The Remote Desktop licensing mode determines the type of Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) that a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server will request from a license server on behalf of a client connecting to the RD Session Host server.
The Remote Desktop licensing mode configured on an RD Session Host server must match the type of RDS CALs available on the license server.
There are two types of RDS CALs:
- RDS Per Device CAL: Permits one device (used by any user) to connect to an RD Session Host server.
- RDS Per User CAL: Gives one user the right to access RD Session Host servers from an unlimited number of client computers or devices.
The Remote Desktop licensing mode for the RD Session Host server can be set in the following ways:
- During the installation of the RD Session Host role service in Server Manager, on the Specify Licensing Mode page in the Add Roles Wizard.
On the Specify Licensing Mode page, you can select Configure later if you are unsure during the installation whether to select Per Device or Per User. If you select Configure later, each time you log on to the RD Session Host server, a message will appear in the lower-right corner of the desktop reminding you that you need to configure the licensing mode for the RD Session Host server.
- By configuring the Remote Desktop licensing mode for the RD Session Host server by using the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration tool.
If the Remote Desktop licensing mode choices are dimmed and you cannot make a selection, the Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode Group Policy setting has been enabled and has been applied to the RD Session Host server.
- By applying the Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode Group Policy setting.
This Group Policy setting is located in Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Licensing and can be configured by using either Local Group Policy Editor or the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). Note that the Group Policy setting will take precedence over the setting configured in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration.
For more information about RD Licensing, see the Remote Desktop Services page on the Windows Server 2008 R2 TechCenter (
For more information about Group Policy settings for Remote Desktop Services, see the Remote Desktop Services Technical Reference (