Overview of RemoteFX USB Redirection in VDI and RDS
Microsoft added significant improvements and capabilities of USB redirection with RemoteFX. There are now numerous categories of devices supported, including: scanners, webcams, multi-function printers and more. Many of the differences and benefits between RemoteFX USB redirection and the previous iteration, RDP High-Level Device redirection, are outlined in the table below:
Requirements To Enable RemoteFX USB Redirection
RDS Session Hosts
- Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2
- Install the Desktop Experience feature
- Windows 7 SP1 (with Remote Desktop Connection 8.1), Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
- Windows Workspot client 2.x.x
- RemoteFX-capable client (Remote Desktop Connection 8.1 or later): https://workspot.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/209993933
Configure USB Redirection with RemoteFX
Set the following Group Policy setting on RDS hosts or VDI desktop to "Disabled":
- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Device and Resource Redirection\Do not allow supported Plug and Play device redirection
Set the following Group Policy setting on client machines to "Enabled":
- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Connection Client\RemoteFX USB Device Redirection\Allow RDP redirection of other supported RemoteFX USB devices from this computer
Choose the option "RemoteFX USB Redirection Access Rights to Administrators and Users"
Launch a CMD session with Administrative privileges and execute the following command:
- GPUpdate /force
Reboot machines to ensure GPOs are applied.
RDP File Publishing
One of the strengths of RemoteFX USB redirection is that it allows devices to be redirected from thin clients that could not be redirected in the past due to lack of drivers.
The usbdevicestoredirect:s: file entry format allows the administrator to select devices by class or by redirection type, while still allowing devices to be individually selected/deselected by the user/administrator.
RDP File Content
RemoteFX USB redirection processes a new RDP file entry: usbdevicestoredirect:s: . There are four elements to this entry:
On a rich client, some devices will be redirected by using high-level device redirection, while others will be redirected using RemoteFX USB redirection. The table below outlines how devices are redirected; RemoteFX or High-Level Device redirection:
Deploying for Rich and Thin Clients
Devices not listed in the table will be processed by using RemoteFX USB redirection; they may work, but are not considered officially supported.
On rich clients, the RDP file parameters work in the following way:
- usbdevicestoredirect:s:* will cover most devices that do not have high-level redirection mechanisms or drivers.
- High-level device redirection will pick up most devices that do have drivers, as mentioned in the above table.
- Class GUIDs can be used to pick up additional devices.
On thin clients: usbdevicestoredirect:s:* will pick up all devices without drivers.
As such, in many cases it is possible to create a published RDP file that will work for both rich and thin clients. Our suggested guidance is the following:
- Start with usbdevicestoredirect:s:*
- Add Class GUIDs for the devices you wish to use from rich clients.
For devices that have (some) functions that can work with high-level redirection or RemoteFX USB redirection, these devices will be redirected by default by using high-level device redirection mechanisms. To redirect the devices by using RemoteFX USB redirection, specify the class GUID for the device in the RDP file. These devices include:
- Multi-function printers
- Webcams with microphones
- USB audio devices. For these devices to function in the remote session when redirected by using RemoteFX USB redirection, the Remote Desktop Connection audio setting must be set to “Play on remote computer.”
Remote Desktop Web Access
In addition to using usbdevicestoredirect:s: in RDP files, you can also use this parameter with Remote Desktop Web Access to enable RemoteFX USB redirection in RD Web Access and RemoteApp sessions.
Server Device Security
More granular control of redirected devices can be achieved by using the Device Installation Restrictions policy settings. Devices can be restricted by device setup classes, device IDs, and whether or not the user is an administrator.
Modify the following group policy setting on the client as desired:
- Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Device Installation Restrictions
Verifying Proper Installation of RemoteFX USB Redirection
In Device Manager, expand Universal Serial Bus controllers, and find any of the USB root hub, USB hub, or USB controller devices. Right-click the device, then click Properties. On the Driver tab, click Driver Details. If RemoteFX USB redirection is properly installed and enabled, tsusbflt.sys will appear in the list of driver files provided.
Verifying Settings in Workspot Client
Ensure the Workspot client is configured to support device redirection to the Session Host server by verifying the devices are enabled under the following setting:
Settings\RDP\Plug and Play Devices