The best Freeware Tools for your Terminal Server Infrastructure. Part 2
- Published: Tuesday, 17 October 2006
This article is the sequence of the already published article Best Freeware Tools for your TS Infrastructure Part 1.
In part 1 the best freeware tools are described for Published Applications, Web Interface and CPU and Memory Management. Also tools Provided by Citrix and Microsoft themselves are mentioned. In Part this article I continue with the best freeware tools for the subjects Security, Troubleshooting, Policies, Profiles, Softgrid and more.
Securing your Terminal Server is one of the basic concepts. Security on Terminal Server handles about access to the servers, access rights on the server, access to applications, preventing viruses and much more. This tools can help you make your infrastructure more secure.
With 2X SecureRDP you can control access to your Terminal Server by accepting or denying connection via IP, Mac address, computer name, client version or based on time of day. Clients not meeting the restrictions won’t even see the logon screen. Easy way to secure your environment a bit more. 2X SecureRDP can be found at 2X Website
With TsConSec 1.3 you can script and automate connection settings, which can not be configured in another automated way (like policies). With TsConSec you can set allow and deny permissions on RDP and ICA connections and other connections using a special swith. TsConSec is developed by Bas Blauw, the latest version can be downloaded at Thincomputing.net.
AppScape Lockdown Utility
AppScape Lockdown Utility lets you turn off the X in the top right hand corner of an application. This forces your users to log out of application and desktops in stead of disconnecting by pushing the X button. Download can be found at Dabcc.com.
When you are a consultant and setups several farms you probably every implementation should disable the drives viewable and accessible for the users. This can be done easily via several ADM templates. But if you specify which drives are viewable you should count a value which should be included in your ADM template. There are several tools available to help you get that value. Some good assistance you get from
True Control Template
For years SBC specialists are sharing their knowledge about configuring and tuning the Terminal and Citrix servers with tweaks to files an registry settings. Lots of the tweaks are combined by Jeroen van de Kamp in True Control Template. This template consists of ADM files which can be loaded into the GPO editor, so you can assign the tweaks to you server via GPO’s. Download the True Control Template at the Login Consultants Portal.
Softgrid Policy Template
Also your Softgrid environment can be tuned by configuring several registry settings. Rodney Medina found out all these settings and combined them in a policy template to add to your GPO policies. Download the template at Rodney's Website.
Sofgrid Command-Line Import
If you are using Softricity you know that adding a sequence to the environment is a pretty time consuming action. Daniel Nikolic developed the Softgrid Command-Line Import utility to make life a little bit easier. With this tool you can import Softgrid applications with all options you normally have within the Management Console. Download it at Denamik.com.
Softgrid System Tray Utility
Rodney also developed a utility at the System Tray to get a quick launch of several Softgrid options like Refresh Softgrid Application List, Remove all Application from the Cache, Preload Application to the Cache and launch applications from the system tray. Nice utility to use when you are testing and developing your Softgrid sequences. Download the utility at Rodney's Website.
Still Profiles are one of the main challenges on a Terminal Server. These products can help you solve issues with profiles.
Flex Profile Kit
The Flex Profile Kit (FPK) is the well-known freeware profile solution. With the FPK you work with the best of two worlds. The <robustheid> of mandatory profiles and the possibility to save user settings. The FPK can beside saving and restoring registry settings, also save and restore mouse settings, keyboard settings, windows appearance, certificates, support for MUI and more. Version 5 is just released and now also has a GUI for configuring most of the settings. Download the FPK from Login Consultants Portal. If you need more information about Profiles read my profile article earlier published.
Utility developed by Micrsoft and stands for “User Profile Hive” Clean. UPH Clean fixes issues with “stuck” user profiles. It kills any processes that have hooks open to the user’s profile after the user initiates the logoff process. Download it here.
Also EnvokeIT releases some very handy tools to troubleshoot your environment.
- Applauncher: with this you can select the desired server you would like to connect to when starting the published application.
- Launch checker: With Launch Checker you can specify which groups should get a warning when they start the application for example administrators.
- Server Manager: With this tool you can easy remove all Published Applications from one server or save you current configuration.
- WinService Manager. With WinService Manager you can administrator services on remote machine. It is possible to lock down the tool so the user can only manage a single service on a single machine.
Download this tools from the EnvokeIT website.
Also a tool is use a lot. With regshot you can see the difference between two registry snapshots. Make the first snapshot, make the change within the application or operating system and take the second snapshot. Let Regshot compares the two snapshots and show you the differences between them. Download regshot from this website.
Run this tool within an ICA session and you can monitor real time the latency of your ICA session as well as CPU and memory usage on the server. Download the Latency Checker at the website of Fcconsult.
Management and Administrating
When a user connects to a Terminal or Citrix server the client IP-address is created as a variable in the user session. When the users disconnects the session and reconnects to it again using another client this variable is not changed. That’s a pity because maybe the user is in another location where he needs for example other printers. Therefore Dennis Damen developed ReconnAct! ReconnectAct checks the IP-address of the client machine when the user disconnects and reconnects and makes it possible to run other script at that moment. Superior, because in this way you can connect for example new printers (corresponding to the IP subnet) to the user when he reconnects to a disconnected sessions. Download ReconnAct at the Login Consultants Portal.
The BRS Suite is developed to lock down and control the user Desktop experience like printer, network mappings, access to applications and much more. Download the BRS Suite at the website of Fcconsult.
Stamp Terminal Server Shadow Key Utility
In the article I already explained the Microsoft Shadow Key. Although I prefer to delete all keys out of the Shadow Key you could also use the option “Write to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software in Install mode with the system clock set in the past”. With this utility you need to set the system clock back in the past but stamp a define date and time to the keys in the Shadow Key. Download it here.
Clusteresis RDP LoadBalancer
Although there are better Load Balancer tools available, this is the only one which is available for free. Clusteresis RDP Load Balancer also includes a Web Interface and a kind of Published Applications. You can download it at Clusteresis.
There are some nice tools where I could not find a category for or there is just a single application. But I do not want to keep this wonderful tools away from you. So in this paragraph the last freeware tools.
VisonApp Remote Desktop (vRD)
If you have many RDP sessions you probably tried the MMC snap-in Remote Desktops from Microsoft and know the limitations of that console. VisionApp developed a much better version of this management console. A must have if you connect to a lot of servers. Downloaded it at VisionApp Free Downloads.
DNC Service Wrapper
Daniel Nikolic already well known from superior tools like SFTImport and DADE Power Tools realised another wonderful piece of freeware software. With the DNC Service Wrapper you can create services of applications (which are not services) with some good options to control the applications. Download this software from his website under the Tools section.
Set Default Printer Tool
This utility can set the default printer for users with no access to the printer folder and require to change the default printer. Publish this tool or add it to a login script. Download it at Dabcc.com.
In this article combined with the Part 1 the most used and best Freeware Tools are described. All those are very useful to make your Terminal Server environment better, easier to maintain and/or easier to troubleshoot. Although most tools are used a lot with lots of satisfaction do not forget that you never get official support on this tools and that they are provided with no warranty by the manufacturers.
Article previous published at MSTerminalServices.org.