The no-fuss way to access Windows PCs from a Raspberry Pi

Want a no-fuss - and scalable - way to connect to Windows PCs from your Raspberry Pi? Parallels has an RDP client for the platform that allows you to do just that.

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Raspberry Pi 2 Raspberry Pi Foundation

Want a no-fuss - and scalable - way to connect to Windows PCs from your Raspberry Pi? Parallels has an RDP client for the platform that allows you to do just that.

What's interesting about this product is that unlike the vast swathes of applications aimed at the huge hobbyist market that surrounds the Raspberry Pi, this is a tool primarily aimed at businesses looking to leverage the diminutive computer.

And the pricing is what you'd expect for a business-grade tool. The Raspberry Pi client requires the Parallels 2X Remote Application Server, which costs $75 per concurrent user, with a minimum buy of 15 users. But if you're a hobbyist, don't despair because you can get a free license for 2X Remote Application Server that's good for three concurrent users.

While the 2X Remote Application Server is a Windows-only tool, there are clients available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome, and even Windows Embedded systems. The Raspberry Pi client is a fork of the Linux client, and while only the Raspbian platform is officially supported, it does also work on other Raspberry Pi platforms.

The client will work on any version of Raspberry Pi hardware, but for better performance you might want the quad-core ARMv7 processor and 1GB of RAM used in the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B.

If you want a homebrew way to access Windows machines from your Raspberry Pi, and you aren't afraid to get your hands dirty with some command line stuff, then feel free to take that route, but for me nothing beats the convenience of having a proper tool to do the job. And if you can live with the three concurrent user limits - and most hobbyists should be just fine with that - then this is an excellent solution.

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