Server 2022 Terminal Server Licensing

I was recently tasked with building a new Windows Server 2022 Terminal Server for a client. Everything was going very smoothly, until I got to the Terminal Server Licensing configuration. I was attempting to install Open Value RDS CALs from Microsoft and received a peculiar error message while trying to apply the licenses. I had my agreement number, but none of the installation options seemed to work for me.

“A Required Registry Key is Empty” Error

The error I received was, “A required registry key is empty.” After doing some research and digging through Microsoft KB articles, I couldn’t find any pertinent solution that resolved the error message. I thought by selecting a different license type that the error might go away, but every license type I selected resulted in the same error message over and over.

After I wasn’t getting anywhere, I called Microsoft Volume Licensing technical support and was able to convert the license to a Retail License, which then allowed me to install the license without getting an error. Great!

I thought I was out of the woods and could proceed with my installation. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was not able to verify the licenses via the Terminal Server Licensing Diagnoser tool and received an error message that a license server could not be found, even though the server had all Remote Desktop Services Roles installed, including the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager Role.

Fixing the Terminal Server Licensing Error

So, I decided to start digging around in the local Group Policy of the server and came across the Group Policy settings that would allow me to manually set a Licensing Server. Those Group Policy settings can be found under Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Licensing. I enabled the policy for “Use the specified Remote Desktop license server” option and entered the hostname of the server that had the Remote Desktop Services Licensing Manager installed on it.

I then enabled the option for “Set the Remote Desktop Licensing Mode” and set that to “Per User.” After restarting the “Remote Desktop Licensing” service, I was able to pull up the Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser, and my Remote Desktop Licenses were available for distribution!

With all new operating system releases there can be some bugs, new quirks, or random issues, as I experienced with installing the Remote Desktop Services CALs on Windows Server 2022 as described above. I hope this article helps save someone the time it took me to resolve this issue. Good luck!

If you have any questions about setting up the Terminal Server Licensing for Windows Server 2022, please feel free to reach out to us at any time!

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