Accessing a Research Lab or Office Computer Using Remote Desktop and SSH

Accessing a resarch lab or office computer away from the engineering network is possible through different means.  We recommend you try using the Remote Desktop Gateway before trying the instructions below.  Find more info on the Remote Desktop Gateway here.

Please note, support for Windows XP ended April of 2014.  Please find more information here.

You will need the hostname generated by the network registration for the machine you are connecting to. You can log into the website to find the hostname if you registered the machine yourself.  If you cannot locate the hostname assigned to the machine, the DECS Support Office (1325 Engineering Building) can find it for you if we have the machine's mac address, or you can use your machine's IP address (e.g.:

You will also need to configure the machine you are connecting to to accept a remote desktop connection and possibly add a user account to the Remote Desktop Users Group.

PuTTY is installed on all of the DECS PCs and is included in all Windows installations by default. If you need to install it on a non-engineering lab machine, PuTTY can be downloaded here for free.
(Click on the images for a larger view)

  1. Launch PuTTY from the Start Menu > All Programs > PuTTY > PuTTY
  2. In PuTTY type in the box under "Host Name".
    Photo of PuTTY Configuration screen
  3. On the left side of PuTTY go to Connection, expand the SSH tab and go to Tunnels.
    Screen shot of PuTTY configuration
  4. Under Source Port type in 3391

    then  in Destination type (hostname of machine) and click Add.

  5. Click Open at the bottom of the PuTTY window and log in with your engineering username and password.
  6. Launch Remote Desktop. Windows should have a start menu shortcut under All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection. You can also use the start menu search feature to search for "Remote Desktop Connection".
    Screen image of accessing your remote desktop connection
  7. Type  localhost:3391 and click Connect.

  8. You will be prompted for credentials to log into the machine you are trying to reach. Again, if you do not have an account in the Remote Desktop Users Group on that machine, contact the DECS Support Office for assistance in adding that machine.