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I note that the default setting is foreground not background tasks.

Which setting is best for a terminal server with many clients?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Foreground. There was some conjecture when Windows 2000 was the current os about using background, but it is definitely foreground now.

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+1. The purpose of having a TS is for hosting and running user applications, which 9 out of 10 times are foreground tasks. – joeqwerty Feb 11 '10 at 1:42
Thanks for that. What made me not sure about that was a contrary recommendation I read somewhere else. Given that lots of apps are running in virtual sessions, is TS smart enough to know what is foreground? – Matt Feb 11 '10 at 2:09
@Matt - I definitely remember a Windows 2000 terminal server recommendation to use background. However, since the setting changes from background to Programs on Windows 2003 when terminal services is added, I would say Microsoft changed something in the os so that this is now the recommended setting. (Or the original recommendation was wrong ;-) – Greg Askew Feb 11 '10 at 3:08
Even back on NT4 the prevailing wisdom was to ignore Microsoft's recommendation and actually test it both ways. Then choose the option that performs best for your particular use case. I see no real reason not to continue doing that today. – John Gardeniers Feb 11 '10 at 4:15

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