Multi Monitor support in the Vista TS Client.

Multi Monitor support in the Vista TS Client.

  • Comments 92

One of the new features of the Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Client in Windows Vista is the support for multiple monitors.  If the machine running the TS-Client has a multi-monitor configuration that creates one logical rectangle, then the TS-Client can span over all the monitors, creating one virtual desktop of the combined size.

For example, this configuration is suitable for multimon spanning:

 (-1024,0)         |
  --+--------------+------------------> x
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    +--------------+--------------+ (1024,768)
                   | y
                   V

While this configuration is not suitable for multimon spanning:


    |
  --+--------------+--------------+---> x
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    |              |              |
    +--------------+ (1024,768)   |
    |              |              |
    | y            +--------------+ (2304,1024)
    V


You can access the functionality using commandline options, in one of two ways:
If you know the rectangle dimensions of your virtual desktop:


mstsc /w:2048 /h:768 /v:<servername>

or if you want mstsc.exe to figure-out the dimensions:

mstsc /span /v:<servername>

There are a few limitations of multi-monitor spanning:
* The maximum dimensions of the virtual desktop in a TS-Session is hard-coded to 4096x2048, regardless of the color-depth and the available resources on the remote machine.
* The remote session will see your virtual desktop as one giant display.This reduces the complexity of the multi-display implementation in the remote session, while still allowing the windowed mode of the TS-Client to
be functional and viable.

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  • Please add 5 and 2 and type the answer here:
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  • Jake,

    Windows servers limit the screen size for RDP sessions to a maximum of 4096x4096, so unfortunately you won't be able to get the full 5120x1024 when connecting to Windows. This is a hard-coded limit, and there's not currently a way to get around it.

    -Eric

  • Eric,

    Thank you for the information.  Is this true for all versions of Windows Server OS?

  • Eric,

    I'd like to run a hypothetical by you, to get your opinion/advice.  Would it be possible to setup an XPe thin client to RPD into a Windows Server 2003 and have a spanning across 4 monitors with resolution 2560x2048 desktop?  Also, can the thin client then be setup to RDP into a 2003 Server upon startup and retain those resolution settings if the thin client power is cycled.  If this is possible then I suppose a certain video card would be required for the thin client.  What do you think, would this be possible?

  • Hi Jake,

    Regarding your first comment, as far as I know, this restriction is present on all Windows Servers.

    For your second comment, I'm not familiar with XPe or the various thin clients. For the thin client questions, it's probably best to refer those to the thin client vendor. Does XPe run the regular RDP 6.0 or 6.1 client? If so, I'd expect that it would support the /span option needed to span your session across multiple monitors. Since 2560x2048 withs within the 4096x4096 limit, I would think it would work. I can't confirm for sure though.

    -Eric

  • I purchased a computer from http://www.multiplexpc.com/ which came preloaded with Vista and I have not had a single problem with it. All my resolution configurations are working seamlessly.

  • Me 4!

    "Is there any property exposed by mstscax.dll to use this feature?"

    I would love to be able to add the /span flag to Terminals.

  • I have to say I really am appreciative of M$ for adding this feature. Keep making improvements though!

    I got it working just find on an XP worktation accessing another XP Workstation and W2K Server.

  • There's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this at http://www.splitview.com/using-remote-desktop-with-dual-monitors-in-span-mode . It also shows how you can create a RDP file to launch the spanned session by just double clicking the fine.

  • Vista does not support heterogeneous adaptors due to the limitation of WDDM. Plz correct it ao that we can use say an NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards in the same system

  • Applying kb942610 to an SBS 2003 system doesn't solve the problem.  /span still defaults to 8 bits.

  • Ensuring that the following registry entry is set to "1":

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\AllowHigherColorDepth

    Thanks,

    /W

  • I also had the same problem as Tom and Brad Truby... when I tried to connect from a XP SP3 client to a 2003 SP2 server with 2560 * 1600 resolution i was restricted to 8 bit colors.

    The reason for this is a restriction on the 2003 Server. Microsoft has released a hotfix for this - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942610, and I installed this on the server. But it still didn't work.. as other users have expressed.

    It turned out the hotfix doesn't work 100% as intended.. it's supposed to change/add the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal \AllowHigherColorDepth to 1, but it is 0.

    After setting this key to 1 in regedit (as described by Withawhye), it worked perfectly.. 2560 * 1600 in 16 bit color :D

    - Njal

    Filemail.com Admin

  • I spent some time searching the web about Remote Desktop, fullscreen and multiple monitors, so I decided

  • Where do I enter these commands?  I tried using the cmd prompt with no success

    mstsc /w:2048 /h:768 /v:<servername>

    or if you want mstsc.exe to figure-out the dimensions:

    mstsc /span /v:<servername>

  • @fran  On my windows XP. First click on 'Start' and then 'Run'. Type your mstsc command into the Open: textbox and click the OK button.

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