freeRDP limited bandwidth remote desktop

Advanced FreeRDP options greatly improve RDP Windows Remote Desktop connections over weak internet connections.

A Linux laptop can connect to Windows PCs via SSH port forwarding using:


ssh -f -L 4389:localhost:3389 remoteusername@remoteIP sleep 1;

xfreerdp /cert-ignore /v:localhost:4389 \
/bpp:8 /network:modem /compression -themes -wallpaper \
/clipboard /audio-mode:1 \
/auto-reconnect -glyph-cache
enable bidirectional clipboard
uses 256 colors-low the quality, but really makes a speed improvement. Might not display videos (e.g. VLC)–try /bpp:16 if trouble.
uses 65536 colors, saving bandwidth over 24-bit color with negligible visible difference for most basic uses.
/network:modem /compression
reduce bandwidth via compression (trade CPU usages for network bandwidth)
-themes -wallpaper
great speedup by not needlessly sending background graphics repeatedly
/async-update /async-input
disable RDP waiting for screen updates to reach you before it accepts input. These allow clicking ahead before the screen updates. Be careful of clicking unwanted options while using the PC.
disable glyph caching. Note: this can cause garbled characters and radio boxes.
disable FreeRDP audio redirection (do not play sound from remote PC)
automatically reconnect on failure (also works over SSH tunnel)


For remotely operated Digital amateur radio modes, it’s important to keep the audio generation/reception on the remote PC.

Related: RDP over SSH port forwarding