Run the Windows Home Server Console on your Mac

by Alex Kuretz on May 18, 2009 · 7 comments

in Guides

The Mac community has been bit by the Home Server bug when HP released the EX485 and EX487 MediaSmart Servers with the support for Time Machine backups. There’s been enough interest from Mac owners to prompt the creation of a Macs and Home Servers forum discussion group on the site. However, the Windows Home Server experience hasn’t been as full for Mac owners since there has been the need for a PC, Bootcamp, or a VM solution like Fusion or Parallels to gain access to the Server Console for configuration activities.

We recently got one step closer to better integration of Windows Home Server into the Mac environment with a tutorial from Home Server Team member Gautam, who shows us how to get the Server Console running on our Mac via the Remote Desktop Connection Client. Full download and configuration instructions are available on the Windows Home Server Team Blog.


Let us know if you try it out, and be sure to visit the Macs and Home Servers forum area to chime in with how you’re using your Home Server with the Macs in your home.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


glide May 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm

What benefits does this offer over simply using the RDP client to connect to the machine? Why would anyone take all these extra steps just to gain access to the stripped down console?

Alex Kuretz May 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm

This better aligns with the intended use model of Windows Home Server, where accessing the server via Remote Desktop is discouraged and all configuration is intended to be performed via the Console.

Ryan Glitaro May 24, 2009 at 2:02 am

I’m looking for the ability to have a stripped down desktop to connect to remotely on my WHS. Sounds like you can actually RDP to the real console on the WHS? I want to be able to get get away from having a desktop PC sitting at home on all the time to remote in from wherever I am. I know it’s not recommended, but sounds like it’s doable?

hakr May 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Too many steps, Dr. Alex. Using the RDP client is faster and easier, and gives you access to the console.

Phil May 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I was able to follow these directions and even used the MSS icons to create similar icons for my wife’s Macbook. We use the EX470 and my wife really appreciates cenralized media, but she has a hard time showing off mounted drives to her friends.

Having the both the web console (intranet) and the RDP console for the Mac is great (no Mac client software for the EX470), just to show people what the EX470 does and to display to people how the shares work.

I think we forget sometimes how foreign the benefits of server technlogy are, to the average user.

Alex Kuretz May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Ryan, you can do this, you’d need to forward port 3389 on your router to your Home Server, and then change the Windows Firewall settings on the Home Server to allow Remote Desktop access from all locations and not “Subnet Only”.

We’ve got a good Wiki article on using Remote Desktop to access the server here:

Annie Mor June 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm

The procedure outlined on the microsoft blog can also be used to connect to the Windows Home Server using the rdesktop X Window software.

rdesktop -s “C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\HomeServerConsole /b” -g 992×675 -u administrator -p %adminpwd% %homeserver%

should work with appropriate values for you for %adminpwd% and %homeserver%

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