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Remote Desktop Service

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The Informatics Remote Desktop service gives you a DICE Linux graphical login. You can use it from anywhere, on any device which has RDP client software.

How to get started with remote desktop

Hosts

  1. All Users: Your remote desktop host is your DICE username followed by .remote.inf.ed.ac.uk. For example, if your username was s1234567 then your remote host would be s1234567.remote.inf.ed.ac.uk.
  2. Staff: Staff may also use a remote desktop server name staff.xrdp.inf.ed.ac.uk.
  3. Office desktop owners: If you have a personal DICE computer (many staff and research postgrads have this), you can use it as a remote desktop server. In this case you should bear two things in mind:
    • Your remote desktop host will be your DICE machine name followed by .inf.ed.ac.uk.
    • You will need to use ⇒ OpenVPN. If you don't, your access will be stopped by the Informatics firewall.
  4. SL7: If you require access to a legacy SL7 desktop you should use sl7.xrdp.inf.ed.ac.uk.

How to logout

When you have finished, please logout of your session - here's how:

Sessions left idle for more than two weeks are terminated automatically.

Limitations

The remote desktop machines are shared, so please be considerate.

Processes which need a lot of memory or processing power, or which take days to run, should be run on remote lab computers or on the compute servers - not on the remote desktop machines.

Some software is not available on remote desktop servers. This includes the Chrome web browser (google-chrome, google-chrome-stable) and MATLAB. To use this software from the remote desktop session, login (using ssh in a terminal window) to a lab computer or a compute server or your own DICE desktop if you have one, and run it there.

FAQ

Share your screen (in a scheduled lab session)
See Chrome remote desktop.
Desktop Environment
The remote desktop service only supports the MATE desktop environment. To ensure a good quality of service, selecting an alternative desktop environment is not supported. The GNOME and KDE desktop environments both need a lot of resources and GNOME is known to not function correctly. However GNOME and KDE applications can still be run if wanted.
Copy/Paste Support
The standard copy/paste functionality (supported in most applications through menus or by using Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v, Ctrl-x) should now work reliably between remote and local environments. The traditional Unix style of highlighting text to copy and pasting by middle-button mouse click does NOT work.
Screen resizing
The XRDP software (which provides the RDP connection to the local X server) does not support dynamically changing the screen resolution - it is necessary to disconnect and then reconnect. See this issue on the project github page for full details.
Audio
There is no support for forwarding audio from the remote session to the local client.
Keyboard mapping problem
You may well get a US keyboard layout when you login - meaning that characters such as £, ~, |, > are on the wrong keys or aren't present. If you have the wrong keyboard layout then the following command, when run in a terminal window in your RDP DICE session, should fix things: setxkbmap gb.
Login problems
The keyboard mapping problem (above) means that people with non-alphanumeric characters in their DICE password may not be able to login, because their keyboard isn't sending the symbols they expect. We're looking for a solution to this problem.
Mate panel disappears
If the Mate panel disappears, it can be reset by right clicking on the desktop to open a terminal from the menu. In the terminal type mate-panel --reset .
Last reviewed: 
11/10/2019

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