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Study and Lecture note
Terminology:
  • RDC( Remote desktop connection)
  • RD CAPs(Remote desktop connection authorization policies): enables you to specify which users can connect to the remote desktop gateway server, specify the requirements that users must meet, and whether to enable or disable client device redirection.
  • RD RAPs(Remote desktop resource authorization policies): enable you to specify the network resources that users can connect to, specify the user groups and computer groups, and specify whether to use the default TCP port 3389 or another port.
  • RD Web Access: make RemoteApp programs and connection to RD server desktop available to users from a web browser.
  • SSO(single singn-on): A feature that enables users to enter their credentials once and be able to access other systems and services without having to reenter their credentials each time.
  • Monitor spanning: max resolution of 4096 X 2048.
  • PNP device redirection(Plug and play): PNP devices can be redirected from the local device to the remote desktop services session. It is based on MTP( media transfer protocol) and PTP( picture transfer protocol).
Desktop experience

Desktop experience improves end user experiences, it is intended to look and feel like a Windows 7 desktop.Some display enhancement include:

  • Enhanced display resolution: Wide-screen monitor( 1680X1050 and 1920X1200), max of 4096X2048.
  • Custom display resolutions.
  • Monitor spanning, span multiple monitors with a total maximum resolution of 4096X2048.
  • Font smoothing, supports clear type fonts.
  • Display data prioritization: it controls the bandwidth ratio of input versus output prioritization. The default is 70:30 ratio of input to output, this can be modified in registry.
Command
RDC:
  • Desktop width: desktopwidth:i:<width>        eg. desktopwidth:i:1280
  • Desktop height: desktopheight:i<height>        eg. desktopheight:i:800
  • Monitor spanning: span:i<0-disable;1-enable>   eg. span:i:1

mstsc.exe

  • Desktop width: mstsc.exe /w:<width>        eg. mstsc.exe /w:1280
  • Desktop height: mstsc.exe /h:<height>        eg. mstsc.exe /h:800
  • Monitor spanning: mstsc.exe /span   eg. mstsc.exe /span
Remote Desktop Service Prerequisite

1, enable desktop experience on the Remote Desktop Services server

2. Use the windows vista theme on the remote desktop services server.

3. Enable Desktop composition on the host client.

      Device redirection

Enables a device to be connected to the local device but be accessible through the Remote Desktop Services session. Reduce the problems associated with differing device and print drivers on the client and the Remote desktop services session.

  • PNP device redirection: This ability is based on MTP( media transfer protocol), PTP(picture transfer protocol). Devices can be redirected when they are attached after the session has been established.
  • MS point of sale for .NET device redirection: Enables supported point of sale devices, such as bar code readers, to be used with Remote Desktop Services. Make sure you have the most recent version of MS POS.
  • Remote desktop  easy print: Enables redirection of the default printer without having to match print drivers on the client computer and server.

SSO

  • Client must be windows vista or higher( xp sp3) or win2008.
  • User rights and permissions must be adequate to access the application or system.
  • Client and the Remote Desktop Session Host Server must be in the same domain.
Best practices:
  1. Ensure that client computers have the most up-to-date remote desktop connection version.
  2. Use remote desktop services desktop experience if you want users to connect to the remote desktop Session host server and have the windows vista dsktop look.
  3. Use the single sing-on capability to allow domain users to only have to log on once and have access to the resources available on the server.
  4. It is not recommended to install the Remote Desktop session host server role on a domain controller; if you try to , you will get a warning message.
  5. You can use a Remote desktop gateway server with MS Internet security and Acceleration(ISA) server to provide enhanced security options.
  6. RemoteApp programs can be made available through Remote Desktop Web Access; however, the client must be running at least RDC 6.1, which is included on windows Server 2008, Windows Vista Sp1 and higher, Windows XP sp3.
  7. When you are determining which programs to include in your RemoteApp programs, ensure that you properly test the programs to ensure they operate properly in this environment.
  8. When you make RemoteApp programs available over the Internet, use the Remote desktop gateway to ensure that you properly secure the remote connections to the server.
  9. Remote desktop gateway provides a secure encrypted connection for remote users; remote users do not need to configure virtual private network (VPN) connection.
  10. Network Access Protection (NAP) can be used to further enhance security when using the remote desktop gateway and remote desktop services client.
Lab Reflection

SSO: Ensure that the Security Layer value is Negotiate or SSL(TLS 1.0); uncheck the ” always prompt for password”. Note that we need to use group policy to allow default credential usage on the Remote Desktop Session Host server.

