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Remote Access Via Remote Desktop

Remotely connecting to your user-managed desktop requires a client-server interface, using either Remote Desktop or VNC. Note that the requirements is to have a user-managed machine and Windows 2000/XP or Linux on your client (home) machine.  Windows Remote Desktop works best with Windows XP Service Pack 2 although Service Pack 1 or lower will work. If you don't have Service Pack 2 please read in the Remote Desktop section carefully.  

The machine you wish to connect to will need to run either a Remote Desktop or a VNC server and you may need to install a Remote Desktop or VNC client on the client (home) machine you will be working on (i.e. the one you will be using to connect to your user-managed machine).   Some of the available software options are to use RealVNC, Remote Desktop (Windows only) and/or TightVNC. Note that Remote Desktop comes with Windows XP. The following page describes the procedures of establishing an SSH Tunnel and connecting the client (home) machine to your user-managed machine.

Note: Make sure that if your user-managed machine is using a firewall that it is configured to accept connections on the designated port (Default ports are: 5900 for VNC and 3390 for Remote Desktop). For more on configuring Windows XP firewall click here.

On this page, an instruction of how to remotely access to an ENCS user-managed machine will be shown with Remote Desktop application.

 

On ENCS user-managed machine

1. Configuring

1a. Allow users to connect remotely

In other to allow remote access to ENCS user-managed machine, this option has to be enable on this machine

In Windows XP

 

  • Right click on 'My Computer' -> Properties.
  • Choose tab 'Remote': Enable option 'Allow users to connect remotely to this computer'

In Windows Vista or Windows 7

  • Right click on 'My Computer' -> Properties -> 'Remote settings'
  • On the windows 'System Properties' -> tab 'Remote'
    • check "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer"
    • choose "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)"

 

Note: If the above option does not show, registry key needs to be modified manually by

  1. Open Command Prompt as an Administrator, then type 'regedit' (without the single quote)
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
  3. Set fDenyTSConnections to 0, and create it if necessary. It is set to 1 by default, which disables it.

 

On your client (home) machine

1. Installing the remote control application

  • Remote Desktop - Windows only application. For installation and configuration click here. Please note the application is pre-installed with Windows XP.

2. Establish SSH tunnel using Putty - Windows

An SSH tunnel is necessary to ensure secure communication between the two machines.   Putty will be used as the SSH client software to establish an SSH tunnel.  You can download Putty here. You don't need to install the program; just save the executable in a convenient place like the Desktop.

  1. Double-click the icon of Putty on the Desktop to launch it.
  2. In the Category pane of the application window, select the "Tunnels" option found under Connection->SSH.
  3. In the main pane, in the "Port Forwarding" section, do this:
    1. Checked "Local ports accept connections from other hosts"
    2. Checked "Remote ports do the same (SSH2-only)"
    3. Add the local port that you would like to forward in "Source port". (Default ports are: 5900 for VNC and 3390 for Remote Desktop).
    4. In "Destination" type the host name of the machine you are remotely connecting to, followed by a colon and then the port number.
  4. Click the Add button.
  5. This is the image of how it should look assuming you're trying to connect to a user-managed machine called venus.encs.concordia.ca:
  1. In the Category pane, click on "Session" at the top and:
    1. Enter the hostname of the machine through which you want to establish your tunnel (use login.encs.concordia.ca).
    2. Select SSH as your protocol. This would set the port number to 22.
  2. Click Save.
  3. Click Open. If Putty warns you about keys, you can click Okay.
  4. Enter your ENCS username and password when prompted.

Note: Next time you do this, you can simply click the Session Name->Load->Open to establish the SSH tunnel. 

3. Connecting via the Remote Desktop and Transfer Files

Once you have established the appropriate tunneling you are ready to establish the remote desktop connection.

  1. Click Start >> Run >> type mstsc and click OK
  2. Enter 127.0.0.1:3390 in the field Computer.

     

    Note: If the OS on the client machine is other then Windows XP Service Pack 2 (i.e. Windows XP SP1, Windows 2000, Vista or windows 7.0), enter 127.0.0.2:3390

  3. To change your connection settings, (such as screen size, automatic logon information, transfer and print files), click Options before you connect.

  • Windows vista or 7.0: Click the Local Resources tab and click on more. Check the Checkbox "Drives" in the newly opened window and click OK.
  • Windows Xp: You will see a checkbox as Local devices then check the checkbox Disk drives.
  • Click the Connect button to connect remote computer in the ENCS network. It will warn you about the Disk Drives, just check don’t ask me again and click ok or connect.

    Notes: More information on Windows XP Remote Desktop is available here.

    4. To end the remote session close the window