I am try to set up remote desktop service on windows server 2012, and it require join the domain before I can go ahead. does this mean I have to set up another server with AD DS and join to it before I can set up the RDS? so I have to apply for two licenses for both of them? any way I can use only one license set the RDS up?

Can i set up AD DS and RDS on the same server, then I will just pay one license?

can anyone let me know how to do that?

Regards Wayne

  • A computer used from Remote Desktop Services should not be a domain controller. Bad things happen. Most Windows 2012 standard does come with the ability to setup Hyper-V and 2 Windows 2012 VMs. So you could setup Hyper-V, and a VM for your Domain controller, and a VM for your terminal services. – Zoredache Apr 26 '13 at 0:43
  • Thanks, if use Hyper-V or VMware, do I still need to licenses for both or just need one? cheers – Wayneinnz Apr 26 '13 at 1:03
  • possible duplicate of Can you help me with my software licensing issue? – Michael Hampton Apr 26 '13 at 16:33
  • 3
    Why the actual f is this closed? It's a difficult problem with a new server 2012 install for anyone coming from previous versions of windows (basically: everyone). And as far as I can tell, still not brilliantly answered. – Ian Grainger Jul 23 '14 at 9:57
  • 1
    I don't understand why this question is closed as well. Where on earth Windows Remote Desktop Service setup is unprofessional or not related to infrastructure administration? – Shi B. Sep 30 '14 at 5:20

You do not HAVE to have ADDS for a standalone Remote Desktop Services host in 2012. Although Microsoft has made it much more difficult, you can configure everything via powershell and local group policy. Active Directory is only necessary if you wish to use the GUI functionality as they assume everyone will want to manage a collection of RD Session Hosts.

To setup a RD Session Host without ADDS do the following:

  1. Add Roles\Features -> Role based or feature based install
  2. Select Role Remote Desktop Services
  3. For Role Services, choose Remote Desktop Licensing and Remote Desktop Session Host

Now configure\install licenses using RD Licensing manager

Now configure Remote Desktop Session Host using local group policy as follows

  1. Run gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Licensing. (There are two settings we must enable and configure)
  2. Configure "Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers" (localhost if using same host as licensing server)
  3. Set the "Remote Desktop licensing mode"
  4. Force gpupdate. cmd prompt -> gpupdate /force

Sources: Source 1 Source 2

| improve this answer | |

Do you have any existing servers or infrastructure? If not, then Wayneinnz's solution is a good one, especially since Server 2012 Standard edition licensing allows the OS plus 2 virtual machines. I know it used to be recommended not to have the only domain controller a VM...not sure if that's changed or now.

| improve this answer | |
  • I don't have other server existing, how can i use one license for 2 virtual machines? cheers – Wayneinnz Apr 26 '13 at 1:25

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