Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Please don't take offense from my question.

A few months ago I installed Ubuntu on my MacBook and was very happy indeed. Best laptop I've ever used and the OS was able to use the mouse pad properly. If you have a MacBook you know how truly wonderful the mouse pad is.

I make my living supporting folks using Windows based computers. I love my MacBook so I use it almost exclusively and just Remote Desktop into Windows servers all day long...

rdesktop for Linux has been around for a long time (from what I could gather) and is the guts of a number of GUI wrappers. I tried using it directly (or within one of the wrappers) and had the same experience over and over: After as little as a few minutes or as much as half an hour of use, it would lock up or stop tracking the mouse properly etc.

Unfortunately this was a deal breaker and I ended up reinstalling OS X on my MacBook.

So, as the question asks, does anyone have first hand experience using rdesktop for Linux and is it stable etc?

TIA! Bruce.

share|improve this question

10 Answers 10

I have never had such problems, at least not in the past two or three years.

I keep a session running to an XP VM which stays open for weeks at a time.

share|improve this answer

It works fine for me. Perhaps your session is being passed through a router which is aggressively killing inactive and idle sessions? Or some other unfriendly network widget which kills active connections?

share|improve this answer

I've been using rdesktop for about 2 years on ubuntu. I finally started using the built in VPN-gnome app on my taskbar that supported rdesktop, and that worked fine too. I don't know if you're question really fits here on server fault, but to answer it:

yes, in my first hand experience using rdesktop on ubuntu, I was able to work just fine on XP, Vista, and Server 2003 systems.

share|improve this answer

I haven't used rdesktop for a few years but do recall that when I did use it (on Red Hat/Centos) there were no problems.

share|improve this answer

I've been using the tsclient package (wraps support for rdesktop, vnc, etc) on Fedora 9-11 with no issues. It's probably also packaged for Ubuntu so maybe give it a try.

share|improve this answer

The only issue I've had with rdesktop is that it doesn't support redirection cookies. Some enterprise TS farms and Sun Ray VDI and SGD use these.

share|improve this answer

I've never had any problems with rdesktop. I frequently have rdesktop open for more than a day and everything works fine. Sometimes even better than my coworkers mstsc

share|improve this answer

I've been using the Terminal Server Client application (which fronts for rdesktop) daily for two years. I've never seen the problem you described.

I have had an issue where when typing a remote server name if you hit [Enter] your are connected without mouse/keyboard interactivity and with a linux text input block in the center of the screen. This can be avoided by clicking the "Connect" button rather than hitting [Enter].

share|improve this answer

I never have a problem with rdesktop. I use it to administer windows 2003 servers. I also use it to rdesktop into my vmware VM, and I will leave this session open for weeks without any problems.

share|improve this answer

I used it without problem back in 2007 when I was setting up a lab.

I would check the rdesktop's website as this sounds like a specific bug that will be reported as fixed in a future version(if it hasn't been already) under the CHANGES section. And if it hasn't been reported as a bug yet, then report it, because the bugs that are reported are fixed a lot faster than the ones that aren't.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.