seamless rdp on ubuntu edgy eft (outlook)

I got edgy installed on my work desktop recently. I got beryl working on the regular x server with the nvidia binary drivers. I hear that feisty fawn is going to have the binary drivers in the default install to better support this sort of thing, but it was pretty easy. I used directions here that look like they also appear here but more cleaned up. I’m unsure of the performance impact of this route, but so far the only slowdown has been when running glxgears on the edge of a cube while keeping the cube rotated. I’m also running with twinview support, which I configured using the -twinview option for nvidia-xconfig, but I had to manually change the modes to get the resolution I wanted.

I wanted seamless rdp support and rdesktop 1.5 is in the feisty repository, but has not been backported to edgy.

I added the following to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb-src feisty main restricted multiverse universe


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get source rdesktop
cd rdesktop-1.5.0
dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

If you get an error about fakeroot, then you need to install that (sudo apt-get install fakeroot). There’s possibly a number of build dependencies that you’ll get an error for, mostly development stuff. I simply installed the packages recommended using apt-get.

There’ll be a .deb file now one level up the tree.

sudo dpkg -i ../rdesktop_1.5.0-1_i386.deb

fr recommended using prevu to modify the package version so that my install wouldn’t conflict with a future install. I skipped this step, as I’m generally a reckless individual.

i built a standard 2k3 install on a vm, turned on remote desktop, installed office, then unzipped the seamless rdp package from cendio. back on my workstation I ran:

rdesktop -A -s “c:\seamlessrdp\seamlessrdpshell.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\outlook.exe” servername &

Outlook popped up and happily allowed me to setup my account. It doesn’t wobble well at all in beryl, but I just put it full screen on one desktop and never move it anyways and it’s moving okay. There’s some more notes available here on the process. I do worry that every application takes a ts session. This seems like some overhead. There’s a similar project here for windows that looks like it might handle this better, maybe something will show up in the future.

screen shot available here.

to make the beryl+rdesktop collaboration a little less annoying. I’ve wrapped rdesktop in Xnest based on the ideas here. I can now move the window around without the weird half-wobble and without every rollover causing a popup and subsequent burn of said popup.

Xnest -ac -terminate -geometry 1280×1024+0+0 :4 &
DISPLAY=:4 rdesktop -u user -d domain -A -s “c:\seamlessrdp\seamlessrdpshell.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\outlook.exe” host &

Note that -ac on Xnest may have security implications. I haven’t researched it as of this writing. I also pulled it IE and Outlook icons out of their .exe’s and dropped them into a pixmap folder, creating shortcuts on the gnome applet bar that connect to the wrapper scripts. This is pretty satisfying at this point. The Xnest window is the same size as my desktop, so the beryl seams make it a little larger. I moved it to the desktop it’s going to live on and maximize, which clears the excess seams.

3 thoughts on “seamless rdp on ubuntu edgy eft (outlook)

  1. btm

    i ended up not sticking with xnest and seamlessrdp. I used xnest just to get beryl off of the program. I probably could have used some of the advanced beryl options too, but this had the desired effect.

    First problem, I’d often minimize outlook by accident and I’d have a hard time getting the window back without using tskill and starting all over again.

    Second problem, being an administrator I needed other windows specific programs such as ADUC and Exchange on a regular basis, and each program opened up a seperate windows session. I haven’t put the server in TS mode yet, so this wouldn’t really scale. Of course, using user / device licenses, I could have as many sessions as I wanted in Application mode, but that’s still not the most resource reasonable answer.

    The Ts Window Clipper project appears to use something called “virtual channels” to allow multiple programs to be run seamless, but “clipping” sounds scary and hackish.

    there are some notes in the rdesktop TODO such as “add a client to server message for starting additional applications.” but I don’t know when these would be implemented and if it would be as effective as Meta+R.

    For now, I’m just back to running rdesktop and using “-g 1200×1000” to have a nice WM controlled window that’s pretty close to full screen that I can run multiple apps in.

    Now, I’d still REALLY like to see some solution that’s closer to X, to seamlessly transport windows, and allow me to tie certain desktop, especially multiple desktops (span), to these at full screen. I did try this using wide resolutions and the rdesktop switches to have it not grab the keyboard so I could escape at full screen, but then I had some focus problems.

  2. benjamin

    I read a couple of months ago about someone using sshd inside cygwin (is that what its called? its the linux api for windows) along with some windows thing maybe .net I caint remember but in the end he was able to send apps via ssh just like we do in linux!! Maybe this “Hack” might work for yeah?

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