What is the difference between Remote Desktop Services and Terminal Services? We run a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. There are several administrators who need to access this server. Windows 2008 allows only two concurrent sessions with different users.

So I thought of installing Terminal Services. But I wonder what will happen to the server if I do so? What will be installed additionally? Will there be more features, ports, issues with the server?


Technically Remote Desktop is Terminal Services. In Remote Administration mode you can have 2 administrators get to the remote desktop for troubleshooting and general administrative purposes.

When you install Terminal Services you have the opportunity to have multiple users access the desktop. Windows 2008 also provides alot of facilities for accessing individual applications on that server.

Using Terminal Services does require extra licensing.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/rds-product-home.aspx http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/licensing-terminal.aspx http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770371(WS.10).aspx

  • Is there any additional stuff installed, or is it a separate role just because of the licensing? I want to enable more admins to do administrative stuff, but without any further load or security holes in the server. – Uwe May 26 '10 at 15:39
  • There is some other stuff installed or configured. And you would also need to install a Terminal Server License server somewhere in your environment, although it can be on the same server. TS licensing can get confusing so you should work with your Account Manager if you have one. – user7078 May 26 '10 at 19:09

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