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Old 11-19-2012, 02:42 AM   #1
mr-roboto
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Is Someone Out There Really Using rdesktop ?


Last week, I was having problems remoting into a Windows 7 host via RDP in order to access two VMWare VMs. Tried querying a couple of my favorite forums, but in spite of a desire to help, almost no one had much experience with RDP. Fortunately, I was able to resolve virtually all of my RDP problems on my own.

Today, I've been playing w/ my current favorite distro (PCLinuxOS) and am totally into the LiveUSB I just made. For the next phase of my project, I'd like to use something similar to my LiveUSB to permanently replace the hard drives of the customer's PCs and thereby replace his Windows-based clients as their hard drives fail.

Therefore, I'm hoping that any respondents to this thread have real-world experience w/ (or at least real-world exposure to) rdesktop+RDP. My platform is based on the 2.6.38.8-pclos3.bfs kernel, rdesktop 1.7.0, and tsclient 0.150:

Q1: During my initial trials, rdesktop has worked adequately, but has segfaulted several times, apparently due to mapping remote audio back to my client. Is this [remote audio] a lost cause ?

Q2: Is it possible (w/ or w/o tsclient) to map local drives and devices onto a remote client just as one can do with the MSOFT Remote Desktop Connection utility ?

I plan to perform my own tests in the next couple of days, but hope I can get some practical insights to guide my evaluation. TIA....
 
Old 11-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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rdesktop

I use rdesktop often, and other packages that depend upon the rdesktop code for the same function.
My situation, however, allows me to pick the best performance settings and NOT bring back sound or desktop background, desktop animations, etc. I did not block those because there was a problem or for stability, I blocked them for reasons involving bandwidth.

Blocking them, however, may have hidden the existence of a problem. I will be watching the other respondents to see if there is something here to learn.

Meanwhile, why not try some testing without sound and see if the result is more stable?
 
Old 11-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
mr-roboto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
I use rdesktop often, and other packages that depend upon the rdesktop code for the same function.
My situation, however, allows me to pick the best performance settings and NOT bring back sound or desktop background, desktop animations, etc. I did not block those because there was a problem or for stability, I blocked them for reasons involving bandwidth.

Blocking them, however, may have hidden the existence of a problem. I will be watching the other respondents to see if there is something here to learn.

Meanwhile, why not try some testing without sound and see if the result is more stable?
Of course. But it's not just audio from the remote system that I'm looking for. In many business situations, I can use pure RD or I can fall back to TeamViewer, which has advantages as a terminal-only solution over Remote Desktop. TV is working very well, remoting in to my customer's site. My new PCLOS LiveUSB will make it possible for me to use Linux continuously, with more experimentation "in country", so to speak.

In most of the scenarios I envision, I need to merge both sides the connection, for client/server multimedia Windows applications. Commercial RDP-based thin clients are another possibility.

How are you deploying rdesktop ? Live media ? As part of a full-blown Linux install ? Some kind of home-grown thin-client ? A rdesktop-centric distro ?
 
Old 11-20-2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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i never used rdesktop and would want to know the best place to get some good cost effective rdesktops and also the price ranges of these desktops
 
Old 11-20-2012, 06:19 AM   #5
wpeckham
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rdekstop

I use rdesktop from standard live CDs (Knoppix, TinyCore mostly), used on a PC that normally runs Windows but is currently malware infested or disabled, to get the user access to our terminal server so they can work effectively. Microsoft is the corporate standard here. (Financial people with MBAs think they are educated enough to set technical policy, go figure.) Tech people who need to make things work when Microsoft is the problem are the only ones using Linux or rdesktop. When we use it this way it is terribly useful, but sound or local drive mapping are pretty much irrelevant.

For the user SOMMERVILLE who asked about 'getting' one, you do not 'get' it. rdesktop is the FOOS RDP protocol Remote Desktop client for connection to terminal server or remote desktop hosts. It is included in or available for nearly every Linux distribution that exists. (Exception, some special purpose distributions such as router and firewall distros do not include it, desktop versions nearly always do). It is not hardware. It is not software that you need to aquire in isolation from an operating system. If you tell me what version of Linux you run, I can tell you how to load it from your repository, or build it on your platform. (Except droid, I do not yet droid, still looking forward to having a droid.)

BTW. If you use any remote desktop software under Linux, it is likely that you have used rdesktop code. There are some nice gui front-ends, but they either call rdesktop or include code from rdesktop. There are other solutions, however, that do NOT use the rdesktop code or the RDP protocol, such as VNC. Since rdesktop uses the host service that is included with windows, it requires no extra installation on the server. IT is also generally quite fast. This use of the native service in place for Windows clients makes it a solution to be preferred in unexpected problem situations involving use of Microsoft Terminal Servers when time may be critical.

There may be better solutions if you have time to evaluate, plan, and deploy in a controlled fashion. I like VNC, but it is slower and does not (to my knowledge) include local drive mapping.
 
