How to Install Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) on Server 2016/2012.

Last updated on July 1st, 2019

This article contains step by step instructions on how to install and configure the Remote Desktop Services on a Windows Server 2016 or 2012. In Windows Server 2016 & 2012 the Terminal Services role has been replaced by the Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role service and is part of Remote Desktop Services (RDS). A Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) server, provides to remote users the ability to access the applications on the RDS host server and the company resources from anywhere by using an RDP client.

In this tutorial you 'll learn how to setup and configure a Windows Server 2016 or 2012 as a Remote Desktop Session Host (Terminal) server, in order to provide remote desktop sessions, based on the number of Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) installed on the RDSH server.

How to Setup and Configure a Windows Server 2016/2012 as a Remote Desktop Session Host Server (Terminal Server).

Notes:
1. The mentioned steps below, can be applied either on a Domain Controller or in a standalone server 2016/2012.
2. If the Terminal services are installed on a server that will act as a Domain Controller also, then first install the Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) role service and promote the Server to a Domain Controller, before installing the Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role service (Terminal Service).
3. Keep in mind that the below configuration does provide access to RemoteApp programs or the RDWeb site, because the Remote Desktop Connection Broker role service will not be installed.

Step 1. Install Remote Desktop Services on Server 2016/2012.
Step 2. Activate the Remote Desktop License Server.
Step 3. Install Licenses on the Remote Desktop License Server.
Step 4. Configure RD Session Host role to use the local Remote Desktop Licensing server & Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode.
Step 5. Add RD Clients (Users) to the Remote Desktop Users Group.
Step 6. Allow the log on through remote desktop Services.

Step 1. Install Remote Desktop Licensing and Remote Desktop Session Host role services.

1. Open 'Server Manager' and click on Add Roles and Features.

How to Install Terminal Server 2016

2. At the first screen of 'Add Roles and Features wizard' leave the Role-based or feature-based installation option and click Next.

How to Install Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) Server 2016/2012

3. At the next screen, leave the default option "Select server from the server pool" and click Next.

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4. Select the Remote Desktop Services and click Next.

How to Install Remote Desktop Services on Server 2016/2012

5. Leave the default settings and click Next at Features and Remote Desktop Services screens.
6. At Role Services screen, select the Remote Desktop Licensing role service and then click Add Features.

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7. Then select the Remote Desktop Session Host role service and click Add Features again.

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8. When done, click Next to continue.

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9. Finally click Install to install the Remote Desktop Services: Remote Desktop Licensing and Remote Desktop Session Host.

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10. When the installation is completed close the 'Add Roles and Features Wizard' and restart your server.

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Step 2. Activate the Remote Desktop License Server.

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + R keys to open run command box.
2. Type licmgr.exe and press Enter to open the RD Licensing Manager  *

* Note: Alternately, you can launch the RD Licensing Manager, from Control Panel –> Administrative Tools –> Remote Desktop Services –> Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.

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3. At the right pane, right click on the server name and select Activate Server.

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4. Click Next at the Welcome screen and then click Next again at Connection method options.

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5. At 'Company Information' window, fill the required fields and click Next twice to activate your License Server.

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6. When the activation is completed, leave checked the 'Start Install Licenses Wizard' checkbox and click Next.

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7. Continue to next step.

Step 3. Install Licenses on the Remote Desktop License Server.

1. At 'Welcome to the install licenses wizard', click Next

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2. On the License Program page, select the appropriate program through which you purchased your RDS CALs, and then click Next.

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3. According the License Program you selected on the previous page, type either the license code or the agreement number provided when you purchased your RDS CALs and then click Next.

4. On the Product Version and License Type page, select the appropriate product version, license type, and the quantity of the RDS CALs based on your RDS CAL purchase agreement, and then click Next.

5. When the RDS CALs installed on the server, click Finish.

Step 4. Configure RD Session Host role to use the local Remote Desktop Licensing server & Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode.

1. Open Group Policy Editor. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + R keys to open run command box.
2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

gpedit.msc

2. In Group Policy Editor navigate to:

  • Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\ Licensing

3. At the right pane, double click at Use the specified Remote License Servers.

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4. Click Enabled, and then at 'License server to use' field, type the RDS license server name and click OK.

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5. Then open the Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode setting.

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6. Click Enabled and then specify the licensing mode (Per User or Per Device) for the RDS host server and then click OK again.

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7. Close Group Policy Editor.
8. Verify the RD Licensing configuration, by going to: Windows Control Panel –> Administrative Tools –> Remote Desktop Services –> RD Licensing Diagnoser.

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Step 5. Add RD Clients (Users) to the Remote Desktop Users Group.

1. Open Server Manager.
2. From Tools menu, select Active Directory Users and Computers. *

* Note: If the RD Session Host Service is not installed on the Domain Controller, use the 'Local Users and Groups' snap-in or the 'Remote' tab in the 'System Properties' on the RDS host server, to add the remote desktop users.

active directory users and computers

3. Double click at your domain on the left and then select Builtin.
4.
Open Remote Desktop Users on the right pane.

add remote desktop users server 2016

5. At Members tab, click Add.

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6. Type the name(s) of the users that you want to give Remote access to the RDS Server and click OK.

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7. After selecting the remote desktop users, click OK again to close the window.

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8. Continue to step-6 below.

Step 6. Allow the log on through remote desktop Services.

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + R keys to open run command box.
2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

gpedit.msc

2. In Group Policy Editor navigate to: Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment.

3. At the right Pane: double click at Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services.

Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services

4. Click Add User or Group.

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5. Click Object Types, check all the available objects (Users, Groups, & Built-in security principals) and then click OK.

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6. Type remote desktop users and then click OK.

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7. Finally click OK again and close Group Policy Editor.

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8. Now you 're ready to connect to the Remote Desktop Session Host Server 2016/2012 from any Remote desktop client.

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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