Remote access to Windows XP from Linux

Jurjen Bokma

July 2008

We have a user who wants to access her Windows computer while sitting behind her Linux computer.

Procedure 35.  Enabling remote desktop on a Windows computer and accessing it from Linux.
    1. Log in on the Linux computer, open a shell, and type hostname -f. The answer is the FQDN of the Linux computer. Write it down for later reference.

      Also type hostname -i. This is the IP number of the Linux computer. Write it down, too

    2. Log in on the Windows computer, open a shell (click Start, Run..., type cmd, click Ok), and type ipconfig. The IP number of the Windows computer is now listed behind IP Address.... Write it down.

      To translate the IP number of the Windows computer to its FQDN, log in on the Linux computer, and type host ip-number-of-windows-machine, with ip-number-of-windows-machine replaced by the actual IP number you wrote down.

  1. Start the Windows computer, log in, and do the following:

  2. Log in on the Windows computer and do the following:

  3. Leave the Windows computer running, but do log off.


It appears that Windows on some machines will not serve rdesktop without trouble, stating that rdpdd.dll failed to load in the Event Viewer.


There is also a description of remotely executing scripts. It amounts to this:

rdesktop -P -a 16 -g 1280x1024 -u username  -p VerySecretPassword -r disk:home=/home/username/ -s 'c:\WINNT\cmd.exe'


If you still have another session active on the target computer, the -s option will not be honoured, and you will be dropped into that session instead. This may not apply if you have a real terminal server (with multiple desktops) instead of a single-session Windows box.


As an aside to the above note, be aware that if you run one application. e.g. notepad remotely, and then terminate the X windows in which the rdesktop resided, the next time you run rdesktop with the -s option to start another application (say, cmd.exe), you will get the first application, i.e. notepad instead of the one you specified! This will not occur if you finish the first application from within, i.e. by clicking file-<exit and let Windows/rdesktop do the cleanup.