The open-source rdesktop program allowed over a normal network connection to the remote access from a Unix-like system on a computer that is running Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 runs. It brings the Windows desktop of a remote Windows computer to the local computer, which is running a Unix-like operating system, or OS / 2.

The connection is made by means of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP ). On the remote computer, the Windows Terminal Server must be started.

In contrast to other methods such as VNC, is written here from the remote system directly on the local desktop. This results in a significant performance advantage over methods in which the first edition takes place on the ( real or virtual ) remote desktop, where it will be scanned and then forwarded to the local system.

The computer program runs on most Unix-like systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD or GNU / Linux, if there is an X11 server. For OS / 2 and eComStation versions of XFree86 and Presentation Manager are available.

It was written by Matthew Chapman and is licensed under the GNU General Public License ( GPL). The current version is 1.8.0, dated 9 August 2013.

Meanwhile, there is FreeRDP with a follow-up project, the current RDP functionality as implemented, for example, RemoteFX and is available under an Apache license. This project is funded under the OpenThinClient Alliance of the Open Source Business Alliance.