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Remote Desktop /admin Connection to VMWare at 1920x1200

Author: Bob Swart
Posted: 3/7/2009 4:56:51 PM (GMT+1)

The Remote Desktop Connection Client 6.1 has been modified, enhanced, and causing me some grief (which I've been able to solve).

First of all, I use VMWare Workstation a lot (have been for 10 years now). I've built numerous VMWare guest OS clients for different version of Windows, hosting different versions of Delphi and projects I'm working on (this makes it easy to work on a project and take everything with me on a new machine without having to re-install everything - but that's a topic for another day).

I never work directly in these VMWare sessions, but always use Remote Desktop to connect into them (tip: only if your host is Windows Vista, then you can get the Aero experience of a VMWare running Vista as guest as well).

The downside of the old version of Remote Desktop is that it supported resolutions of up to 1600x1200, and that's too bad, since my main monitors are 1920x1200 (I have four monitors in total connected to my development workstation, while my development server is only hosting the VMWare clients - with lots of memory).

Anyway, the good news is that the new version of Remote Desktop supports 1920x1200, so I was happy to use it.
The bad news is that Microsoft decided to remove the /console switch from Remote Desktop.
The reason being that /console is no longer used in Windows Server 2008, where this (console) session is meant for services.
But I also use Remote Desktop to connect to my Windows Server 2003 machine, which hosts - among others - and my webcams, and I need to connect to the console because that's where the webcams are operating.

Fortunately, there is a hardly documented new switch /admin now, which does the same that /console did.
So I just need to connect to my machines using /admin instead of /console from now on.

The final bit of bad news is that my list of connections in Remote Desktop is already pre-filled with a most recently used list, still showing /console all over the place.
And while I can slowly add the /admin entries and move /console to the bottom, I would rather change all old /console parts to /admin and use my existing list.

For this, I needed to go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default and edit the MRU items, changing the /console part from their value to /admin.
I hope others can benefit from this experience as well (both for Remote Desktop and VMWare Workstation).



Jay Faubion 09/03/08 12:51:41Bob, I don't understand why you use Remote Desktop to connect to the VMWare sessions. Can you elaborate? I also use the VMWare workstation for all my development work.
Bob Swart 09/03/08 13:00:03I have one VMWare server machine with 4GB of memory inside, which only runs Windows and VMWare Workstation plus up to 3 VMWare clients with guest operating systems at a time. This server is not my main develoment machine.
On my main develoment workstation - with 4 monitors attached to it - I run Thunderbird, Skype, internet browsers, and several other applications that I use for my daily work. Plus one or more (up to three) Remote Desktop connections to other machines: usually one to my web(cam) server and two to VMWare clients that both run on the VMWare server machine. These VMWare clients contain the clean Windows + Delphi machines and the project files I need. No clutter between software, and my main workstation doesn't have all components and settings for all my projects - only for my personal stuff.
Another benefit is that I can copy the VMWare clients and take them with me on my laptop to work when I'm somewhere else (a fast network connection is helpful - wifi won't cut it for a 10 GB VMWare client image size).
Olaf Monien 09/03/08 15:08:09Up to 3 VMWare clients on a 4GB host? Hm, I doubt that this would give a "comfortable" working experience. With these days extremely cheap RAM prices you should really consider upgrading your server to 8GB+ (and of course 64 bit). That will make much more fun - at least thats my experience ...
Bob Swart 09/03/08 16:12:49The VMWare clients only contain the development environment (like Delphi 7, Delphi 2007 for Win32, Delphi 2009, or Delphi Prism) plus the third-party components and project files. The DBMS and web server (where needed) are all running elsewhere on deployment servers - without Delphi on them, for the real clean-machine deployment experience. This means that inside the VMWare clients, I seldom need more than 1 GB each (the exception is Delphi Prism, because Visual Studio seems allocate more and more memory, reporting out-of-memory errors after half a day of ASP.NET work with 1 GB RAM or less in the client).
A 64-bit server with 8 GB, and VMWare clients all using 2 GB is something I plan to do in the future, but not before I get my hands on a 64-bits version of the Delphi compiler to play with ;-)
Christoph Roeper 09/03/09 09:08:29For managing Remote Desktop Connections I suggest to use Royal TS at "", nice tool to manage multiple connections, and protects you against dealing with gory cmd-line switches. Old versions used to be (and still are) freeware and open source, since version 1.6 they seemed to have switched to shareware though. You need to have .NET Framework 3.5 installed, but this shouldn't be an issue if you do Prism or VS.NET development as well.
Robert Wachtel 09/03/09 20:46:00What graphics card do you have in your workstation?
Bob Swart 09/03/10 16:28:17I have a RADEON 9250 (dual head) as well as a Matrox Millenium G550 Low-Profile PCI, both with two monitors attached. One at 1920x1200, two at 1600x1200 (one will be upgraded to 1920x1200 as well soon), and the last one at 1280x1024 (for remoting to the web(cam) server). I can now finally use the 1920x1200 effectively using Remote Desktop! I'm running Windows XP and Vista (dual-boot) on my development machine, but the VMWare clients are running all kinds of versions of Windows: from XP, 2003 and Vista to 2008 (the 95, 98, NT, 2000, and Linux clients haven't been used in a while now).
Bob Swart 09/03/10 16:31:39I used to have a fifth monitor attached using VGA2USB, but only at 1024x768, so that one was little used and is now connected to a TV received box (turning TV signal to VGA), useful sometimes for watching soccer. It's still a "matrix feeling" when you see my workplace (especially with the two laptops side-by-side as well, offering 7 screens to look at).
Alin Sfetcu 09/05/08 19:35:10will be interesting to see some photos of you workspace :)
Bob Swart 09/05/11 08:56:04You can see my workspace in the following photo: 2 displays at 1920x1200, one at 1600x1200 (above the two big ones), one at 1280x1024 (on the right, showing webcam images).

The one on the upper right is connected to a TV receiver. I seldom use that one, to be honest.
Mustafa 10/05/26 17:56:04Thanks!
michael 12/01/17 12:17:12good

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