To use a Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2016 virtual machine as a single-session virtual desktop (rather than as an RDS host), you must perform certain steps before you install Horizon Agent in the virtual machine. You must also configure Horizon Administrator to treat Windows Servers as supported operating systems for Horizon 7 desktop use.
Familiarize yourself with the steps to install the Desktop Experience feature on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2016. See Install Desktop Experience on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Install Desktop Experience on Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, or 2016
On Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 machines, familiarize yourself with the steps to configure the Windows Firewall service to restart after failures occur. See Configure the Windows Firewall Service to Restart After Failures.
- Verify that the Remote Desktop Services role is not installed.
When the Remote Desktop Services role is not present, the Horizon Agent installer prompts you to confirm that you want to install Horizon Agent in desktop mode. If the Remote Desktop Services role is present, the Horizon Agent installer does not display this prompt and it treats the Windows Server machine as an RDS host instead of a single-session Horizon 7 desktop.
- Install Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2016.
If you do not install SP1 with Windows Server 2008 R2, an error occurs when you install Horizon Agent.
- (Optional) : Install the Desktop Experience feature if you plan to use the following features.
- (Optional) : To use Windows Aero on a Windows Server desktop, start the Themes service.
When you create or edit a desktop pool, you can configure 3D graphics rendering for your desktops. The 3D Renderer setting offers a Software option that enables users to run Windows Aero on the desktops in the pool.
- On Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 machines, configure the Windows Firewall service to restart after failures occur.
- Configure Horizon Administrator to treat Windows Servers as supported desktop operating systems.
If you do not perform this step, you cannot select Windows Server machines for desktop use in Horizon Administrator.
- In Horizon Administrator, select .
- In the General pane, click Edit.
- Select the Enable Windows Server desktops check box and click OK.
When you enable Windows Server desktops in Horizon Administrator, Horizon Administrator displays all available Windows Server machines, including machines on which Connection Server is installed, as potential machines for desktop use. You cannot install Horizon Agent on machines on which other Horizon 7 software components are installed.