Performance Problems with rdesktop

I have been having trouble with poor performance in my remote desktop connections using rdesktop.  I believe the problem lies in my Internet connection — the problem occurs when I have low bandwidth.

I tested with Windows, and it seems to perform better.  The thing that I finally noticed, is that performance is poor in both Windows and Linux.  The difference seems to be the cursor.  In Windows, it displays the local cursor and instead of the remote.  In Linux, it tries to display the cursor where the remote machine actually thinks it is.  When the remote machine is sluggish, you see the impact in the mouse in Linux because you feel it in the mouse movements.

I found something that helps:

UbuntuForums: Slow performance when connecting to Vista using rdesktop

The “-z” option is what made the difference for me.  From the Linux man pages, here is what that option does:

-z      Enable compression of the RDP datastream.

I am not sure this is a complete fix, and if anyone else has better suggestions, please comment.  This fix seems to treat the bandwidth problem rather than the mouse movements.

Ubuntu Intrepid Woes — Keyboard

It didn’t take long for me to find something wrong with my new installation: the keyboard doesn’t work with remote desktop.

The big problem is that when I connect to my remote computer, the caps lock key doesn’t work.  So, I can’t turn on caps lock.  I tried to compile rdesktop from SourceForge, but that didn’t help.  The caps lock key works with it, but the arrow keys do not.

Here is how I compiled it (just in case you want to try):

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev libssl-dev
./configure
make

I just now found a fix (from the thread).  Change the file /usr/share/rdesktop/keymaps/common .  Change the line that says “Caps_Lock 0x0 inhibit” to “Caps_Lock 0x3a capslock”.  I tried it out and everything works!

Now, I did have a couple of other issues.  I use a docking station at work, and the caps lock key works weirdly with it: pushing the key turns caps lock on and off, but it does not turn the caps lock light on or off.  Also, I have VMWare installed, and the arrow keys and such don’t work with the console.  Changing this common file, and it does not fix the problem.

Resources

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.