By default, Debian 9 comes with Remote Desktop Viewer installed. This utility is great for connecting directly to a Windows machine via RDP, but doesn’t work for connecting to a machine through an RDS Gateway. Fortunately, a great utility called Remmina exists that works well with RDS Gateways, but unfortunately, Remmina isn’t in the default Debian repositories.
By enabling Debian’s stretch-backports repository, Remmina and the appropriate plug-ins can be installed quickly and easily by copying and pasting the following commands in a terminal.
echo 'deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main' | sudo tee --append /etc/apt/sources.list.d/stretch-backports.list >> /dev/null sudo apt update sudo apt install -t stretch-backports remmina remmina-plugin-rdp remmina-plugin-secret remmina-plugin-spice
In addition to the commands for installing Remmina on Debian 9, the Remmina website provides installation instructions for many other distributions as well.
Remmina can then be launched by typing remmina from a terminal window (append & to background it and regain immediate control of the terminal), or can be run from the programs menu, depending on what UI you’ve chosen to install. By default, a Remmina shortcut gets placed in the “Internet” category.
Once Remmina is running, the menu button (next to the minimize button) can be used to import Microsoft .rdp files directly.
If an .rdp template isn’t available to import, a connection can be set up manually. Only the DNS name of the server machine (specified on the Basic tab), as well as the DNS name of the RDS gateway (specified on the Advanced tab) are required to set up the connection. All other settings (username, password, domain, etc.) can be left blank when creating a connection profile within Remmina for security purposes.