Department of Computing Imperial College London
Windows Terminal Services

What is Windows Terminal Services?

Terminal Services is a component of Microsoft Windows Server operating systems that allows a user to access applications on a remote server over a network connection.

Terminal Services provides the ability to host multiple, simultaneous client sessions on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Terminal Server is capable of directly hosting compatible multi-user client desktops running on a variety of Windows-based and non windows-based hardware. For more technical information on how terminal services works, please see this microsoft technet article.

Why it has been introduced to our network?

We have mainly introduced this service for non windows users who would like to have quick access to a windows platform, to use standard windows applications without rebooting their local desktop computer in to windows.

How do we run this service?

The four servers use session directory and network load balancing using a name:

Each server can currently host 6 to 8 sessions at a time. You can log on to terminal services using your windows user name and password and run standard windows applications.

The terminal servers are configured to keep your session running if you are disconnected from the server for any reason, and reconnect you back to your existing session on your next request. However, we recommend that you log off when you are not using the service, to allow others to connect, and to increase performance for other users connected to the service. Disconnected sessions, and sessions without activity will be terminated by the servers after 1 day.

Please note that Terminal services is mainly to use for common windows applications such as email clients, Microsoft office etc. we do Not recommend using the service to run applications which have high CPU and memory usage.

How to Use Windows Terminal Services

To run a Windows Terminal Services session you require a terminal services client.

Linux users can connect to TS using the latest version of Rdesktop (1.5) which has been installed on their machines recently.

Microsoft Terminal Services Client for Apple Mac is available for download with instructions here. It is currently ONLY for PowerPC machines. (Intel Macs will run Windows as a boot option or in Parallels).

Windows XP and 2000 users: you will already have Remote Desktop Connection installed! Shortcut can be found on Start Menu > Programs > Remote Desktop Connection.

Run your remote desktop client, Enter '' as the name of the computer you want connect to. When prompted, enter your windows user name and password and log on.

Working Between Your Normal Desktop and a Terminal Server Session

When running software in a terminal server session you do not have access to any local devices such as floppy disk, hard drive, CD-R etc. Your common area on the Windows systems is the H: drive.


After you login to a Terminal Server you will see the Connection Bar at the top of the screen. To switch back to Windows XP click on the minimize icon on the Connection bar. Once minimized onto the Windows XP taskbar you can return to the Terminal Server session by maximizing the window.

Cutting and pasting

You can cut and paste between XP and Terminal server sessions. Just switch between the sessions as described above.

Accessing files

(H:) is your personal area. If you need to access a file in a Terminal Server session that is on a floppy disk, CD or memory stick, copy the file to H:\.

CSG will monitor this service and will add new servers to the cluster if necessary. Please email helpdesk if you encounter any problems with this service.

© CSG / 2005 / help@doc