Remote desktop

Remote Desktop is a general term for a system which allows a user to interact remotely with a computer, as if physically working at it. This article will briefly describe some options for each of the following types of Remote Desktop:

  • Windows (client) to Windows (host)
  • Macintosh (client) to Macintosh (host)
  • Windows (client) to Macintosh (host)
  • Macintosh (client) to Windows (host)

Windows (client) to Windows (host)

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection is a proprietary application which can be used to control computers running certain versions of Windows remotely, using a proprietary connection called Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This option is built into the Windows operating system - no additional software is required.

The host machine must be set to accept these types of connections and not sleep or hibernate in order for Remote Desktop Connections to work best.

Allowing Remote Desktop on Windows (host)

If you are a faculty or staff member at Gustavus, please contact the Technology Helpline (507-933-6111 or helpline@gustavus.edu) regarding your desire to use your computer as a Remote Desktop host. We can make the appropriate changes to the network and your machine to allow off-campus remote access to your computer.

Duo Two Factor Authentication is required for remote access. For enrollment and general information, please see: Duo_Two_Factor_Authentication.

Using Remote Desktop (client)

All current versions of Windows have a built-in Remote Desktop Connection client, which can be found by searching for: Remote Desktop Connection

Microsoft offers a free standalone application client for older versions of Windows (back to Windows 95): Remote Desktop Connection software for Windows.

To use Remote Desktop, please first configure the Remote Desktop Gateway:

RemoteGatewayConfig.jpg
  1. Launch the Remote Desktop Connection client.
  2. Click Show options at the lower left of the Remote Desktop Connection window
  3. Select the Advanced tab
  4. Under Connect from anywhere, click Settings
  5. Select the Use these RD Gateway server settings:
    1. Server name: remotegw.gac.edu
    2. Deselect the Bypass RD Gateway server for local addresses
    3. Select the option on the bottom for Use my RD Gateway credentials for the remote computer
  6. Click OK

To use Remote Desktop:

  1. Launch the Remote Desktop Connection client or select the General tab if the application is already running.
  2. Enter the Full Computer Name of the computer that you want to connect to. (i.e. jdoe17-45.gustie.gac.edu).
    1. To get your full computer name under Start->Right Click on Computer and select Properties. NOTE: This must be done on the computer you are connecting to. Not the one your are connecting from.
    2. Scroll down to view your full computer name.
  3. Click Connect
  4. When prompted, enter your login credentials (on Gustavus machines - gustavus e-mail username and password) on the computer you're connecting to, authenticate with Duo Two Factor, begin using your Windows environment.

Macintosh (client) to Macintosh (host)

There are a number of different options and solutions for Macintosh to Macintosh remote control or file access.

File Sharing

You can share the files on your Macintosh to other computers on the network. Please see How to Connect with FileSharing on your Mac.

Screen Sharing

You can share your screen with other Macintosh computers on the network. Please see Share your Screen.

Apple Remote Desktop

Apple Remote Desktop is a proprietary application for remotely controlling Mac OS X machines. Avaialable for purchase from the App Store.


Windows (client) to Macintosh (host)

The Macintosh operating system can be configured to share files with a Windows computer, please see: Set up a Mac to share files with Windows users.


Macintosh (client) to Windows (host)

There are multiple remote control clients for the Macintosh. If you wish to log into a Windows 8 (or better) computer, you must use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Macintosh - available from the App Store -Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client

  1. Enable Remote Desktop on the Windows host (see above).
  2. Launch Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client
  3. In the Connection Center, click +. Enter the following information:
    1. Connection Name - name your connection.
    2. PC name - Enter the Full Computer Name of the computer that you want to connect to. (i.e. jdoe17-45.gustie.gac.edu).
      1. To get your full computer name under Start->Right Click on Computer and select Properties. NOTE: This must be done on the computer you are connecting to. Not the one your are connecting from. Scroll down to view your full computer name.
    3. Under Gateway, select Add Gateway
    4. Click the + Symbol and add the following information:
      1. Gateway name: Remote Gateway
      2. Server: remotegw.gac.edu
      3. Username: gustie\yourgustavususername
      4. Password: yourgustavuspassword
    5. Close the Gateway Preferences window.
    6. Select the Remote Gateway in the Gateway pop-down in the Edit Remote Desktops Window.
    7. In the Credentials section
      1. Username: gustie\username
      2. Password: yourgustavuspassword
    8. Close the Edit Remote Desktops window
  4. Once you have configured all the settings, this will be your fist step in connecting. In the Connection Center, select your new connection and click Start.
  5. Authenticate with Duo Two Factor and begin using your windows environment.

Additional Gustavus Options

Virtual Network Computing

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a platform-independent remote desktop system, using the Remote FrameBuffer protocol. Several open source and proprietary applications use VNC, including:

  • Apple Remote Desktop 2 (proprietary)
  • RealVNC (proprietary)
  • UltraVNC (open source)
  • TightVNC (open source, but potentially insecure)