To quickly get started, click on a button below and choose to "open" the connection file.
Both options connect to the same service but are optimised to be more responsive depending on your connection.
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 the same way as if you were sat at a PC on Campus. You will have access to your central MyFiles file store (the o: drive), most other departmental file stores and all of the common University applications.
We aim to ensure that Tier 1 & Tier 2 supported software (http://www.bris.ac.uk/software/) is available from the Remote Desktop service.
This includes, but is not limited to:
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 Eduroam, 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. This is now available for most phone, tablet and computers from Apple, Google & Microsoft
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)
Windows 7 has built-in software, but you might want to get the latest version (8.0)
Windows 8 has built in software
Apple Mac OS X – You can download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the OSX App Store free of charge. See the instructions on connection below.
iOS (IPads, Iphones) - Download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the iOS App Store store free of charge.
You can also use iRdesktop or any other RDP client that supports version 6.1 or better of the RDP protocol.
Android (Phones and Tablets) - Download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Google Play Store free of charge.
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 server) and can behave oddly, sometimes disconnecting you or not allowing logon : we'd suggest looking at the Free RDP Project - download the program from http://www.freerdp.com/
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 commercial solution, which could be expensive - but a trial is available for free: http://www.ericom.com/RDPChromebook.asp
The simplest way to connect will be to open the connection file from the My Bristol Portal.
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.
It is possible to connect from Android, iPad and iPhone systems.
You will need to download an application to make Remote Desktop connections from either device. We have tested and recommend the free Microsoft Remote Desktop for iPhone or IPad, which is able to connect to the service and works acceptably. 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.
PLEASE NOTE: The default version of the connection client available in Linux (RDesktop) is quite old, so some features, such as video playback and printer redirection will not work correctly and you may not even be able to connect. You will need to try a newer RDP client for Linux, such as the open source "FreeRDP" or a commercial client from Quest Software.
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.
If you are using the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the OSX App Store then you can setup a connection from scratch in the following way:
1) Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app
2) Click on "New" and fill in the details as below
3) Close the window and you will now have a connection that will appear every time you open the App.
4) Click start to connect.
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