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How To Connect To Windows Server With RDP

Published on: Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 10:41 am EST
System Admin Windows Guides

Windows Server uses a protocol called RDP, an abbreviation for Remote Desktop Protocol, which allows you to connect to your server. This can be seen as managing your Windows Server the same way you would with SSH on a Linux server.

Follow the steps below for your desktop operating system.

Windows

Step 1: Finding the RDP program

Connecting from Windows to a Windows Server is very easy because Windows has an integrated program called "Remote Desktop Connection" to connect to servers with RDP. By default, RDP can be found on your computer at the following path:

%windir%\system32\mstsc.exe

Step 2: Connecting to the server

Once opened, you will be able to enter the IP address/hostname of your server. Look at the Vultr control panel for your server IP. In order to connect, click "Use another account" to login. We need to do this because we're not using your Microsoft or local account on the server. Enter your username and password here, and if needed, the domain. For example:

rdp_1.png

By clicking "OK", you will be logged in to the server.

You will now be connected to the server, like this:

rdp_2.png

You can manage your connection and see what server you're connected to at the top of the screen. You can disconnect by clicking the X icon.

OS X

Step 1: Downloading the RDP program

On Mac, there is no RDP program by default. You need to download the official Microsoft RDP program from the Mac App Store. Open the App Store, and simply search for "RDP". You should click on the result "Microsoft Remote Desktop". Download the following program:

rdp_3.png

Once downloaded, open it from Launchpad or Finder.

Step 2: Connecting to the server

You can add a server by clicking "New" in the menu. This will ask for a number of things:

  • Connection name: A friendly name so you can recognize the server (for example IIS Server 1).
  • PC name: The IP address or hostname of your server (for example ws01.contoso.com).
  • User name: Enter your username (including domain if applicable) here (for example me@dc.local).
  • Password: Enter your password here.

You can now close the window. There is no need to manually save anything. Simply double-click on the connection name to connect to the server. A full-screen window with the connection will be presented.

Linux

Because there are many different Linux distributions available, depending on personal preference, you will have to choose your own RDP client. There are several popular programs out there, such as:

Because usage for these programs is different, please refer to their manuals for usage instructions.

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