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generic:rdp_mac

Microsoft Remote Desktop on macOS

This page describes how to connect to a Windows system at the institute, from your own Mac, either on the laptop or wireless network, or from outside the institute.

Tunnel

First, a secure tunnel has to be set up using ssh. The tunnel connects a local port to a remote port on a specific machine. The port we want here is 3389, which is the port of the remote desktop protocol. This example logs in to ssh.strw.leidenuniv.nl and sets up the tunnel to host texel (the terminal server of the Sterrewacht):

ssh -L 3389:texel:3389 username@ssh.strw.leidenuniv.nl

Now, you probbaly don't want to remeember this and type it all the time, so an easy solution is to add an alias in your .profile (which contains the settings that are executed every time you open a new shell in a terminal):

alias texel='ssh -L 3389:texel:3389 username@ssh.strw.leidenuniv.nl'

Some additional notes:

  • Users should use the appropriate ssh server for their own institute
  • The Windows machine to log in to can just as well be your own Windows desktop, if you have one
  • The username@ part can be omitted if you have the same username locally on your Mac and on the ssh server.

Microsoft Remote Desktop client

Microsoft has a rdp client for Mac, available for free through the App store. Download and install it, and then start it up. It will look like this: Click on the “+” to add a new connection. This screen will pop up: Give the connection a name that makes sense to you to remember. As pc name, fill in localhost. This will make the app connect to the local rdp port, which is forwarded through the tunnel to the remote machine. You can also fill in the username if you want (or do that on the login screen). Make sure however, to add the domain, so in this case: STERREWACHT\username or PHYSICS\\username. Close this window when done (there is no save button, but all changes are saved automatically. Back in the first screen, it is time to start the connection. Before you get to the windows login screen, a certificate warning is presented to you as in this image: The reason is, that you are connecting to localhost but the certificate is valid for the actual computer name. It is safe to accept this certificate and you can check the box to accept it permanently, so you will not get the same warning the next time.

Now you should see the familiar Windows log in screen and you can go about your business.

generic/rdp_mac.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/27 09:30 by jansen