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How to Install and Activate the RDS Licensing Role on Windows Server 2019/2016?

In this text we’ll contemplate the set up, configuration and activation of Remote Desktop Licensing function on Windows Server 2019/2016, in addition to the set up and activation of the RDS consumer entry licenses (CALs).

I remind that after the set up of Remote Desktop Session Host function, customers can use it just for 120 days of a trial interval, and customers can’t join to an RDS host afterwards. According to Microsoft licensing scheme, all customers or gadgets that used RDS options should be licensed. To register and challenge distant desktop consumer entry licenses (RDS CALs), there’s a separate service in RDS function referred to as Remote Desktop License Server.

Installing the Remote Desktop Licensing Role on Windows Server 2019/2016

You can deploy the Remote Desktop License service on any area server; it isn’t crucial to set up it on one among the servers in the RDSH farm.

Before you begin the set up, add a brand new server to the Terminal Server License Servers area group (or be sure you have the permission to change this group membership), in any other case the server gained’t give you the option to challenge RDS Per User CAL to the area customers.

You can set up Remote Desktop Licensing utilizing Server Manager. To do it, choose Remote Desktop Services function in the Add Roles and Features Wizard.

install Remote Desktop Services role

Select Remote Desktop Licensing as the function service.

Remote Desktop Services Licensing service

Wait until the function is put in.
RDS licensing feature installation

Additionally, set up the utility for diagnosing licensing issues on RDS servers —  Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser (lsdiag.msc), which may be set utilizing Server Manager: Features -> Remote Server Administration Tools -> Role Administration Tools -> Remote Desktop Services Tools -> Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tools (by default, when putting in the RDS-Licensing service, solely the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager console [licmgr.exe] is put in).

You also can set up the RDS Licensing service and lsdiag.msc software utilizing PowerShell:

Install-WindowsCharacteristic RDS-Licensing –IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools

Activating the RDS License Server on Windows Server

In order your RDS License Server might challenge licenses to RDP purchasers, it should be activated. To do it, open the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager, right-click the title of your server and choose Activate Server. activa rds licensing server

The RDS licensing server activation wizard will begin, by which you will have to choose the activation technique you like. If your server is linked to the Internet, it could actually routinely join to Microsoft servers and activate RDS license server. If there isn’t a direct Internet entry from the server, you’ll be able to activate the server utilizing an internet browser or by cellphone.

RDS license server automatic activation

Then you could enter some details about your organization (some fields are necessary). rds license company info

It stays to click on the Finish button.

rds license server has been successfully activated
If you right-click the server title in the console and choose Review Configuration, you’ll be able to confirm that the RDS License Server is activated and can be utilized to activate RDSH purchasers in your area.
review rds activation info

RDS CALs: Types of Remote Desktop Client Access Licenses

Each person or system that connects to Remote Desktop Session hosts should have a consumer entry license (CAL). There are two kinds of RDS CALs:

  • Per Device CAL – is the everlasting license sort assigned to a pc or a tool that connects to the RDS server greater than as soon as (when a tool is first linked, a brief license is issued to it). These licenses should not concurrent, i. e., if in case you have 10 Per Device licenses, solely 10 hosts can join to your RDS server;
  • Per User CAL – is the sort of license that permits a person to join to the RDS server from any variety of computer systems/gadgets. This sort license is related to an Active Directory person and issued not completely, however for a selected time frame (90 days, by default).
    If you attempt to use RDS 2019 Per User CAL in a workgroup (not in a website), then the RDSH server will forcibly finish a person session each 60 minutes with a message: “Remote Desktop License Issue: There is an issue together with your Remote Desktop license, and your session can be disconnected in 60 minutes”. Therefore, for RDS servers in a Windows Workgroup atmosphere, you want to use solely system licensing – Per Device RDS CALs. 

Note. We ought to word that 2016 RDS CAL could also be put in solely on a license server operating Windows Server 2016, the set up of recent CALs to the earlier Windows Server variations just isn’t supported. Those, you can’t set up 2016 RDS CALs on a Windows Server 2012 R2 licensing host.

Installing RDS CALs on Windows Server 2016/2019

Now you could set up the package deal of distant desktop consumer licenses (RDS CAL) you have got bought on the License Server.

Right-click your server in Remote Desktop Licensing Manager and choose Install Licenses.

installing rds CAL

Select the activation technique (computerized, on-line or by cellphone) and the license program (in our case, it’s Enterprise Agreement).
rds cal - enterprise agreement

The subsequent steps of the wizard rely on which license program you have got chosen. In case of Enterprise Agreement, you could specify its quantity. If you have got chosen License Pack (Retail Purchase), enter the 25-character product key you bought from Microsoft.
rds cal - agreement number

Specify the product model (Windows Server 2019/2016), license sort (RDS Per person CAL) and the variety of licenses to be put in on the server.

select license type and number of RDS CALs

After that, the server can challenge licenses (RDS CAL) to purchasers.

