Windows Remote Desktop

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With Remote Desktop enabled, you can operate the Windows desktop computer in your office from almost anywhere - even from a Mac or Linux computer.  Check with your LSP for help enabling Windows Remote Desktop on your office computer.

Once you have the Remote Desktop service enabled on your office computer, use the instructions below to make connections from your laptop, home computer or other machine.


To access remote desktop you must first access the remote desktop application:

  1. Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Remote Desktop Connection
  2. Type "address" in the "Computer:" textbox and click the "Options" button.

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  3. Click on the "Local Resources" tab, then click "More..." and make sure that "Drives" is checked off, then click "Okay".
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  4. Click "Connect".

This should allow you to access your desktop computer from any computer, anywhere in the world assuming that the computer/network allows outgoing connections on port 33899, which most should.

Alternatively, after this is set up, instead of clicking "Connect" you can click "Save as..." and save a copy of this connection profile to your desktop, or wherever you would like.  This will create a shortcut you can double click on to connect. It is very important that you do not save your password into the connection profile, as it would give access to your desktop computer to anyone who has access to the file.

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To connect to a windows desktop using windows remote desktop on OS X you must first download a remote desktop client.  You can either download the official Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection for Mac client or there is a good 3rd party utility named CoRD. This tutorial will only include instructions and screenshots for the Microsoft offering.

  1. You should download Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection from the link above, after downloading it double click on it to mount the .dmg file.  This should open a finder window with a file named "Remote Desktop Connection.mpkg", if it did not open a finder window and look in the left sidebar under "Devices".
  2. Double click on "Remote Desktop Connection.mpkg" and click "Continue" through and accept the license agreement, when you get to "Install" click that button and authenticate if you are prompted, once this is done click "Close". 
  3. You should now have an application named "Remote Desktop Connection" in your applications folder, launch this application.
  4. You can now type in the hostname and port of the computer that you would like to remote desktop into, however you may want to change a few preferences first, such as whether or not to mount local drives when you remote into the target computer. To do click click "RDC" along the top title bar and select "Preferences" or hit Command-,.
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  5. Once you are in preferences click on the "Drives" tab and select "All disk drives" from the drop down menu.  You may also want to configure the display here, it is important not to save all of your login information such as your password here as when you close the connection it will ask if you want to save the settings and it will then save your password to a file on the computer, giving anyone with access to your computer access to the remote desktop as well.

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On most modern Linux installs there should be an application named "Terminal Server Client" installed by default for both Gnome and KDE. This is the application that I will suggest you use for remote desktop connections to Windows machines using Windows Remote Desktop.

  1. First you will want to launch Terminal Server Client program.
  2. The client should open to the "General" tab, please type in the hostname of the computer you would like to connect to in the "Computer:" field. If you want clipboard support change the protocol to RDPv5. You can also type in your user name in the "User Name:" field, and if your account is a SAS domain account type "SAS" under the "Domain:" field.
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  3. If you would like to mount your local drives during the remote session click on "Local Resources" and ensure that "Add my local drive to the remote computer" near the bottom is checked off.
  4. You can save this as a quick connect profile by clicking Save As just above the Connect button, but be sure to not save your password into a quick connect profile as anyone with access to your computer will then also have access to the remote computer as well.