Install Programs on a Terminal Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You should install the Terminal Server role service on the computer before you install any programs that you want to make available to users. If you install the Terminal Server role service on a computer that already has programs installed, some of the existing programs may not work correctly in a multiple user environment. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the affected programs may resolve these issues.

To ensure that an application is installed correctly to work in a multiple user environment, you must put the terminal server into a special installation mode before you install the application on the terminal server. This special installation mode ensures that the correct registry entries and .ini files that are needed to support running the application in a multiple user environment are created during the installation process.

You can put a terminal server into this special installation mode by using either of the following:

  • Install Application on Terminal Server tool under Programs in Control Panel. This tool will run a wizard to help install the application.

  • Change user /install command at a command prompt. You will have to start the installation of the application manually.

After the application is installed, you must put the terminal server into execution mode before remote users begin using the application. The Install Application on Terminal Server tool will automatically put the terminal server into execution mode when it is finished running. To put the terminal server into execution mode from a command prompt, use the change user /execute command.

Additional considerations

  • Some programs may require minor setup modifications to run correctly on a terminal server.

  • If you have programs that are related to each other or have dependencies on each other, you should install the programs on the same terminal server. For example, you should install Microsoft Office as a suite on the same terminal server instead of installing individual Office programs on separate terminal servers.

  • You should consider installing individual programs on separate terminal servers in the following circumstances:

    • The program has compatibility issues that may affect other programs.

    • A single program and the number of associated users may fill server capacity.

  • For more information about the change user command-line tool, see the Terminal Services Command Reference (

  • For more information about deploying programs on a terminal server, see the Terminal Services page on the Windows Server 2008 TechCenter (

Additional references