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Microsoft Remote Desktop on Linux

This page describes how to connect to a Windows system at the institute, from your own Linux machine, either on the laptop or wireless network, or from outside the institute. This documentation is for LION based desktops.


First, a secure tunnel has to be set up using ssh. The tunnel connects a local port to a remote port on a specific machine. The port we want here is 3389, which is the port of the remote desktop protocol. This example logs in to and sets up the tunnel to a remote Windows Desktop:

ssh -L 3389:<your desktop name>:3389

Alternatively you can user for Observatory environment:

ssh -L 3389:<your desktop name>:3389

Now, you probaly don't want to remember this and type it all the time, so an easy solution is to add an alias in your .profile (which contains the settings that are executed every time you open a new shell in a terminal):

alias <your desktop name>='ssh -L 3389:<your desktop name>:3389'

or alternatively:

alias <your desktop name>='ssh -L 3389:<your desktop name>:3389'

Some additional notes:

  • Users should use the appropriate ssh server for their own institute (here LION users and STRW users
  • The Windows machine to log in to can just as well be your own Windows desktop, if you have one
  • The username@ part can be omitted if you have the same username locally on your Linux and on the ssh server.

Note that where ever is written <your desktop name> this might be replaces with our Remote Windows Desktop Server pool: or

Remote Desktop client

A good rdp client for Linux is remmina, it even allow you to directly setup a tunnel as described above. Alternatively you can user xfreerdp

See how to setup remmina from the bachelors server access pages.

Now you should see the familiar Windows log in screen and you can go about your business.

generic/rdp_linux.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/18 07:06 by deul