For connecting to a Windows 7 virtual machine on a LAN, what would be the ideal settings to specify when using rdesktop in linux so that it feels as close as possible to using a regular Windows 7 machine? And is there anything I should configure on the Windows VM?

5 Answers 5


It takes some tweaking. The command-line I'm using in a shortcut for my VMWare VM Win7 admin station is :

/usr/local/bin/rdesktop -d $domain -u $username -g 1270x972 -z -r sound:local -P -x l $hostname

Works pretty solidly. I had to compile a newer rdesktop since the one that comes with my distro is a bit old. Pretty snappy. Still not as snappy as talking to XP, but markedly better than it is with no special options.


I came upon this after investigating various sources. Here's what I use:

rdesktop -u USERNAME -d DOMAINNAME -p - -g 1680x1050 -a 24 -z -x 0x80 -D -r clipboard:PRIMARYCLIPBOARD -r sound:remote MACHINENAME

-x 0x80 will allow clear type tuning to work (see here) assuming you have Windows XP SP3, Vista or 7 as the server.

If you get a warning saying 24 bit color depth is not allowed, you will need to use the group policy edtor on the server machine to change the Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services -> "Limit maximum color depth" setting. (see here)

I forgot to mention, on Windows XP, you will also need to add a DWORD value to your registry: AllowFontAntiAlias with value 1 at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp (source) and restart your machine.

The above also removed windows manager decorations and passes all keys (Ctrl+Alt+Del etc.) to the Windows machine. I have the resolution explicitly specified in place of using full screen mode on rdesktop to prevent it from taking over both monitors.


After some grief, I've switched to using xfreerdp - it lacks a lot of the issues rdesktop has with the more modern windows builds, and feels a bit faster (might be wrong here)


It looks like all the answers share something like these options in common:

  • -x lan: Let rdesktop know you have a good connection
  • -P: Let rdesktop cache bitmaps
  • -z: Let rdesktop use compression

I like to add the -f option instead of the -g <dimensions>, as it enables the Full Screen mode.

Then you can use CTRL + ALT + ENTER to toggle Full Screen.

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