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i realise the forum seems pretty quiet but i thought I'd post anyway! first post yay!


anyway! I've got myself a raspberry pi and I'm pretty happy with it. but what I'm hoping to set up is a remote desktop client that boots very quickly. so far ive managed to use Raspbian with Remmina but that was a bit iffy and didnt work too well, so i moved on to the RPiTC project, boots up to RDesktop in about 45-50 seconds but still not exactly what we need.


I'm now experimenting with Arch Linux Arm for the Pi but seeing I'm quite the noob at this I'm not doing too well. ive found that i cant run RDesktop without some form of desktop enviroment on the pi itself (please correct me if im wrong!) but trying to find a really lightweight and fast one is proving difficult. it doesnt help that I'm behind a proxy here so while downloading some stuff works others dont.


If you could help at all or point me in the right direction it would be very much appreciated!


EDIT: sorry guess i should mention I'm trying to connect to a Windows 2008R2 Terminal Server!




Tom biggrin.png

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Hey Tom and welcome to the forums! I have no experiences with pies, but I think one or two of the active members do so they might be able to help you out on that. But let me see if I understand you correctly, you have a pie running arch linux with no gui? And  you are trying to connect from machine A(with a gui) to your pi with no gui? Oh I see now, you are trying to connect from you pi with no gui to a windows terminal 2008R2 server?As far as I know you have to run a gui on the client, to connect to another machine running a gui. How are you gonna see what the other computer/server is seeing via the command line? The only way I know to connect from one linux machine to another with both no gui is via ssh. So you probably need some sort of gui on your pi to connect to that windows terminal server. Here's some powerfull software you can use to connect from a windows/linux machine to linux server with a gui.





You can use tsclient but it does need a gui, been looking around and as far as I can see you pretty much need a gui for what you want to do. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/tsclient/?setlang=nl


Maybe one of the other members know's different or more. Great to have you here and feel free to ask questions!

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thanks for the warm welcome!


and yup spot on! hoping to go from the Pi to the terminal server.


does anyone know the lightest/fastest desktop enviroment i could use? ive tried LXDE of course and a few others. im literally only using it to launch rdesktop so the barest the better!

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Welcome! :)


I'm just wondering how far you've got so far with LXDE -- is it working, but you're just wondering if there's something more lightweight? If it does work right now, is it that the performance is too slow, or that there are other desktop-y things getting in the way of it just loading up immediately and swiftly?


I'm happy to meddle with this on my own Pi, but I'd love to know how far you've got and what the goal is.


My thoughts are perhaps Window Maker, to avoid a whole desktop environment and just have a window manager, which auto-starts RDesktop. If this sounds interesting, I'll have a play on my Pi and let you know how it goes.

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that does indeed sound quite interesting!


thank you for the welcome :D


and yup thats pretty much spot on! with the LXDE one i'm using i have to use remmina and its probably just me but its not going to well! the one using RPiTC boots into RDesktop but a windows manager sounds very interesting as one of the issues I'm having is when they log out of the windows terminal server session they are left with the linux desktop. i dont fancy having them meddle!

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I've had some success with LXDE and Remmina to make the Pi a RDP client straight from switch-on. There is a caveat -- once the user disconnects the RDP session, they might need to double-click an icon on the LXDE desktop to re-establish the connection.


Install Remmina Remote Desktop client



sudo apt-get install remmina


Configure the Connection


Open up Remmina, and set up a 'connection' to your RDP server (Connection > New).

Check it works by connecting, then close Remmina.


Browse to the ~/.remmina folder to find the name of the new .remmina file for this connection. You can rename it to something more friendly - I'll call it server.remmina.


Configure Remmina for Autostart


Edit the file /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart, so that it reads:



@lxpanel --profile LXDE

#@pcmanfm --desktop --profile LXDE

@xscreensaver --no-splash

/bin/sh -c "remmina -c ~/.remmina/server.remmina"


Configure the Pi to boot to GUI


Use raspi-config to configure the Pi to boot straight to the GUI.


Also use these instructions to configure auto-login for the user account.


(For security, consider adding a separate user account for the RDP login use that does not have sudo privileges, and auto-login to that user instead of the admin-capable one.)




Now we have a Pi that boots straight to the GUI, logs in, and immediately launches Remmina which connects over RDP to the target system we set up earlier.


The caveat, as I mentioned, is that once Remmina quits, the user is left at the LXDE screen. Perhaps a shortcut/launcher to Remmina, called 'Reconnect', needs to be left on the desktop, which launches remmina -c ~/.remmina/server.remmina.


Also, users may need to be educated about how to shut down the thin client. Perhaps another desktop shortcut which shuts down the Pi could solve that?

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Perhaps removal of the LXDE panel (commenting out the @lxpanel line above), combined with re-enabling pcmanfm for the desktop, and just having desktop shortcuts for reconnecting or shutting down might solve your issues around people fiddling.


Once LXPanel is disabled and a 'blank' desktop background chosen, it really does feel barren (and scary?), such that it might look like nothing is 'there' to play with, except the two shortcuts you leave on the desktop.

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Just out of interest, can you configure RDP on the Windows side to not drop the connection on 'logout'? In my testing, when I log out of Windows inside the RDP session, the session itself closes. Perhaps I'm missing something obvious; avoiding the connection dropping at all and just making it look like a 'Windows machine' for all intents and purposes would seem ideal.

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