In my current work setup, I have:

  • Windows 7 laptop
  • Ubuntu virtual host / SSH
  • Windows 2k8 guest

I'd like to be able to RDP from my laptop into the Windows guest without having to open additional ports or have Windows RDP directly exposed to the internet.

If I forwarded localhost:10467 to ubuntuhost:22 using Putty, can OpenSSH forward this connection to windowsguest:3389 or do I need to start looking at VPN solutions?


With a tunnel SSH, you can do something like that:

  laptop            Ubuntu server         guest
 ____ 10467           22  _____  ?     3389_____
|    |___________________|     |__________|     |
|____|          \        |_____|          |_____|
                  \__SSH connection

But take care that only the connection between laptop and Ubuntu server will be encrypted. And the port 3389 has to be opened so that's not what you're looking for. You should go with a VPN if you want to do RDP with a server reachable from Internet.

If the Ubuntu server is in the same protected Local Area Network (LAN) than windowsguest, then it's ok. You just have to open your 3389 port on windowsguest and close it on your firewall, so that it remains protected. Even if windowsguest is reachable from Internet, it won't use the same interface to communicate with the Ubuntu server and with the rest of the world. So, just make sure the 3389 port is closed on the Internet interface and open on the LAN interface.

With the openssh program, the commandline would look like ssh -L 10467:windowsguest:3389 user@ubuntuhost.

The same option exists for PuTTY. PuTTY configuration

In this window:

  • select "Local" option
  • enter "windowsguest:3389" as destination
  • enter "10467" as source port
  • leave "Auto" option

This image was taken from http://howto.ccs.neu.edu/howto/windows/ssh-port-tunneling-with-putty/ which is a pretty good tutorial for port tunneling with SSH.

  • Very nice answer! – slm May 9 '13 at 17:44

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