Connecting to NUworkspace

Accounts

You must have an account to connect to NUworkspace.  See the NUworkspace website to apply.

Software Installation

You only need to do this once for each computer you use to connect to NUworkspace.

Windows Users

Windows users with a recent version of the operating system should already have Microsoft Remote Desktop available on their computers.  If you can't find the program, it can be downloaded from the Microsoft App Store.

Mac Users

Mac users can download Microsoft Remote Desktop for free from the Apple App store. Search in the App Store app for "Microsoft Remote Desktop", or use the link on the Microsoft Remote Desktop app page.

Installation

Install the software by opening and running the downloaded file.  No configuration of the software is required.

Connect to NUworkspace

  1. In any web browser, go to: https://northwestern.sacacloud.com
  2. Login with your NetID credentials, with the domain ads and a \ in front:
    • Domain\user name: ads\netid
    • Password: your NetId password
    • It may take a moment for the login to complete.
    • login.jpeg

  3. Click the NUworkspace icon

    loginicon.jpeg

  4. A connection file (cpub-NUworkspace-NUworkspace-CmsTempVm-2.rdp) will be downloaded to your computer.  Note: A new file will be downloaded each time you connect.
    • If you are prompted to save or open the file, choose to Open it with Microsoft Remote Desktop.
    • If a file is downloaded and saved automatically, find and open (double-click) the file to start NUworkspace.

At this point, the login experience becomes different for Windows and Mac users. 

Windows

When the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection starts, you will be prompted to enter your NetID and password again. The credentials window says "Enter your credentials" and has a field for your NetID password. The connection address (XXXX.ads.northwestern.edu) may vary slightly from that in the image below.

windowscredentials.png

After you log in, your local hard drive and clipboard (for copying and pasting from your local computer) will automatically be accessible to NUworkspace.

By default, Microsoft Remote Desktop will open in full screen mode.  It may take a few minutes to start up.  You will see a window that looks like a Windows desktop.  You can exit full screen mode, but the underlying remote desktop will be scaled based on the size of your display.  This means that you may have to scroll both vertically and horizontally to see the contents of the remote desktop when not in full screen mode.

Mac

When the Microsoft Remote Desktop connection starts, you will be prompted to enter your NetID and password again. The credentials box says "Invalid login credentials. Please re-enter."  Enter your NetID (without the "ads\" part) and NetID password.

credentials.jpeg

After entering your credentials again, you will see a box with options for giving NUworkspace access to your local files, printer, and clipboard (for copying and pasting between your computer and NUworkspace).  Choose the options you want to use.

connectionbox.jpeg

By default, Microsoft Remote Desktop will open in full screen mode.  It may take a few minutes to start up.  You will see a window that looks like a Windows desktop.  You can exit full screen mode, but the underlying remote desktop will be scaled based on the size of your display.  This means that you may have to scroll both vertically and horizontally to see the contents of the remote desktop when not in full screen mode.

Research Software

Software programs can be accessed from the Start menu (the Windows icon in the bottom left of the desktop) or via the Research Software folder shortcut on the desktop.

NUworkspace provides access to several licensed software programs.  If many other users are using the same software program you are trying to use, you might receive a message that a license is not available.  The error message may reference "Key Access."  For example: "All licenses for the program Stata are still checked out.  You are currently in line to be notified when a license becomes available."

In such a situation, you will need to try again later to access the software once there are licenses available again.

Accessing Files

NUworkspace does not save files in the local virtual desktop environment beyond a single session.

You can save your files in Box, Google Drive, or another cloud storage provider.  To use cloud storage, access the sites through the web browser on the NUworkspace instance.  You can copy files to NUworkspace temporarily, but they will be removed at the end of your session.

All Windows users and Mac users who gave NUworkspace access to a folder on your local computer during the login process (see above), can also access files from, and save files to, your own device's hard drive.  To access files on your computer, open the Windows File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon in the bottom left menu.



When the File Explorer window opens, you can access the folder that you gave NUworkspace access to during the login process under "This PC."  Windows users will see a drive labeled something like "C on LOCAL-COMPUTER-NAME."  Mac users will see an option labeled something like "home on dhcp-10-105-107."  The specific numbers and names may vary.  When you open this option you will be able to see the files from your computer.



For Mac users, the absolute path to this location is \\tsclient/home, which you might have to type as \\\\tsclient/home in some scripts because the backslash is an escape character.  For Windows users whose C drive is mapped, the path is \\tsclient\C; in some contexts, you may need to escape the backslashes: \\\\tsclient\\C.

Screen Lock

If you are not actively using the NUworkspace session for several minutes, the lock screen may engage.  You'll see a user icon, your name (where the blue box is in the screen shot below), a password box, and possibly a keyboard on the bottom of the screen.  Log back in with your NetID password.  You do not have to use the onscreen keyboard; you should still be able to use your local computer's keyboard to type.


End Your NUworkspace Session

  1. Click on the Start button (with the Windows icon) in the lower left corner of the desktop.
  2. Click on the Power button immediately above the Start button.
  3. Choose either "Disconnect" to suspend your session and resume later, or "Shut down" to terminate your session.


The total number of NUworkspace sessions available to Northwestern users is limited.  Please terminate your sessions when you are finished with them.  Sessions are terminated after 72 hours (3 days) of inactivity if you do not explicitly disconnect or shut them down before then.  

Disconnecting and Suspending a Session

You can disconnect from NUworkspace to suspend your session, leave your applications and files open, and resume your work within 24 hours; after 24 hours, your session will be terminated. 

It is strongly recommended that you save all files before disconnecting in case your session is terminated. 

When you disconnect from your session, any connection to files on your local computer is terminated.  The session cannot access your local files while you are disconnected.  This means that you cannot disconnect and leave a program running to write to files to your local computer.  If you need to read from or write to local files on your computer, your NUworkspace session needs to stay active; you can minimize the window on your local computer, but your computer must remain running with an active internet connection.  While disconnected, programs can write to a file on the NUworkspace instance or cloud storage services, and then you can copy that file to your local computer when you reconnect if needed.

When you reconnect to a suspended session (one you have explicitly disconnected), you can do so from a different computer.  But attempting to connect to NUworkspace from a second computer while you have an active session already on a different computer may result in your first session being terminated.

Shutting Down and Terminating a Session

You can shut down to terminate the session.  All files and programs will be closed.  Any files saved locally on the NUworkspace instance will be permanently deleted.

Help

If you have trouble connecting to NUworkspace, please email consultant@northwestern.edu with the details of the issue. 

SaveSaveSave



Keywords:research computing, nuworkspace, weinberg, microsoft remote desktop, citrix   Doc ID:71901
Owner:Research Computing .Group:Northwestern
Created:2017-03-20 21:24 CSTUpdated:2018-05-15 08:45 CST
Sites:Northwestern
CleanURL:https://kb.northwestern.edu/connect-nuworkspace
Feedback:  0   0