Need help setting up a Terminal Server/thin client environment

Posted on 2009-02-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Since I am a total newbie at this, I would really appreciate som help - and getting me started in the right direction. I am setting up a test environment with Terminal Server. I need to simulate "thin clients", but at the moment I only have som old laptops, and xp-desktop machines. I know I can just log in to the server using the "remote desktop" function, but I need it to be more realistic than that. I want the clients only to be able to work together with the terminal server. And I simply dont know how to achieve this. First of all, which operating system do I need for the pseudo thin clients? I have ordered a copy of Windows CE 6.0 which hasent arrived yet. But that package was several gigabyte I am guessing that it has to be configured in some way, before it can be installed as a operating system for thin clients? But are there other good alternatives you can recommend? I am aware of that there are many Linux versions, but since I want this to be as authentic as possible - I am leaning more towards windows based system as I believe that companies are more likely to use windows instead of linux.

My other question is how do I setup a thin client login interface? As I mentioned above, I want the connecting clients to have a login-window as soon as they have booted up. I.E. I dont want the clients to see the "remote desktop" tab at the top of the screen...? How is this done? At the moment I am only using the Terminal Server function. Not the Terminal Server gateway, or Terminal Server Web. I wont be needing Terminal Server web, but perhaps I need the Terminal Server gateway to achieve the above?
Question by:andre_st
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Certainly, you can program an old windows machine to boot, load and connect to a termnial server session just by powering it up. A lot of companies use old PCs as "thin" clients as all of the processing occours and remote desktop can be pretty robust for a client. I can't speak about reloading a machine with Windows CE but if the system already has an OEM copy of Windows installed on it - why pay to license and install WinCE?

    You can click to hide the "remote desktop tab at the top". You can set all of your remote desktop options and drop that file into the startup folder of the machine to automate the options and boot of the session.

    Another avenue is to purcahse "thin" pcs that have WinCE embedded on them. (wyse makes dumb terminals for this pourpose as an example). But I personally think that they are cost prohibitive given that a $100-$200 used PC will function just as well as a thin client.

    I'm not an expert on this stuff - but this is what I've seen in the past.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your reply! I wasnt aware of the many options/settings, accessed directly from the client. I will certainly try to make a good default .rdp file and put it in the users profile.

    Yes, I guess Windows CE costs a bit - but since I am a student, I can get a free copy of it through "msdn Academic Alliance". So I figured I have nothing to loose by trying it out.

    Even if I put the the default .rdp file in the startup folder the user will still be able to just ignore the login window, close it, and then use the computer without connecting to the Terminal Server. How can I make the "log in" window as the only availible possibility for using the computer?
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    Our HP thin clients are running a Linux OS.
    There are commercial and open-source out there:

    and    (register for trial/free version)

    both come to mind.

    I tried 2x a long time ago.  Not sure how any of these (including our HP thin clients) will work with Server 2008.  We are currently on 2003.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Highfive Gives IT Their Time Back

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Welcome to my series of short tips on migrations. Whilst based on Microsoft migrations the same principles can be applied to any type of migration. My first tip is around source server preparation. No migration is an easy migration, there is a…
    Have you considered what group policies are backwards and forwards compatible? Windows Active Directory servers and clients use group policy templates to deploy sets of policies within your domain. But, there is a catch to deploying policies. The…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to configure their installation of BackupExec 2012 to use network shared disk space. Verify that the path to the shared storage is valid and that data can be written to that location:…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through configuring a drive on a Windows Server 2008 to perform shadow copies in order to quickly recover deleted files and folders. Click on Start and then select Computer to view the available drives on the se…

    761 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    7 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now