On Windows Server 2012 - Is it possible to install a "Quick Start" RDS installation on a workgroup?


  • I'm new to Server 2012 - have lots of experience with RDS on Server 2003 and Server 2008 / R2. 
    In Server 2012 in the Server Manager, I'm attempting to add the Role for "Remote Desktop Services Installation" and when I click Next a message pops up that "The Local Server must be joined to the domain to complete the RDS installation option".  When I click the "Quick Start" option, the "Deploy" and "Next" buttons are disabled. 
    I am not using a domain set up.  I'd like to use a simple Workgroup as I have done in the past with prior releases of Windows Server.  Is it possible to install a "Quick Start" RDS installation on a workgroup?  This customer has just purchased 1 server and they don't have any budget for a second Domain Controller server.  

    Charles Frankel

    Friday, February 01, 2013 5:26 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    To fully utilize Server 2012 RDSH the server needs to be joined to a domain, and the RD Connection Broker must not be installed on a DC.  The domain controller needs to be a separate server instance.

    What you can do is have a single physical server running Server 2012 Standard with Hyper-V Role Service installed and two VMs running Server 2012 Standard.  One VM can be the domain controller and one VM can be the RDS server running RDCB, RDSH, RDWeb, etc.  The VM running active directory does not need that much CPU/RAM/IO dedicated to it, unless it will do other things besides being a DC.

    One Server 2012 Standard license will permit the above scenario.


    Friday, February 01, 2013 5:56 PM
  • What about downgrading to Windows MultiPoint Server or Server 2008 R2?

    Charles Frankel

    Friday, February 01, 2013 6:10 PM
  • Hi,

    If this is a volume license version of Server 2012 then it should be relatively easy to downgrade to Server 2008 R2 by obtaining the media and product key through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC) site.  If this is an OEM version I believe it is still possible to downgrade, however, I do not know the exact procedure.  In this case you can contact the server manufacturer that sold the license.


    Friday, February 01, 2013 7:08 PM
  • Please know that this new requirement is very disconcerting.  I have many small business clients who would like to have a single server running in a Workgroup mode and then be able to run RDS from that server.  The new Server 2012 requirement is too complex for these clients who don't have a dedicated IT person to manage a series of Virtual Machines.  When I look at all of the acronyms in your response above, they would make my clients' heads spin.  We will likely recommend downgrading or staying with Server 2008 R2 as a result of these new requirements. 

    Charles Frankel

    Friday, February 01, 2013 7:10 PM
  • This might be interesting to you:

    Guidelines for installing the Remote Desktop Session Host role service on a computer running Windows Server 2012 without the Remote Desktop Connection Broker role service

    "...This article provides the guidelines to install and configure the Remote Desktop Session Host  role service on a computer running Windows Server 2012 without the Remote Desktop Connection Broker role service installed.
    This configuration should only be used when it is the only option as the recommended configuration includes the Remote Desktop Connection Broker to provide access to the complete functionality with Remote Desktop Services. If a Domain Controller is available on a separate server, it is recommended to use the Standard Remote Desktop Services deployment wizard. This configuration is appropriate when there is only one server on the network. This server can be part of a workgroup or may be configured as a Domain Controller..."

    Kind regards,
    Freek Berson
    The Microsoft Platform
    Wortell company website

    Friday, April 12, 2013 8:23 AM
  • Hi Have a look at the following article:

    Best regards,

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:24 PM