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Any Reason NOT to use an Windows Client-Version for Terminalserver?


Hey Guys,

I’m tasked with re-building a small terminalserver for 2-6 users mostly doing office-work via RDP. To save costs, I would like to go with non-server hard- and software. Something like a Ryzen 1700, 64Gig Ram and a Win 10 Pro License.

My question: Is there any reason why you would go with a server 2016 in this use-case? Is there any licensing-issue when using a standard windows 10 pro in a multi-user-business-environment?

Thank for your help!


Are multiple users going to be accessing the machine at once? If so, look into Windows server and what options are available for that feature.



Also, I mean I understand you’re trying to save money here, but that likely isn’t going to work the way you want it to. I mean 10 pro has enough issues by itself. I don’t want to imagine what a terminal server with 10 operates like. I’ve seen a hacked windows 7 terminal server that was terrible.

Server 2016 and terminal stuff is designed for multiple users on the same machine. I would see about the software you’re using for this as well.

In any case, if 10 is what you’re looking for, just get them individual machines and have them use a share or something. Having 10 as a server is likely more trouble than its worth, not to mention I’m pretty sure its a no-no in Microsoft’s book.

Last but not least, I would check your hardware support. I don’t know much about the compatibility of Ryzen in regards to Server 2016. I don’t imagine this to be a problem, but you might want to do your own research first.


This is the critical question. If it’s only going to be one user at a time, it’s literally a workstation, not a server.


Up to a few years ago, I had been dealing with this since Citrix came out with the original WinFrame (Windows NT terminal server 3.51).

If you are running Windows in a work environment (not just goofing around in a home lab) you really need to worry about being properly licensed with desktop/terminal Client Access Licenses (CALs). And they are real dicks about wanting licenses for everyone who CAN access the software even if they never will.

Don’t think, “Who will know.” All it takes is a report from one disgruntled employee to get the software “police” in for an audit.

So, if you have 10 people using remote desktop to a windows box, you’ll need to get a version of Server that has Remote Desktop Services (aka Terminal Services) and 10 RDS CALs. You might need regular file server CALs as well depending on your use-case.

It adds up pretty quick, won’t save you any money, and often isn’t worth the trouble unless you are running some very expensive, specialized software package on the server that requires a dongle or something.

Having said that, setting up a beefy Linux server and using thin clients to give a bunch of worker-bees access to a MATE desktop with LibreOffice can work well. Or a bunch of Chromeboxes and G Suite (google apps) can be cheap too.


Thanks for the replies.

This was the information, I was looking for:

So, windows sever it is. It’s not my system and I’m just trying to help a friend with his business, so while I appreciate the input on other solutions, I don’t really want to change too much.

The famous words “Well, it’s actually pretty easy, you just have to…” made me hobby-admin for more than enough systems :slight_smile: