Student on a lab computer

Do your research remotely

Everything you need to connect remotely to a lab computer from your device

You can access around 450 lab computers remotely and use any of the software installed on that computer, or via AppsAnywhere.

See our guides on connecting remotely using Microsoft Remote Desktop. Once you're logged into Microsoft Remote Desktop, choose an available computer to get started.

Getting started

When using a computer remotely:

  • You will need to be connected to the VPN
  • You are only able to connect to PCs that are available– the status of a computer will become unavailable as soon as the computer has been logged into
  • You will need to have a reliable internet connection
  • You have to log into the computer with your University account
  • Some software is only available in some locations
  • Standard software such as Microsoft Office and web browsers is available on all computers
  • The resolution of the monitor may be different to what you are using to connect with
  • Computer connections are reserved for 3 minutes, if you do not connect during this time, the connection file will time-out and you may need to select a different computer to connect to
  • If your session is inactive for 30 minutes you will be disconnected
  • You can reuse an Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) connection if the computer remains available – please check before attempting to reuse a connection

How to connect

1. Connect to the VPN.

2. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.

3. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available.

Find an available computer

4. Click the external link icon to the right of the area you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer.

Find an available computer

5. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file.

Download the connection file

6. A connect.rdp file will download. Click on the connect.rdp file to start the connection.

Run the RDP file

7. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will appear. Select Connect.

Connect to the computer

8. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068

Enter your username and password

9. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Yes to continue.

Accept the certificate

10. The computer will log in.

The computer will log in

11. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user.

Log off

12. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.

1. Visit the App store and sign in if you are not signed in already. Search for Microsoft Remote Desktop, click the cloud icon to download the app.

2. Open the application once the download has completed. The app will install to your Applications directory.

3. Request to the microphone and camera will be required. Click Continue.

Permissions on macOS

4. A dialog box will appear requesting access to your microphone. Select OK to continue.

Microphone permissions on macOS

5. A second dialog box will appear requesting access to your camera. Select OK to continue.

Camera permissions on macOS

6. Connect to the VPN.

7. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.

8. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available.

Find an available computer

9. Click the external link icon to the right of the location you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer.

Find an available computer

10. If you are prompted to allow downloads from keyserver.port.ac.uk click Allow.

Allow downloads

11. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file.

Connect to the computer

12. From the Dock, click the downloaded connect.rdp file. You can find the downloaded connect.rdp file your Downloads directory if you cannot find it in your Dock.

Launch the downloa

13. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068

Login to the computer

14. A dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Continue.

Accept the certificate

15. The computer will log in.

The computer will log in

16. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user.

Log off

17. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.

This method requires access to the Android Play Store. You can find out if your Chromebook supports Android apps by clicking here.

1. If you already have the Chrome OS Webstore version of Global Protect, please uninstall it by right-clicking or alt-clicking the application and selecting Uninstall.

2. Open the Play Store from your applications.

Play Store icon

3. Search for Microsoft Remote Desktop, click Install to install the app. 

Install RDP

4. Connect to the VPN.

5. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.

6. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available.

Find an available computer

7. Click the external link icon to the right of the location you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer.

 Find an available computer

8. A Connect dialog window will appear, click Download to download the connection file.

Download the connection file

9. A connect.rdp file will download. Locate this file in your Downloads directory and select OPEN from the menu at the top, from the drop down menu click RD Client.

Open the RDP file

10. Optional step: You may wish to change the default program used to open .rdp files by choosing the Change default... option from the menu in your Downloads folder. Select RD Client from the options provided. Now you can double click any .rdp files and they will be opened in the RD Client by default.

Change defaul options

Choose RD CLient

11. When using for the first time, you may see a dialog box will ask you to accept agreements. Select Accept.

Accept agreements

12. Enter uni\username e.g. uni\up874068

Login to the compute

13. A Remote Desktop Connection dialog box will display with details of the Certificate of the computer you are connecting to. Select Continue/span>.

Accept the certificate

14. The computer will log in.

The computer will log in

15. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user.

Log off

17. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.

Microsoft Remote Desktop requires iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 to work.

1. Visit the App store and sign in if you are not signed in already. Download Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the App Store.

2. Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. It is called RD Client on the home screen.

