Materials Remote Working

In order to protect departmental computers from unauthorised access the department firewall blocks most incoming connections from outside the Department of Materials, therefore if you want to use connect in from outside you must first join the Oxford network by opening a virtual private network (VPN) connection into Oxford.

Any member of the university can login to the university VPN service with their Remote Access credentials using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.  Please see instructions at http://help.it.ox.ac.uk/network/vpn/index.

After you are on the Oxford network then the department firewall will allow access to departmental computers which have been configured to allow remote access. Windows computers can be controlled remotely using Remote Desktop which is part of the Windows operating system. Many other free remote access software utilities also exist and may be appropriate in some situations e.g. TeamviewerNomachineUltraVNC. In particular please note that some softwares requiring OpenGL graphics rendering do not work via Remote Desktop, in which case I recommend using Nomachine which seems to work with OpenGL.

Please talk to local IT staff if you want to know more about the security implications of enabling remote access to your computer.

How to Remote Desktop access files on Department Fileserver

RDP Login Screen for Materials Domain

RDP Login Screen for Materials Domain

All members of Department of Materials can access the department terminal server oums-ts.materials.ox.ac.uk which gives access to your files stored on the department fileserver. 

The terminal server can accept upto 15 concurrent connections. Please ensure that you logout fully when you have finished using oums-ts.materials.ox.ac.uk.

Access to oums-ts.materials.ox.ac.uk is mainly intended for use by undergraduates needing to access files from the practical lab, but it also is relevant to any staff and researchers who need access to files stored on the department fileserver.

  • Make sure you are connected into the Oxford network using VPN software
  • Download  Default.rdp settings for connecting to a domain-connected computer
  • Open Default.rdp and connect to oums-ts.materials.ox.ac.uk

Note that authentication uses your Oxford SSO username against the OX.AC.UK domain which requires the remote desktop client to have a special configuration such that the client knows to try to make the connection before asking for the username/password.  Specifically the remote desktop client settings need to contain the line "enablecredsspsupport:i:0" usually at the bottom of the file Default.rdp which is usually a hidden file in your Documents folder.  You are recommended to download this copy of our standard configuration file  Default.rdp and use that file to open a connection to your domain-connected computer.

When using these Default.rdp settings file in order to make the connection before asking for username/password you should see the login screen asking your to "Enter your Oxford SSO and Password".

If your remote computer is Mac then we are aware that version10 of Microsoft Remote Desktop has problems connecting to Materials Domain computers so you are recommended to download and use version 8 which is known to work successfully.  IT staff can provide copy of the version 8 software upon request since is seems to be no-longer available from Apple.

How to Remote Desktop access your Department Computer

It is possible to use remote desktop to access your own desktop within the department so that when working remotely it feels as though you are sitting in front of your department desktop. This is desirable because it gives you full access to your usual working environment and all files remain on the department desktop.

On the computer you want to access (e.g. your department desktop)

remote desktop

Enable RDP

Make sure remote connections using Remote Desktop are allowed

  • Open System (Start: right-click Computer: select Properties)
  • Click RemoteSettings then under Remote, make sure RemoteDesktop is Allowed
  • You might require assistance from Department IT staff to enable remote desktop for your user account.

Make sure the power settings are set to never hibernate and never sleep

  • Open Power Options (Start: Control Panel : System and Security: Power options)
  • Click currently selected power plan  change power settings  to Never Sleep

Make sure you know the name of the computer 

  • See printed blue label on computer  e.g. oums-desktop
  • alternatively see ComputerName tab in computer System properties
    alternatively see output of cmd   hostname
  • Keep a note of the full network name   e.g.  oums-desktop.materials.ox.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

On the computer you are using remotely (e.g. your laptop)

Make sure you are connected into the Oxford network using VPN software

remote desktop

VPN and RDP

Make a remote desktop connection to the computer using the fully qualified domain name

  • Start: Programs: Accessories: Remote Desktop Connection to connect to e.g. oums-desktop.materials.ox.ac.uk

If the computer you are connecting to is a standalone system then you can use Microsoft's standard Default.rdp settings in which case a dialogue box appears asking for username and password before attempting to connect to the remote computer. Please just enter your usual computer username and password. (Contact IT staff if you are unsure what your username is on your desktop).

If the computer you are wanting to access is connected to our domain, then the authentication uses your Oxford SSO username against the OX.AC.UK domain which requires the remote desktop client to have a special configuration such that the client knows to try to make the connection before asking for the username/password.  Specifically the remote desktop client settings need to contain the line "enablecredsspsupport:i:0" usually at the bottom of the file Default.rdp which is usually a hidden file in your Documents folder.  You are recommended to download this copy of our configuration file  Default.rdp and use that file to open a connection to your domain-connected computer.  (You should see your usual login screen as shown in above image for oums-ts)

If your remote computer is Mac then we are aware that version10 of Microsoft Remote Desktop has problems connecting to Materials Domain computers so you are recommended to download and use version 8 which is known to work successfully.  IT staff can provide copy of the version 8 software upon request since is seems to be no-longer available from Apple.

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