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Fri, Mar 23, 2012 5:37 pm

Redirecting a Local Drive with Remote Desktop

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol developed by Microsoft that allows one to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows system. E.g., you could remotely manage a Microsoft Windows XP PC, Windows Server 2003 system, etc. from another Microsoft Windows system. There are also RDP clients that run on Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X systems that will allow you to manage a Microsoft Windows system from a system running one of those operating systems.

A program that can be run on one of those operating systems is rdesktop. If you have a Linux system, you may find that it is already installed. If not you can download and install it for free.

You can determine if rdesktop is already installed by using the command which rdesktop.

$ which rdesktop
/usr/bin/rdesktop

Rdesktop allows you not only to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows system, but also map a directory on the system running rdesktop to what appears to be a shared network drive on the Microsoft Windows system.

$ rdesktop -0 -r 'disk:Linux=/home/jdoe/Documents/' -u administrator 192.168.0.5

I used the following options with the rdesktop command issued on a Ubuntu Linux system:

-0

The -0 option allows you to attach to the console of the server (requires Windows Server 2003 or newer), which would be akin to sitting down at the system to which you are logging on, i.e., it doesn't establish a session separate from the login session you would get when sitting at the system. So, if you were already logged into the system locally, when you connect remotely via rdesktop, you will see all of the open programs and files.

-r disk:<sharename>=<path>,...

Redirects a path to the share \\tsclient\<sharename> on the server (requires Windows XP or newer). The share name is limited to 8 characters.

In this case I used -r 'disk:Linux=/home/jdoe/Documents/'. I picked "Linux" for the sharename, but you can use whatever name you like. The name you select is the name the Microsoft Windows system will see for a shared network drive. The /home/jdoe/Documents/ means that if, from the Microsoft Windows system, I use the Explorer or an application to browse to the shared network drive named Linux it is really pointing to /home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system. So I can place a file in /home/jdoe/Documents/ on the Linux system and access it from the Microsoft Windows system. Or I can save a file with an application on the Microsoft Windows system to the directory /home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system.

-u <username>

The -u option allows you to spcify the Username for authentication on the Microsoft Windows system to which you wish to logon. In this case, I'm logging in as the administrator.

The 192.168.0.5 is the IP address of the Microsoft Windows system to which I wish to connect. You can also use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) as well, e.g., a.example.com.

[/os/windows/software/remote-control/rdp] permanent link

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