Remote Desktop Sessions same user multiple sessions

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New Contributor

One area where IE really excelled was with terminal server sessions where the same user is logged in multiple times.

 

IE natively handled this, if you logged into the same user multiple times, each user session could have IE open.

 

Chrome, and Firefox don't support this natively, you have to try and trick them both using various means of profiles, etc...

 

Will the new Edge support this? (I'm not entirely sure if the old Edge supported it, since we aren't using a version of Windows Server that comes with Edge).

 

All our stores plus our admin people use thin-clients which remote desktop into a server (either a store server or an admin server), they log in using their username multiple times (so if the store has 5 thin clients, the manager logs the 5 thin clients into the store server using their username 5 times).

 

With IE this is fine, it all just works. With Chrome / Firefox, we have to resort to custom launchers that allows the browser to open up multiple times under different sessions, but then that means bookmarks, etc... aren't saved across each one.

 

Would be really nice if the new Edge supports multiple  user-sessions the same way IE currently does.

7 Replies
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Maybe you can arrange this when using FSLogix configured for multiple sessions?
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@FreekBloemhof 

It looks interesting, i'm just not really understanding how it would work in this scenario?

 

The boss for instance logs into the admin server using his username on 2 different thinclients on his desk, both have the same desktop, etc... (which must be maintained that way), he fires up IE on one, fires up IE on the other, has access to all his favourites on both, but IE sees them internally as 2 separate sessions.

 

Neither Chrome or Firefox allow more than 1 instance to be running, so once 1 session has fired up the browser, the other session can't fire it up because the profile directory is locked, you can use trickery that they both provide to have 'profiles', but it means the bookmarks, etc... aren't shared between the 2 unless you sign into either a google or firefox account, which we don't use.

 

How would we simulate what IE does with FSLogix?

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I already have FSLogix running so the test was easy.

 

I have setup Edge with the DiskCacheDir to ${local_app_data}\Microsoft\EdgeCache and the UserDataDir to ${roaming_app_data}\Microsoft\EdgeData. Logged on to server 1, launched Edge and created a Favorite. Logged off to initially save my FSLogix profile (not sure if needed). 

 

Logged on again, launched Edge and Favorite is still available. Started a second session (on another machine because we don't allow double session, but on a single machine I guess it will work the same), launched Edge without a problem.

 

Adding a new favorite or anything won't instantly synchronize to the other session (in fact, the profile using FSLogix in the secondary session is read only). So I'm guessing that the situation is not ideal for your wishes. But it can facilitate you in launching to instances in separate sessions, using the same UserDataDir.

 

Maybe you can look into other profile management solutions, some can instant sync certain folders between sessions. Or reconsider the situation that is created, maybe you can provide you boss a dual monitor setup? ;)

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They don't like dual monitors, but it's not just him, everyone in our admin has 2 or 3 thinclients each, and our stores have 5 thin clients each, all logged in with the appropriate username (in the case of our stores, 1 store will have all the thin clients logged in with the same username).

I think this is what irks me the most, this set up works 100% with IE.
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I found this thread because I had a similar issue: was trying to publish the new Edge Beta as a remote app but multiple clients would be trying to use it using the same account. My workaround was similar to what @FreekBloemhof suggested which was set the user data directory via the Edge GPO template ("${profile}/Edge/${session_name}").

This works (multiple sessions of the same user can now run Edge) but back to the same end: no new favorites will be saved, and preferences like "last download paths" will never be saved either. The favorites can be worked around (some what) with a managed favorites list but the downloads part needs a bit more finesse. Oh, now you have to worried about those ${session_name} folders as they're a few MB each.

 

@ray73864 Just curious what you've done thus far?

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@rayld We are still running Server 2008 R2 at present, so not a big issue for us right now, though we are looking at moving to Server 2019 within the next year I believe.

 

I have a bodged up method working with Firefox, but I prefer the elegance of how IE11 does things.

 

Would be nice if Edge could go the same way.

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@ray73864  Sadly, if Edge is moving towards the Chromium route, it might not go back to how IE functions. I think if we can redirect where certain things go the we'll be okay. I haven't had a chance to fiddle with UserDataDir vs the other folder you can redirect via GPO, that might be the solution. 

 

I'd rather not deal with profile related software to redirect. However... Have you considered allowing the user to sign into Edge with a profile? That might retain settings and preferences like favorites. Sadly that isn't an option I want to move towards with our generic accounts...