Windows Remote Desktop

Accessing Windows from Linux

To allow access to Windows applications from within Linux, SNS has created a 'wrapper script', /usr/local/share/bin/windows, that calls the rdesktop command with all the necessary settings to connect to a Windows Remote Desktop server. /usr/local/share/bin is in the default PATH on Linux, so you should be able to connect to Windows just by typing the command windows.

The windows command will start a Windows desktop on the local desktop although it is in fact running on a Windows Remote Desktop server. The Windows desktop will display in 24-bit color, with sound.

The available applications are the same as on the Windows PC's, with some minor exceptions. Some of the listed applications are not available on Windows Remote Desktop, either because these applications are already available under Linux (e.g. Mathematica, Maple, IDL, Matlab), or because they do not lend themselves well to being run in the remote desktop environment. Nevertheless, if you think of an application you would like to see available, please let the computing staff know.

Accessing Windows from Mac OS X

  1. Start /Applications/Microsoft Remote
  2. For a new connection, click new.

  3. In the General tab of the Edit Remote Desktops window, give it a descriptive connection name of your choosing e.g. SNS RDP server.

  4. For PC Name enter

  5. Enter your username as IAS\username and password accordingly.

  6. You may check or uncheck the checkbox for "Start session in full screen".

  7. When completed, click the red round icon on the top left of the Edit Remote Desktops window.

  8. The newly created connection will now be listed. Double click on it to initiate the connection.


Please logout from your Windows remote session if you aren't actively using it. If you find yourself using Windows continuously; maybe running IE or Edge for all your browsing for example, you should consider switching to use a Windows PC.