Windows Azure Remote Desktop Access

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The latest relase of the WIndows Azure platform, portal and tools (check here) includes support for one of the features announced at PDC last month: remote desktop access to your role instances. This feature is pretty easy to use and currently allows you to deploy a preconfigured VM with IIS where you can play with the OS. No real application needed!

Here’s how:

  1. Create a new Cloud Service and add one Web Role. This should be the result:

  2. Once that is done, right click the Cloud Service and select “Publish…”
  3. In the publish dialog, click “Confiure Remote Desktop connections…”
  4. Create (or select) a certificate, make sure you also export the private key for it.
  5. Enter some credentials and set te expiration date for the account to some far future.
  6. Here’s an example of how that can look like:

  7. Don’t publish yet!
  8. Navigate to and create a new Hosted Service. In this hosted service, upload the certificate you just created:

  9. Once that is done, switch back to Visual Studio, hit the Publish button and sit back while your deployment is being executed.
  10. At a given moment, you will see that deployment is ready.
  11. Switch back to your browser, click your instance and select “Connect” in the toolbar:

  12. Enter your credentials, prefixed with \. E.g. “\maarten”. This is done to strip off the Windows domain from the credentials entered.
  13. RDP happyness!


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6 responses

  1. Avatar for Sergey
    Sergey February 22nd, 2011


    After step 9 publish fails with "The HTTP request was forbidden with client authentication scheme 'Anonymous'.", though I carefully followed instructions on creating and uploading certificates.

    I would appreciate any help.


  2. Avatar for maartenba
    maartenba February 23rd, 2011

    Have you posted this on the MSDN forums? Should work smoothly...

  3. Avatar for chad caldwell
    chad caldwell February 25th, 2011

    Where is the cert stored on the hard drive when created inside visual studio?

  4. Avatar for maartenba
    maartenba February 25th, 2011

    In your local cert store (try running certmgr.msc)

  5. Avatar for charlie
    charlie March 15th, 2011

    Problem "The HTTP request was forbidden with client authentication scheme 'Anonymous' has been discussed and solved at:

  6. Avatar for charlie
    charlie March 15th, 2011

    It needs to upload two certificates. One to the service to allow RDP authentication and one to the Management Certificates section of the Azure Portal to allow Service Management API authentication