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Home > Guides > Dashboard Users Guide > Manage > Deployments > Servers > Actions > RDP into a Server

RDP into a Server


To open a Remote Desktop Connection using RDP on a running Windows server instance in the cloud.

Table of Contents


  • A running cloud instance.
  • Valid key authentication for establishing a secure shell connection. The type of required key authentication varies depending on the underlying machine image and your SSH user preferences and settings.
  • 'server_login' user role privileges.
  • A local RDP client.


In the cloud, you still have root level access to the actual running instance. An SSH key is used to create a new user session.

If you launched the server using a ServerTemplate, a user's unique managed SSH key is used for authentication purposes (v5 RightImages and above). If you are using a non-RightImage or v4 RightImage and earlier, the cloud's SSH Key will be used. A security component used by some cloud providers to secure client connections to servers in the cloud over SSH or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).


  • If you are using a cloud that supports security groups to control the instance's firewall permissions (e.g. AWS) you must configure the security group to allow access over TCP port 3389 to allow Remote Desktop Connections using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). See Create a New Security Group.
  • If you are using a VLAN-based cloud that uses IP port forwarding instead of security groups to control an instance's firewall permissions (e.g. CloudStack, Rackspace, etc.) you must set up a port forwarding rule for TCP port 3389 to allow Remote Desktop Connections using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). See Create new Port Forwarding Rules.


  1. Copy the Public IP of the server.
  2. Open the RDP client on your Windows machine (or download an RDP client if necessary)
  3. Connect to that IP on the proper port (ensure your security group has this port accessible)
  4. Enter the Username 'administrator' and use the Windows Administrator password that you most likely specified as an input when you launched your server. 
  5. We recommend to save the RDP session without the password saved for future reference on the running server
  6. You will need to recreate this process every time the server is launched unless you use an EIP or DNS instead of the public IP assigned by AWS.



Recover Admin Password

The Initial Admin Password is generated at boot time and is overridden by the WINDOWS_ADMIN_PASSWORD input to add an additional, manageable layer of security. The input that overrides this value -- it is recommended that this value should be created as a credential for security purpose -- will be used to RDP into the server. If this input doesn't meet Microsoft's password security standards (must contain at least three of the four categories: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, base 10 digits, and/or a non-alphanumeric character), you'll have to recover the password to RDP into the server.

To recover the Windows password for the 'administrator', go to the server's Info tab. Under the Initial Admin Password section, enter your Dashboard login password to view the admin password that was assigned to the instance. 



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Last modified
10:50, 24 Sep 2014


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