FreeRDP-WebConnect is an open source HTML5 proxy that provides web access to any Windows server and workstation using RDP. The result is amazing, especially considering that no native client is required, just a plain simple web browser!
HTML5 has came a long way in the last few years, with any major web browser (including mobile platforms) supporting WebSockets, the underlying communication mechanism employed by FreeRDP-WebConnect.
Here’s a list of supported desktop and mobile browsers:
- FireFox >= 11.0
- Chrome >= 16.0
- Internet Explorer >= 10
- Safari >= 6
- Opera >= 12.10
- Safari Mobile >= 6
- Android Browser >= 4.4
Supported client desktop OSs:
Windows, OS X, Linux
The FreeRDP-WebConnect service itself can be installed on most recent Linux distributions and on every x86 and x64 Windows versions starting with Windows Server 2008:
- Windows Server 2008 / Windows Vista
- Windows Server 2008 R2 / Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7
- Windows Server 2012 / Hyper-V Server 2012 / Windows 8
- Windows Server 2012 R2 / Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 / Windows 8.1
How to install FreeRDP-WebConnect on Windows
The installation on Windows is really easy. To begin with, download the installer from our website and run it:
Accept the license, select the installation type and optionally change the install location:
Next comes the HTTP and HTTPS configuration. You can just accept the defaults and go on with “Next” or replace the options to match your environment. Make sure to choose ports not used by other services. The installer will create a self signed certificate for HTTPS, no need to worry about it. Windows firewall rules are also automatically created if enabled.
The OpenStack settings are required only if you intend to use this service with OpenStack, otherwise you can skip them. Authentication URL, tenant name, username and password can be retrieved from your OpenStack deployment, while the Hyper-V host username and password are required to connect to RDP consoles and can be either local or domain credentials.
We’re done with the configuration, press “Next” and the the installer will complete the installation.
Once done, point your browser to “http://localhost:8000” (or a different port if you changed it above) and you’ll see the initial connection screen (using Chrome on OS X in this example, but any of the options listed above is also valid):
Set the host, username and password and click connect:
That was it, connected! A native client will still have an edge in terms of performance, but for a lot of scenarios a pure web client enables an amazing whole lot of new possibilities!
Integration with OpenStack
We integrated RDP support in Icehouse, on both Nova and Horizon. All you have to do to make it work is to specify the url of your FreeRDP-WebConnect service in the Hyper-V Nova compute nodes as detailed below and restart the nova-compute service. The Hyper-V Nova compute installer takes care of these settings as well of course!
Thank you for your hard work on this! The installer works beautifully. However, I was wondering if it’s possible to configure it to use IIS 8/8.5? I believe those versions of IIS support WebSockets and hence doesn’t require a gateway. Thanks!
Hi, the current version uses a portable custom http server which works on both Linux and Windows.
A new version of wsgate specific for IIS is currently in the works.
your application is wonderful, but im facing an issue here. Im able to connect to a single machine(Active Directory) in my network without any problem but im not able to connect to any other machine. Every time it says “Could bot connect to rdp backend”. can you please help me here…
Some initial troubleshooting steps:
From the server running FreeRDP-WebConnect:
1) Are you able to connect to those machines using a regular RDP client? e.g. mstsc.exe /v:
2) Are you able to connect using the wfreerdp command line tool, available at http://www.cloudbase.it/freerdp-for-windows-nightly-builds/, e.g. wfreerdp.exe /v:
Note: in the above tests please pass the same credentials used while attempting logins on the web site.
Hi，i’am using openstack havana. How can i integrated it ?
RDP support has been introduced in Icehouse, we’re planning to backport it to Havana.
I feel that if it can visit Hyper-v vm by Hyper-v vm connect will be great. You know when you creat a new windows vm, the password should be change in first boot. Otherwise you can not logon system.
Hi, really wonderful application.
One thing though is that there seems to be no way to enforce a specific keyboard layout on client side (like you can with “normal” FreeRDP), it always defaults to the keyboard layout according to the server locale.
Would be worth an additional setting on the connection screen.
Hi, thanks for your feedback. I’m adding your comment to the feature requests on the project’s github page.
Is it possible to directly see the console through the Horizon dashboard?
It currently asks for username/password everytime.
Hi, did you set the Nova and Hyper-V credentials correctly in wsgate.ini?
If it fails to connect to Hyper-V it reverts to username / password.
You can also look in the event viewer for authentication errors.