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Remote Desktop on a Mac

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The Informatics Remote Desktop gives you a graphical login on DICE, displaying on another computer.

This page explains how to access the Remote Desktop service from a Mac. This involves installing the client software, then configuring it, then connecting to the service. Installing and configuring the software only have to be done once.


First, install the client software, Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.
Here's a link to it in the App Store:

Either click the link above then click View in Mac App Store, or open App Store yourself then search for Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.
Once you have found it in the App Store, click Get or Install to install it on your Mac.

Do not install Microsoft Remote Desktop 10. That is a different app which will not work with the Informatics Remote Desktop. Install Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.


Second, configure it:

  1. Start Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0. You'll find it in the Applications folder or in Launchpad.
  2. Click New
  3. In the window that appears, enter the following:
    • Connection Name Informatics
    • PC name
    • User name your DICE username, for example s1234567 or babarpapa

    To use the staff/research postgrad/visitor service, enter instead of

  4. Close the window.

How to connect

  1. In Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0, double-click the Informatics entry in the My Desktops list.
  2. After a few seconds a Connection Log window will appear:
  3. Click OK to make the login window appear:
  4. Enter your DICE password then press OK.


If you have a slow connection, and your remote desktop responds slowly, try reducing the number of colours it uses.
To do this, highlight the Informatics session in the My Desktops list, then click Edit. Change the Colors entry from True Color (24 bit) to High Color (8 bit). New sessions should then run less slowly.

If you have the wrong keyboard layout (for instance if shift-3 on a British keyboard doesn't bring up a £ sign) then the following command, when run in a terminal window in your RDP DICE session, should fix things:
setxkbmap -model macbook78 -layout gb

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