Knowledge Base

Accessing Windows Servers and Desktops from off campus

rds.act.reading.ac.uk is a Windows Terminal server (suitable for lightweight admin tasks but not for research computing) and a Gateway server which allows access to other Windows machines on campus without need to use the VPN.

The Windows desktop service is available to all staff and students, but if you haven’t used it before you will need to request access by sending an email to it@reading.ac.uk.  If you find that you no longer have access please request access from it@reading.ac.uk

Connect from a web browser

Open your web browser.  Go to rds.act.reading.ac.uk.  You will be asked to sign in. If you have no sign in box please use Google Chrome, Firefox can be unreliable with Windows Terminal Services.

 

Rds Logon Box

 

A list of frequently used applications are available from this interface.  These include Office 2016, Outlook and others.  If a full desktop is required then choose the Remote Desktop icon.  You will have the option to print locally and share your clipboard (which allows you to share copy and paste functionality.)

 

The full desktop awaits in all its glory!

Connect from Linux

While Rdesktop will not authenticate with the RDS.ACT terminal server due to an older authentication mechanism (at the time of writing) Xfreerdp will work.  This can be added to a Linux machine by a user with Sudo (administration) rights.  Instructions for this can be found on the freeRDP webpage, www.freerdp.com Please note that the performance is not as good for this as using the web interface.  There is one small caveat, this method will only work on.

Once installed open a terminal and copy / paste the following.  (Please ensure that you change the instructions to have your university username in.)

$xfreerdp /v:rds.act.reading.ac.uk /u:{yourusername} /gdi:sw +smart-sizing +clipboard +printer

And add your login password when prompted.

 

Software

The installed software includes 7-zip, Office 2016, Group Manager, Git, Atom, Knime, Matlab 2018a, Microsoft Teams, R, Tableau and Win SCP.

Troubleshooting

If you have an ad-blocker try disabling it, if this helps you can white-list rds.act.reading.ac.uk .  If this does not help try using a different browser.

 

 

 

 

 

** Now Discontinued ** 

Currently the below connection technique is discontinued.  If you need this service we can advise on alternate connection methods to achieve the same result by contacting it@reading.ac.uk

Connect with Windows Remote Desktop client

To connect to rds.act.reading.ac.uk from off campus, you need to set up the RDS client to use RDP gateway rds.act.reading.ac.uk

Using rds.act.reading.ac.uk as an RD gateway to connect to other systems is now disabled.

News

RSE@UoR has launched

The Academic and Research Computing Team (ARC) in DTS has launched the university-wide Research Software Engineering Group RSE@UoR today. Led by Maria Broadbridge and Paul Heaton, RSE@UoR aims to form a sustainable community to help researchers to produce high quality research software by providing support, expertise and training in many aspects of software development. For more information on RSE@UoR services, contact details and how to get involved, please see the new RSE@UoR website!   What is Research Software Engineering and what does RSE@UoR do? Research Software Engineering (RSE) and programming skills are becoming more and more integral to research across a multitude of disciplines. Too often researchers, in particular early career researchers, have not had any formal education in these skills when joining the University and to do not have access to training and support. Research Software Engineers are people who combine technical expertise with software and an intricate understanding of research and are uniquely positioned to make informed recommendations in research software development. RSE@UoR...
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