I recently was asked how to provide an RDP session to a Linux Machine. Phoowey! I replied, you can’t RDP to a Linux box, and yet, someone I work with pointed me in the direction of XRDP – a package on Sourceforge.
I performed the following steps on a VMWare host running Ubuntu 8.10, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work on 9.04 or even 8.04.
Why would you want to RDP to a Linux machine? If you’ve got a windows host, you don’t always want to be running more and more different software to access that remote host – like VNC or X over SSH, so this seems like an effective solution if you don’t want your client machines to need additional software.
Some people don’t like to permit SSH through their firewalls as you can do an awful lot with a badly configured SSHd. In another situation, we have been using a device (which I don’t manage I should add) to access a development network. This device acts as a reverse proxy, and permits access to various websites, but most importantly, also proxies access to RDP systems, so this request was driven by that need.
Here’s what I did to configure up the XRDP on this Ubuntu 8.10 desktop
# apt-get install build-essential libpam0g-dev libssl-dev tightvncserver
Visit https://sourceforge.net/projects/xrdp/ then click on Download, Browse all packages, click on the latest release (currently 0.4.1), Copy the link for filename xrdp-x.x.x.tar.gz
# wget http://path/to/file/xrdp-x.x.x.tar.gz
# tar xfz xrdp-x.x.x.tar.gz
# cd xrdp-x.x.x
# sudo make install
# cp /usr/local/xrdp/xrdp_control.sh /etc/init.d/
# update-rc.d -f xrdp_control.sh defaults