Office 2016 – Remote Desktop Shared Licensing

Deploying Office 2016 with Shared or Open-Volume Licensing

Doing this the first time was an absolutely confusing mess back when Office 2013 came out. It’s still just as confusing, except now there is more documentation — like this blog aims to help you.

The process is actually identical for 2013 and 2016, you need to download/build your own installer that is different from a normal Office installer — one with Shared Licensing so it can run on a Remote Desktop Server / Terminal Server.


Building the Office 2016 Remote Desktop Server Installer

Office 365 ProPlus / Volume Licensing 2013 –

Office 365 ProPlus / Volume Licensing 2016 –

Run the officedeploymenttool_XXXX-XXXX.exe, extract it to a folder like C:\Installers\Office365\2016

Edit the configuration.xml file to match something like the following:

     <Add SourcePath="C:\Installers\Office365" OfficeClientEdition="32" >
          <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
               <Language ID="en-us" />
     <Updates Enabled="TRUE" />
     <Display Level="Full" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
     <Logging Path="%temp%" />
     <Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="1" />

The big one is that “SharedComputerLicensing” field, which makes licensing act under PER USER PROFILE / PER MICROSOFT ACCOUNT, rather than a single key for the whole server.

Open a command prompt in the directory containing the setup.exe and your configuration.xml file.


The command to build your installer really is this simple:

C:\Installers\Office365\2016>setup.exe /download configuration.xml

I recommend going over to the Resource Monitor, where you can track the download speed of your files. You’ll end up with a folder like C:\Installers\Office365\Office, which contains all the .CAB files. A directory above where you ran the installer. You could specify a path, local or UNC share, but in my experience it never works consistently.


Installation and Activation

But dagnabit, there is no installer… Gotta run it through command prompt:

Once there is no more network/disk activity coming from setup.exe — it has finished downloading all 1.1GB of files:

#Command Prompt (As Administrator)
#Pop the RDS Server into terminal-install mode:
change user /install

#Once download is done:
C:\Installers\Office365\2016>setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

#Once complete
#Pop the RDS Server into user-run mode:
change user /execute

I highly recommend rebooting, for some reason the program icons in the start menu like to not pin/unpin or maintain their old name (Word 2013, Excel 2013, etc) until a reboot.

office 2016 progress

Office 2016 successfully installed — heck yeah!

office 2016 start menu

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