The Terminal Server allows the administrator to remotely monitor servers, sessions, users, and processes, and supports the centralized deployment of applications, disk management, and device access. It also allows the administrator to manage the applications available to users, logon privileges, and security.


The Remote Desktop Web Connection includes a downloadable ActiveX control and sample Web pages. These should be used as starting points for running Windows-based programs with Internet Explorer. This is a Windows Server 2003 built-in reversion of the Terminal Services Advanced Client (TSAC). For the latest sample pages, go to the Microsoft Web site.

Administrative Tools

Terminal Services offers a number of system administrative tools. With the exception of the Services Configuration and Connections Manager snap-ins, discussed earlier, the following tools will be explored in this section:

  • Terminal Services Manager

  • The Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in and the Local Users and Groups snap-in

  • Task Manager additions

  • Client software generation and installation

  • Remote connection

  • Common commands


Up to two such sessions can be created concurrently. However, it is strongly recommended that a single administrator session be used on a given system at one time. Additionally, Windows Server 2003 allows an administrator to connect remotely to the server console. When an administrator logs on remotely, the console is locked at the physical device. To unlock the physical server console, simply terminate the remote console session.


The Remote Desktops MMC snap-in (Figure) enables administrators to host multiple Terminal Services connections in an easily navigable tree. It is also useful for managing many Windows 2003 or Windows 2000 servers. By right-clicking Remote Desktops, the administrator can identify the additional servers by selecting Add New Connection.

15. Remote Desktop MMC Snap-in



Terminal Services Manager (Figure) is used to view and administer users, active sessions, and processes on terminal servers anywhere on the network. It is available from the Start menu Administrative Tools Terminal Services Manager.

16. Terminal Services Manager


The Actions menu invokes the ability to connect and disconnect sessions. Users and sessions as well as processes can be displayed by drilling down the administrative tree. Processes can be terminated at this stage.


Depending on the environment, the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in or the Local Users and Groups snap-in establishes Terminal Services settings for individual users. From the respective snap-in, select the local computer or domain, select Users, right-click the targeted user, and select Properties. Because four of the Properties tabs are important to Terminal Services, let's briefly examine them:

  • Remote control establishes the settings for individual user access to Terminal Services. Figure shows the Remote control options.

    17. The Remote Control Tab


  • Terminal Services Profile establishes the path and file name of Terminal Services profiles for an individual user (see Figure).

    18. The Terminal Services Profile Tab


  • Sessions regulates the flexibility granted to an individual user with regard to session length and reconnection options. Refer to Figure for a description of Sessions options.

    19. The Sessions Tab


  • Environment determines which applications are to be launched at logon. The client's local disk drives and printer can be made available under Terminal Services–supported applications.


The Task Manager also monitors and administers Terminal Services. Two fields have been added to it in Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. These are used to view processes and to terminate them as required. The Task Manager is available by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and selecting Task Manager.

Load Management

With Windows Server 2003, load management can be either session-based or server-based.

  • The server load management uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to provide metrics for both network and hardware load balancing. This provides information on server availability and load such as server up/down and the number of supportable server sessions. The load balancer uses this data to control server use.

  • Session load management provides a Session Directory facility. This new feature reroutes disconnected users back to their active session. The Session Directory must be started as a service on one computer that is running Terminal Services in a group of servers. Although it can also reside on another server, the service must be started through the Computer Management MMC snap-in. Each Terminal Server in the server group must enable the Session Directory access. The name of the server hosting the Session Directory must be identified together with the name of the server group that Terminal Server is joining. This action is accomplished through the Terminal Services Configuration tool under Server Settings, or WMI can be used.

Client Software and Installation

The Terminal Services client is now called Remote Desktop Connection. This software is automatically installed as an integral part of Windows XP. For previous versions of Windows operating system clients, the Terminal Services Client software is available at \\Windows\system32\clients\tsclient. Both a 16-bit and 32-bit version are available. The easier way to make the software available for downloading is to share out the tsclient directory. This is achieved by right-clicking tsclient selecting Properties clicking Share. Alternatively, the contents of the 16-bit or 32-bit directories can be copied to a diskette or other media like a CD and then manually installed on individual systems. In all cases, the installation is accomplished by double-clicking the Setup file and following the standard prompt.

Command-Line Programs

Terminal Services provides a number of command-line functions, shown in the following list. They may be executed from the command prompt or via the Run option on Start menu.

  • Change logon temporarily disables Terminal Service logons.

  • Change port shifts the COM port mappings required by MS-DOS programs.

  • Change user executes changes to the .ini policies file mapping for a current user.

  • Cprofile deletes individual files linked to a user's profiles.

  • Dbgtrace enables or disables debug traces.

  • Flattemp enables or disables temporary directories.

  • Logoff terminates the client session.

  • Msg sends messages to a user or multiple users.

  • Query process outputs process information on Terminal Services.

  • Query session displays Terminal Services session data.

  • Query termserver outputs a list of network terminal servers.

  • Register registers an application with execution characteristics.

  • Reset session deletes a session and reestablishes a connection.

  • Shadow remotely monitors and controls a user's session.

  • Tscon connects to other Terminal Server sessions.

  • Tsdiscon disconnects a user's Terminal Services session.

  • Tskill kills a Terminal Services session.

  • Tsprof copies an existing user's configuration and modifies the profile path.

  • Tsshutdn shuts down the Terminal Services server.

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