FYI: Free Open Source RDP Client for Solaris-> Windows TrmServer Access

From: Tim Chipman <>
Date: Wed Nov 14 2001 - 14:43:05 EST
I'm submitting this "FYI" to the mailing list because I believe it is
likely to be of interest to many folks on the list. 

Concise Info:

Interested in accessing MS-terminal servers from solaris ? There is now
a free open source RDP client, rdesktop, available at

Longer blather:

DISCLAIMER: I am in now way involved with development of this software.
I'm just a happy end user, quite suprised to discover it recently. The
comments herein are my own, not my employers,  and no warranty etc etc
is implied.

This is info I came across while looking at thin clients recently (ie,
windows or linux based, for access to WinTermServer and/or X-unix),
which led me down
this avenue.

A free open-source RDP-like client is available which runs on Solaris
(and other unix'es) , providing direct access from a solaris X-windows
enviroment to Win2000/WinNT4 terminal servers.  

Typically, in the past, 3rd party (not-free) software was required for
this sort of access from solaris->windows environment. This may be of
interest to people who need "small" terminal servers ( < 50-100
concurrent users per term server) wanting to provide a windows
environment (ie, MS_office) to solaris

[For folks interested in larger scale setups, (requiring load balancing
term server farms, etc) you will likely find this of minimal interest at
this point, since MS-RDP lacks such snazzy features server-side.]. Also
note that to keep your Term Server legitimate with MS licensing, you do
still need appropriate numbers of "MS Term Server CALs", "MS Server
CALs" and (for example) MS_office licenses on any Windows Term Server
you setup in this fashion. 

..All that rdesktop does is removes the requirement for alternate 3rd
party software providing access from solaris to windows....

The source code is available at . Be sure to get the
appropriate version of source & patches for building on solaris. 

Note that I say "RDP-like" because this software appears to be reverse
engineered "blackbox style" - (RDP is not an open standard, although I
gather from docs on the above web site that it is originally derived
from an open standard?) . Anyhow, this software appears to behave like
an RDP-ver 5.0
client as far as the windows terminal server is concerned. 

It is written in C, compiles using GCC without problems on Solaris (2.6,
8 for Sparc, intel) and offers performance comparable to (better than?)
Citrix Metaframe 1.8 for Solaris in my testing to date.

For those of you who prefer to get pre-cooked goodies, I've put up on a
temporary freebie/public web site some of these binaries (approx
120-150kb each) along with the patched source code, the unpatched source
code with patch file. For those of you who prefer to do it yourself, I
also include links where you can get the "real" files if you like to do
it yourself (or, just visit the one link listed above, and figure it out
for yourself).

Solaris binaries can be found at,

Footnote: IMHO this is really quite good news for Sun - it means that
people might be more tempted to deploy SunRay based thin clients where
"mixed OS" (MS-windows, X11 Unix/Linux/Solaris) access is required,
since the
cost-per-station is similar to other thin-client solutions in the market
- and this is a more flexible one, really.

Anyhow. Probably a longer email than it should have been. Hope not too
many people are ticked off about this "spam" but it did seem relevant...

-Tim Chipman
Received on Wed Nov 14 19:43:05 2001

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