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Single Sign-On for Terminal Services

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

What is single sign-on for Terminal Services?

Single sign-on is an authentication method that allows a user with a domain account to log on once by using a password, and then gain access to remote servers without being asked for their credentials again.

Key scenarios for single sign-on

The key scenarios for single sign-on are:

  • Line-of-business (LOB) applications deployment

  • Centralized application deployment

Due to lower maintenance costs, many companies prefer to install their LOB applications on a terminal server and make these applications available through RemoteApps or Remote Desktop. Single sign-on makes it possible to give users a better experience by eliminating the need for users to enter credentials every time they initiate a remote session.

Prerequisites for deploying single sign-on

To implement single sign-on functionality in Terminal Services, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • You can only use single sign-on for remote connections from a Windows Vista┬«-based computer to a Windows Server┬« 2008-based terminal server. You can also use single sign-on for remote connections from a Windows Server 2008-based server to a Windows Server 2008-based server.

  • Make sure that the user accounts that are used for logging on have appropriate rights to log on to both the terminal server and the Windows Vista client.

  • Your client computer and terminal server must be joined to a domain.

  • You must use password-based authentication. Smart cards are not supported.

To configure the recommended settings for your terminal server, complete the following steps:

  • Configure authentication on the terminal server.

  • Configure the Windows Vista-based computer to allow default credentials to be used for logging on to the specified terminal servers.

To configure authentication on the server

  1. Open Terminal Services Configuration. To open Terminal Services Configuration, click Start, click Run, type tsconfig.msc and then click OK.

  2. Under Connections, right-click RDP-Tcp, and then click Properties.

  3. In the Properties dialog box, on the General tab, verify that the Security Layer value is either Negotiate or SSL (TLS 1.0), and then click OK.

To allow default credential usage for single sign-on

  1. On the Windows Vista-based computer, open the Local Group Policy Editor. To open Local Group Policy Editor, click Start, and in the Start Search box, type gpedit.msc and then press ENTER.

  2. In the left pane, expand the following: Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System, and then click Credentials Delegation.

  3. Double-click Allow Delegating Default Credentials.

  4. In the Properties dialog box, on the Setting tab, click Enabled, and then click Show.

  5. In the Show Contents dialog box, click Add to add servers to the list.

  6. In the Add Item dialog box, in the Enter the item to be added box, type the prefix termsrv/ followed by the name of the terminal server; for example, termsrv/Server1, and then click OK.

Additional references

For information about other new features in Terminal Services, see What's New in Terminal Services for Windows Server 2008.