Article ID: 1313, created on Oct 6, 2008, last review on Mar 11, 2015

  • Applies to:
  • Virtuozzo containers for Windows


At least one Windows Server 2003 license server is required to join our Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server environment. For small deployments, it is acceptable to install both Terminal Server and the Terminal Server Licensing service on the same physical computer. However, for larger deployments we suggest that Terminal Server Licensing be installed on a separate server.

To install Terminal Server Licensing:

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.

2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

3. In the dialog box, select Terminal Server Licensing.

4. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components Wizard.

After Terminal Server Licensing is installed, the server becomes a license server and you are asked whether you want to activate the license server. Activating the license server is highly recommended. Terminal Server running on Windows Server
2003 operates for 120 days before it must discover an activated license server.

Important: If you do not activate the license server within 120 days, Terminal Server will no longer operate.

A license server is not considered operational until it is activated. If you do not activate the license server as a part of the installation itself (as is highly recommended), you can activate it later.

To activate Terminal Server Licensing:

1. On the computer running Terminal Server License Server, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Terminal Server Licensing.

2. If the License Server has not been activated, in the console tree, right-click the Terminal Server License Server you want to activate.

3. Click Activate Server to start the Activation Wizard.

4. In the Activation method list, select Automatic connection (recommended), and then click Next.

5. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

When you have completed all the preceding tasks, Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server can operate in two licensing modes: Per Device (default factory setting) and Per User. By default, Terminal Server Licensing is configured in Per Device mode.

A Per Device CAL gives each client computer or device the right to access a terminal server that is running Windows Server 2003. If you install Per Device CALs on your license server, you need to ensure that the licensing mode on Terminal Server is set to "Per Device."

Using Per User licensing, one user can access a terminal server from an unlimited number of devices and only one CAL is needed instead of a CAL for each device. If you purchase and install Per User CALs on your license server, you must set the licensing mode to "Per User."

Note: Per User Licensing is not monitored by Terminal Server. This means that when you install Per User CALs, you should not expect the number of available Per User CALs to be monitored.

For more information about Per User versus Per Device CALs, see Choosing the Licensing Mode.
Each device or user must have a valid CAL for connection to Terminal Server. You must purchase and install Terminal Server CALs on the computer running Terminal Server Licensing. Before purchasing CALs, understand that Windows Server 2003 gives you Per User or Per Device based on the type of CAL.

To purchase Terminal Server CALs, contact your preferred Microsoft Software Advisor as follows:

• In the United States, call (800) 426-9400 or visit the Microsoft Licensing Program Reseller website.

• In Canada, call the Microsoft Resource Center at (877) 568-2495.

• If you are outside the United States or Canada, please review the Worldwide Microsoft Licensing website or contact your local Microsoft subsidiary on the Microsoft Worldwide Home website.

For more information about the significance of Terminal Server CALs, refer to the Knowledge Base article,
The Function of Terminal Server CALs in Windows
Server 2003

Terminal Server Licensing is of no value without Terminal Server CAL tokens—an electronic representation of a Terminal Server CAL—which it can issue to various Terminal Servers. The Terminal Servers, in turn, can pass the tokens to the client devices connected to those Terminal Servers. After you purchase the appropriate type and quantity of Terminal Server CALs, you need to install them on the computer running Terminal Server Licensing.

To install CALs:

1. On the computer running Terminal Server Licensing, click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools,Terminal Server Licensing.

2. Select the license server in the right pane, and then on the Action menu, Install, Licenses.

3. Follow the steps in the wizard for a successful installation of the CALs.

Find additional information here:

Additional information

General Terminal Server licensing service issues troubleshooting steps are described in Microsoft Technet:
The terminal server cannot locate the license server

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