Active Directory User Object Attributes - Terminal Services for Windows Server 2003

We'll look first to the very basics - configuring properties of a user's Active Directory account object.

We'll look first to the very basics—configuring properties of a user's Active Directory account object.

Each of the user attributes discussed here can be found in the "Sessions" or "Environment" tab of the user account object's properties within the Active Directory User and Computers MMC snap-in.

  • Starting Program specifies the application that should be executed whenever the user opens a Terminal Server session. This is the same as the "initial program" settings described elsewhere in this book.
  • Connect Client Drives at Logon will map back to the user's client drives within their Terminal Server session.
  • Connect Client Printers at Logon will connect the printers from the client device to the user's terminal session.
  • Default to Main Client Printer will configure the default printer within the session based on the default printer configured at the client device. The connect client printers option must be enabled for this to have an effect.
  • End a Disconnected Session configures the amount of time that a session remains in a disconnected state before the server terminates it.
  • Active Session Limit specifies the maximum amount of time that a session can be active before the server takes some action. This setting is optional, and most environments don't have session limits.
  • Idle Session Limit configures the amount of time that a connected session can be in the idle state before the server takes some action. This setting is also optional.
  • When a Session Limit is Reached or Connection is Broken allows you to specify what action is taken when the active session limit or idle session limit is reached. This action can consist of automatically disconnecting the session or terminating a session.
  • Allow Reconnection From configures whether a user must reconnect to a session from the original disconnecting client or any client.

The nice thing about configuring these settings on a "per user" basis as part of a user's account object is that they follow the user from server to server and apply no matter where the user logs in. (However, we'll see later in this chapter that these settings can be overridden with policies.)

Advantages of Configuring User Settings at the User Level

  • Allows you to specify different settings per user.
  • Simple to apply and configure.
  • Settings will follow the user to any Terminal Server.

Disadvantages of Configuring User Settings at the User Level

  • Each user must be configured individually.
  • Management is difficult.

These settings are generally not modified at the user level but instead are done at the server level or with a Group Policy. (More on this later.)

 

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