3. Request to the microphone, bluetooth and camera will be required. Click Continue on each prompt that appears.

4. Connect to the VPN.

5. Visit the Remote Access page from your web browser.

6. Each location name corresponds to the building and room number the areas is in, e.g. RB-1-03-REMOTE would be Richmond Building, room 1.03, please see the Key to look up building names. The availability of the area is shown by percentage and visually on the progress bar. When the bar is full there are no computers currently available.

Find an available computer

7. Click the external link icon to the right of the location you would like to connect to, this will automatically choose an available computer.

Find an available computer 

8. Click the Download button to download the connection file.

Download the connection file

9. Confirm you would like to download the connexion file but choosing Download.

Confirm download of the connection file

10. Open your Files app, locate the connect file and tap to open. The file should open in Microsoft Remote Desktop connection.

The connection file

11. Enter your University username e.g. up874068 and password. The computer will log in.

Find an available computer

16. To log off, click the Start button and select the Log off tile in the Start menu. You will be signed out of the computer and it will become available for another user.

Log off

17. If you wish to connect to a specific computer, you can choose the list option to the left of the location, then connect to a specific computer by choosing the Connect option next to the computer. You can use the filter at the top to only show available computers.

Building key

Each location has a name that corresponds to the building it is located in:

  • AG – Anglesea
  • BK – Buckingham
  • EL – Eldon
  • KH – King Henry
  • PK – Park
  • PO – Portland
  • RB – Richmond
  • SA – St. Andrew's Court
  • UL – University Library
  • ULC – University Learning Centre

University Lab and Open Access areas

Choose the building and lab or Open Access area you'd like to connect to a computer in.


Remote access to Linux Lab computers using SSH

In order to run specialist software applications (such as matlab, opnet, sage etc) from a PC in one of the two Linux labs A2.02 or A2.03, and be able to display the application on your personal computer, follow the steps related to your operating system.

As detailed in the diagram below, connect from your personal computer, through the gateway server, onto one of the machines in the specialist Linux labs. The diagram gives an example of the lab machines – see a complete list of lab machines you can connect to.

Remote access via ssh using X11 display

The lab machines are dual-boot, and automatically boot into Linux overnight, however, if the machine is switched off, or being used during the day by Windows users, you will not be able to connect to that specific machine and you may need to try an alternative machine.

These instructions have been tested on CentOS 7, Ubuntu 18.04, Windows 10, and Mac OSX Mojave.

How to connect

To connect into the Linux system is a two stage process:

  • Connect into the gateway server: ssh.ee.port.ac.uk using software for a terminal window
  • In a terminal window ssh -X onwards to a host machine in one of the specialist Linux Labs (A2.02 / A2.03)

Open a terminal and connect to the gateway server using the following command, substituting username with your login credentials. Accept the fingerprint when prompted, followed by your password.

ssh -X username@hostname

Test Students

You will now be able to launch your application from the remote PC, such as Opnet, which will display on your own machine.

Eg. Type in the name of the application you wish to run in the terminal window
example: [ opnet ] or [ firefox ] or [ matlab ] or [ sage ]

You can press the key sequence of CTRL +C to quit if there are any problems

In order to connect into the Linux system using a Windows based machine you will need to have some extra software which will allow remote access to a Linux X11 window graphics environment. We recommend using the successfully tested graphical application called Xming, along with access software such as Putty.

  • Install and launch Xming (Xming is a background X window server) – agree to all the default options, and create desktop/quick launch items if desired
  • Install and launch Putty – agree to all the default options, and create desktop/quick launch items if desired

Ensure that X11 forwarding is switched on to allow a display on the client Expand SSH from the menu on the left to show X11 Tick Enable X11 forwarding.

PuTTY Configuration

Connect to the gateway entry server Select Session from the menu on the left, and type ssh.ee.port.ac.uk in the Host Name field.

PuTTY Configuration 2

If this is the first time you are connecting to the gateway server from this machine, you will be prompted to accept a security key fingerprint. Select Yes to this prompt.

Login to the gateway server using your university username and password.

PuTTY Configuration 3

You will now be able to ssh on to a machine in one of the Linux labs A2.02 or A2.03 with the -X options to allow display back to your host.

ssh -X username@hostname [ e.g. mouse, rabbit, fox, bode, bell, marconi etc... ] 

E.g. Type in the name of the application you wish to run in the terminal window
example: [ opnet ] or [ firefox ] or [ matlab ] or [ sage ]

You can press the key sequence of CTRL +C to quit if there are any problems

Install the Xquartz program for X11 display (xquartz is the official X server software for mac).

Agree to all the default options, and create desktop/quick launch items if desired.

Using your preferred editor (we have used vim), edit the ssh_config file is modified to allow X11 forwarding.

vim /etc/ssh/ssh_config

XAuthLocation /opt/X11/bin/xauth
ForwardAgent yes
ForwardX11 yes

Launch XQuartz and select Terminal from within XQuartz (you may need to right-click on XQuartz, select Applications, Terminal).

Connect to the gateway server using the following command, substituting username with your login credentials. Accept the fingerprint when prompted, followed by your password.

ssh -X username@ssh.ee.port.ac.uk

Connect to the lab machine, again substituting username with your login credentials, and hostname with the name of a machine in either A2.02 or A2.03. Accept the fingerprint when prompted, followed by your password.

ssh -X username@hostname

You will now be able to launch your application from the remote PC, such as Opnet, which will display on your own machine.

E.g. Type in the name of the application you wish to run in the terminal window
example: [ opnet ] or [ firefox ] or [ matlab ] or [ sage ]

You can press the key sequence of CTRL +C to quit if there are any problems

Available lab machines

 

A2.02 Hostnames A2.03 Hostnames PO 2.27 Hostnames LG 0.14a Hostnames LG 0.14b Hostnames
ampere
bell
bode
boole
bose
coulomb
dirac
doppler
edison
euler
fermi
henry
hertz
joule
laplace
marconi
maxwell
morse
napier
newton
norton
ohm
planck
siemen
tellegen
tesla
volta
watt
bear
beaver
bison
bull
camel
cheetah
chimp
chipmunk
cougar
coyote
deer
elk
fox
gazelle
gerbil
giraffe
goat
gorilla
hippo
horse
hyena
ibex
impala
jackal
jaguar
kanga
koala
kudu
lemur
leopard
llama
lynx
marmot
meerkat
mink
mouse
mule
ocelot
okapi
otter
panda
quagga
rabbit
rhino
sheep
shrew
squirrel
tapir
vixen
wolf
wombat
zebra
PO227PC01
PO227PC02
PO227PC03
PO227PC04
PO227PC05
PO227PC06
PO227PC07
PO227PC08
PO227PC09
PO227PC10
PO227PC11
PO227PC12
PO227PC13
PO227PC14
PO227PC15
PO227PC16
PO227PC17
PO227PC18
PO227PC19
PO227PC20
PO227PCLECT
LG014A-PC01
LG014A-PC02
LG014A-PC03
LG014A-PC04
LG014A-PC05
LG014A-PC06
LG014A-PC07
LG014A-PC08
LG014A-PC09
LG014A-PC10
LG014A-PC11
LG014A-PC12
LG014A-PC13
LG014A-PC14
LG014A-PC15
LG014A-PC16
LG014A-PC17
LG014A-PC18
LG014A-PC19
LG014A-PC20
LG014A-PC21
LG014A-PC22
LG014A-PC23
LG014A-PC24
LG014A-PCLECT
LG014B-PC01
LG014B-PC02
LG014B-PC03
LG014B-PC04
LG014B-PC05
LG014B-PC06
LG014B-PC07
LG014B-PC08
LG014B-PC09
LG014B-PC10
LG014B-PC11
LG014B-PC12
LG014B-PC13
LG014B-PC14
LG014B-PC15
LG014B-PC16
LG014B-PC17
LG014B-PC18
LG014B-PC19
LG014B-PC20
LG014B-PC21
LG014B-PC22
LG014B-PC23
LG014B-PC24
LG014B-PC25
LG014B-PC26
LG014B-PC27
LG014B-PC28
LG014B-PC29
LG014B-PC30
LG014B-PC31
LG014B-PC32
LG014B-PC33
LG014B-PC34
LG014B-PC35
LG014B-PC36
LG014B-PC37
LG014B-PC38
LG014B-PC39
LG014B-PC40
LG014B-PC41
LG014B-PC42
LG014B-PC43
LG014B-PC44
LG014B-PC45
LG014B-PC46
LG014B-PC47
LG014B-PC48
LG014B-PCLECT

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