Computer Systems Lab
Connecting & Supporting the Computer Sciences Department
Windows Remote Desktop Howto

Connecting to Windows Workstations with Remote Desktop

CS Department Windows 10 office workstations and the CS Remote Desktop Server can be accessed remotely using the Windows Remote Desktop service. For security reasons, access from outside the Computer Sciences network also requires use of the Department VPN . Please note that instructional Windows 10 workstations cannot be accessed via Remote Desktop, as it would lock out users physically at the workstation. You must use the terminal server instead.

From a Windows computer
From a Linux computer
From a Mac computer
Notes on using Remote Desktop

Connecting from a Windows computer

  1. If connecting from outside the CS Department network, first connect to the Department VPN .
  2. Open Remote Desktop Connection. This can be found by either navigating Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories or by typing Remote Desktop Connection into the Start Menu search box.
  3. Enter the hostname of the Windows 10 office workstation or to use the Department Remote Desktop server. The example below is configured for; replace with the appropriate hostname. A new Remote Desktop Connection window.
  4. To avoid authentication domain issues, click Options and specify your CS username (with the CS.WISC.EDU\ prefix) in the extended options. The example below is for a user named bbadger; replace with your CS username. Example of specifying the username in the extended options.
  5. Click Connect. If there is a warning about not being able to certify the identity of the computer, click Yes to dismiss the warning.
  6. After the connection is established, log in to the Windows login screen.

Connecting from a Linux computer

  1. If connecting from outside the CS Department network, first connect to the Department VPN .
  2. On Linux, Remmina is bundled with many desktop distributions. This may be invoked in the usual ways in the various desktop environments.
  3. Follow the instructions starting at Step #3 in the Windows section above for hostname and username

Connecting from a Mac computer

Microsoft has a free program, Microsoft Remote Desktop , available to connect from a Mac to a Windows workstation. This program can be installed from the Mac App Store, and support for installation and use can be found on accompanying pages of the Mac App Store web page. After installing and launching the Microsoft Remote Desktop program, follow the Connecting from a Windows computer section starting at Step #3 for instructions on how to use the program.

Notes on using Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop hostname

If you have a Windows workstation in your office, you can connect to the workstation using the hostname of that workstation (for example, If you do not have a Windows workstation, or prefer to use the remote desktop server instead, use (instructional) or (research or administration) as the remote hostname.

Resuming a workstation session and applications via Remote Desktop

To leave desktop applications running that you can resume via remote desktop, use Switch User rather than Logout when you leave your office. When leaving applications running from the remote desktop connection, choose Disconnect rather than Logout. Logout will always end any running applications.

Authentication Domain Issues

If the user name below the user icon is AD\username or HOSTNAME\username, click Other User and in the username box type: CS.WISC.EDU\username, replacing username with your CS user name.

Note that CS.WISC.EDU is case sensitive and must be in all upper case letters.
Example of AD\username and Other User.

An example of CS.WISC.EDU\username and password field.