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Faculty of Mathematics

Connecting from Linux to Windows

Reasons to do this include using Windows software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, Distiller, Illustrator and Photoshop, and the full version of MS Office 2010.

Connecting to the Maths Windows Service from Linux

From a Maths Linux machine

The easiest way to connect to the RDS server from a Maths Linux PC is via the Gnome menus (Applications -> Office -> Windows Applications). This will run the local command windows_applications and you can also connect by typing this at the command line.

The windows_applications command is a wrapper around the standard Unix command rdesktop. See this for yourself by typing cat /alt/bin/windows_applications. For more details about what the options mean, type man rdesktop.

rdesktop -d mathsdom -g 90% -T 'Remote Desktop Service' -a 32 -x l rds.maths.cam.ac.uk

From your own Linux machine

The procedure for connecting to the RDS server from a Linux computer outside the CMS is slightly different. rdesktop connections are blocked at the firewall, so you begin by setting up an ssh tunnel with a command like:

ssh -L 3386:rds.maths.cam.ac.uk:3389 CRSid@ssh.maths.cam.ac.uk

Replace "CRSid" by your CRSid.

Now pop up a new terminal window and type the commands:

$u = ab123 # your CRSid

rdesktop -u $u -d mathsdom -g 90% -T 'Remote Desktop Service' -a 32 -x l localhost:3386

A couple of changes have been made to the rdesktop command here.

  • The "-u username" option has been added because your login name on your home computer may not be the same as your CRSid.
  • "rds.maths.cam.ac.uk" has been replaced by "localhost:3386" because of the tunnelling.

Connecting to the Maths Windows server from a Mac

You will need a remote desktop client. We recommend CoRD. Microsoft's RDP client does not work well with our server.

If you have asked for your password to be reset, and you are experiencing problems logging in from your Mac, try logging into a public Windows PC and changing your password when requested. Doing this via Linux will also work, but some Mac RDP clients have problems conveying the password change request to the user.

Set up a tunnel as described for Linux.

ssh -L 3386:rds.maths.cam.ac.uk:3389 CRSid@ssh.maths.cam.ac.uk

Then launch your Remote Desktop client and connect to localhost:3386, domain MATHSDOM, and if that does not work then try 127.0.0.1:3386