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xrdp is a daemon that supports Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It uses Xvnc, X11rdp or xorgxrdp as a backend.


Install the xrdpAUR package (or alternatively xrdp-gitAUR for the development version).

Autoboot at startup

The xrdpAUR package contains service files for systemd. Enable xrdp.service and xrdp-sesman.service.

Running as Terminal Server (Xorg)

Install the xorgxrdp-gitAUR package.

Add allowed_users=anybody to /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config to allow anybody to start X

Edit ~/.xinitrc or /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to launch your DE.


  • If you encounter black box around mouse pointer create ~/.Xresources-xrdp with line Xcursor.core:1 and load it in ~/.xinitrc like
xrdb ~/.Xresources-xrdp
exec startlxde

You may need to install xorg-xrdb.

  • You may get a black screen after logging into the session manager if your ~/.xinitrc has --exit-with-session set in the dbus_args.

Try copying ~/.xinitrc to ~/.xrdpinitrc, removing --exit-with-session, and updating /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh to call ~/.xrdpinitrc instead of ~/.xinitrc. You might need to append your desktop environment to the call to .xrdpinitrc, as is mentioned in ~/.xinitrc; eg. . ~/.xrdpinitrc xfce.

  • If you get a black screen and you use KDE plasma:

Try commenting out all the references to systemd-home in /etc/pam.d/system-auth.

  • If you are prompted to login to gnome-keyring when your session starts add the following 2 lines to /etc/pam.d/xrdp-sesman
auth        optional    pam_gnome_keyring.so
session     optional    pam_gnome_keyring.so auto_start

  • To prevent user defined ~/.config/autostart items for a from starting you can set the autostart directory param on the session in the ~/.xinitrc to use only the global /etc/xdg/autostart directory.
    local dbus_args=(--sh-syntax)
    case "$SESSION" in
        awesome) dbus_args+=(awesome) ;;
        bspwm) dbus_args+=(bspwm-session) ;;
        budgie) dbus_args+=(budgie-desktop) ;;
        cinnamon) dbus_args+=(cinnamon-session -a /etc/xdg/autostart) ;;

Running with Vino (Gnome VNC-Server for root session)

Enable the server to be seen via vino-preferences. Since vino defaults to port 5900 for connections, we will edit the xrdp configuration file to understand this. Append the vino session to xrdp's configuration file:


If you encounter VNC connection errors, it may be because vino-server defaults to accepting only TLS connections. This must be changed to standard VNC authentication so that xrdp may connect:

gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false

You can also restrict vino-server to only listen on the loopback interface:

gsettings set org.gnome.Vino network-interface lo

Remember to restart the xrdp server, and one should be able to connect to the vino session (tested using xfreerdp).


After starting the xrdp and xrdp-sesman services, you should be able to connect an RDP client to the host on the default RDP port (3389). If successful, you will be greeted with the xrdp session manager window which allows you to choose between Xorg or Xvnc sessions and provides inputs for user authentication. The session manager UI can be highly customized by modifying /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini.

The parameters used to start Xorg and Xvnc display servers can be configured in /etc/xrdp/sesman.ini.

After successfully starting a display server, xrdp will execute /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh by default. This script is meant to start a window manager (similar to .xinitrc) and will typically require modification to start your desired window manager. Note: the default script will attempt to start xterm which will cause the connection to fail if xterm is not installed.

If you just close the session window and RDP connection, you can access the same session again next time you connect with RDP. When you exit the window manager or desktop environment from the session window, the session will close and a new session will be opened the next time.

xrdp checks only if a session with the same geometry is already opened. It will start a new session if the geometry/resolution doesn't match.

See also

  • TigerVNC - VNC, an alternative to RDP, also used as backend here
  • freerdp a rdesktop fork that supports RDP 7.1 features including network level authentication (NLA). See also [1].