At the moment, I'm using the following command to start an FreeRDP session:

$ sudo xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com \
    /u:oshiro /p:oshiro_password /g:rds.company.com

Works fine. However, I don't want the password to be in the command line like that. So I tried it without the password:

$ sudo xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com /u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com

And I got a connection failure message instead of some sort of dialog box or prompt asking me to enter in a password.

Is it possible to get this to prompt the user for a password?

UPDATE: Omitting the /p switch

Without the /p switch, I get the following:

oshiro@ubuntu:~$ xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com -u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com
connected to rds.company.com:443
connected to rds.company.com:443
Could not open SAM file!
Could not open SAM file!
Could not open SAM file!
Could not open SAM file!
rts_connect error! Status Code: 401
HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
Content-Type: text/plain
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
WWW-Authenticate: Negotiate
WWW-Authenticate: NTLM
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="rds.company.com"
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 10:40:30 GMT +12
Content-Length: 13

rts_connect error!
rpc_connect failed!
Error: protocol security negotiation or connection failure
  • What version of xfreerdp do you have? In Debian wheezy with freerdp-x11 1.0.1, as far as I can tell from the source (I have no RDP server handy to check), there is a password prompt. Mar 16, 2014 at 3:40
  • I have version 1.2.0-beta1. Mar 16, 2014 at 10:15
  • 2
    Why the heck are you using sudo?
    – MikeyB
    Jan 28, 2015 at 14:42

6 Answers 6


The trick is putting the password switch at the end of your command line so that you can leave it blank. This will trigger xfreerdp to prompt your for the password instead of having to provide it via the command line.


new cli interface (v1.1+)
$ xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com /u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com /p
old cli interface (v1.0.2)
$ xfreerdp -u oshiro -d company.com farm.company.com -t 3389 -p

NOTE: The new CLI is available in the pre-releases, v1.1+, so pay special attention to which version you're using. Running the command xfreerdp --version will show you which. Also take a look at the releases topic in the wiki for more information on each.

Sample connection

Here's an example of me connecting to a RDP server.

$ xfreerdp --ignore-certificate -u smingolelli -d mydom -t 5000 rdp.mydom.com -p
connected to rdp.mydom.com:5000

Prompting the user

This issue in the FreeRDP issue tracker titled: Prompt for Credentials - NLA #1512, had this snippet of how you could use zenity to prompt the user for a username and password using GUI dialogs and then run xfreerdp with the provided info afterwards.

$ xfreerdp /v:yourRDSfarmFQDN \
/u:$(zenity \
--entry \
--title="Domain Username" \
--text="Enter your Username") \
/p:$(zenity \
--entry \
--title="Domain Password" \
--text="Enter your _password:" \
--hide-text) \
/d:yourdomainname \
/f \

The above when executed would pop these dialogs up to the user. These will come up one at a time in turn.

                   ss #1         ss #2


  • 2
    Thanks for this. However, when I try xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com /u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com /p, it just gives me the documentation and all the commands I could use. Then as soon as I put the password after the p it starts working. Mar 23, 2014 at 9:32
  • @oshirowanen - if you omit the /p switch all together?
    – slm
    Mar 23, 2014 at 10:11
  • The error was too long to post as a comment, so I have updated the original question with the error message. Mar 23, 2014 at 10:43
  • @oshirowanen - that looks like it might be a bug: github.com/FreeRDP/FreeRDP/issues/1584. Shows the same output as yours. I would open an issue with FreeRDP, if you're not sure how to do this I can assist further LMK.
    – slm
    Mar 23, 2014 at 11:49
  • instead of zenity --entry --text="Enter your _password:" --hide-text you can simply say zenity --password
    – user829755
    May 11, 2015 at 18:08

I'd like to expand on slm's solution. I wanted a single window to enter all information in and allow me to specify a RemoteApp all in one go, so I built on what he suggested with zenity and created this.

