I don't understand what can be the reason of an unsuccessful login with rdesktop. After I run the command:

rdesktop -u "user" -p "pwd" ip-address

it shows me the screen of my remote Windows PC with the message "user name or password incorrect" message. After I press the button to retry the login I can see the correct pc name already entered in the corresponding text field. I enter the password and it shows me the error message again. But the password is correct.

The version of rdesktop is 1.8.3

When I connect with remmina there is no such a problem. If you cannot explain why it's so, could you please at least recommend an RDP client that works well from command line.

2 Answers 2


There can be several reasons generalized by 'invalid credentials' reply it may be Certificate issue, wrong type of authorization etc. I think that exact reason can be found in the log files.

Meanwhile you may want to try xfreerdp app, it is called from command line and will report issues directly in your console, that later may help you in resolving remmina errors too

Sample command will look like

xfreerdp +clipboard /size:1500x900 /u:[email protected] /p:passw0rd /v:hostname.example.com

xfreerdp is a part of freerdp package which is available for many distributions

  • There may be a certificate problem as I was asked to trust one when I connected via xfreerdp, but there wasn't any confirmation request when I tried to connect via rdesktop.
    – ka3ak
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 19:42

I have encountered the same problem, where with this

rdesktop -u 'user' -p 'pass' IP

Windows gave me the error message "The user name or password is incorrect", while using

xfreerdp /v:IP /u:user '/p:pass'

absolutely worked fine.

After hours of debugging in finally found the problem for - at least - my situation: It seems that xfreerdp automatically detects an Active Directory an tries to authenticate the user within the domain - while rdesktop only uses a local user! (The instructions I followed did not mention that the target host is the domain controller and the user is a domain user.)

So explicitly adding the domain to rdesktop finally solved my problem:

rdesktop -u 'domain\user' -p 'pass' IP

Altough this question is very old and this may not the problem of the OP I hope this helps others who find the question through google (like me). Otherwise you will get more detailed debugging outputs with:

RDESKTOP_DEBUG=All rdesktop -v ...
xfreerdp /log-level:DEBUG ...

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