What are the tools/method to remotely access and maintain the Windows Server 2008. On Linux I am fine with the ssh, is the Remote Desktop the proper tool there?

Thanks a lot Regards, STeN


There is a lot, depends of the thing to manage, some software have web consoles, you even can install ssh on a Windows PC to connect to it.

But by default windows comes with two tools: Remote Desktop and MMC.

  1. Remote Desktop Connection (RDP). You can connect to a machine using the TCP 3389, view the desktop and do whatever you like.
  2. Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Almost everything in a Windows system can be manage through the MMC. You can open it using the command mmc.exe and in the menu File select Add or remove Snapin. The snap-in are DLLS created by the sofware manufacturers to manage their products. Windows comes with lots of them, for manage Disks, Users, Services, in a domain controller the Users and Groups, in a CA the certificates.

    When you add a snap-in you select if you want to manage the local system or a remote system. This requieres the 135 TCP port. You can save a console and the file extension is MSC. Windows comes with lots of presaved consoles like services.msc, diskmgmt.msc, compmgmt.msc, devmgmt.msc all of them save on \Windows\System32.

  3. Remote command prompt. You can run a remote command prompt like you do with SSH using Telnet. This is not installed by default on Windows but you can install the client and the server using the server manager. This requieres the por 23. As you know Telnet is insecure and not reccomend because everythin is in plaintext. You have a really good alternative from Microsoft called PSExec that let you runs commands or open a remote command prompt without prior installation of anything and in a safe manner.

  4. Powershell Powershell is the new command line of Microsoft. It has a lot of advantages over the traditional command line. It was dessinged to work with Objects insted of plain text and you can do really powerfull things, this is the approach of Microsoft to compete with the famous terminal on the unix systems. You really should learn about it. Well, a lot of Powershell commands (Cmdlets) let you work in remote Systems.


An alternative to the Windows Remote Desktop Connection RDP client is a free third party client called Terminals. It allows for tabbed RDP session and much more. If you find yourself using Windows RDP client often it might be worthwhile to download and try out Terminals.

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