I'm using xfreerdp to login to a windows machine (runnning windos 7 64bit) on my desk next to my linux machine (running RHEL7).

Normally I use:

xfreerdp -k uk -g 1280x950 --no-nla --plugin cliprdr

Which leaves the audio disabled. I can forward the sound output from the windows machine to my linux box using:

xfreerdp --plugin drdynvc --plugin rdpsnd

I cannot use the linux microphone device to supply audio to the windows box. I tried:

--plugin audin_pulse 

and setting the registry entry:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp


to 0. I'm not sure how to fix this problem, despite looking at similar questions here.

However, the windows box is on my desk so I would be perfectly happy to have use the headphone and mic sockets there instead. That is I don't want to forward the audio at all just leave it enabled on the remote machine. Remote desktop seems to disable it (on the windows side I think) by default .

Under the old rdesktop program I was able to run -r sound:remote or -r sound:local to do this. What is the equivalent on xfreerdp?

[Background: I am aiming to use skype for business on the windows box. It doesn't matter where I plug the headset in as long as I can get it to work. I do have pidgin+sipe working on the linux box but I'm not certain all the features will work]


4 Answers 4


My google-fu came back.

after digging some more, I found the answer, use /audio-mode:1 to leave audio on server. I just tested it, and my Windows VM sees the USB audio device I mapped through, a USB headset for VOIP.

xfreerdp /w:1904 /h:1120 /u:myusername /audio-mode:1 /v: +clipboard +fonts


values are 0 - redirect locally, 1 - leave on server, 2 - none

I find this alias useful:

alias rdp_ad="xfreerdp /w:1904 /h:1120 '/u:mydomain\myusername' +clipboard +fonts "


With FreeRDP version 2[1] and Windows 10, what you need is the following

xfreerdp /v:MyWindows /sound /microphone

It detects PulseAudio and says:

[INFO][com.freerdp.channels.rdpsnd.client] - Loaded pulse backend for rdpsnd
[INFO][com.freerdp.channels.audin.client] - Loaded pulse backend for audin

It's super easy.

[1]: The exact versions I've tested is 2.0.0~git20190204.1.2693389a+dfsg1-2 on Debian Sid with PulseAudio 13.0-5

  • Shouldn't that be /sound:sys:pulseaudio or /sound:sys:alsa? Either way its not working for me with RHEL7 and 2.0.0-rc4. Probably time to try again with an upgrade. Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 11:53
  • Turns out 2.0.0-rc4 is the latest tagged release - github.com/FreeRDP/FreeRDP though the project is still quite active Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 12:37
  • 1
    As you can see from help /sound[:[sys:<sys>,][dev:<dev>,][format:<format>,][rate:<rate>,] [channel:<channel>,][latency:<latency>,][quality:<quality>]], everything except /sound is optional. String between [ and ] are optional. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 11:32
  • github.com/FreeRDP/FreeRDP/blob/2.0.0-rc4/channels/tsmf/client/… Just to be complete, I think this is where it loads audio plugins. Note that when you don't specify anything, depending on the build time configuration, it loads, in the order of, pulse, oss, and alsa. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 11:42
  • 1
    Works for me with freerdp 2.2.0.
    – Tom Pohl
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 9:47

It works now !!!

An example to get it working from a Linux machine to a Windows Server 2016 requires that you install the following Services and Roles in your Windows Server 2016.


(That image shows a lot of features, but those are added if you just look for 'Remote Desktop Services' in 'Server Roles' and a bit further in the installation steps in 'Role Services' just select 'Remote Desktop Session Host'). After that it will require a reboot ...

Then make your xfreerdp connection be like this:

xfreerdp /microphone:sys:alsa /sound:sys:alsa /clipboard /u:MyUser /v:MyServerIPorHostname

Only change 'MyUser' and 'MyServerIPorHostname' for your respective data.

It will use ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and so redirect your default devices from your local Linux PC.

[That way you can have a full Skype experience over RDP with xfreerdp]

  • This answer is only good for some versions of windows (assuming it works). I'm currently on windows 10. What is the equivalent there? Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 16:03
  • 1
    Additional privacy settings in Windows Server can block access to the microphone. Go to Start > Settings > Privacy > Microphone > Allow apps to access your microphone > On Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 9:16

I use the following command line to connect to a virtual, RDP-enabled Windows virtual machine I have locally (to run work Windows, applications not compatible with Wine):

xfreerdp /d: /u:username /p:password /v:ip_address /size:100% /dynamic-resolution /drive:home,$HOME /audio-mode:0 /microphone:sys:pulse /sound:sys:pulse

This maps my home directory to be accessed under Windows, enables audio and microphone through pulse audio, sets window resizeble and to fit 100% of available screen area (leaving Mint/Cinnamon taskbar still visible). It runs smoothly on Linux Mint 20/20.1 Cinnamon Edition.

Hope it helps.

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