I run a grid on Windows VM's in hyper-V. On hub host vm, I use Remote Desktop connection manager to open Desktop sessions, otherwise webdrivers do not function correctly.

But RDCMan is not a reliable tool, and running headless browser is not an option for IE and Edge. What is the best practice to run nodes on remote windows VMs?
Is there a reliable solution available to maintain a desktop session while node is running?

1 Answer 1


The most reliable method I've found is to configure the VMs to auto-logon with an administrator-level login and disable screensaver and user access control. This effectively means that whenever the vm is on, it is logged on and there is a desktop session running.

You may need to convince your employer's network management people to let you do this for the test system virtual machines, and you might need a few go-rounds before any group policy changes fully take (I certainly did), but once that's done and the VMs are properly configured, you should have no further issues.

This Windows support page describes how to configure automatic log on.

  • auto-logon on network accessible machines is against IT policy in my company. They won't allow it, so this option will not work.
    – H.D.
    Jul 3, 2018 at 18:37
  • 1
    That limits your options a lot - if your IT group isn't prepared to do something along the lines of a fenced subnet where your automation system is isolated and has few others able to access it, you may be limited to building a login script into the VM initialization or containerizing the VM. Both are more complicated.
    – Kate Paulk
    Jul 3, 2018 at 19:10
  • I was able to convince IT to use Auto-Logon on Test VMs. This actually worked out pretty good.
    – H.D.
    Jul 12, 2018 at 2:09

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