You can convert User CAL RDS to Device CAL (and vice versa) utilizing the Convert Licenses menu merchandise in the RD Licensing Manager console.

If you have got run out of free RDS licenses, you’ll be able to revoke beforehand issued RDS Device CALs for inactive computer systems utilizing the following PowerShell script:

$RevokedPCName=”lon-bc1-123”
$licensepacks = Get-WmiObject win32_tslicensekeypack | the place
$licensepacks.TotalLicenses
$TSLicensesAssigned = gwmi win32_tsissuedlicense | the place
$RevokePC = $TSLicensesAssigned | ? sIssuedToComputer -EQ
$RevokedPCName$RevokePC.Revoke()

How to Remove RDS CALs from a RD License Server?

If you need to switch your RDS CAL license set from one Remote Desktop licensing server to one other, you’ll be able to take away put in CAL licenses pack from the licensing server utilizing PowerShell.

Using the following cmdlet, you’ll be able to listing all the put in RDS CAL packages on the server:

Get-WmiObject Win32_TSLicenseKeyPack|select-object KeyPackId,ProductVersion,SortAndMannequin,AccessibleLicenses,IssuedLicenses |ft

Find the KeyPackId worth for the RDS CAL package deal that you really want to take away and run the command:

wmic /namespace:rootCIMV2 PATH Win32_TSLicenseKeyPack CALL UninstallLicenseKeyPackWithId yourKeyPackId

You also can fully take away all CALs by re-creating the RDS license database. To do that, cease the Remote Desktop Licensing service:

Stop-Service TermServLicensing

Rename the file C:WindowsSystem32lserverTLSLic.edb to C:WindowsSystem32lserverTLSLic.edb_bak and begin the service:

Start-Service TermServLicensing

After that, all RDS CAL licenses can be deleted, and you could reactivate them.

Specify a License Server Address on an RD Session Hosts

After the RDS License Server is activated and operating, you’ll be able to reconfigure RD Session Host to get hold of CAL licenses from this server. You can set the license sort and specify the title of the license server from the Server Manager GUI, utilizing PowerShell or GPO.

To change the title/tackle of the licensing server on the RDS host, open Server Manager -> Remote Desktop Services -> Collections. In the higher proper menu “Tasks” choose “Edit Deployment Properties”.

In the deployment properties, go to the RD Licensing tab, choose the Remote Desktop licensing mode and the RDS license server. Click Add -> Ok.

You can change the RDS license server tackle and CAL sort utilizing PowerShell:

$obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting

Then specify the license sort you want:

$obj.ChangeMode(four)

Note. Enter four if the server should use Per User licensing sort, and 2, whether it is Per Device.

Then specify the title of the RDS License Server:

$obj.SetSpecifiedLicenseServerChecklist("rdslic2016.woshub.com")

And test the present settings:

$obj.GetSpecifiedLicenseServerChecklist()

When configuring RDS licensing parameters for RD session hosts through GPO, you want to create a brand new GPO and hyperlink it to the OU with RDS servers (or you’ll be able to specify the title of the RDS licensing server utilizing the native Group Policy editor – gpedit.msc). The RD licensing settings are situated in the following GPO part : Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Admin Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Licensing

There are 2 RD insurance policies that we want to configure:

  • Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers – the tackle of the License Server is about;
  • Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode – choose RDS CAL license sort.

gpo - Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers

RDSH hosts use the following ports to get RDS license from the Licensing server, guarantee that they don’t seem to be blocked by firewalls (or Windows Defender Firewall):

  • TCP/135 – Microsoft RPC;
  • UDP/137 – NetBIOS Datagram Service;
  • UDP/138 – NetBIOS Name Resolutio;
  • TCP/139 – NetBIOS Session Service;
  • TCP/445 – SMB;
  • TCP/49152–65535 – RPC dynamic tackle vary

You can test for open ports utilizing the utility or the cmdlet.

Try to test the License Server standing and the variety of the issued licenses utilizing RD Licensing Diagnoser (Administrative Tools -> Remote Desktop Services -> RD Licensing Diagnoser).

If there are not any warnings, and you see the message“RD Licensing Diagnoser didn’t determine any licensing issues for the Remote Desktop Session Host server”, then the RDSH server can efficiently obtain RDS CALs for distant customers/gadgets.

Note. In our case, after we specified the new License Server tackle the following error began to seem on the RDP consumer: “The distant session was disconnected as a result of there are not any Remote Desktop License Servers accessible to present a license”. The drawback may be solved by eradicating the key from the registry.

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