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Remote Desktop on a Mac

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

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

Install the client

First, install the free client software, Microsoft Remote Desktop 10.
Here's a link to it in the App Store:

Either click the link above then select View in Mac App Store, or open App Store yourself then search for Microsoft Remote Desktop 10.
Then click Get or Install to install it on your Mac.

Configure the client

Second, configure it:

  1. Start Microsoft Remote Desktop. You'll find it in the Applications folder or in Launchpad.
  2. Click + and choose Desktop.
  3. In the window that appears, enter in the PC name field.
    To use the staff, research postgrad, and visitor service, enter instead.
  4. Close the window.

How to connect

  1. In Microsoft Remote Desktop, double-click the icon.
  2. In the User Account window, enter your DICE username and password then click Done.

Your DICE session should start.


  • 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 session icon then select Edit Desktop from the Connections menu. Click Display then change Color Quality from High (32 bit) to Medium (16 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
  • If your DICE login doesn't work first time or if you don't enter your username and password before connecting, you'll see a DICE login screen - but a bug in the Mac client can make this look blank. Here's what this looks like, and what it should look like:

    You may also see a blank box with one blank button on it. This is an error message, and if you click the button you'll then see the login screen as above.
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