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How to Set Up and Use Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2008 R2
Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a feature of Windows Server 2008 R2 that allows you to access and control your server remotely from any device that supports the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). You can use RDS to run applications, access files, manage resources, and perform administrative tasks on your server without being physically present. RDS also enables you to provide virtual desktops and applications to your users through RemoteApp and RD Web Access.
In this article, we will show you how to install and configure RDS on Windows Server 2008 R2 step by step.
Step 1: Install the Remote Desktop Services role
To install RDS on your server, you need to add the Remote Desktop Services role using the Server Manager. Follow these steps:
On your server, click Start > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.
Click Roles, and then click Add Roles.
Select Remote Desktop Services, and then click Next.
Select the Remote Desktop Session Host and Remote Desktop Licensing check boxes. These are the minimum components required for RDS to work. You can also select other components depending on your needs, such as Remote Desktop Virtualization Host, Remote Desktop Connection Broker, Remote Desktop Gateway, and Remote Desktop Web Access. Click Next.
Select an option to indicate whether network level authentication is required, and then click Next. Network level authentication requires users to authenticate before establishing a remote desktop connection, which enhances security.
Select an option to indicate how users will be assigned a license, and then click Next. You can choose either per-device or per-user licensing mode. Per-device licensing means that each device that connects to the server needs a license, while per-user licensing means that each user account that connects to the server needs a license.
Select which users to grant access to the local Remote Desktop Session Host, and then click Next. You can add or remove users or groups as needed.
Configure the client experience settings, such as desktop background, font smoothing, audio redirection, etc., and then click Next. These settings affect how the remote desktop session looks and sounds on the client device.
Review the confirmation page, and then click Install.
Wait for the installation to complete, and then click Close.
Step 2: Activate the Remote Desktop Licensing server
To use RDS beyond the 120-day grace period, you need to activate the Remote Desktop Licensing server and install RDS client access licenses (CALs). Follow these steps:
On your server, click Start > Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
Right-click your server name, and then click Activate Server.
Follow the wizard to complete the activation process. You will need an internet connection or a telephone to contact Microsoft Clearinghouse.
After activating the server, right-click your server name again, and then click Install Licenses.
Follow the wizard to install RDS CALs. You will need a license code or an agreement number from Microsoft or a reseller.
After installing RDS CALs, you can view and manage them using the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
Step 3: Configure the Remote Desktop Session Host settings
To customize the behavior and performance of your Remote Desktop Session Host, you can use the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration tool. Follow these steps:
On your server, click Start > Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.
In the Connections pane, right-click RDP-Tcp, and then click Properties.
In the General tab, you can configure settings such as security layer, encryption level, certificate name, etc.
In the Network Adapter tab, you can configure settings such as maximum connections allowed, network adapter used for remote desktop connections, etc.
In the Client Settings tab, you can configure settings such as redirection