Remote Desktop Web Client Microsoft

Posted onby

Remote Desktop Web Client Unable to launch Applications in Browser (external). I have published the rdweb client following the microsoft documentation with a few. The Remote Desktop web client lets users access your organization's Remote Desktop infrastructure through a compatible web browser. They'll be able to interact with remote apps or desktops like they would with a local PC no matter where they are. Windows Virtual Desktop has been pivotal during this pandemic for a lot of business. Most of our customers are using the Remote Desktop (MSRDC) – WVD client for Windows 10 application to access virtual apps and desktops. This gives the most feature-rich integration with your local physical client device. One of the benefits of your Microsoft 365 E3 (and above) license services is the access. Microsoft provides a new Remote Desktop client (MSRDC) for use with WVD. This client supports modern Azure authentication and runs on Windows 7, Windows 10, and Windows 10 IoT. The client is available as an MSI package for distribution and management in an enterprise environment and installs without the need for an administrator account. . Starting with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709), look for Remote Desktop under System in the Settings app instead of using the Remote Desktop Assistant. Microsoft Remote Desktop assistant allows you to configure your PC for remote access From your Windows PC, access the Microsoft Remote Desktop assistant to configure it for remote access from another device using the Remote Desktop.

-->

The Remote Desktop web client lets users access your organization's Remote Desktop infrastructure through a compatible web browser. They'll be able to interact with remote apps or desktops like they would with a local PC no matter where they are. Once you set up your Remote Desktop web client, all your users need to get started is the URL where they can access the client, their credentials, and a supported web browser.

Important

The web client does support using Azure AD Application Proxy but does not support Web Application Proxy at all. See Using RDS with application proxy services for details.

What you'll need to set up the web client

Before getting started, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure your Remote Desktop deployment has an RD Gateway, an RD Connection Broker, and RD Web Access running on Windows Server 2016 or 2019.
  • Make sure your deployment is configured for per-user client access licenses (CALs) instead of per-device, otherwise all licenses will be consumed.
  • Install the Windows 10 KB4025334 update on the RD Gateway. Later cumulative updates may already contains this KB.
  • Make sure public trusted certificates are configured for the RD Gateway and RD Web Access roles.
  • Make sure that any computers your users will connect to are running one of the following OS versions:
    • Windows 10
    • Windows Server 2008R2 or later

Your users will see better performance connecting to Windows Server 2016 (or later) and Windows 10 (version 1611 or later).

Important

If you used the web client during the preview period and installed a version prior to 1.0.0, you must first uninstall the old client before moving to the new version. If you receive an error that says 'The web client was installed using an older version of RDWebClientManagement and must first be removed before deploying the new version,' follow these steps:

  1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt.
  2. Run Uninstall-Module RDWebClientManagement to uninstall the new module.
  3. Close and reopen the elevated PowerShell prompt.
  4. Run Install-Module RDWebClientManagement -RequiredVersion <old version> to install the old module.
  5. Run Uninstall-RDWebClient to uninstall the old web client.
  6. Run Uninstall-Module RDWebClientManagement to uninstall the old module.
  7. Close and reopen the elevated PowerShell prompt.
  8. Proceed with the normal installation steps as follows.

How to publish the Remote Desktop web client

To install the web client for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. On the RD Connection Broker server, obtain the certificate used for Remote Desktop connections and export it as a .cer file. Copy the .cer file from the RD Connection Broker to the server running the RD Web role.

  2. On the RD Web Access server, open an elevated PowerShell prompt.

  3. On Windows Server 2016, update the PowerShellGet module since the inbox version doesn't support installing the web client management module. To update PowerShellGet, run the following cmdlet:

    Important

    You'll need to restart PowerShell before the update can take effect, otherwise the module may not work.

  4. Install the Remote Desktop web client management PowerShell module from the PowerShell gallery with this cmdlet:

  5. After that, run the following cmdlet to download the latest version of the Remote Desktop web client:

  6. Next, run this cmdlet with the bracketed value replaced with the path of the .cer file that you copied from the RD Broker:

  7. Finally, run this cmdlet to publish the Remote Desktop web client:

    Make sure you can access the web client at the web client URL with your server name, formatted as https://server_FQDN/RDWeb/webclient/index.html. It's important to use the server name that matches the RD Web Access public certificate in the URL (typically the server FQDN).

    Note

    When running the Publish-RDWebClientPackage cmdlet, you may see a warning that says per-device CALs are not supported, even if your deployment is configured for per-user CALs. If your deployment uses per-user CALs, you can ignore this warning. We display it to make sure you're aware of the configuration limitation.

