MSTSC /console switch in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1

Hi All, 


In Windows Server 2003, the /console option was used for several purposes. With the introduction of the /admin option in Windows Server 2008 this have changed.

Windows Server 2008 doesn’t have a concept of a console that you can login to as that session (session 0) is for services and doesn’t have an interactive session associated with it. The /admin switch is to login to the session that would have the physical keyboard/screen attached to it.

With that in mind, here are the following are the examples of /console’s significance in the past and why the scenario does not apply for Windows Server 2008:


1.       In Windows Server 2003, the /console option was used to connect to the session on the physical console (session 0), because some applications could not install and/or run in any session other than session 0. In Windows Server 2008, the windows components are re-architected, so that only services run in session 0 and applications do not need to run in session 0. So, the administrator does not need the /console option for this purpose.


2.       In Windows Server 2003, the /console option was also used for the purpose of reconnecting back and resuming work in the user session on the physical console. In Windows Server 2008, this option is not required to get reconnected to existing session on physical console. Please refer to the blog post on console behavior differences for details.


3.       In Windows Server 2003, the /console option was used for administering the server remotely without consuming a CAL. In Windows Server 2008, /admin option serves this purpose.


So, the /console option is not needed while connecting to Windows Server 2008. The /admin switch can be used to connect to physical console of Windows Server 2003.