Connecting to Linux workstations with RDP

Anyone with access to a CSL managed Linux computer can connect remotely using an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) client. This protocol provides a graphical login environment which should largely mirror a session at the computer screen.

RDP clients

All Windows and most Linux workstations will have an RDP client installed by default. On Windows, press the Windows key and search for:

Remote Desktop Connection

On Linux, Remmina is bundled with many desktop distributions. This may be invoked in the usual ways in the various desktop environments.

RDP connection setup

  1. Connect to the CS Department VPN [instructions]
  2. Enter the name of the computer you wish to connect to or use: best-linux.cs.wisc.edu. If you use best-linux, the actual computer you are connected to is displayed at the top of the login window (e.g., royal-11.cs.wisc.edu)
  3. Login with your CS username and password

Note that you may encounter an error message regarding certificate verification. This is expected as the certificates being used are self-signed.

Finally, please explicitly logout from your session rather than just closing the window.

Caveats and typical problems

If you are logged in more than once, some applications such as Firefox and Chrome will fail to start if they are already running in another session, due to a shared lock file.