Q: How do I enable full desktop publishing using Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services?
A: Windows Server 2012 features a new scenario-based deployment capability that enables you to quickly enable VDI or session virtualization environments. When enabling a session virtualization environment, by default the configuration is in an application publishing mode, which is where specific applications such as Calculator, Paint and Wordpad are published to users instead of a complete desktop.
Windows Server 2012 doesn't allow a single Remote Desktop Session Host to publish applications. Enabling the publishing of a desktop instead of applications is actually a very simple process:
- Start Server Manager.
Navigate to Remote Desktop Services, Collections,
- In the RemoteApp programs area, select the Unpublish RemoteApp Programs task and unpublish ALL published applications.
- Once all applications are unpublished, the server will switch from RemoteApp Programs resources to Remote Desktop.
- Users will now see the option to connect to a desktop instead of specific applications.
The screen shot below shows the process and the change to the user experience.