause problems with some Xservers  like

       -X <windowid>
              Embed   rdesktop-window  in  another  window.  The  windowid  is
              expected to be decimal or hexadecimal (prefixed by 0x).

       -a <bpp>
              Sets the colour depth for the connection  (8,  15,  16  or  24).
              More than 8 bpp are only supported when connecting to Windows XP
              (up to 16 bpp) or newer.  Note that the colour depth may also be
              limited  by  the  server configuration. The default value is the
              depth of the root window.

       -z     Enable compression of the RDP datastream.

       -x <experience>
              Changes default bandwidth performance  behaviour  for  RDP5.  By
              default  only theming is enabled, and all other options are dis-
              abled (corresponding to modem (56 Kbps)). Setting experience  to
              b[roadband]  enables  menu  animations and full window dragging.
              Setting experience to l[an] will also enable the desktop wallpa-
              per.  Setting  experience  to  m[odem]  disables  all (including
              themes). Experience can also be a hexidecimal number  containing
              the flags.

       -P     Enable  caching  of bitmaps to disk (persistent bitmap caching).
              This generally improves performance (especially on low bandwidth
              connections) and reduces network traffic at the cost of slightly
              longer startup and some disk space.   (10MB  for  8-bit  colour,
              20MB for 15/16-bit colour and 30MB for 24-bit colour sessions)

       -r <device>
              Enable  redirection  of the specified device on the client, such
              that it appears on the server. Note that  the  allowed  redirec-
              tions may be restricted by the server configuration.

              Following devices are currently supported:

       -r comport:<comport>=<device>,...
              Redirects serial devices on your client to the server. Note that
              if you need to change any settings on the serial  device(s),  do
              so  with  an  appropriate tool before starting rdesktop. In most
              OSes you would use  stty.  Bidirectional/Read  support  requires
              Windows XP or newer.  In Windows 2000 it will create a port, but
              it's not seamless, most shell programs will not work with it.

       -r disk:<sharename>=<path>,...
              Redirects a path to  the  share  \\tsclient\<sharename>  on  the
              server (requires Windows XP or newer). The share name is limited
              to 8 characters.

       -r lptport:<lptport>=<device>,...
              Redirects parallel devices on your client to the server.   Bidi-
              rectional/Read  support requires Windows XP or newer. In Windows
              2000 it will create a port, but it's not  seamless,  most  shell
              programs will not work with it.

       -r printer:<printername>[=<driver>],...
              Redirects  a  printer  queue  on  the  client to the server. The
              <printername> is the name of the queue  in  your  local  system.
              <driver>  defaults to a simple PS-driver unless you specify one.
              Keep in mind that you need a 100% match in the  server  environ-
              ment,  or the driver will fail. The first printer on the command
              line will be set as your default printer.

       -r sound:[local|off|remote]
              Redirects sound generated on the server to the client.  "remote"
              only  has any effect when you connect to the console with the -0
              option. (Requires Windows XP or newer).

       -r lspci
              Activates the lspci channel, which allows the server to  enumer-
              ate  the  clients PCI devices. See the file lspci-channel.txt in
              the documentation for more information.

       -r scard[:<Scard Name>=<Alias Name>[;<Vendor Name>][,...]]
              Enables redirection of one or more smart-cards. You can  provide
              static  name  binding  between linux and windows. To do this you
              can use optional parameters as described: <Scard Name> -  device
              name  in Linux/Unix enviroment, <Alias Name> - device name shown
              in Windows enviroment <Vendor Name>  -  optional  device  vendor
              name. For list of examples run rdesktop without parameters.

       -0     Attach  to  the  console  of the server (requires Windows Server
              2003 or newer).

       -4     Use RDP version 4.

       -5     Use RDP version 5 (default).

       Main website of rdesktop

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |ATTRIBUTE TYPE |        ATTRIBUTE VALUE          |
       |Availability   | desktop/remote-desktop/rdesktop |
       |Stability      | Pass-through volatile           |
       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source was  downloaded  from   https://github.com/rdesktop/rdesktop/ar-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.rdesktop.org/.

                                 November 2005                     rdesktop(1)