This service allows you to access the University from any computer with an Internet connection. You will have a full remote desktop, which works in exactly the same way as if you were sat at a PC on Campus. You will have access to your central MyFiles filespace (O: drive), most departmental file stores and all of the common University applications including:
You can save directly back to your University o: storage drive, ready for the next time you are on site or save to a memory stick on your PC. You will also be able to print either to your local printer or to University printers.
You can also use this system from your own laptop on campus, using the University Wireless network.
The first step to use the Remote Connection service is to check that you have the free Remote Desktop Connection software on your system.
Windows XP and Vista have built-in software located in “Start > Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection”.
To get the best experience you should try and install the latest version (7.0) or install Windows 7 Service Pack 1.
Windows 7 has built-in software, Version 7 is located in the "All Programs > Accessories folder".
Apple Mac OS X – You will need to download the free (RDC) for Mac 2.0 Connection software from Microsoft. The program installs into the Utilities area.
Linux (all distros) - You will need an RDP Client that can support elements of RDP V6. Standard packages like RDesktop won't work with our load balancing setup (there's lots of servers!) and can behave oddly, disconnecting you or not allowing logon : we'd suggest looking at the Free RDP Project - download the program from https://github.com/FreeRDP/FreeRDP/downloads : we've also pre-compiled some packages that you can try on your distribution (tested on CentOS) click here to download
iOS (IPads, Iphones) - Download an RDP client from the AppStore; Wyse Pocket Cloud and iRdesktop are two packages that will work well.
Google ChromeBooks (chrome OS) - Unfortunately, Google don't build in any kind of support for RDP connections to Chromebooks.
There are a couple of possible options: Try searching for "Spark View" in the Chrome store. That is a HTML5 based RDP client and may or may not then allow connection. There is a possible commercial solution - but a trial is available: http://www.ericom.com/RDPChromebook.asp
The simplest way to connect will be to open the connection file from the My Bristol Portal. The web based portal connection will also eventually have support for restricted public computers, such as in Internet cafes or on devices that may otherwise support the remote desktop system (i.e. mobile phones).
If you want to save a connection to your personal PC as a bookmark then choose either the "fast" or "slow" connection, (depending on the speed of your internet connection) and save the file when prompted. Next time you want to connect to the service, just double click on the saved connection file.
You can launch individual applications from the portal (rather than seeing a whole desktop) by clicking on the icons to the right of the Student Desktop link.
If you are using Internet Explorer then you can either "Open" the connection file to connect, or save the file to your computer for an easy way to connect in the future.
This window may appear differently in other browsers; in Firefox, you should choose to open the file and just click on "OK" - there is no need to browse to choose a program to open the file with.
On Apple systems, where Remote Desktop is loaded, Safari will automatically download the connection file and you can open it from your downloads list or through Finder.
If you prefer, you can also manually load the Remote Desktop Connection software on your PC and enter our address to connect. Type the address below into the long white box labelled “Computer”, including the full stops. Click the “Connect” button to begin.
If you connect to the service this way then you may not see your local drives or printers, depending on the options that are set on your computer. If you need access to your local drives, memory sticks or printers then click on "Options", "Local Resources" and ensure that "Printers, Clipboard, Drives and PnP devices" are all ticked before you connect.
Whilst we don't officially support connections from clients other than Windows and Mac OSX it is possible to connect from Linux, iPad and iPhone systems.
You will need to purchase an application to make Remote Desktop connections from either device. We have tested and recommend the "Wyse Pocket Cloud" application, which is able to connect to the service and works acceptably. This is a charged product available from the Apple App-Store (currently around Â£7). Install this application in the usual way and then enter "studentremotedesktop.bris.ac.uk" as the connection address. This is then saved and available as a one click link for future use. You will not see local iPhone or iPad storage on the Student Desktop systems when connecting in this way.
On most Linux computers, you will need the RDesktop package. An example of how to do this:
PLEASE NOTE: The version of the connection client available in Linux is quite old, so some features, such as video playback and printer redirection will not work correctly. This will only be fixed when newer Remote Desktop clients become available for Linux.
How this will appear depends on which Operating System you use on your personal computer.
In Windows 7, Vista and OS X you will see a small box appear asking for your username and password.
In Windows XP you will normally see a login screen, as you do on Campus office computers.
Your password is the UOB password that you use for systems and email on campus and is case sensitive. Click OK when you have provided the information and you will be connected to the system.
Once you have connected, you will see a standard University desktop – you can use your software, files and applications as normal.
If you want to load and save from a USB drive then just plug this in to your PC. You can find the device in “Computer” on the University desktop and copy / paste files between devices, just as you would on a machine on Campus.
If you have a printer connected to the computer you are using to remotely connect, then this will automatically be made available as the default printer in your Remote Session. Most printer types are supported and printing will appear just as if you were working on your own PC. There are no charges for printing to personal printers in this way.
You can also find and print to University based printers; for example you are connecting from a laptop over the University Wireless network and want to get work from a branch library.
Please make sure you allow your Firewall to permit Remote Desktop Connection (if prompted) – this is port 3389 if your firewall software has to be manually configured. More troubleshooting information is contained in the Remote Desktop Connection Guide and in the Portal Help system.
If you are seeing errors like ":error message "unable to open connection file - (file name)" then you can run our Fix RDP program to reset your computers default RDP file. You can download this here. Otherwise, please try connecting manually, as per the instructions above.
Full instructions are also available for saving or printing: Remote Desktop Connection Guide (PDF, 525 KB)
Please note: some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader