These are my note to setup up a pi to run as a thin client. This is version 2. Version 2 uses freerdp instead of rdesktop. While it is possible to get freerdp from apt-get, I have found that that version does not work well and that it is best to compile it from source.These steps have been performed on Raspbian Jessie Lite.

First copy raspbian lite to a sd card. I use Win32 Disk Imager to do this.

Once its done and the pi is booted to the new os, login. Credentials are:

Than configure the pi.

Expand the file system. Change the user password. Internationalisation Options, Change Keyboard Layout, Generic 105-key (Intl) PC, other <unless you live in the UK>, English (US) <Or whatever country your keyboard is>, English (US), Right Alt (AltGr), and No Compose Key. Overclock, Ok, Pi2, Ok. Advance Options, Memory Split, 256. Advance Options, Audio,  Force 3.5mm (‘headphone’) jack. Finish and reboot.

Run all of the following commands as sudo.

Upgrade and update.

We need install some needed programs and libraries. This takes a while.

Openbox is a window manager. My research shows that freerdp shouldn’t need a window manager. However, it does not work without one. It may be a bug that will be fixed in a later version of FreeRDP.

We now need to get FreeRDP’s source from git.

Now we need to enter the freerdp folder, generate the makefile, make and install freerdp.

Now we need to disable right click on desktop.

Now copy and paste the following into the empty file.

Or go through and delete anything that has to do with the mouse clicking.


We need to make Xorg run at startup. I use crontab to do this.

Select your editor of choice. I chose 2 which is nano. Once crontab is open, add this:

ctrl-x to close, y to save. Now reboot. You should be welcomed by a mouse pointer and a grey background. If you want to add wallpaper you will need to install something like nitrogen.

Once install, add and save your wallpaper of choice.

then we need to configure openbox’s autostart file to run nitrogen on openbox’s startup.

and add the following line

now you can run this command from ssh and your rdp session will start

I am using ThinSwype, a program that I wrote that will read the connection credentials on an nfc card and automatically log the user in. If you want to have the user automatically logged in at boot, simply create a  @reboot cron job. I would suggest thorung the freerdp login command in a shell script and run the shell script at boot.


Categories: Software