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Rdesktop - Containers containing full desktop environments in many popular flavors for Alpine, Ubuntu, Arch, and Fedora accessible via RDP.


Supported Architectures

We utilise the docker manifest for multi-platform awareness. More information is available from docker here and our announcement here.

Simply pulling should retrieve the correct image for your arch, but you can also pull specific arch images via tags.

The architectures supported by this image are:

Architecture Available Tag
x86-64 amd64-<version tag>
arm64 arm64v8-<version tag>

Version Tags

This image provides various versions that are available via tags. Please read the descriptions carefully and exercise caution when using unstable or development tags.

Tag Available Description
latest XFCE Alpine
ubuntu-xfce XFCE Ubuntu
fedora-xfce XFCE Fedora
arch-xfce XFCE Arch
alpine-kde KDE Alpine
ubuntu-kde KDE Ubuntu
fedora-kde KDE Fedora
arch-kde KDE Arch
alpine-mate MATE Alpine
ubuntu-mate MATE Ubuntu
fedora-mate MATE Fedora
arch-mate MATE Arch
alpine-i3 i3 Alpine
ubuntu-i3 i3 Ubuntu
fedora-i3 i3 Fedora
arch-i3 i3 Arch
alpine-openbox Openbox Alpine
ubuntu-openbox Openbox Ubuntu
fedora-openbox Openbox Fedora
arch-openbox Openbox Arch
alpine-icewm IceWM Alpine
ubuntu-icewm IceWM Ubuntu
fedora-icewm IceWM Fedora
arch-icewm IceWM Arch

Application Setup

The Default USERNAME and PASSWORD is: abc/abc

Unlike our other containers these Desktops are not designed to be upgraded by Docker, you will keep your home directory but anything you installed system level will be lost if you upgrade an existing container. To keep packages up to date instead use Ubuntu's own apt, Alpine's apk, Fedora's dnf, or Arch's pacman program

You will need a Remote Desktop client to access this container Wikipedia List, by default it listens on 3389, but you can change that port to whatever you wish on the host side IE 3390:3389. The first thing you should do when you login to the container is to change the abc users password by issuing the passwd command.

Modern GUI desktop apps (including some flavors terminals) have issues with the latest Docker and syscall compatibility, you can use Docker with the --security-opt seccomp=unconfined setting to allow these syscalls or try podman as they have updated their codebase to support them

If you ever lose your password you can always reset it by execing into the container as root:

docker exec -it rdesktop passwd abc

By default we perform all logic for the abc user and we recommend using that user only in the container, but new users can be added as long as there is a executable script in their home directory. All of these containers are configured with passwordless sudo, we make no efforts to secure or harden these containers and we do not recommend ever publishing their ports to the public Internet.

Hardware Acceleration (Ubuntu Container Only)

Many desktop application will need access to a GPU to function properly and even some Desktop Environments have compositor effects that will not function without a GPU. This is not a hard requirement and all base images will function without a video device mounted into the container.


To leverage hardware acceleration you will need to mount /dev/dri video device inside of the container.

We will automatically ensure the abc user inside of the container has the proper permissions to access this device.


Hardware acceleration users for Nvidia will need to install the container runtime provided by Nvidia on their host, instructions can be found here:

We automatically add the necessary environment variable that will utilise all the features available on a GPU on the host. Once nvidia-docker is installed on your host you will need to re/create the docker container with the nvidia container runtime --runtime=nvidia and add an environment variable -e NVIDIA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=all (can also be set to a specific gpu's UUID, this can be discovered by running nvidia-smi --query-gpu=gpu_name,gpu_uuid --format=csv ). NVIDIA automatically mounts the GPU and drivers from your host into the container.

Arm Devices

Best effort is made to install tools to allow mounting in /dev/dri on Arm devices. In most cases if /dev/dri exists on the host it should just work. If running a Raspberry Pi 4 be sure to enable dtoverlay=vc4-fkms-v3d in your usercfg.txt.


To help you get started creating a container from this image you can either use docker-compose or the docker cli.

    container_name: rdesktop
      - seccomp:unconfined #optional
      - PUID=1000
      - PGID=1000
      - TZ=Etc/UTC
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock #optional
      - /path/to/rdesktop/data:/config #optional
      - 3389:3389
      - /dev/dri:/dev/dri #optional
    shm_size: "1gb" #optional
    restart: unless-stopped

docker cli (click here for more info)

docker run -d \
  --name=rdesktop \
  --security-opt seccomp=unconfined `#optional` \
  -e PUID=1000 \
  -e PGID=1000 \
  -e TZ=Etc/UTC \
  -p 3389:3389 \
  -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock `#optional` \
  -v /path/to/rdesktop/data:/config `#optional` \
  --device /dev/dri:/dev/dri `#optional` \
  --shm-size="1gb" `#optional` \
  --restart unless-stopped \


Containers are configured using parameters passed at runtime (such as those above). These parameters are separated by a colon and indicate <external>:<internal> respectively. For example, -p 8080:80 would expose port 80 from inside the container to be accessible from the host's IP on port 8080 outside the container.

Ports (-p)

Parameter Function
3389 RDP access port

Environment Variables (-e)

Env Function
PUID=1000 for UserID - see below for explanation
PGID=1000 for GroupID - see below for explanation
TZ=Etc/UTC specify a timezone to use, see this list.

Volume Mappings (-v)

Volume Function
/var/run/docker.sock Docker Socket on the system, if you want to use Docker in the container
/config abc users home directory

Device Mappings (--device)

Parameter Function
/dev/dri Add this for GL support (Linux hosts only)

Miscellaneous Options

Parameter Function
--shm-size= We set this to 1 gig to prevent modern web browsers from crashing
--security-opt seccomp=unconfined For Docker Engine only, many modern gui apps need this to function as syscalls are unknown to Docker

Environment variables from files (Docker secrets)

You can set any environment variable from a file by using a special prepend FILE__.

As an example:

-e FILE__MYVAR=/run/secrets/mysecretvariable

Will set the environment variable MYVAR based on the contents of the /run/secrets/mysecretvariable file.

Umask for running applications

For all of our images we provide the ability to override the default umask settings for services started within the containers using the optional -e UMASK=022 setting. Keep in mind umask is not chmod it subtracts from permissions based on it's value it does not add. Please read up here before asking for support.

User / Group Identifiers

When using volumes (-v flags), permissions issues can arise between the host OS and the container, we avoid this issue by allowing you to specify the user PUID and group PGID.

Ensure any volume directories on the host are owned by the same user you specify and any permissions issues will vanish like magic.

In this instance PUID=1000 and PGID=1000, to find yours use id your_user as below:

id your_user

Example output:

uid=1000(your_user) gid=1000(your_user) groups=1000(your_user)

Docker Mods

Docker Mods Docker Universal Mods

We publish various Docker Mods to enable additional functionality within the containers. The list of Mods available for this image (if any) as well as universal mods that can be applied to any one of our images can be accessed via the dynamic badges above.

Support Info

  • Shell access whilst the container is running:

    docker exec -it rdesktop /bin/bash
  • To monitor the logs of the container in realtime:

    docker logs -f rdesktop
  • Container version number:

    docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}' rdesktop
  • Image version number:

    docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}'

Updating Info

Most of our images are static, versioned, and require an image update and container recreation to update the app inside. With some exceptions (noted in the relevant, we do not recommend or support updating apps inside the container. Please consult the Application Setup section above to see if it is recommended for the image.

Below are the instructions for updating containers:

Via Docker Compose

  • Update images:

    • All images:

      docker-compose pull
    • Single image:

      docker-compose pull rdesktop
  • Update containers:

    • All containers:

      docker-compose up -d
    • Single container:

      docker-compose up -d rdesktop
  • You can also remove the old dangling images:

    docker image prune

Via Docker Run

  • Update the image:

    docker pull
  • Stop the running container:

    docker stop rdesktop
  • Delete the container:

    docker rm rdesktop
  • Recreate a new container with the same docker run parameters as instructed above (if mapped correctly to a host folder, your /config folder and settings will be preserved)

  • You can also remove the old dangling images:

    docker image prune

Image Update Notifications - Diun (Docker Image Update Notifier)


We recommend Diun for update notifications. Other tools that automatically update containers unattended are not recommended or supported.

Building locally

If you want to make local modifications to these images for development purposes or just to customize the logic:

git clone
cd docker-rdesktop
docker build \
  --no-cache \
  --pull \
  -t .

The ARM variants can be built on x86_64 hardware using multiarch/qemu-user-static

docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static:register --reset

Once registered you can define the dockerfile to use with -f Dockerfile.aarch64.


  • 27.05.24: - Rebase to Alpine 3.20 and Fedora 40.
  • 17.01.24: - Sync webtop logic changes rebase to Alpine 3.19 and Fedora 39.
  • 18.05.23: - Rebase all Alpine images to 3.18, deprecate armhf.
  • 27.10.22: - Rebase all Ubuntu images to Jammy 22.04.
  • 26.10.22: - Rebase Alpine xfce to 3.16, migrate to s6v3.
  • 05.03.22: - Organize tags differently to run Ubuntu at latest LTS, make Alpine latest, add docs about GPU accel.
  • 05.05.21: - Reduce default packages to their flavour specific basics.
  • 05.04.21: - Add Alpine flavour.
  • 06.04.20: - Start PulseAudio in images to support audio
  • 28.02.20: - Initial Releases