Does anything exist for Windows RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) that is similar to SSH (in Linux) Public/Private key authentication (Instead of leaving normal password authentication open)?

I'm finding conflicting answers to this topic around the internet. I'm hoping to be able to just distribute a private key to client devices instead of using a complex password on every login (assuming I do not want to eventually disable password authentication totally).

  • 2
    By refusing to incorporate a connection protocol that specifically prevents password-guessing, the halfwits at Redmond require that the remote machine be strictly no more secure than a machine infested with their insecure bloatware. Why am I not surprised when MSFT fails on the datasec front? – GT. Jul 30 '16 at 5:08

Remote Desktop supports X.509 client certificates, under the "smart-card authentication" name. Despite the name, it should work with locally-installed certs/keys (i.e. without an actual smart-card). Though it does however require an Active Directory domain, as far as I know.

So, sort of but not really in a way that's useful to you.

  • Would you like to expand it a little... Is it without RDP Gateway? – g2mk Jan 22 '16 at 11:02

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