Configuring a Static (Non-Active Desktop) Wallpaper on a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server using a custom Group Policy Administrative Template (ADM)
Enabling the Terminal Server feature on Windows Server limits the display of Desktop Wallpapers. This is done to prevent excessive bandwith consumption. In some situations however, you would like to configure a wallpaper to display, for example, your company logo.
Group Policies allow you to set an Active Desktop wallpaper. An Active Desktop wallpaper, unfortunately is heavy on system resources, less secure because it can run web content, and has a higher probability of failures.
Setting a simple, static, Bitmap image as a wallpaper can be done using a centrally managed, custom Administrative Template that is part of a Group Policy Object (GPO). In Windows Server 2003 an Administrative Template takes the form of an .adm file. Below are the contents of such a file.
CLASS USER CATEGORY "Desktop" POLICY "Desktop Wallpaper" KEYNAME "Control Panel\Desktop" EXPLAIN "Configure a Static (Non-Active Desktop) Wallpaper." PART "Specify a path to a Bitmap (.bmp) file and configure the wallpaper style." TEXT END PART PART "Wallpaper Path:" EDITTEXT VALUENAME "Wallpaper" END PART PART "Wallpaper Style:" DROPDOWNLIST REQUIRED VALUENAME "WallpaperStyle" ITEMLIST NAME "Centered" VALUE "0" DEFAULT NAME "Tiled" VALUE "1" NAME "Stretched" VALUE "2" END ITEMLIST NOSORT END PART END POLICY POLICY "Desktop Background Color" KEYNAME "Control Panel\Colors" EXPLAIN "Configure the Desktop Background Color." PART "Enter RGB values between 0 and 255 seperated by spaces. E.g. 0 0 255 for blue." TEXT END PART PART "RGB Values:" EDITTEXT VALUENAME "Background" DEFAULT "0 0 0" END PART END POLICY END CATEGORY
Save the code above in a plain text file with the extention ".adm".
Instructions to use this custom policy:
- Create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) or open an existing one. Open the GPO in "Group Policy Management" or the "Group Policy Object Editor".
- Under "User Configuration" right-click the "Administrative Templates" node.
- Click "Add/Remove Templates...".
- Click "Add" and browse to the .adm file.
- Click "Close".
- Important: while the "Administrative Templates" node is selected open the "View" menu and click "Filtering...". Uncheck "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed".
The Desktop Wallpaper and Desktop Background Color settings are now available for configuration under Administrative Templates\Desktop (Path; Style/Position: Centered, Tiled, Stretched; Color). Configure the options as desired and link the GPO to an appropriate OU.