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Dated: Apr. 04, 2012
Related CategoriesCisco Certifications
Networking In General
Windows Server OS
By Vivek Nayyar
Something about Remote Desktop
The concept of Remote Desktop was first introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 2000 (Professional and Server editions) which was then carried forward to all the successor versions of Microsoft-based operating systems. With the help of Remote Desktop administrators can manage remote computers by bringing their entire consoles on the local computer from where they have initiated the Remote Desktop sessions. By using Remote Desktop administrators can administer remote computers as easily and comfortably as they were physically present in front of the remote computers and were locally logged on to them. Since Remote Desktop allows administrators to manage multiple remote machines from single central location, it saves a decent amount of time that administrators would otherwise had to spend if there was no Remote Desktop feature available in the operating systems.
Remote Desktop connection uses Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which uses port TCP 3389 to establish Remote Desktop sessions to the remote machines. In order to initiate and use Remote Desktop feature, users who initiate Remote Desktop connections must have administrative privileges on the remote machines. In other words, by default all Microsoft Windows operating systems allow only administrators of remote computers to establish Remote Desktop connections to them. However if required, administrators can override this default configuration and can allow standard users to establish Remote Desktop connections to remote machines by adding those non-administrator local user accounts on remote machines to Remote Desktop Users groups on those particular computers.
Different Behaviors of Remote Desktop in Different Operating Systems
Since operating systems are divided into two categories, namely Client Operating Systems and Network Operating Systems, nature of Remote Desktop feature also varies according to the operating system on which it has been integrated. In client operating systems as soon as administrators initiate Remote Desktop connection to the remote computers, locally logged on users on those computers automatically get logged off and the consoles of the remote computers are then displayed on the computers from where the Remote Desktop connection has been initiated. On the other hand, in network operating systems two concurrent remote desktop sessions can be established by the administrators without logging off the locally logged on users from remote computers.
Moreover, network operating systems such as Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008 RTM/R2 can also be configured as Terminal Servers which can then except multiple Remote Desktop connections from the client computers in order to share applications. In Windows Server 2008 RTM/R2 operating system Terminal Services have remarkably been upgraded to provide more sophisticated features as compared to the ones offered by Windows Server 2003 network operating system.
Enabling Remote Desktop
Before administrators can establish a Remote Desktop sessions on remote computers, Remote Desktop feature must be enabled on them. Administrators must follow the steps given below in order to enable Remote Desktop feature on Windows Server 2008 R2:
- Log on to Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with administrator account.
- Assuming that Initial Configuration Tasks window has been disabled by the administrator click Start and from the appeared menu right-click Computer.
- From the context menu click Properties and on the opened window from the left bar click Remote settings.
- On System Properties box make sure that Remote tab is selected and under Remote Desktop section click to select Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure) radio button to enable Remote Desktop feature and allow it to accept Remote Desktop connections from all versions of operating systems including Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows XP. Alternatively, the third radio button that says Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure) can also be selected in case Windows Server 2008 R2 is to be configured to accept Remote Desktop connections only from Microsoft Windows Vista and above operating systems.
- Once the appropriate radio button is selected, click OK button to save the changes.
- Optionally, before clicking OK button, Select Users button can also be clicked and multiple local non-administrator user accounts can be selected in order to allow them to establish Remote Desktop connections without granting them administrative privileges.
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