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Unable to connect through RDP with less than 24 bit color depth

This document (7003301) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (SLED 11) or Server 11 (SLES 11)
Windows RDP Client
SLED/SLES rdesktop (RDP client)


Need to connect using the RDP protocol from a Windows RDP client or from a Linux system using a RDP client such as rdesktop.

When the connection is attempted output similar to the following is displayed:

connecting to sesman ip port 3350
sesman connect ok
sending login info to sesman
login successful for display 10
started connecting
rdpx11 channel is not present
X11 RDP server started
Screen depth is not 24


One option is to change the client to use 24 bit colors.  For example, in the Windows client you can click on the "Options" button the click on the "Display" tab.  You will see the setting for Colors.  Just select "True Color (24 bit)" and it should work.

Changing the client to use 24 bit colors is the supported way to go.  If you are in a situation where you must use a lower color depth due to bandwidth or some other reason there is another solution.  It is unsupported but does seem to work fine.

As the root user edit the file /etc/xrdp/sesman.ini and look for the section that looks similar to this:


Add the following lines to change the resolution and color depth for the RDP server:


Restart the xrdp service by running (as the root user) "rcxrdp restart".

Now attempt to connect with the client set to 16 bit colors and it should work fine. 

Additional Information

Consideration is being given to modifying the server to automatically allow a connection at a lower color depth.  This may end up being an enhancement to a future release.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7003301
  • Creation Date: 18-May-2009
  • Modified Date:14-Oct-2022
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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