Step-by-Step: Terminal Services Advanced Client Configuration (Web Client)
Updated: December 30, 2001


Note: This article assumes that you have read and already setup the Terminal Services Server.  If you have not done this yet, please take a look at this article:  Terminal Services Server Configuration.

Let's talk about accessing the Terminal Services using the Terminal Services Advanced Client (TSAC).  TSAC is designed to work with IIS, however, it will also work with Apache for Windows as well.  This might take more tweaking, but it can be done.

First you need to download the TSAC from Microsoft.com.  Get it here: Terminal Services Advanced Client.

This program only needs to be installed on your server, not on any of your client computers.  The client computers will connect to TSAC through a web browser an Active X controls.

Once you download the file, double click on the file "tswebsetup.exe" to begin setup.  Click "Yes" at this screen

Read the licensing agreement, click "Yes".

Here you are prompted where to install the sample web pages.  These really are not samples, but are actually necessary, so pick a sub directory under your main web page.  The default path works fine if you haven't changed your IIS settings.  Click "OK".

The files will now be installed and then you will asked if you want to read the release notes.  It's your choice.

TSAC has been successfully installed.

That's it?  How the heck to you connect to your Terminal Services server?  It took me a while to figure it out as well.  You have to access the Terminal Services by entering the IP number followed by "tsweb" which is the directory where the entrance point to Terminal Services lies.

In your web browser, type in "http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/tsweb" where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is your IP number.  From inside your LAN, this number can be of the 192.168.1.xxx variety.  From the WAN, this number is your WAN IP number of your DSL/Cable line.  Make sure you have port 3389 forwarded to your server.

You should use an updated version of Microsoft Internet Explorer to access Terminal Services.  Netscape might not work so well.  The first time you try to access the Terminal Services through your browser, you will be prompted to install Terminal Services Active X controls.  This must be done in order for you to connect to the TSAC.

This is what the web browser screen looks like.

In the box labeled "server", type in the IP number of your server.  Then click "Connect".  You will see this warning message about switching into full screen mode.  You can toggle terminal services session into full screen mode by the keystrokes of "ctrl-alt-pause" after you click "OK".

Now you log into the server as you normally would.

Once you are done working with terminal services, how do you get out?

Go to "Start -> Shut Down".  You'll see four options.
Log off  This shuts down all applications and terminates your Terminal Services session.
Shut down This physically shuts down the computer and does not give you a way to restart the computer.  Be careful.
Restart This physically restarts the computer and in the process breaks your Terminal Services connection.  However, you will be able to reconnect once the server reboots.
Disconnect This is like logging off, but leaves your applications and open so you can reconnect and pick up work where you left off.

Using Terminal Services Advanced Client, you can log into your server though Terminal Services from any computer connected to the Internet.

One concern that has been brought up is that the Terminal Services login webpage is accessible to anybody on the Internet.  Although, you still need passwords to log onto the server, having an open administration page can be anxiety provoking.  One way to get around this is to disable anonymous browsing in IIS for the "tsweb" directory and use the "Basic authentication" option.  Another way is to create a password encoded page.  This is one way to do it: Basic form for secure web page creation.  Thanks to Nick for the tip.
 



Terminal Services Client Configuration

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