  8. When you're ready for users to access the web client, just send them the web client URL you created.

Note

To see a list of all supported cmdlets for the RDWebClientManagement module, run the following cmdlet in PowerShell:

How to update the Remote Desktop web client

When a new version of the Remote Desktop web client is available, follow these steps to update the deployment with the new client:

  1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt on the RD Web Access server and run the following cmdlet to download the latest available version of the web client:

  2. Optionally, you can publish the client for testing before official release by running this cmdlet:

    The client should appear on the test URL that corresponds to your web client URL (for example, https://server_FQDN/RDWeb/webclient-test/index.html).

  3. Publish the client for users by running the following cmdlet:

    This will replace the client for all users when they relaunch the web page.

How to uninstall the Remote Desktop web client

To remove all traces of the web client, follow these steps:

  1. On the RD Web Access server, open an elevated PowerShell prompt.

  2. Unpublish the Test and Production clients, uninstall all local packages and remove the web client settings:

  3. Uninstall the Remote Desktop web client management PowerShell module:

How to install the Remote Desktop web client without an internet connection

Follow these steps to deploy the web client to an RD Web Access server that doesn't have an internet connection.

Note

Installing without an internet connection is available in version 1.0.1 and above of the RDWebClientManagement PowerShell module.

Note

You still need an admin PC with internet access to download the necessary files before transferring them to the offline server.

Note

The end-user PC needs an internet connection for now. This will be addressed in a future release of the client to provide a complete offline scenario.

From a device with internet access

  1. Open a PowerShell prompt.

  2. Import the Remote Desktop web client management PowerShell module from the PowerShell gallery:

  3. Download the latest version of the Remote Desktop web client for installation on a different device:

  4. Download the latest version of the RDWebClientManagement PowerShell module:

  5. Copy the content of 'C:WebClient' to the RD Web Access server.

From the RD Web Access server

Follow the instructions under How to publish the Remote Desktop web client, replacing steps 4 and 5 with the following.

  1. You have two options to retrieve the latest web client management PowerShell module:

    • Import the Remote Desktop web client management PowerShell module:
    • Copy the downloaded RDWebClientManagement folder to one of the local PowerShell module folders listed under $env:psmodulePath, or add the path to the folder with the downloaded files to the $env:psmodulePath.
  2. Deploy the latest version of the Remote Desktop web client from the local folder (replace with the appropriate zip file):

Connecting to RD Broker without RD Gateway in Windows Server 2019

This section describes how to enable a web client connection to an RD Broker without an RD Gateway in Windows Server 2019.

Setting up the RD Broker server

Follow these steps if there is no certificate bound to the RD Broker server

  1. Open Server Manager > Remote Desktop Services.

  2. In Deployment Overview section, select the Tasks dropdown menu.

  3. Select Edit Deployment Properties, a new window titled Deployment Properties will open.

  4. In the Deployment Properties window, select Certificates in the left menu.

  5. In the list of Certificate Levels, select RD Connection Broker - Enable Single Sign On. You have two options: (1) create a new certificate or (2) an existing certificate.

Follow these steps if there is a certificate previously bound to the RD Broker server

  1. Open the certificate bound to the Broker and copy the Thumbprint value.

  2. To bind this certificate to the secure port 3392, open an elevated PowerShell window and run the following command, replacing '< thumbprint >' with the value copied from the previous step:

    Note

    To check if the certificate has been bound correctly, run the following command:

    In the list of SSL Certificate bindings, ensure that the correct certificate is bound to port 3392.

  3. Open the Windows Registry (regedit), go to HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal ServerWinStationsRDP-Tcp and locate the key WebSocketURI. Next, set the value to https://+:3392/rdp/.

Client

Setting up the RD Session Host

Follow these steps if the RD Session Host server is different from the RD Broker server:

  1. Create a certificate for the RD Session Host machine, open it and copy the Thumbprint value.

  2. To bind this certificate to the secure port 3392, open an elevated PowerShell window and run the following command, replacing '< thumbprint >' with the value copied from the previous step:

    Note

    To check if the certificate has been bound correctly, run the following command:

    In the list of SSL Certificate bindings, ensure that the correct certificate is bound to port 3392.

  3. Open the Windows Registry (regedit) and navigate to HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal ServerWinStationsRDP-Tcp and locate the key WebSocketURI. The value must be set to https://+:3392/rdp/.

