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What exactly is the console session in RDP?

When creating a new connection in the Remote Desktops MMC snap-in, there is an option called "Connect to console" which is enabled by default. What is the function of this? How does this make the Remote Desktop session behave differently from any other?

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marked as duplicate by BinaryMisfit Jan 25 '11 at 16:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Thanks, Diago. For some reason that thread didn't come up in my searches. – Iszi Jan 25 '11 at 16:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

On Windows Server 2003 the console session is session 0. Connecting to session 0 via the /console switch when using RDP to connect to the server will connect you to the same session as the physical console. It doesn't behave any differently then any other RDP session. The reasons for connecting to session 0 are because processes/services may be running in session 0, to which an administrator might need to connect to to access/manage said processes/services.

Session 0 has been deprecated in Windows Server 2008.

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As i understand it the windows console is the physical console of the machine. By this I mean if you log in remotely without /console you can have several sessions over the network and one on a physical monitor plugged into the device.

/console make the connection use the one the monitor is using, which will lock the screen of that user until the remote /console session releases it.

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...or until a local user with Administrator rights kicks off the remote session, I presume? – Iszi Jan 25 '11 at 15:13
yes. That'll lock the remote session and you can play session tennis :) – Sirex Jan 25 '11 at 16:38

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