Howto: Install rdesktop on SLES 10 SP2 Linux

rdesktop is software that allows a Linux client to connect to a Microsoft Windows server via RDP, much like mstsc.exe, which is Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) program.

More precisely, describes the software as:

rdesktop is an open source client for Windows Terminal Services, capable of natively speaking Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in order to present the user’s Windows desktop. Supported servers include Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows NT Server 4.0.

rdesktop currently runs on most UNIX based platforms with the X Window System.

To install rdesktop on SLES 10 SP2: 

1) Make sure all pre-requisites are installed on the system.  If they are not, add with YaST or download them.
2) Extract the rdesktop package. From a terminal window run
gzip -d rdesktop-1.6.0.tar.gz
tar -xvf rdesktop-1.6.0.tar
3) From the directory you extracted rdesktop run
4) From the directory you extracted rdesktop run
5) From the directory you extracted rdesktop run
make install
rdesktop will be installed by default to /usr/local
to run from a terminal
rdesktop [options] server
for example
rdesktop -u admin -p passwd
Would establish a RDP connection to server using admin’s credentials
The most commonly used  options are:
–u username specifies the user name for authentication on the server.

–p password provides a password for authentication on the server. To keep others from seeing the password supplied on the command line, use –p – to read the password from stdin.

–g geometry allows you to specify the desktop geometry. This can be given as a resolution, such as 1024×768 or as a percentage of the entire screen, as in 70%.

–r device enables device redirection, allowing you to redirect a device, such as sound from the remote machine to the local one. This feature requires Windows XP or newer.

Fixes for known issues when compiling and installing rdesktop
“ERROR: Could not find X Window System headers/libraries
To specify paths manually, use the options –x-includes and –x-libraries”
FIX: add the X-windows development tools though YaST to compile successfully – x-org-x11-devel
ERROR: Could not find OpenSSL headers/libraries.
To specify a path manually, use the –with-openssl option
FIX: add the OpenSSL development tools through YaST to compile successfully – openssl-devel

4 Responses to “Howto: Install rdesktop on SLES 10 SP2 Linux”

  1. Ozzy Says:

    Thanks a lot for the info. Worked like a charm.

    • ramya Says:

      Thanks a lot. It is really helpful

  2. sivpheng Says:


    i follow the instruction above but it show the message below when i did make and make install.

    make:*** no target specified and no makefile found. stop.
    make:*** no rule to make target ‘Install’. stop.

    Please help me. how to do it.

  3. Chris Says:

    wish I’d found this post first!!! It was right on the money for my Could not find OpenSSL headers/libraries error.

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