General Observations

  • Ensure that both the RD Session Host and RD Broker server are running Windows Server 2019.

  • Ensure that public trusted certificates are configured for both the RD Session Host and RD Broker server.

    Note

    If both the RD Session Host and the RD Broker server share the same machine, set the RD Broker server certificate only. If the RD Session Host and RD Broker server use different machines, both must be configured with unique certificates.

  • The Subject Alternative Name (SAN) for each certificate must be set to the machine's Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). The Common Name (CN) must match the SAN for each certificate.

How to pre-configure settings for Remote Desktop web client users

This section will tell you how to use PowerShell to configure settings for your Remote Desktop web client deployment. These PowerShell cmdlets control a user's ability to change settings based on your organization's security concerns or intended workflow. The following settings are all located in the Settings side panel of the web client.

Suppress telemetry

By default, users may choose to enable or disable collection of telemetry data that is sent to Microsoft. For information about the telemetry data Microsoft collects, please refer to our Privacy Statement via the link in the About side panel.

As an administrator, you can choose to suppress telemetry collection for your deployment using the following PowerShell cmdlet:

By default, the user may select to enable or disable telemetry. A boolean value $false will match the default client behavior. A boolean value $true disables telemetry and restricts the user from enabling telemetry.

Remote resource launch method

Note

This setting currently only works with the RDS web client, not the Windows Virtual Desktop web client.

By default, users may choose to launch remote resources (1) in the browser or (2) by downloading an .rdp file to handle with another client installed on their machine. As an administrator, you can choose to restrict the remote resource launch method for your deployment with the following PowerShell command:

By default, the user may select either launch method. A boolean value $true will force the user to launch resources in the browser. A boolean value $false will force the user to launch resources by downloading an .rdp file to handle with a locally installed RDP client.

Reset RDWebClientDeploymentSetting configurations to default

To reset a deployment-level web client setting to the default configuration, run the following PowerShell cmdlet and use the -name parameter to specify the setting you want to reset:

Troubleshooting

If a user reports any of the following issues when opening the web client for the first time, the following sections will tell you what to do to fix them.

What to do if the user's browser shows a security warning when they try to access the web client

The RD Web Access role might not be using a trusted certificate. Make sure the RD Web Access role is configured with a publicly trusted certificate.

If that doesn't work, your server name in the web client URL might not match the name provided by the RD Web certificate. Make sure your URL uses the FQDN of the server hosting the RD Web role.

What to do if the user can't connect to a resource with the web client even though they can see the items under All Resources

If the user reports that they can't connect with the web client even though they can see the resources listed, check the following things:

  • Is the RD Gateway role properly configured to use a trusted public certificate?
  • Does the RD Gateway server have the required updates installed? Make sure that your server has the KB4025334 update installed.

If the user gets an 'unexpected server authentication certificate was received' error message when they try to connect, then the message will show the certificate's thumbprint. Search the RD Broker server's certificate manager using that thumbprint to find the right certificate. Verify that the certificate is configured to be used for the RD Broker role in the Remote Desktop deployment properties page. After making sure the certificate hasn't expired, copy the certificate in .cer file format to the RD Web Access server and run the following command on the RD Web Access server with the bracketed value replaced by the certificate's file path:

Diagnose issues with the console log

If you can't solve the issue based on the troubleshooting instructions in this article, you can try to diagnose the source of the problem yourself by watching the console log in the browser. The web client provides a method for recording the browser console log activity while using the web client to help diagnose issues.

  • Select the ellipsis in the upper-right corner and navigate to the About page in the dropdown menu.
  • Under Capture support information select the Start recording button.
  • Perform the operation(s) in the web client that produced the issue you are trying to diagnose.
  • Navigate to the About page and select Stop recording.
  • Your browser will automatically download a .txt file titled RD Console Logs.txt. This file will contain the full console log activity generated while reproducing the target issue.
Remote

The console may also be accessed directly through your browser. The console is generally located under the developer tools. For example, you can access the log in Microsoft Edge by pressing the F12 key, or by selecting the ellipsis, then navigating to More tools > Developer Tools.

Get help with the web client

If you've encountered an issue that can't be solved by the information in this article, you can report it on Tech Community. You can also request or vote for new features at our suggestion box.

Everyone will be familiar with the Remote Desktop client called MSTSC. Since a few years, Microsoft also has a Remote Desktop client for other platforms like iOS, Mac OS X and Android, available for download from the App Store, the Mac App Store, and the Google Play Store.