XFreeRDP Prompt




# XFreeRDP RemoteApp W/ Prompt Script
# Version 0.3
# Description:
# XFreeRDP Remote App Script utilizing Zentity to populate variables
# Written by Jarrett Higgins 12-2015

OUTPUT=$(zenity --forms --title="Connection Information" \
    --text="Enter information about your Remote Connection" \
    --separator="," \
    --add-entry="Server" \
    --add-entry="Port (Default: 3389)" \
    --add-entry="Domain (Optional)" \
    --add-entry="Username" \
    --add-password="Password" \
    --add-entry="Remote App Name (Optional)")
if ((OUTPUT_RESULTS != 0)); then
    echo "something went wrong"
    exit 1
Server=$(awk -F, '{print $1}' <<<$OUTPUT)
Port=$(awk -F, '{print $2}' <<<$OUTPUT)
if ["$Port" = "$Blank"]
Domain=$(awk -F, '{print $3}' <<<$OUTPUT)
Username=$(awk -F, '{print $4}' <<<$OUTPUT)
Password=$(awk -F, '{print $5}' <<<$OUTPUT)
App=$(awk -F, '{print $6}' <<<$OUTPUT)
if ["$App" = "$Blank"]
    Title="$AppName on $Server"
#zenity --info --title="Information Return" --text="$Server $Port $Domain $Username $Password $App"
xfreerdp /t:"$Title" /v:$Server:$Port /d:$Domain /u:$Username /p:$Password $App /cert-ignore /workarea +clipboard


  • Defaults to port 3389 if not populated
  • Defaults to no Remote App if not populated


  • Security Certificate Warning
  • RDWeb Query to provide Resource List

I use this on my #!++ laptop with great success for connecting to my company and VM Remote Apps and client Servers. I'm not experienced with scripting, so if anyone has any suggestions or feedback, I would love to hear them.

  • instead of the compare with $Blank you can use [ -z "$var" ]. Also there's no need to unset the password at the end.
    – uli42
    Dec 8, 2022 at 10:31

If you specify tls security, the remote computer will prompt for password:

Xfreerdp --sec tls

The new parameter format:

  • This answer still works in 2020 and doesn't need an additional tool/command. This should probably be the accepted answer.
    – sjngm
    Sep 25, 2020 at 17:21
  • Yes, this is an invitation to the login screen. It helped me, thank you! Jun 30, 2022 at 11:04

I also like yad, using the following shell script.

frmdata=$(yad --title "Connect to remote computer" --form --field="Remote computer" --field="Username" --field="Password:H" --field="Domain" --field="Gateway")
frmcomputer=$(echo $frmdata | awk 'BEGIN {FS="|" } { print $1 }')
frmusername=$(echo $frmdata | awk 'BEGIN {FS="|" } { print $2 }')
frmpassword=$(echo $frmdata | awk 'BEGIN {FS="|" } { print $3 }')
frmdomain=$(echo $frmdata | awk 'BEGIN {FS="|" } { print $4 }')
frmgateway=$(echo $frmdata | awk 'BEGIN {FS="|" } { print $5 }')
xfreerdp /v:$frmcomputer /f /d:$frmdomain /u:$frmusername /g:$frmgateway /p:$frmpassword /cert-ignore

It provides a good interface, and hides the password.

enter image description here


You need to supply an empty parameter (without password value). Try this:

sudo xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com /u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com /p

If that does not work, then you could accomplish this with simple bash script.

Save this as rdp.sh:

# Read Password
echo -n Password: 
read -s password
# Run Command
sudo xfreerdp /v:farm.company.com /d:company.com /u:oshiro /g:rds.company.com /p:$password

Then make file executable:

chmod +x rdp.sh

Launch it:


This has been asked and discussed more thoroughly on xfreerdp's github issue: https://github.com/FreeRDP/FreeRDP/issues/1358

The bash script idea is taken from: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3980668/how-to-get-a-password-from-a-shell-script-without-echoing

  • This exposes the password to users doing ps -ef. Feb 20, 2019 at 12:38
  • Why are you using sudo here?
    – uli42
    Dec 8, 2022 at 10:32

You can use --from-stdin as well. Then you will be prompted for any needed values that were not provided.

I liked Jarretts solution but with yad not zenity, it lets you do combo boxes:

OUTPUT=$(yad --center --button="gtk-ok:0" --title "Remote Desktop" --form \
--field="Server:CB" "rds1.domain.local\!rds2.domain.local\!rds3.domain.local" \
--field="Port" "3389" \
--field="Domain" "DOMAIN.local" \
--field="Username" "" \
--field="Password:H" \
--field="Remote App Name" "")
  • In my case, this was the simple solution to getting xfreerdp to prompt for the password. xfreerdp /v: /u:sean /from-stdin:force
    – spkane
    Feb 16 at 18:20

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