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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6 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…

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