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Link: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/linked-servers/create-linked-servers-sql-server-database-engine?view=sql-server-ver15#to-create-a-linked-server-to-another-instance-of-sql-server-using-sql-server-management-studio

Remote User

Use the remote user to map users not defined in Local login. The Remote User must be a SQL Server Authentication login on the remote server.

This question is about the section marked in red. When the impersonate is checked, then the remote user and remote password textboxes are disabled. When impersonate is unchecked, then I can enter a remote user and remote password in the text box.

Is the above definition of remote user correct? Should the remote user value be configured to map users defined in Local login or map users not defined in Local Login?

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Use the remote user to map users not defined in Local login.

This could be better explained in the documentation. Let's use two clear terms just for this answer to avoid confusion.

  • Local server = Where you are creating a linked server
  • Remote server = Server you are connecting with Linked Server

Local Login = Can be SQL authentication or Windows authentication that exists on the local server.

Remote User = You can only use this option if you have impersonate unchecked. Otherwise, you pass a SQL login and password that exists in the remote server. This is nicely explained in this article by Marko Zivkovic.

The remote user option allows users from the local SQL server to connect to the linked SQL server even though their credentials aren't present on the remote server by using the credentials from the user that exists on the remote server. Basically, it allows local logins to connect to a remote server as a different login that must exist on a remote server.

What Impersonate means:

Pass the username and password from the local login to the linked server. For SQL Server Authentication, a login with the exact same name and password must exist on the remote server. For Windows logins, the login must be a valid login on the linked server.

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  • Effectively when impersonate is not checked, and the remote user is configured, then the definition of Remote user should have been: Use the remote user to map users defined in Local login. - isn't it? I am not able to understand why not is specified?
    – variable
    Oct 22, 2021 at 11:24
  • As I said in my answer it could have been better explained. You can submit a pull request with a better recommendation. Oct 22, 2021 at 11:27
  • Thanks. About the Local Login I have created a separate question, please could you throw light on that if possible here: dba.stackexchange.com/questions/301454/…
    – variable
    Oct 22, 2021 at 11:32

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