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Installing and Configuring Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on Windows Server 2012

In this post we are going to cover how to install and configure Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2012, this post will only cover how to get RD Licensing, RD Gateway & RD Session Host configured, we are not however going to cover Virtual Desktop Deployment or RemoteFX in this post.


1. We begin by launching Server Manager.

2. Click on Manager, Add Roles and Features.

3.  Click next on Before you begin page.

4. Select Role-based or feature-based installation.

5. Select the server you wish to install the Remote Desktop Services role on, Click Next.

6. Select Remote Desktop Services, Click Next.

7. Select any features if required, Click Next.

8. Read the Description, Click Next.

9. Select Remote Desktop Gateway, Remote Desktop Licensing, Remote Desktop Web Access, Click Next.

10. Click Next on Network Policy and Access Services.

11. Click on Next, leave the default selection on Network Policy Server.

12. Click Install.

13.  Close the wizard when finished.

Installation is complete. Goto Page 2 for Configuration.

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  1.'s Gravatar
    October 1, 2013    

    Great step by step instruction, just one problem, how do I install RDS without the Connection broker service. I followed this article
    but when I go to the server manager dashboard and drill down on RDS it still complains about the missing connection broker. Also I cant seem to change the licence mode from per device to per user. I have tried this $obj.ChangeMode(4) but it doe snot seem to work, i found a post about a local compter policy and that did not work either..

    anyone done this sucessfully?

  2.'s Gravatar
    August 14, 2013    

    Thanks for this post.

    Is it possible to run an RDS 2012 server and refer to an 2008 R2 license server?
    Or does the license server has to be 2012 as well?

    • August 14, 2013    


      Yes its possible to use the same License server if you already have a Working & Activated Windows 2008 R2 Client Access license.

  3. Ravi's Gravatar Ravi
    April 2, 2013    

    I really liked your blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  4. Richard Cranston's Gravatar Richard Cranston
    March 28, 2013    

    Thanks for the steps….but what if you already have another TS server that is already licensed and this new server should point to that license server. I don’t need this new server to be the license server.
    I can connect to the license server, but when I close out and open License Manager, the license server does not appear again. Appreciate any feed back you can provide. Thanks again for the steps. Richard

  5. Bhim's Gravatar Bhim
    March 9, 2013    

    Can you install Remote Desktop Service on a Windows 2012 Domain Controller? Please confirm as It’s failing all the time.


  6. Mike's Gravatar Mike
    March 5, 2013    

    Will the steps you outlined install on windows server 2012 machine that is a domain controller?

    • March 5, 2013    

      Hi Mike, Yes The steps given in this post will work on a domain controller, but it is not recommended to have Remote Desktop Services installed on a domain controller, You will have to Grant everyone access to the domain controller which is a major security issue, If you are doing this on a test environment then go ahead, for live environment you should have a separate RDS server.

      • Mike's Gravatar Mike
        March 6, 2013    

        Thanks. I followed your instructions and I was able to install it on a DC. Now, how do I display a list of computers to connect to for the end user? In other words, I want the end user to log into /rdweb and the choose the computer to remote into. Thx

  7. Sujeeet's Gravatar Sujeeet
    February 25, 2013    

    Thank you, I have recently been seeking for information about this subject matter for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  8. Richard's Gravatar Richard
    February 21, 2013    

    For me when I get to the server properties page under RD Gateway manager, I cannot add the local server…

    It says !This RD Gateway server must be a domain member, if it is to be added to a RD Gateway server farm..

    What do I do now? Ay suggestions.


    • February 21, 2013    

      Hi Richard,

      Make sure your RD server is a member of a domain & is able to communicate properly with the domain. Check your DNS settings, Reverse DNS etc.

      That error usually occurs when you install Remote desktop Services on a Workgroup Server & not on a Member Domain.

      Thanks Let me know if it helps

  9. January 21, 2013    

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  10. Bradley Reeser's Gravatar Bradley Reeser
    December 15, 2012    

    This article was incredibly helpful. Saved me hours of time trying to setup the RDS on my new 2012 Server. Many thanks.

  11. Syed Shafique's Gravatar Syed Shafique
    December 5, 2012    

    This was really very helpful and saved a lot of time for me. A lot of thanks…

  12. December 5, 2012    

    my understanding is that it wont work since snpirt phones use CDMA technology and does not use a sim card like at t GSM technology phones. I know it hurts finding out the hard way. I purchased a mint condition HTC touch pro from ebay only to notice after receiving it, that its a snpirt phone. (OUCH) Useless to me. hope this helps. Peace

  13. timothy's Gravatar timothy
    November 15, 2012    

    First, let me thank you for such a wonderful & easy to understand steps. Do you have any such procedure about how to add a new exchange server 2013 in Windows Server 2012 environment?

  14. Charles's Gravatar Charles
    November 2, 2012    

    Thank You! This was the easiest server tutorial I have ever used. I will be following you for more….plain and simple tutorials. Charles

    • Ani's Gravatar Ani
      December 5, 2012    

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  15. priya's Gravatar priya
    November 2, 2012    

    great post!! I will check back soon. 😉

    • December 5, 2012    

      Thanks for this walkthrough!It seems to work and gives me an Installation suscecsful but does not any of the Utility context menus when right clicking on my project folders.My setup is a bit different than yours but your walkthrough seems to match everything I’m seeing.My setup: Windows 7, CF9 Remote, CF Builder 1 Build 274293, Flash Builder 4 Premium Plugin build 272416, ColdBox Utilities 2.5Just hoping someone else has run into this issue and has already done the legwork on fixing it. Or I’m missing something simple TIA

  16. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    November 2, 2012    

    very good, thank you for your sharing.

  17. kathy donald's Gravatar kathy donald
    October 31, 2012    

    This post is helped me a lot! Thanks for share.

    • December 5, 2012    

      nice. I’d make use of that remote dekotsp function for sure if I had it. I’ve been thinking of getting an Android phone though, does it have any sort of remote dekotsp app or something?

      • December 5, 2012    

        Hi, thank you for stopping by, Yes Android has tons of Remote Desktop apps, the one i’ve used & liked the most is Splashtop Remote Desktop, i think there is a lite version for it. There are many free versions too.. just search for “remote desktop” on Google Play!

  18. hamid's Gravatar hamid
    October 31, 2012    

    Excellent post. Thanks.

    • December 5, 2012    

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  19. Scott's Gravatar Scott
    October 28, 2012    

    Just what I needed, thanks a lot.

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