Windows Server 2019: Remote Desktop License Issue with User CALs

If you’re getting the following error message upon connecting to your Windows Server 2019-based Remote Desktop Session Host that is not joined to a domain:

There is a problem with your Remote Desktop license, and your session will be disconnected in 60 minutes. Contact your system administrator to fix this problem.

…I’ve bad news for you: in Windows Server 2019 environment, User CALs require AD. If you insist on using RDS without AD, apparently you’ve to get Device CALs or downgrade to Windows Server 2016 or earlier (also: deleting the L$RTMTIMEBOMB registry key probably won’t help).

As Microsoft states, “CALs cannot be tracked within a workgroup” (yeah, right!). See also: Problem with Windows Server 2019 RDS License (Microsoft TechNet).

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11 Responses to Windows Server 2019: Remote Desktop License Issue with User CALs

  1. Katia Cooper says:

    Got the same problem since the launch of 2019. Hope Microsoft will fix this soon..

  2. Mike Zarei says:

    We have the same issue with Window Server 2019 and User CAL license. Any update on this?

  3. James Cook says:

    This is really annoying. This happened to us since the working from home due to COVID-19. I had to set this server up, had a bunch of fighting with my accounting department and eventually got them to acquiesce to the fact that this was the right way to go about things, and then this happens. I had to restart for a Quickbooks update and then this started happening. I clearly have licenses available, but the server just doesn’t care.

  4. James Cook says:

    That last comment was all over the place… but yes. It’s causing me a lot of headache with a department that I butt heads with a lot.

    I’d hope there’s some sort of fix to this by now. This can’t be right. Charging people so much money for the server license, plus the cost of the CALs, only to have this server try to force you to adding it to a domain, which we don’t have anymore. I don’t want to be forced in to creating another one, but it looks like that might be my only fix…

  5. Lo Fui Sing says:

    I have seen the same problem after change my server IPV 4 address. All the RDS users will see the “60minutes”warning message, while the Admins donnt.
    Then change server IP address to previous IP address, “60 minutes” warning gone.

  6. alsko says:

    I really don’t understand what is annoying or frustrating. Windows 2019 will not allow Terminal Services to work with per User licensing mode and CALs if it’s not in a domain environment. If an admin needs to leave the server on a workgroup environment for whatever reason, they can only use per device CALs and licensing mode. As simple as that. It’s not broken nor does it need a fix. It is what it is. Earlier versions would allow it but could not track down licensing usage so an admin could overallocate by mistake and face legal issues due to not honoring the license agreement. This overallocating possibility is now fixed so no-one has to worry about not honoring the agreement.

  7. David says:

    It should be mentioned that it’s now possible to convert your CALs from per-user to per-device on the fly within RD License Manager. Simply right-click the ones you want to convert and select Convert Licenses. It’ll even allow you to convert a subset of them or all.

  8. abenites says:

    Hi!

    Please try the following to activate the license server. It is currently not activated automatically and the following steps are needed.

    Launch Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
    In the left pane, navigate to Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Licensing
    In the right pane, right click Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers and select Edit
    In the group policy editor dialog, select Enabled
    Enter the local computer name in the License servers to use: field.
    Select OK
    In the right pane, right click Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode and select Edit
    In the grou policy editor dialog, select Enabled
    Set the Licensing mode to Per Device/Per User
    Select OK

    Once the Licensing mode on the RDSH role is configured properly, the notification about the grace period goes away.

  9. Pari says:

    I am using WS 2019, I am in Work Group Mode. I have the Licenses set to Per Device, as many people have mentioned that Per User will NOT work.

    Anyway, I am getting this same 60 minute error, so clearly there is some issue, assuming it to be a Microsoft bug?

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