Remote Desktop Services

Who the service is for

This service gives Departmental Linux users access to Microsoft Windows applications from their desktop PC.

Software available

  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard
  • GhostScript 8.64 & GhostView 4.9
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • MikTeX 2.9
  • TeXnicCenter 1 RC 1

Why these applications?

The service intended for users to run applications that cannot be used from Linux-only systems. We may add other software as users request it, but be aware that no computationally-intensive package will be installed; you should use the Departmental Compute Servers for that.

How to register for the service

To get access to this service you must send a request to IT staff ( Access can be granted quickly only if there are sufficient unassigned Client Access Licences; if further licences are needed then your request may be delayed until we can complete the necessary paperwork.

Using the service

On all recently built Linux desktop PCs run


If this command is not available then email giving details of the error message and the name of your desktop PC. If access is urgent use the command

/usr/bin/rdesktop -a 16 -d STATS -g 1280x1024 -x 0x8F

Once the rdesktop window is open, click on your username (in the form STATS\username), type in your password, and press Enter. After a few moments you should see a standard Windows desktop. Your home directory should be mounted under P:\ which is the only location where you should save files.

Please think of others: a logged in user consumes a certain amount of resources even if nothing is being run, so log out the moment you have finished what you came to do. Inactive sessions will be disconnected after 30 minutes. Any unsaved data will be lost.

We have identified a couple of problems with using the RDS server from Linux desktops:

  • If you are using a screensaver then your whole session may freeze when it starts while you are using the RDS service. Before using RDS the best advice is to disable your screensaver.  Use Preferences -> Screensaver and make sure that Activate screensaver when session is idle is not checked. It is quite safe to lock your session with Lock Screen.
  • There is a bug with the current version of rdesktop which shows a black mouse cursor (arrow) instead of the expected white one; this is a known bug and should be sorted in future versions of rdesktop.
  • It is possible that when you first log in to the RDS server your Windows desktop background will be black (making it difficult to see the also black mouse cursor). To solve this type "color scheme" in the Start menu search box, click on the "Change the color scheme" option, select "Windows Classic" as the scheme, and click on OK.

Finishing off

You must log out using Start -> Log Off . Any other method of ending your session will result in the loss of unsaved data.