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
mr-roboto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
I use rdesktop from standard live CDs (Knoppix, TinyCore mostly), used on a PC that normally runs Windows but is currently malware infested or disabled, to get the user access to our terminal server so they can work effectively. Microsoft is the corporate standard here. (Financial people with MBAs think they are educated enough to set technical policy, go figure.) Tech people who need to make things work when Microsoft is the problem are the only ones using Linux or rdesktop. When we use it this way it is terribly useful, but sound or local drive mapping are pretty much irrelevant.
@wpeckham: Thanx for your feedback. WRT MBAs setting tech policy/standards: then they wonder why products/solutions don't work as well as advertized. When it comes to certain apps and the overall talent pool, Windows is impossible to beat. I used to work in the Wall Street area in the late '80s, as Windows started taking over. It was the only game in town and resulted in a huge talent pool and comfort factor. Now there are twenty-five years of Windows inertia, not just in the financial sector, but all over the corporate world.

I'm just trying to get Linux established in those niches where it can make a difference for an implementer, as in a thin-client-on-a-stick. While audio mapping isn't universally appreciated, Ultimately the device mapping capability is the important distinction between RDP and the alternatives.

What's your experience re: stability ? My initial (after a week or so) impression is that there are stability issues w/ my current rdesktop platform, ven with audio mapping completely disabled, it blows up (segfaults) frequently. I'm working thru determining the cause(s) of the failures.

TTYL....

@sommerville: wpeckham explained the situ accurately. rdesktop is a Linux-based replacement for the Windows XP/Vista/7 Remote Desktop Connection. The purpose of this thread is to attract as much info as possible about real-life experiences with rdesktop.
 
Old 11-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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I have used rdesktops nearly as much as I have run virtualbox hosts, or terminal-emulator windows.

Since my "real" servers don't have an audio playback program installed, audio hasn't been an issue.

My VBox Client is XP and sound works there beautifully, but I don't rdesktop to my running XP Vbox host, sorry. But I have no reason to doubt that it would work.
 
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
wpeckham
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Stability

I have to admit, I did see some problems on some of the latest Ubuntu loads that made rdesktop unstable, but there were other problems so I backed that out without finding the cause. It may NOT have been the fault of Ubuntu.

My desktops and servers at home run Debian, and it has been very stable there. I generally use it for no more than an hour at a time, so there may be delayed complications I have not encountered. IF one build causes you problems, you might seek another to compare video and rdesktop behavior.

---
ADDON: I keep hoping that someone who uses it for hours at a time will chime in with a pointer to data on how to ensure stable sessions. That is something I have not had to worry about, and something I believe you need.

Last edited by wpeckham; 11-22-2012 at 11:32 AM.
 
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
mr-roboto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
I have to admit, I did see some problems on some of the latest Ubuntu loads that made rdesktop unstable, but there were other problems so I backed that out without finding the cause. It may NOT have been the fault of Ubuntu.
Troubling, esp given the overall quality of the Ubuntu family, But the instability could be due to something beyond the program itself.

Quote:
My desktops and servers at home run Debian, and it has been very stable there. I generally use it for no more than an hour at a time, so there may be delayed complications I have not encountered. IF one build causes you problems, you might seek another to compare video and rdesktop behavior.
I await my next set of hware upgrades, so I can put up a bigger, more capable VMWare host for testing and production purps. Along with those upgrades, I also hope to get one of the low-cost rdesktop alternatives from a company called Norhtec. They have some novel, inexpensive, low-power, RDP-based thin-clients.
 
Old 11-24-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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I've been using rdesktop for years - ever since I started with linux!

I used "-r sound:local" and just connected to a VM and the sound worked... I don't recall every having a problem with it... well I don't recall ever having to use it either...

LOL at/with sommerville, not sure if he was joking.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 04:22 PM   #11
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Have you guys heard of Freerdp and Remmina?

Freerdp is the continuation of rdesktop, it has all the newer stuff implemented - such as network-level authentication that is used in the RDP version 6.1 from Vista/7/2008/probably 8 by default.

Remmina is a kick-ass remote-everything Gtk-based GUI - it has support for
-vnc (supports reverse connections, ssh tunneling and whatnot)
-ssh+sftp -kinda redundant on Linux, but can be used for interesting stuff besides file transfer/terminal. I did use it to execute remote commands such as screen blanking/unblanking.
-rdp (via freerdp plugin) - all things rdesktop knows plus a few more features like network-level authentication, RemoteFX etc - i even did remote printing from Windows 2008 to my Debian box (HP 1100 printer). The RDP config options are easy to use, most of them are there to configure, including sound.
-xdmcp - never tried
-nx - never tried

The kicker is that the GUI permits the easy creation of shortcuts to your favorite sites with personalized settings - it is a wonderfully handy and effective remote admin tool that i use every day.

@wpeckham - vnc does not have drive mapping, but tightvnc and ultravnc have both implemented file transfer if thats what you are looking for (the ultra variant can be used on Linux via ssvnc, the tight works only with their client so far that works well in wine). Besides, you can install ssh on Windows too and use it for drive mapping (i did it and worked quite well).
 
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:17 AM   #12
mr-roboto
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradinaruvasile View Post
Have you guys heard of Freerdp and Remmina?

Freerdp is the continuation of rdesktop, it has all the newer stuff implemented - such as network-level authentication that is used in the RDP version 6.1 from Vista/7/2008/probably 8 by default.

<snip>
Most cool ! I'm looking for these packages in my repo as I type. Thanx a lot !
 
  


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