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I want to access few (and not often used) Windows legacy applications over the network on (many) Linux clients.

I do not want to "share the desktop" (what VNC does), I want to start one application in one window (similar to what the X-Window system is capable).

Windows Terminal Server would do what I need, but AFAIK their CALs are over $100 per client, which is prohibitive and also does not fit our needs (we do not need constant permanent access, therefore

We are willing to pay a reasonable sum (a couple of thousand $ is OK) for a solution that works, but it must solve the problem and solve it forever (i.e. unlimited CALs, no recurring licensing costs, etc.).

Is there something like this available?

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Anything that does this how you want is almost certainly breaching MS licencing. Nobody pays TS cals because they want to! That said, a handful of concurrent licences shouldn't be too prohibitive but I'd definitely want a licensing expert involved. –  Dan Dec 23 '12 at 0:07
    
I am voting to close this question as "Not a Real Question" because it is a shopping question. Shopping questions as disallowed on ServerFault for a variety of reasons, not the least of which a "correct" answer is subjective and will be outdated in a short period of time, thus reducing the value of the Q and A, and thus the site at large. –  Wesley Dec 23 '12 at 6:01
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closed as off topic by John Gardeniers, Ward, mdpc, Magellan, Wesley Dec 23 '12 at 6:01

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2 Answers

This may give you some ideas;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_remote_desktop_software

Or if the legacy app don't have to be run over the network you could try getting them running in wine, once you have the apps working on one Linux client you can copy the wine setup to the other clients.

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What Dan said is correct. Any answer that does not involve paying for CALs is against the license agreement you made with MS by purchasing their software. Windows does not have an equivalent framework to X for remote GUI applications, other than RDP/TS/RemoteApp. The cost of a CAL is per-user or per-device; you have a misunderstanding in that there is no recurring license cost as long as you're still running the same server. Also, one of your sentences doesn't end correctly, so I'm not sure you've presented what you think about the whole scenario. If you're a non-profit, MS software costs a lot less.

Costs of things need to be weighed against the value those things bring to your business.

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