Sunday, December 02, 2012 3:13 PM
Is RemoteFX specifically designed to exclude redirection of USB HID devices like the mouse and kbd? Based on the articles I've read so far, I haven't seen anything the specifically discussing support for or against this. My use case is simple: I have one computer with a dual-headed graphics card, two mice and two keyboards attached. I'd like to have an RDP session open via the standard mstsc client in a window on the second monitor, so a second family member can easily sit down and check her email via the RDP session when another user is already using the main system. The second mouse and kbd should be dedicated to that session so that events are not shared with the console session.
I've enabled the requisite GPOs per the article above, and I've set up the required registry key to expose these USB devices to mstsc. I am able to select those devices when configuring the client, however when I connect, no redirection actually occurs. No errors are displayed or logged to the event log.
Over the past few years I've solved this problem in various cumbersome ways, all of which involve running some flavor of linux in a VM set up to capture the mouse and kbd. That's computationally expensive and it seems this should be so simple with RemoteFX.... what am I missing?
Monday, December 03, 2012 4:20 AMModerator
Windows Multipoint server is designed to do what you are attempting. Specifically, hook up a second (or third, fourth, etc.) keyboard/mouse/monitor and have it run as a separate session.
Is the host that you are using Remote Desktop to connect to running Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate SP1 with RDP 8 enabled or Windows 8 Enterprise or Server 2012 with RDSH installed? If yes, are you able to successfully redirect other USB devices (besides keyboard/mouse) in the session?
When you connect, do you get the little computer icon in the connection bar?
Monday, December 03, 2012 2:15 PM
Thanks for your reply. Both Multipoint Server and Userful Server (its competitor) are designed for larger classroom or multi-classroom deployments with 6-10 terminals per hw node, and require specialized hardware. The Multipoint SDK operates at the application, not session level. As the second user will pretty much exclusively use the web, I could try to write a custom browser using the SDK, but in the spirit of keeping it simple...
I am running Server 2012 as both the host and client, but did not install the RDSH role as that appears designed for more complex multi-node scenarios and requires a domain controller. There is no computer icon in the connection bar, but there is a "Connection Info" button that tells me the "quality of the connection is excellent". Can RDSH run without a PDC, should I install it?
Monday, December 03, 2012 3:47 PMModerator
MP server does not require specialized hardware. At its most basic level you can take a desktop PC with a low-cost multi-monitor card, plug in monitors, and plug in keyboards and mice. Once the stations are mapped they function similar to individual computers. For example, one person could be editing an excel sheet in their session while the other person is browsing the web with IE in theirs.
Under the covers MP server is an RDSH server with more flexibility for types of potential endpoints.
RDSH Role Service is required for usb redirection to work. I do not know if what you are attempting to do will work, but if it will, RDSH will need to be installed. Generally you are correct, a domain controller is required, and 2012 RDS has been designed to make multi-server scenarios easier to manage.
In your case I think your needs are very basic, so you could potentially get by with no dc. To try it you would install the RD Session Host and RD Licensing Role Services, no RDS deployment. After restarting you need to configure the licensing mode and specify the licensing server name (itself) via local group policy (gpedit.msc). If things work out you can use RD Licensing Manager to Activate your RD Licensing server and install purchased RDS CAL(s). If things do not work out you would uninstall RDSH and RDL without buying any RDS CALs.
- Marked As Answer by Clarence ZhangModerator Monday, December 10, 2012 9:43 AM
Friday, December 07, 2012 8:22 AMModerator
I would like to confirm what is the current situation? If there is anything that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to let me know, and I will be happy to help.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012 8:32 PM
Thanks Clarence. I did try installing the RDSH server and RDL server. Upon connecting with mstsc, I can now hear the USB devices disconnect from the host, but they are not then "connected" to the "remote" desktop session either, at least I cannot use them in either session until I sign out of the remote desktop session. Based on this I am thinking this is simply not going to work.
I am going to try and install an MP server, but I have to confess at this point it is not clear whether that is a different OS altogether or something I can add on to my Server 2012 instance.
Monday, December 17, 2012 3:42 PM
Ok, so I did install Windows MP Server 2012 Standard Edition, and was instantly excited to see upon bootup that each monitor presented a screen instructing the user to press a key on the keyboard that should be associated with that display. That excitement quickly turned to confusion and frustration however when I discovered that only the keyboard I had attached to a serial port was recognized, and the remaining USB HID devices (2 mice and 1 additional keyboard) seemed to be completely unrecognized. Upon logging in, as neither mouse was recognized, I was forced to navigate entirely using the keyboard attached to the serial port (kudos to MS in its attention to detail in ensuring universal keyboard navigability). Stumbling along with the keyboard over the course of the next hour I managed to determine that 1.) The USB hardware was all recognized and running properly according to Device Manager, and 2.) Nowhere on this system could I locate the "MultiPoint Manager" utility needed to further configure or diagnose the problem. I looked at Server Manager 'roles', Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Control Panel, C:\Windows\System32, searched for an MMC snap-in via mmc.exe and finally ran several searches of the filesystem for anything relating to "MultiPoint". I could find nothing in the system help (accessed via F1) or in any of the online MSDN documentation on how to locate this utility. So I must be missing something fundamental? This was an out-of-box installation of the product that I downloaded yesterday morning via my MSDN subscription. How does one configure the MP Service under MP Server 2012 Standard Edition?
Thanks, I'd really like to see this thing work, and am willing to continue troubleshooting but at this point I've hit a brick wall.
Friday, December 21, 2012 7:11 PMI'm interested in seeing what you work out for this. I have Server 2012 installed and am curious as to the limit of RemoteFX over RPD sessions - specifically for in-house gaming sessions. The concept of multi-boxing off a single host is nothing new ... multipoint control is nothing new... But the improvements in RemoteFX and graphical processing may primed to allow for the combination of the two concepts to work for the gaming enthusiast such as myself.
Friday, December 21, 2012 8:41 PMGaming support is the primary reason I'm looking into this as well. Fwiw I've done this several ways since 2007, initially using event redirection to a nested X session in an all-Linux configuration. With the introduction of USB device capture under box and VMware it became possible to do this with Windows, albeit at the cost of running two OS instances. That's wasteful and eliminates the ability to use the native video drivers under both OS instances, two problems MP server should address. I am skeptical that RDP can support the framerates needed for a smooth gaming experience, and plan to do this in a side by side configuration if I can get this running at all given the issues I've run into thus far.