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I need to be able to work from home (Ubuntu 11.04) on a computer at work (Windows XP), so I thought I could simply use rdesktop and enter the proper credentials, but it seems it's a little more complicated than I thought. Hence the following questions:

What does the "host" computer need? What will the command line call to rdesktop look like? How can I make this secure (using ssh?) ? Where can I find troubleshooting information about this procedure?

I initially assumed this would be easy as cake but I've been having trouble and I can't seem to find any good tutorial about how to do this..

My attempt:

$ rdesktop hostIPAddress
ERROR: unable to connect
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For simplicity's sake, I'd suggest Teamviewer. RDP is very finicky. Also, you may want to ask your friendly IT guy about any security clearances you may need, because in the end we can't say how to secure your system against you being fired for security code violation. – digitxp Aug 24 '11 at 1:07
Definitely contact the IT people, because unless this is a dirt simple network configuration, you won't get any further without them. – Joe Internet Aug 24 '11 at 2:50
@digitxp : Don't worry my superiors are fully informed about everything I do :) (at)Joe Internet : I'm the IT person for now.. – Shawn Aug 24 '11 at 15:30
@digitxp : Teamviewer is working very well for me, thanks! – Shawn Aug 27 '11 at 4:29
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As mentioned in the comments (and posted here for the sake of semantics), TeamViewer is a good solution that has very little overhead.

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The host computer needs to be XP pro - NOT home (as yours seems to be Pro, it shouldn't be an issue. I have no idea about MCE). With 7 and vista its pro or better.

Then you you need to enable RDP on the server as below

1) “Start”-> right click on “My Computer”-> “Properties

2) Click the Remote tab

3) Check “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer”

You also need to explicitly allow rdp use for a specific account if its not an admin account with select remote users.

Unlike VNC, RDP is encrypted in some form, end to end so tunneling it over SSH may not be necessary.

Not familiar with the client side, unfortunately, but something tells me a username and password may be needed at some point

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When you say "explicitly allow rdp use for a specific account", you mean by pressing "Select Remote Users..."? If so, I tried it with rdesktop -u username -p - IP. I get a prompt to enter the password, then I get the same error as before.. – Shawn Aug 24 '11 at 4:31
yup. Just to cover the stuff i know that needs to be done. I'd give it a shot with another windows box and a native RDP client, so we could narrow it down to to the client or the server... – Journeyman Geek Aug 24 '11 at 5:44
If you are looking for a nice GUI app for Ubuntu that includes support for RDP (and VNC, SSH and others), try installing remmina – Linker3000 Aug 24 '11 at 13:04
@Journeyman Geek : I tried with another windows machine and got the same result, but I noticed it shares the same IP address as the other machine I was trying to access.. I guess I would need a way of telling rdesktop which computer I am trying to reach at that IP address... Any ideas? – Shawn Aug 24 '11 at 15:39
two computers with the same ip address? that in itself is an issue. If the individual computers are behind a nat, port forwarding would be required. – Journeyman Geek Aug 24 '11 at 16:33

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