Install rdesktop RDP client 1.8.1 via PPA in Ubuntu 13.10/13.04/12.04

Last updated: December 6, 2013

rdp client in Ubuntu

RDesktop is an open source RDP client for Windows NT/2000 Terminal Server and Windows Servers. While the default version in universe repository is old, this tutorial shows how to install the latest rdesktop 1.8.1 via PPA in Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.04 and their derivatives.

RDesktop 1.8.1 and 1.8.0 changelog:

  • Fix a typo in
  • Fix a bug which made rdesktop steal CPU cycles.
  • Fix issue with reconnect, make use of deactivate variable
  • Added 4 new disconnect reasons with exit codes
  • Fix issues of window handling in SeamlessRDP parts of rdesktop
  • Fix a backward compability with OpenSSL < 0.9.9
  • Fix a bug when code needs a x window available but there are none.
  • Fix a sigsegv zeroing memory
  • Fix a 64bit portability issue
  • Support for protocol negotiation eg. SSL/TLSv1 and CredSSP
  • Support for CredSSP + Kerberos authentication (NLA)
  • Support for smart card single-sign-on
  • Support passing smart card pin as password as argument
  • Added IPC for controlling a master rdesktop process
  • Support for connection sharing when using SeamlessRDP
  • Improved handling of network connection failures
  • Autoreconnect using the connection cookie at network failure
  • Fix a few smart card issues
  • Fix bug with mouse scroll handling
  • Fix for left/right braces in Italian keymap
  • Fix crash and memory leak in local drive redirection
  • Fixes issues with license files loading/saving

Install rdesktop via PPA:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run commands below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmjdebruijn/rdesktop-release

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install rdesktop

Once installed, run rdesktop in terminal to get a list of options.

Most cases, you’ll use one of the following two commands:

rdesktop -u john -fP
rdesktop -u john -g 100% -PKD

Both commands login as john and display remote desktop in full screen.

To create a launcher, see this post


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: