USB Port Redirection With RDP



There have been a number of postings pertaining to USB Port Redirection in Windows Terminal Server sessions. In particular, I have found two articles at MSDN and other material to try to clarify the situation

Which says under __Port Redirection__, not __Printer Port Redirection__

"Terminal Server supports port redirection in Windows Server 2003. Using port redirection, applications running within the Terminal Server session have access to ports on the client, enabling you to use devices like bar code readers or scanners with Terminal Server. Test your devices for use with Terminal Server before deploying your solution in the production environment

By default Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server enables LPT, USB, and COM port redirection. If you are not planning to enable these types of peripherals, you might want to disable them so that the client computer is not vulnerable to security threats that could access your computer through those ports. You can disable LPT and COM port redirection by using Terminal Server Group Policy or TSCC. For more information, see "Designing the Terminal Server Configuration" later in this chapter

By default, Terminal Server does not allow redirection of FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports with Windows XP and Windows 2000 clients. However, you can enable FireWire port redirection on these clients by enabling all ports to be redirected by using the following procedure to modify the registry on the client computer.

The above excerpt is is unclear as it really appears to apply to devices such as USB bar code scanners and other USB data collection devices. I believe these types of devices use a keyboard type of output
An article about CE.NET, states

"Although parallel, serial, and USB ports are not required, they are recommended. RDP supports serial and parallel port redirection. A server application can therefore interact with the client's serial port to connect to devices, such as a bar code scanner.


I certainly hope some day the humble USB port on the thin client will be fully supported by Terminal Services. It definitely appears today this is not the case. The confusion comes from the support of keyboard input through USB and I guess it will be some time before we can plug those Palm Pilots, USB Photo Scanners, IR Transmitters/Receivers, iPods, etc. into the USB ports on the client machines

If you just can't live without specialized USB device support, I suggest you check out a windows terminal with Windows XP Embedded. There are many available

My question to the group
If one has the ability to redirect serial ports AND one can easily purchase a serial to USB convertor, then is it possible to connect any USB device to a redirected serial/COM port? Or is the serial port going to work just like the USB port and support keyboard-type inputs

Any ideas/thoughts are welcome


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