I know this question will be very simple for most of you but as I am trying to wrap my head around it, I am still a little confused and haven't been able to find anything that flat out says what I'm looking for. After I have a Domain Controller set up, when I connect to that domain from a client PC, Is the only thing that the domain controller is doing is controlling my user account rights (when I say only thing, I know there is a lot more that a DC does but I'm only concerned about this small piece that it does). In regards to this question, when I log into the domain, am I still seeing all of the files and programs that are on the local client I am using, or is it similar to connecting remotely where I will see everything that is on the Domain Controller? I am wanting to be able to connect with remote desktop services from the clients to the server and be able to run all of the programs from the actual server so this question has been formed so that I know whether or not just connecting to the domain will achieve this for me or if I do in fact need to actually remote in every time.

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  • I can't understand what you're asking. Can you boil this down into a single question? – Evan Anderson Oct 30 '14 at 16:55
  • Sorry, Say I have 5 programs on the server that's my domain controller. These 5 programs are not on the PC that I am connecting to the domain. When I log into the domain, will I have access to those 5 programs that are on the server or will I see the exact same files and programs that are on the local PC? Does that make sense – user3841709 Oct 30 '14 at 16:57
  • Basically I'm wondering if connecting to a domain acts like a remote connection – user3841709 Oct 30 '14 at 16:58
  • Have a look at: http://serverfault.com/a/18349/7200 – Evan Anderson Oct 30 '14 at 16:59

1 Answers1


(I'm going to take a stab even though I'm not sure what you mean.)

When you logon to a PC that's joined to a domain with a domain user account you're still just using that PC. You're not making a Remote Desktop connection to a Domain Controller (DC) by logging-in on a domain-joined PC with a domain user account. Any programs you open will still be executing on the CPU and in the RAM of the client PC you logged-on to.

Evan Anderson
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  • Thanks, you did answer my question. So is the Domain Controller sort of just what is controlling all of the user accounts that can connect and their rights and privelages? – user3841709 Oct 30 '14 at 17:00
  • And thank you for being kind about these kinds of questions. I hardly know anything about servers yet but the questions that are so simple for you to answer are difficult for me to comprehend sometimes. – user3841709 Oct 30 '14 at 17:02