How to Install and Activate the RDS Server Licensing

How to Install and Activate the RDS Server Licensing Role and CALs on Windows Server 2022/2019/2016?

"In this article, we’ll consider the installation, configuration, and activation of the Remote Desktop Licensing role on
Windows Server 2019 and 2016, as well as the installation and activation of the RDS client access licenses (CALs)."

"I remind you that after the installation of the Remote Desktop Session Host role, users can use it only for 120 days of a trial period (evaluation license), and users can’t connect to an RDS host afterward.
According to Microsoft licensing rules, all users or devices that use RDS features must be licensed. To register and issue Remote Desktop Client Access Licenses (RDS CALs), there is a separate Windows service in the RDS role called Remote Desktop License Server."

Install the Remote Desktop Licensing Role on Windows Server 2019/2016
"You can deploy the Remote Desktop License service on any domain server. It is not necessary to install it on one of the servers on the RDSH farm.

Before you start the installation, add a new server to the Terminal Server License Servers domain security group (or make sure you have the permission to change this group membership), otherwise, the server won’t be able to issue RDS Per User CAL to the domain users.

You can install Remote Desktop Licensing using Server Manager. To do it, select the Remote Desktop Services role in the Add Roles and Features Wizard. "

Select Remote Desktop Licensing as the role service.

It remains to wait until the installation of the role is completed.

"The RDS-Licensing service is managed using the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager console (licmgr.exe).

In Windows Server, it’s easier to install roles and features using PowerShell. To install the RDS Licensing Service and RD Licensing Diagnoser, just run one command:

Install-WindowsFeature RDS-Licensing –IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools "

To list the RDS services installed on the host, use the command:

Get-WindowsFeature -Name RDS* | Where installed

Activating the RDS License Server on Windows Server

In order to issue licenses to RDP clients, your RDS License Server must be activated. To do it, open the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager (licmgr.exe), right-click the name of your server, and select Activate Server.

"The RDS licensing server activation wizard will start. Here you will need to select the activation method you prefer.
If your server is connected to the Internet, it can automatically connect to Microsoft servers and activate the RDS license server. If there is no direct Internet access from the server, you can activate the server using a web browser or by phone."

Then you must fill in some information about your company (some of the fields are required).

It remains to click the Finish button.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.