Thursday, January 9, 2014

remote desktop from linux (accessing Windows machines via RDP with Remmina)

Fedora 20 is one of the easiest to use, most integrated distributions I've experienced. It was quite a surprise for me to find that establishing a simple RDP session would be a bit of work.

In a fresh installation, in software / utilities, you see a program called "Remote Desktop Viewer". Sure enough, RDP is listed as a protocol for connection. However, when you try using it, nothing happens. Turns out if you google around, this program does not support RDP currently.

There have been previous programs that support this, such as rDesktop and tsclient. However, googling a bit more will tell you that what all the cool kids use now is Remmina with freeRDP.

So how do I install this program? well, with a "yum install remmina" of course! And it installs, but... you only SSH and SFTP connections.

Turns out you must also install the rdp plugins. This is achieved with a "yum install remmina-plugins-rdp". But nothing happens on the client. Maybe I should close it and re-open it? Wow, it still doesn't display anything!

This post saved my life when I was about to fork into who knows what procedure to get this working. It explains Remmina doesn't quit when you close it... so basically you have to kill the process for it to load the plugins (if you did it in the same order I did)

To see running programs (such as dropbox) in the tray, move your mouse to the bottom right corner (and do it kind of fast).

So, the better way of installing this RDP client is

yum install remmina-plugins-rdp 

as it will install remmina as a requirement and load the RDP plugin correctly the first time you run it.

Hope it helps someone :) it's a good solution so far and offers quite a few options.

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