In the setting up of the RemoteAPP programs List, I chose Snipping tool which is located in C:\windows\system32\SnippingTool.exe. Then I fired up an win7 virtual host which is connecte to the Win2008, and open the  Remote Desktop Connection, after filling up the computer address in the “General” tab, click the “programs” tab, bellow the “Program path and file name”, fill “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\windows\system32\SnippingTool.exe”.

RDC_APP_connect_domainRDC_APP_connectThen click “Connect” and a new window pop up, the difference between desktop remote conncetion and program remote connection is:

  • On desktop connection, the windows server will be logged off if you use same account, host machine will see the exactly desktop of the server and get all the access of the server.
  • On the program connection, the host machine can only see a blank desktop and a program window. What’s more, the server’s operation won’t be affected, a local administrator will not notice if anyone logged in to the server.RDC_result
  • After I taking a screen shot and saving on the desktop as “test.png”, I closed the snipping tool, and the connection terminated. And we can see the screenshot file on the server desktop.RDC_result2
    After the Snipping tool, I tried media player, and it does not work. The error message said because of security issue. It reminds me that when I was configure the argument to allow any argument for the app, a warning message says letting the application run without restriction will leave the RD session server under attack. So I removed the argument for the media player “/prefetch:1”, and this time it worked.

    So, what does this argument means? Here is the document I found on microsoft site:

    The /prefetch:# flag is looked at by the OS when we create the process -- however, it has one (and only one) purpose. We add the passed number to the hash. Why? WMP is a multipurpose application and may do many different things. The DLLs and code that it touches will be very different when playing a WMV than when playing a DVD, or when ripping a CD, or when listening to a Shoutcast stream, or any of the other things that WMP can do. If we only had one hash for WMP, then the prefetch would only be correct for one such use. Having incorrect prefetch data would not be a fatal error -- it'd just load pages into memory that'd never get used, and then get swapped back out to disk as soon as possible. Still, it's counterproductive. By specifying a /prefetch:# flag with a different number for each "mode" that WMP can do, each mode gets its own separate hash file, and thus we properly prefetch.

    RDC web access:
    we can check the URL to access the RDC web in the last step of the RDC web installation, it is usually “serveraddress/rdweb”, in my case it is “dc1/rdweb”. Then we can see the page like this:RDC_web

    The advantage over the RDC is that, we can choose the available apps from the page without inputting the path of the applications, we can also switch between the apps without disconnecting and reconnecting from and to the server, respectively.

    Third party software can be used:

    1. TeamViewer is easily the best free remote access software and no changes to router or firewall configurations are needed.

       Features: With support for video, voice-only, and text chat, TeamViewer also allows file transfers, supports wake-on-LAN (WOL), and can even remotely reboot a PC into Safe Mode and then reconnect automatically.

    2. Remote Utilities: It works by pairing two remote computers together with what they call an “Internet ID.” You can control a total of 10 PCs with Remote Utilities.

    Linux remote desktop solution(Redhat):

    1. Install in Redhat: yum install vnc vnc-server
    2. For each user that needs to gain access to the VNC server,set a VNC password for them:
      • su vncuser
      • vncpasswd
    3. Edit VNC server: edit the /etc/sysconfig/vncservers file. At the end of that file, enter the following:
      VNCSERVERS="1:vncuser"
      VNCSERVERARGS[1]="-geometry 1600x1200"
    4. Start the VNC service, we can either manual start it by
      • service vncserver start
      • service vncserver stop

    Or start it from the boot up: chkconfig vncserver on

          5. Create xstartup scriptsYou now need to go into each user that will be logging in with VNC and editing their ~/.vnc/xstartup script. Within that script, you should find the following:

    #!/bin/sh

    # Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:

    # unset SESSION_MANAGER

    # exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

    [ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup

    [ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresourcesxsetroot -solid grey

    vncconfig -iconic &

    xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
    twm &
    

    6. Uncomment the following two lines (remove the “#” characters):

    • unset SESSION_MANAGER
    • exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

    Save that file and you’re ready to move on.

    7. Edit iptablesIn order for the VNC connections to get through, you must allow them with iptables.

    To do this, open up the file /etc/sysconfig/iptables and add the line:

    -A INPUT -m state —state NEW -m tcp -p tcp -m multiport —dports 5901:5903,6001:6003 -j ACCEPT

    Save the file and restart iptables with the command:

    service iptables restart
    Start the VNC server

    Issue the command:

    service vncserver start

         8.Test the connection
    open up the browser and go to http://ADDRESS_OF_VNC_SERVER:5801. That address should open up a VNC session in your browser. If, on the off chance, it does not… try the address http://ADDRESS_OF_VNC_SERVER:1

    Reference

    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/remote-access/tp/free-remote-access-software.htm