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Terminal Server and Windows Server 2008

Posted on 2014-04-17
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Hi Experts,

What are the characteristics of a session in Terminal Server and how are they in Windows Server 2008?  To be more precise, does everyone have their own login name, own user files (like 'C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming').  And do they all have their own user and local machine registry settings?

Many thanks,
Mike
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Question by:thready
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by:bbao
bbao earned 167 total points
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almost same as the local users on console including the username, profile, private registry settings. also by default, the profiles are local rather than roaming if not assigned.

some differences may apply such as audio/video settings from point of view of performance, also printers may be remapped to remote clients if required.

what's your actual concerns about this?
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by:joharder
joharder earned 166 total points
ID: 40008597
What you're describing is exactly why Terminal Server is described as a multi-user environment.  Multiple users share access the server in their own isolated environment.

Because the capabilities of Terminal Server are limited, many organizations choose to run Citrix or VMware as well in order to provide a better user experience.
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Coralon earned 167 total points
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As mentioned above, it is a multi-user system.

So, what you have is this:
Each user will have their own profile.  This will be all of their HKCU settings in the registry, along with all the files in c:\users\%username%.   You can (and generally *should*) make use of some form of roaming profile/profile management solution to keep their settings consistent across multiple servers.  

However - for each server, there is only 1 set of Machine settings (HKLM, %programdata%) for each machine.  You will generally manage those by GPO (again to maintain consistency).  

One of the critical aspects of TS/RDS for your users is what is commonly referred to as the 'shadow key'.   When you use install mode to install your applications (this is done by either the command 'change user /install' or by using the Add/Remove Programs wizard), then any registry settings that get created in HKCU are copied into this key under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Terminal Server\Install\Software.  These keys are timestamped.  If a user logs in and does not have these settings or has these settings with an older timestamp, these keys & values are copied to the user's registry.  (This behavior can be modified on a per-application basis also).   (on a 64bit machine, there are separate 32bit & 64bit versions of the shadow key).  

Coralon
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by:thready
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Thanks everyone!
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