Tag Archives: rdesktop

Typing ASCII or accented characters in Linux rdesktop

My thin-client desktop is running Debian Linux with the Gnome window manager. When I use it to connect to my Windows Server VM using rdesktop, I usually get a problem when trying to type ASCII or accented (French) characters. For example, when typing Alt 130, I am expecting to get the é character. Instead, it’s only printing 30 (the 1 character was omitted).

It drives me crazy since I have to type a lot of these accented, especially French, characters. Fortunately, later I found that turning off the Num Lock fixed this problem. Yes, for some reason, I can’t type the ASCII characters with the keyboard’s Num Lock on.

Actually, working with Linux rdesktop to connect to a Windows machine is very annoying. Aside from the problem I just described, I still have more issues that yet to be solved:

  1. I can’t set the window title bar to auto-hide like the Windows’ remote desktop functionality. This title bar takes some very valuable screen estate. And it looks ugly having two cascading title bars: from the Linux rdesktop program and from the Windows applications.
    Sure I can maximize the rdesktop window to full screen, but then, it doesn’t work very well with my multi-monitor configuration.
  2. Sometimes, the mouse pointer will break and the pointer’s image get corrupted. I haven’t found a quick way to fix or restore it aside from restarting the window manager or the OS session.
  3. The Ctrl+Alt key combination sometimes behaves erratically that messes up the subsequent key presses. I have to change the focus outside the rdesktop window if this happens. I tried to remove all key bindings from the host Linux OS but still no improvement.

I love how this just works in Windows.