Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Set Up Your Own Terminal Server Using Remote Desktop Services On Server 2008 R2

To install the Terminal Server role service
Open Server Manager. To open Server Manager, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

In the left pane, right-click Roles, and then click Add Roles.

In the Add Roles Wizard, on the Before You Begin page, click Next.

On the Select Server Roles page, under Roles, select the Terminal Services check box.

If Terminal Services is already installed on the server, the Terminal Services check box will be selected and dimmed.
Click Next.

On the Terminal Services page, click Next.

On the Select Role Services page, select the Terminal Server check box, and then click Next.

If you are installing the Terminal Server role service on a domain controller, you will receive a warning message because installing the Terminal Server role service on a domain controller is not recommended. For more information, see "Installing Terminal Server on a Domain Controller" in the Terminal Server Help in the Windows Server 2008 Technical Library (

On the Uninstall and Reinstall Applications for Compatibility page, click Next.

On the Specify Authentication Method for Terminal Server page, select the appropriate authentication method for the terminal server, and then click Next. For more information about authentication methods, see "Configure the Network Level Authentication Setting for a Terminal Server" in the Terminal Server Help in the Windows Server 2008 Technical Library (

On the Specify Licensing Mode page, select the appropriate licensing mode for the terminal server, and then click Next. For more information about licensing modes, see "Specify the Terminal Services Licensing Mode" in the Terminal Services Configuration Help in the Windows Server 2008 Technical Library (

On the Select User Groups Allowed Access To This Terminal Server page, add the users or user groups that you want to be able to remotely connect to this terminal server, and then click Next. For more information, see "Configure the Remote Desktop User Group" in the Terminal Server Help in the Windows Server 2008 Technical Library (
On the Confirm Installation Selections page, verify that the Terminal Server role service will be installed, and then click Install.

On the Installation Progress page, installation progress will be noted.

On the Installation Results page, you are prompted to restart the server to finish the installation process. Click Close, and then click Yes

to restart the server.

If you are prompted that other programs are still running, do either of the following:

To close the programs manually and restart the server later, click Cancel.

To automatically close the programs and restart the server, click Restart now.

After the server restarts and you log on to the computer, the remaining steps of the installation will finish. When the Installation Results page appears, confirm that the installation of Terminal Server succeeded.
You can also confirm that Terminal Server is installed by following these steps:
Start Server Manager.

Under Roles Summary, click Terminal Services.

Under System Services, confirm that Terminal Services has a status of Running.

Under Role Services, confirm that Terminal Server has a status of Installed.



Installing Remote Desktop Services

Open the Server Manager and right-click on roles, select Add Roles from the context menu

Click next on the Before You Being page to bring up a list of Roles that can be installed, select Remote Desktop Services and click next

On the Introduction To Remote Desktop Services page click next, this will bring you to the Role Services page, select the Remote Desktop Session Host as well as the Remote Desktop Licensing Service and then click next.

When you get to the application compatibility page it tells you that you should install the Session Host Role before you install your applications, just click next as we have not yet installed our applications. You are then asked if you want to require NLA, this will only allow Windows clients to connect to the Remote Desktop Session Host Server, in addition they must be running a Remote Desktop Client that support Network Level Authentication. I will go ahead and require NLA and then click next

Now you have to choose a licensing method, most of you guys wont have Remote Desktop Client Access Licenses, so you can leave your option at Configure Later this will give you unlimited access to the Remote Desktop Server for 4 Months (120 Days). However, if you do have licenses here is some information help you make your choice:

Licensing Modes

The licenses you purchased can be used either as Per User or Per Device. It is purely up to you, however if you already have a RDS Licensing Server you will have to choose the same option you chose when importing the licenses originally.

  • RDS Per User CAL –  This means that every user that connects to the RDS Server must have a license. The user is assigned the license rather than the devices that he/she connects to the server from. This mode is a good choice if your users want to connect from a lot of different computers or devices (iPad, Home PC, Laptop, Phone etc)

  • RDS Per Device CAL – If your users share a common workstation this is the mode for you, the license is given to the device rather than the users, this way many people can connect from a single device. However, if they try to connect from a different device they will not be able to since their user account doesn’t have a license.

I will leave mine at configure later and click next

Now you should specify who can connect to the Remote Desktop Server, I will just add my user account (Windows Geek), then click next

You are now given the option of making the RDS Server look and act more like Windows 7, this is to avoid users getting confused when they see the classic theme. I will enable the all the settings, it requires more bandwidth though, so take your network traffic into account before going click-happy and selecting everything. Once you have made your choice click next

Since we are running Server 2008 R2, we don’t need to specify a Discovery Scope so just click next again

Finally you can click on install.

Once installation is complete, reboot your server, when you log in the configuration will complete. That’s all there is to installing a Remote Desktop Server.


If you need to install your licenses you can do it through the RD Licensing Manager. You will need to activate the Server first though. I wont go through this, as it is self-explanatory.

Once you have installed you Licenses you will need to specify a license server for the RDS Session Host to use, to do this, open the RDS Session Host Configuration MMC

When the console opens double-click on the Remote Desktop license servers link.

Now you can specify your licensing mode and then hit the add button to specify a licensing server.

As I said before, you can skip this activation section and use Remote Desktop Services for 120 Days before you need to purchase a CAL. Once you have done this you will need to install your applications. However you cant just install them in any fashion you want, there is actually a special method for installing applications on a Remote Desktop Server.

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