Daily Archives: September 21, 2011

RDP on the Touchpad (the hard way)

(( Fair warning, I’ve run this thru a few times to make sure it works ,but have not had a chance to try on a virgin Touchpad yet.  Will do that tonight and update if there are any issues ))

Right now there is only a hard way. 🙂  Now granted, this is probably one of the lesser ‘hard’ ways to do it.  Another, likely harder way is by installing Debian or Ubuntu chroot’s.  Tho those methods get you even more apps to play with, but sucks up lots of storage space on your Touchpad and oftentimes even more of a pain in the ass to get going then this horrible method. 🙂

Since there are currently no native Remote Desktop (RDP) apps for the Touchpad, here’s a way to make it happen. Essentially I grafted RDesktop’s binaries out of the Debian ARMEL distribution and installed the library dependencies for RDesktop from Optware.  In theory, someone with enough time on their hands and know-how should be able to build this for WebOS natively.  Or at least, hack it directly into Xecutah.  For now, since I don’t know how to do either just yet, I figured I’d let ya all know how to do it the hard way. 🙂

Dependencies:  Dev mode enabled, Preware installed, Xecutah, Xterm, Xserver also installed.
Find out about these here: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware   and yes, you will need your Touchpad ‘rooted’ to do all this (not to install the above stuff, but to install the rdp app)

Once you have all those spiffy dependencies installed and Developer (root) enabled here’s what you’ve gotta do.

1: Install Optware on your Touchpad via Preware. (install both Optware packages for now, later you’ll remove the Advanced Command Line Installer as it may cause issues with Preware and HP’s appstore).

2: Copy over my hackup of RDesktop to your Touchpad.  Place it in /var/home/root/rdpinstall  (you’ll have to create the rdpinstall directory.  You can use Xterm locally and wget, or you can USB attach, your choice)   http://anubis.macross.com/~christr/Touchpad/CT-rdesktop-webos-0.1b.tgz

3: Open Xterm, cd to rdpinstall and UnTar the file : ex: start Xecutah, click Start Xterm, then cd /var/home/root/rdpinstall, then run :   tar -xvBpf CT-rdesktop-webos-0.1a.tgz

4: Run ./install.sh :  This will install using ipkg-opt (from Optware) the required dependencies if you don’t have them already, and copy the RDesktop files to various locations. It will also temporarily remount your root / folder to read/write mode to be able to copy some files around.

5: Close out of Xterm/Server, and uninstall the Optware Advanced Command line installer. (optional on the Optware uninstall, I’ve had issues with it and getting regular package updates.  Do NOT uninstall the Optware bootstrap, or you’ll lose all the custom libraries you  just installed for RDesktop)

6: Restart your Touchpad (optional, this may be needed to clean up any dependencies and whatnot, doesn’t have to be done, but if you have trouble starting RDesktop, it’s worth a shot)


To run RDesktop you just have to do the following:

1: Open Xecutah and start Xterm

2: run./rdp.sh username hostname   from the resulting Xterm window.

If you are using multiple cards, I added a few other scripts to help.  rdp1.sh, rdp2.sh are there in case you’re starting with the 2nd or 3rd card of Xterm.  If you get a cannot attach to display error when running the rdp.sh script, try the rdp1 or 2.  The only diff between those scripts is exporting the DISPLAY environment variable.

When all is said and done, you should have this:

I’ll update this entry with pics/video at some point soon.


You can even run multiple RDP sessions at once with the latest Xterm/Xecutah/Xserver