As a next step, Microsoft now also has a web client based on HTML5 (currently into preview), called the RD Web Client. This blog post runs through the setup, based on the early preview that I tested. The Remote Desktop Web Client is installed as an extension of the RD Web Access role.

Requirements

The requirements for the Web Client are as follows;

· RD deployment with Gateway, Broker and WebAccess roles all running Server 2016 Operating System. The endpoints (RDSH or Windows Client SKUs) can be running any Windows Operating System starting from Windows 7 SP1 / Windows Server 2008 R2. The client performance will however be better when connecting to Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 Anniversary Edition or later.

· The RD deployment should NOT be configured to use per-device license.

· The Server 2016 machine hosting RD Gateway role must have this update installed – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4025334/windows-10-update-kb4025334

· The Gateway and WebAccess roles should be using public trusted certificates

· The client should work on most HTML5 capable browsers and has official support for Edge, IE11, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Mobile devices are not supported.

Installation

By the time the client releases, new PowerShell CmdLets will be available to deploy, manage and configure the client. Based on the current beta, here’s an example of what these cmdlets might look.

We open an Administrative PowerShell console and run the following commands:

Import-Module ($Env:ProgramFiles + “rd-html5-manageRDWebClientManagement”)
Install-RDWebClientPackage

Next, we copy the certificate used by the RD Web Access role. Optionally export it first, and make sure to include the private key. Then run the following commands in the PowerShell Admin console.

Import-RDWebClientBrokerCert <cer file>
Publish-RDWebClientPackage -Production -Latest

Easy as that! HTML5 support is now added to the RD Web Access role!

Note, in the beta release the Import-RDWebClientBrokerCert currently does not accept password protected pfx files. Make sure you export the certificate using the security principal option as shown below.

Testing

To test the HTML5 web client, open a browser (currently Edge, IE 11, Google Chrome browsers are all officially supported) and browse to https://<publicdomain>/RDWeb/Pages/webclient. For example, in my case I tested an Azure IaaS setup with 2 RD Web Access servers behind an Azure Load balancer. I created a public DNS record for rds.rdsgurus.com and pointed that to the public IP of the Azure Load Balancer. I then browsed to https://rds.rdsgurus.com/RDWeb/Pages/webclient.

At first you will see the regular RD Web Access login screen and you login with a test account as you normally would too.

After logging in you will see the following screen, this is the HTML5 web client containing the 4 sample RemoteApps I published in the RDS deployment.

If you click on one of the RemoteApps an RDP session will be launched. Note that currently you will get an additional prompt for the first RemoteApp as there is no full Single Sign On yet.

Since this was the first RemoteApp, the RDS session will now process the logon.

And shortly after, the RemoteApp is now available within the browser.

From this point, you can navigate to the bar on the left-hand side and switch between applications and launch new application. All RemoteApps are available within the same screen to allow to work with multiple application easily.

The RD Web Client also allows you to copy-paste between your local machine. It is however currently limited to text only.

There is also support for Remote Audio.

For further management, the RDWebClientManagement PowerShell module beta version also comes with a few other Cmdlets to retrieve the package information, certificate and to uninstall the package. Note that these Cmdlets might slightly change once the PowerShell module reaches general availability.

If you want all users to be redirected to the Web Client instead of the traditional RD Web Access page, you can run the following command on the RD Web Access Server

Set-WebConfiguration system.webServer/httpRedirect “IIS:sitesDefault Web Site” -Value @{enabled=”true”;destination=”https://<domainname>/rdweb/pages/webclient”;exactDestination=”false”;httpResponseStatus=”Permanent”;childOnly=”true”};

Or change the same value using IIS Manager:

Remote Desktop Web Client Microsoft

The RD Web Client also comes with printing support. A virtual printer called “Microsoft Print to PDF” is available in the user’s session. Don’t be confused by the postfix “redirected 3”. This is not a redirected printer, the name will most likely change so that it is clear that it’s a virtual printer. By virtual printer we mean that the printing to this printer will result in a .pdf file that is transported and opened on the local client. From that local client it can then be printed to any locally available printer.

I’m able to print to this redirected printer

Which results in the pdf being locally available

And in this case, I opened it in my local browser to then print to a locally available printer.

Microsoft Html5-based Remote Desktop Web Client

This concludes a first walkthrough of the RD Web Client that is coming up, based on the current preview version. I will share more details on this new client as they come in. If you are currently using RDS in a production environment and would like to test drive the RD Web Client functionality. Feel free to reach out to me so that I can help to get onboarded on the preview.