Enabling Remote Desktop via Group Policy

In a previous post, I provided some details on the “Jameson Datacenter” (a.k.a. my home lab). In a follow-up post, I also discussed the Active Directory domain structure and mentioned how I use the Group Policy feature of Active Directory to “effortlessly” configure new servers.

For example, I have defined a Group Policy (named Enable Terminal Services Policy) with the following settings:

  • Computer Configuration

    • Policies

      • Windows Settings

        • Security Settings

          • Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

            • Inbound Rules

              • Remote Desktop (TCP-In)

                • Enabled: Yes

                • Action: Allow

      • Administrative Templates

        • Windows Components

          • Terminal Services

            • Terminal Server

              • Connections

                • Allow users to connect remotely using Terminal Services: Enabled

By linking this Group Policy to the appropriate OUs (e.g. Development/Resources/Servers) I do not have to manually enable Remote Desktop connections on each new server (e.g. a new SharePoint development VM). Instead this is automatically configured as soon as I join a server to the domain and reboot.

I’ll cover some of the other Group Policy objects in subsequent posts.

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