Windows Server

RDS client access licenses: How to install a new Per User Remote Desktop Services license

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Remote Desktop Services (RDS) previously referred to as Terminal Server is a feature that you can use to connect to servers remotely. Each user and device that connects to a Remote Desktop Session host need a client access license (CAL). You use RD Licensing to install, issue, and track RDS CALs. When a user or a device connects to an RD Session Host server, the RD Session Host server determines if an RDS CAL is needed. The RD Session Host server then requests an RDS CAL from the Remote Desktop license server. If an appropriate RDS CAL is available from a license server, the RDS CAL is issued to the client, and the client is able to connect to the RD Session Host server and from there to the desktop or apps they are trying to utilize. Please see how to set up and configure Remote Desktop Services via Standard Deployment on Windows Server, and How to install HTML 5 Web Client for Microsoft RDS Server.

Note: There is a licensing grace period of 120 days during which no license server is required. Once the grace period ends, clients must have a valid RDS CAL issued by a license server before they can log on to an RD Session Host server. Here are some guides relating to RDS: How to install RDS via Quick Start Deployment: Install, Publish, Update and Uninstall Remote Desktop Web Client, How to change a password on a Remote Desktop session, and ​​​​​Publish Remote Desktop Web Client: How to install HTML 5 Web Client for Microsoft RDS Server.

Each user and device that connects to a Remote Desktop Session host need a client access license (CAL). You use RD Licensing will help issue, and track RDS CALs. Microsoft offers a device-based CAL (Device CAL) or a user-based CAL (User CAL) for purchase. Ensure you are using per-user client access licenses (CALs) rather than per-device CALs before installing the Web Client. Otherwise, because the HTML client is incompatible with this form of licensing, it would seize all per-device CALs.

Add a new RDS client access licenses

To do this, launched the RD Licensing Manager. Right-click the license server, and then click Install licenses as shown below. Here is a guide on how to Remove and Manage Terminal Server licenses from an RDP client with PowerShell.

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This will open the Install License Wizards (i.e, the welcome page). Kindly click on next to proceed.

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This will open the Activation Server Wizard. I will leave the default connection method as it is the recommended method and also used in contacting Microsoft clearing house when licensing is installed. Click on next to continue.

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The install License Wizard will be prompted, select License and click on next as shown below,

Now select the product version, license type, and a number of licenses for your environment, and then click Next. The license manager contacts Microsoft Clearinghouse to validate and retrieve your licenses.

Note: If you had 10 before, and you are adding 40 new client access licenses, this will be a total of 50 licenses. Please verify that you are not needing a total of 50 but 40. This means you will have to add 30 new RDS to make 40.

When you are done entering the parameters, click next!

Enter your agreement number, and click next.

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On the last page, click on Finish. As you can see, the requested licenses have been successfully installed.

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Now, let’s proceed to the RD Licensing Manager once more and perform a refresh of the license server.

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You should be able to see the license installed. Here are some interesting guides as well: How to Remove and Manage Terminal Server licenses from an RDP client with PowerShell, how to publish Remote Desktop Web Client: How to install HTML 5 Web Client for Microsoft RDS Server, and how to remove a Remote Desktop Service collection on Windows Server.

Note: If you try to use RDS Per User CAL in a workgroup, the RDSH server will forcibly end a user session every 60 minutes with a message: “Remote Desktop License Issue: There is a problem with your Remote Desktop license, and your session will be disconnected in 60 minutes”. Therefore, for RDS servers in a Windows Workgroup environment, you need to use the only device licensing (Per Device RDS CALs).

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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