Windows RDS Stand-alone Server per User

When installing Windows RDS stand-alone server per user should not be used on a workgroup based server, i.e. there is no domain to authenticate the “per User” users.

There is a warning about it when adding licenses but it does not prevent you from adding them in per User mode.

While it seems odd that this is an issue when there is still Local User authentication available, it is apparently the case and the RDS server will not provide access, or at least will not assign licences. That said, I have not tried it in that mode.

The good thing is that you can change from per User to per Device at any time with the RD Licensing Manager using the Convert Licences option.


Converting licences can be done in either direction at any time so swapping is permitted.

Deploy RDS on a stand-alone Windows 2012 Server

Looking to deploy RDS on a stand-alone Windows 2012 Server I found a wealth of information where the authors make the assumption that you will use an Active Directory / Domain connected server.

A Microsoft team blog reference makes what I consider to be a fatal assumption in this reference RD Quick Start on a Domain Connected Server in stating that the instructions are suited to a small office deployment or as a proof of concept deployment. My take on a proof of concept is that a domain configuration is a lot of extra work for little value.

So I searched some more and arrived at Ryan Mangans’ blog and his post on the simple Setup Windows stand-alone RDS server.

Deploy RDS on a stand-alone Windows 2012 Server

Assumption: Using a single server for a small office and limited user environment.  A larger office, more users, more management option would require more than 1 server and separation of server roles.

Two methods depending on the server status of domain connected or stand-alone.

Deploy RDS on a stand-alone Windows 2012 Server using Role Based installation

This installation method assumes that the server is not connected to a domain.


1. Using the Add Roles & Features Wizard

2. Deploy the RDS 2012 Session Host Role and the RDS licencing role

3. This will provide the role of Remote Desktop Services and 2 role services of Session Host and Desktop Licensing.

This method will not provide some features for management that are commonly referenced for ‘best practice’ as the vast majority of documentation assumes a domain based server has been used.

Deploy RDS on Domain connected Windows 2012 Server

As per the heading this installation assumes that the server is domain connected with an Active Directory. These steps are taken from the Microsoft reference and are included here for comparison to the above stand-lone server deployment method.


1. On the server that will become the Connection Broker, logon with a domain account that is an administrator and start Server Manager. From Manage menu item, select Add Roles and Features.

2. Select Remote Desktop Services installation.

3. Select Quick Start.

4. Select Session-based desktop deployment.

5. Add your local server to the Selected list for Specify RD Connection Broker server.

6. On the Confirm Selections dialog, check Restart the destination server automatically if required.

7. The RDS session deployment will now begin the install to all the servers and components selected. A progress dialog will be shown and the server will reboot.

8. After reboot, log in and the progress dialog will be shown again and installation will continue.

9. After installation is complete, in the Server Manager Dashboard, there will be a Remote Desktop Services role listed in the left navigation pane.

10. Selecting Remote Desktop Services will display the Overview of the new deployment. From this page, the next steps would be to add / specify both the license server and RD Gateway if needed.

Magento Wget Download

If you use Linux servers, are working with Magento, and want to download the latest version or patches then the Magento site is not as friendly as you might want.

The download process is java driven and does not provide a link for the download, just a browser based download to your local computer.

I work mobile a lot and I do not want to download 22Mbyte files to my notebook over 3G and then have to upload from my notebook to the server. It is just a waste of time and bandwidth.

So I went searching for the path that we need to use and for the latest tar.gz file for magento this is what works.

From what I can see, and assuming that they do not change the process, followed by the version number as a directory, and then the file name should provide a full download path.

In this case this combo downloaded the latest release for me to my Linux server.

# wget

A word of warning!

When extracting the tar.gz file, Magento do not provide a unique version path for the contents. All versions use the root path of ‘magento’ so assuming you always download to the same path you may have magento- right alongside magento- and extracting the newer version will extract it into the magento directory over the top of existing magento directory. The result of this is that your new version is potentially saddled with artifacts from the earlier version. Delete the magento directory and start again.

A 4 step process could be:

1. Clean up from previous downloads

#rmdir magento   // or //  #rm -Rf magento

2. wget the new version

# wget

3. Prepare a directory ready for the extract of the new version

#mkdir magento-

4. and finally extract the file contents from the tar.gz file, into the stated directory, and strip the first directory from the path that is stored within the archive, i.e. /magento/

#tar zxvf magento- -C magento- --strip-components=1

Next, carry on as usual with your backup existing, copy the new files, etc, etc.

(Solved!) NextGEN Gallery works only with a role….

WordPress, MultiSite, NextGEN Gallery and this annoying message “Sorry, NextGEN Gallery works only with a role called administrator.”

Dashboard Error Nextgen Gallery WordPress Multisite

NextGEN Gallery error Administrator role

I noted a lot of older posts on the WordPress support site that lead nowhere to find a resolution, or, as someone else posted, they went poof! into a bug report hidden from the public.

Have I really solved this issue ? Yes, for the specific site that I am working on. Will this be the same issue for you? Maybe not, but here are the details.

So to be clear I am using the latest WordPress version and the latest NextGEN Gallery version in a multi-site configuration with about 6 sites within it. The nature of the issue is that the stated error message persists in the dashboard / admin view for a sub-site. It was not all sub-sites and when I did a proper review it was in fact only in one sub-site that the error displayed.

So I checked the php script just to confirm that the error message was telling the truth or at least was not a case of poor translation and it wasn’t. The actual script is at the bottom of this post but it is not relevant beyond confirming that it is a ‘role’ issue.

Wordpress Multisite Users Panel with no users

There were no users for the sub-site

Next I questioned, if I am the administrator for the main site and most of the sub-sites, why is there no administrator role?

Sure enough a check of the Users page for all the sites revealed that I was correctly in that role for all but the site that was giving the error.

This is where it got tricky, the sub-site was the #2 sub-site and the oldest sub-site, aside from the main site and when I tried to add an existing user or a new user to the subsite it completed but still did not show a user.

Empty WordPress Roles

The role dropdown is not populated.

The Role drop-down was not populating and therefore the concept of administrator was not available to be set for the user.

I experimented for a while with different settings, comparing sub-sites and trying to fathom why this was happening. The end result was no reason for it, other than I think this original blog #2 may have pre-dated a major upgrade in WordPress Multisite and perhaps there was some artifact or setting missing as a result.

In any case, I did a backup of the database, created a new subsite, ran an export of the #2 subsite, ran an import of the same data into the new subsite, and bingo!  There is now a new user with a role of Administrator and the NextGen error is no longer appearing.

The final clean up was to rename the old #2 site and archive it. Then rename the new site to the same as the old one, tweak the settings for theme, menu, widgets, and url, and the transition was done. All up this should take you less than 15 minutes to do.

Does it resolve the actual issue, no, but I think the error is not actually a NextGEN issue, but an issue with the WordPress site. If you have read this far, you probably have a similar problem, I hope this works for you.


NextGen nggallery_install Function

Now dont panic, the following code is just for my records, there is no need to change it. This is the piece of the PHP function that generates the error and I include it here just to confirm that the error is generated when there is not an available administrator role for the site.

	// Set the capabilities for the administrator
	$role = get_role('administrator');
	// We need this role, no other chance
	if ( empty($role) ) {
		update_option( "ngg_init_check", __('Sorry, NextGEN Gallery works only with a role called administrator',"nggallery") );

	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Gallery overview');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Use TinyMCE');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Upload images');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage gallery');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage tags');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Manage others gallery');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Edit album');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Change style');
	$role->add_cap('NextGEN Change options');