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Chrome Remote Desktop

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What it does

Google's Chrome Remote Desktop (or "CRD") is a way of sharing control of your remote DICE desktop session with somebody else. (Don't confuse it with our similarly named ⇒ remote desktop service.) We're using it to help facilitate group lab work, to help give participants some interaction and support while we can't provide these sessions face to face on campus.

CRD will allow a demonstrator or another student to access and control your remote DICE desktop session, in order to provide instructional support or to allow joint working.

Only DICE remote desktop

Access and control of your remote DICE desktop session is the only permitted use of CRD.
Access and control of your personal device is not a permitted use of CRD.
Use for anything other than described here is not a permitted use.
Use on anything other than a remote DICE desktop session is not a permitted use of CRD.

You don't have to use it

While clearly advantageous, the use of CRD is entirely a personal choice for any student. If, as a student, you are working jointly and you do not wish to use CRD, then the group should look for an alternative. Microsoft Teams for example supports screen sharing, and sometimes offers remote control. Discuss this with your demonstrator or course organiser.

Consider the risks

The use of CRD creates a potential risk of exposure of any personal content you hold within your DICE account. Bear in mind that holding any content other than specifically work related content in your DICE account is against the Computing Regulations that you will have agreed to on registration.

The use of CRD does not create a risk of exposure of any content on your personal device - the CRD connection is made directly to your remote DICE desktop session, and your DICE account. There is no connection made to your personal device itself and hence no remote access is possible to any of the content displayed or held on your personal device.

You are in complete control of both initiating a connection and accepting a connection. You must always do so from a Chrome browser running within your remote DICE desktop session. In so doing you do not expose any content on your personal device. NEVER initiate a connection from a Chrome browser running on your personal device itself, as you risk inadvertent exposure of content if you do so. Your demonstrator or another student should NEVER ask you to do so. If they do, DECLINE, advise them why, and if there is an ongoing issue, raise this with the course organiser or Director of Teaching.

Lab sessions only

The use of CRD is restricted to scheduled group lab sessions only. The use of CRD outside these times is not permitted.

Google accounts

A Google account is necessary to use CRD, for all parties.

As a student, this Google account need only be retained for as long as you want - this might be for just one single CRD session, a semester, a session or forever. You can delete this Google account and associated data at any point if you no longer need or want to use CRD.

We STRONGLY recommend you do not use a pre-existing personal Google account to use CRD. Instead, create a specific Google account just for CRD. We recommend you use your University student email address for the Google account as that will help demonstrators and other students recognise your session.

As a demonstrator, the Google account being used should be retained for at least as long as you are providing support for a course using CRD. We STRONGLY recommend you do not use a pre-existing personal Google account to use the CRD service. Instead, create a specific Google account just for CRD. We recommend you use your University staff email address for the Google account as that will help students recognise you.

Privacy statement

Relating to your use of Chrome Remote Desktop - what data do we hold on you, and where from, and what do we do with it? Find out at ⇒ Privacy statement - Chrome Remote Desktop.

How to use Chrome Remote Desktop

The CRD connection process is typically as follows.

1. Use a DICE session

You should be in a DICE session on the ⇒ remote desktop service.

2. Ask for assistance

As a student, you would request assistance from a demonstrator or contact another student by some other channel, e.g. within a Teams chat session or breakout room. (Find out more about Teams at ⇒ Online meetings and collaboration.)

3. Start a Terminal window

Open a Terminal window (From the Applications menu choose System Tools -> MATE Terminal).

If your DICE session is on a remote.inf.ed.ac.uk server, ssh to a ⇒ remote lab computer using your Terminal window.

4. Start Chrome

In your Terminal window type:

google-chrome https://remotedesktop.google.com/support

5. Set up the browser (first time only)

The first time you visit that page, you may be prompted to login to your Google account, and to "install the Remote Desktop app". Do both of these things. The DICE lab machines are already configured to support CRD, but if you agree to the prompt, the necessary Chrome browser extension will be downloaded and installed.

6. Request support

To request support, click the "Generate Code" button (you'll find it in the "Get Support" box). If this box just says "Download" then refer to step 5 above as it means the Chrome browser extension is missing.
This will give you a unique connection code for a session, valid for 5 minutes. Pass that number to the demonstrator or student by some other channel - a private chat message, for example.

7. The other person connects

The demonstrator or student you contacted will go to the same page (https://remotedesktop.google.com/support) in Chrome (which does not need to be running under a remote DICE desktop session and could just be running directly on a personal device), enter that access code in the "Give Support" box, and connect to your session.

8. Give permission

You will receive a popup confirmation window with the other person's Google account email address. When you approve, a connection will be established between your DICE Remote Desktop session and that other person.

The other person will then have remote control over your DICE Remote Desktop session. The other person will not have remote control over or any access to your personal device.

How to end Chrome Remote Desktop

The connection will last until it is closed explicitly at either end, or until you terminate your DICE Remote Desktop session.

Last reviewed: 
23/09/2020

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