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I tried connecting to Windows 8 using its built-in Remote Desktop feature, but for some inexplicable reason, it requires that no users are logged in on the target machine before a remote user can log in.

This has never been a problem with rdesktop on Unixen; I could rdesktop from as many machines as I wanted and any logged-in users would never notice a thing.

What's the problem with Windows? Any way to allow concurrent local and remote logins to a Windows 8 machine without hacks or cracks? The "guides" on how to do this that show up in the Google results all suggest replacing a system DLL with a hacked one, but that's not acceptable.

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It's a limitation of the client version. Why would a person need two sessions on their personal computer? There's only one of them. –  ta.speot.is Dec 20 '12 at 10:03
    
As a sysadmin, I need to be able to rdesktop to my users' machines. –  segmentation fault Dec 20 '12 at 10:05
    
Well just connect to the machine. You should get an option to kick them off so you can log in. If you want to share the session, get remote support software. –  ta.speot.is Dec 20 '12 at 10:08
    
@segmentationfault You may wish to look at Remote Assistance if you don't want third party software. –  Bob Dec 20 '12 at 11:45
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The 'client' versions of Windows do not allow multiple users to be logged in at the same time, or permit multiple desktop sessions. Only the server versions allow this.

If you want to be able to control the users machines while they are still logged in without interrupting their session, then you need to either use the Remote Assistance mechanism (instead of Remote Desktop) - or switch to something like VNC.

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It's a licensing thing, not a problem with Windows. Windows is obviously capable of concurrent RDP sessions because the server versions allow two out of the box, for admin. Or many sessions if it has the appropriate licenses installed.

Client versions of Windows allow one user at a time. This is not how it works in the *nix world of course, but there we are. Different models.

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While it is true it comes down to trying to seperate features into different products. Windows has offered both Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop since Windows XP. –  Ramhound Dec 20 '12 at 12:04
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All the client Windows OS will have this issue. In the case of servers they come with two free licenses for Remote Desktop. In case you need more, you will have to buy extra licenses.

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