Click here to Skip to main content
Click here to Skip to main content

Remote Desktop using C#.NET

, 11 Nov 2009
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
This article is about showing how to create a .NET application to perform remote desktop operation using Microsoft Terminal Services Client ActiveX control.

Introduction

Remote Desktop Services is one of Microsoft Windows components to access a remote computer through the network. Only the user interface of the application is presented at the client. Any input is redirected over to the remote computer over the network.

At work, we use Remote Desktop a great deal. It allows us to login to a remote server to perform health checks, deploy applications, troubleshoot problems, etc. We also use remote desktop often when we do WFH (work from home).

Why do you want to write a .NET application to do this when you have the MS Terminal Services client available from OS? Well, consider if you want to work on 3 different application servers at the same time and want to toggle between these 3 servers quite often. With the MSTSC, we will be running 3 different clients for the 3 servers and it is difficult to manage the working environment. In .NET, you can develop an application with tab control to load remote desktop sessions in different tabs in one window.

Background

We will be using AxMSTSCLib an ActiveX component in our program to connect to the remote computer. It’s not that hard to build a remote desktop application in .NET. Microsoft has a “Microsoft RDP client control” ActiveX control that we will be using in our application.

This is How We Do It

We will start by creating a Windows application in the Visual Studio IDE.

Add a reference to “Microsoft Terminal Services Control Type Library” from the COM tab. This will add MSTSCLib.dll to the project.

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

To add MSTSC to the toolbox, right click the toolbox and select “Choose Items…”. Now add “Microsoft Terminal Services control from the COM tab.

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

Drag the newly added control from toolbox to the form.

Add 3 textbox and 2 button controls to the form:

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

Connect Button - Click Event

Here is how we write the Connect button click event.

rdp.Server = txtServer.Text;
rdp.UserName = txtUserName.Text;
IMsTscNonScriptable secured = (IMsTscNonScriptable)rdp.GetOcx();
secured.ClearTextPassword = txtPassword.Text;
rdp.Connect();

Now assign the properties (Server, UserName) of RDP control with the textbox values.

Here’s how easy it is to login to remote machine. However there is one catch, there is no direct method in RDP control through which you can pass the username and password to login to the remote desktop.

Due to security reasons, you have to implement an interface (IMsTscNonScriptable) to cast it separately.

IMsTscNonScriptable secured = IMsTscNonScriptable)rdp.GetOcx();
secured.ClearTextPassword = txtPassword.Text; 

Disconnect Button – Click Event

To disconnect from the remote desktop session, we just need to call the Disconnect() method.

Before disconnecting, we want to ensure that the connection is still available. We don't want to disconnect if it is already disconnected (very clever, huh).

if (rdp.Connected.ToString() == "1")
 rdp.Disconnect();

That’s all folks!

History

  • 5th November, 2009: Initial version

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Thiagarajan Alagarsamy
Web Developer
India India
Thiagu is living in Bangalore, India. He has started coding when he was 12 years old. His native is Madurai, a historic city in south India. He loves to code in C#. He frequents code project when he is not coding. Thiagu loves reading Dan Brown and Michael Crichton novels. He is very much interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI). To view his blog - http://csharpnet.blogspot.com

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: Hi. How to connect local resources Pinmembermayakingka3-Apr-12 18:43 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pinmemberqinghan198918-Apr-11 21:57 
QuestionResolution and colors PinmemberJackman7116-Apr-11 20:53 
GeneralNo output PinmemberHasly14-Mar-11 23:49 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberjintao123413-Mar-11 16:34 
QuestionNeed to know how to logoff not just disconnect... PinmemberSukar10-Dec-10 8:19 
QuestionHow to connect to remote desktop from console application? PinmemberTesic Goran10-Nov-10 2:40 
GeneralMy vote of 2 PinmvpDave Kreskowiak25-Sep-10 6:02 
All you're doing is dropping the Terminal Services control on a form a setting a few properties. You don't have much of anything on the concepts behind this, nor much on how the code works. This is a good tip/trick, not a good article.
Generalwithout logging out the user Pinmembervdfoo24-Aug-10 22:13 
GeneralRe: without logging out the user PinmvpDave Kreskowiak25-Sep-10 6:00 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberjaviava5-Aug-10 23:29 
GeneralRDP server configuration PinmemberNanung1-Jul-10 15:53 
GeneralGreat app...quick question about OnAuthenticationWarningDisplayed Event Pinmembercarlf22-Jun-10 8:27 
QuestionMSTSCLib.dll and AxMSTSCLib - exist on every windows? Pinmemberelad21092-Jun-10 18:49 
GeneralRemote desktop application in .net 2008 PinmemberMember 439593713-May-10 23:03 
GeneralOther port than 3389 Pinmemberjohngreene12-May-10 5:13 
GeneralRe: Other port than 3389 Pinmemberjohngreene12-May-10 5:26 
GeneralAutomated logoff via rdp (not jsut disconnection) Pinmemberelad21096-May-10 5:41 
QuestionHow to Use this in internet Pinmembersyam@tnt25-Apr-10 7:54 
AnswerRe: How to Use this in internet PinmemberThiagarajan Alagarsamy6-May-10 18:00 
Generalcreate new AxMSTSCLib [modified] Pinmemberelad210914-Apr-10 3:56 
GeneralCompile error in Visual Studio 10 (2010) beta 2: AxMsTscAxNotSafeForScripting [modified] PinmemberDr.Lightning201019-Mar-10 14:23 
GeneralRe: Compile error in Visual Studio 10 (2010) beta 2: AxMsTscAxNotSafeForScripting Pinmember66977527-May-10 17:14 
QuestionProblem in RDP Pinmembernaim khan4-Mar-10 20:28 
QuestionPocket PC Pinmemberbeespace16-Feb-10 23:26 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Mobile
Web03 | 2.8.140721.1 | Last Updated 11 Nov 2009
Article Copyright 2009 by Thiagarajan Alagarsamy
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2014
Terms of Service
Layout: fixed | fluid