Having recently encountered a very old Windows NT 4.0 terminal server that is still in use, working off-site, and having to do remote support, it has become necessary to use this really old system at times. A variety of Windows and Linux systems are available for use, but it has become apparent that most Windows images I have available (Windows XP SP3 and up) don't support connecting to the Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server.

Right now, the way the Windows NT 4.0 terminal server is accessed, one RDPs into a Windows XP SP3 system that has a side-loaded copy of the RDP 5.1 client .exe and .dll files. Then, from there, one connects to the NT 4.0 Terminal Server. For me, this means making a double RDP hop.

One might really like to be able to directly RDP to either the NT 4.0 system or XP SP3 system as needed without having to go through the old RDP client on the specially configured XP SP3 box to get to the NT 4.0 system.

To make the solution even better, it would be ideal to do this from Linux instead of Windows. A fair number of on-line posts that say modern RDP clients don't do this, but it would be nice to think that's not entirely true even if mostly true.

Freerdp w/ Remmina works fine for connecting to the XP SP3 box, but not for the NT 4.0 box.

Is there an RDP solution for Linux that still supports RDP 4.x connections?

2 Answers 2


rdesktop works with Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server.

An example invocation is:

rdesktop -4 -u [user] [server]

The rdesktop man page explains:

rdesktop [options] server[:port]
-u  <username> Username for authentication on the server.
-4  Use RDP version 4.

rdesktop does work with Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server.

A -4 argument on the command line to select the correct connection protocol per the rdesktop man page:

-4  Use RDP version 4.

grdesktop is a useful graphical front-end to rdesktop. It offers graphical controls for selecting rdesktop arguments and can save/load session files in a format that is compatible with files actually used with the Microsoft client. In fact, the load function can use a session file actually used with the Microsoft client as long as it is converted from CRLF line endings to LF line endings (i.e. by using dos2unix).

When initiating a connection to Windows Terminal Server 4.0 with grdesktop, on the General tab, verify that "Windows NT/2000" is shown instead of "Windows XP/2003". The protocol is not saved in the session file, so this manual check is advisable after loading a saved session.

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