How To Connect Using Remote Desktop to a Windows Server and Linux Server

Remote Desktop from a Windows Computer

These Windows versions are known to be able to use RDP:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Clients and Servers
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate and Business Editions
  • Microsoft Windows 2008 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8
  • Microsoft Windows 10 and later
  1. Click on the Start menu icon in your version of Windows. Then, search for “Remote Desktop Connection.” Click to open Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Now you’ll tell Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your server.
    • Enter your server IP address in the Computer field.
    • In the User name field, type “Administrator.”

    entering your RDP credentials

  3. Click Connect.
  4. A Windows login prompt will appear. Enter your main administrator password and click OK.
    windows login
  5. Your server’s desktop interface will load and you can start working on your server.

Older Windows Computers

If you have an older version of Windows you may not have Remote Desktop Connection. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click Run….
  3. In the prompt, type
    mstsc

    And press Enter.

  4. A prompt will appear: enter your server IP address in the Computer field.
  5. Click Connect.
  6. A Windows login prompt will appear. Log in using “Administrator” as your username and your main administrator password.
  7. Your server’s desktop interface will load and you can start working on your server.

Remote Desktop from a Linux Computer

To RDP into your Windows server from a Linux computer, first you’ll have to install the RDesktop application (if it isn’t installed already). Once you install RDesktop, you can log into your Windows server.

  1. Open your terminal program.
  2. The command to launch RDesktop is rdesktop followed by your server’s IP address. In your terminal window, type:
    rdesktop 123.123.123.123

    (Remember to use your server’s IP address.)

  3. A Windows login prompt will appear. Log in using “Administrator” as your username and your main administrator password.
  4. Your server’s desktop interface will load and you can start working on your server.

Remote Desktop from Mac OS X

Every version of Mac OS X requires downloading a remote desktop program. For versions 10.9 and higher, you’ll need to install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Mac App Store. Once Microsoft Remote Desktop is installed, you can set up your Remote Desktop connection.

  1. Click New to set up the connection to your server.
    new button highlighted

    • Choose a Connection name for your server. If you have multiple servers, this will help you keep them all organized.
    • For User name, use “Administrator.”
    • For Password, use your main administrator password.
  2. Once you’ve entered your credentials, you can close the Edit Remote Desktops window.
    entering your credentials
  3. You’ll see the server you just added under My Desktops. Click on the server and then click Start.
    starting your RDP connection
  4. Your server’s desktop interface will load and you can start working on your server.

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