Faculty of Environment

Remote Desktop From OSX at Home

Users wishing to access Windows Desktops  from Home, on computers running OS X, can do so via "Remote Desktop".  The method described below provides a secure (from your computer to the Gateway) way to gain access.

What you need:

  • An Apple computer running a current version of OS X 10.*
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac ( a copy can be obtained from http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads )
  • To have requested the ability to access the network through the firewall - Note that the School gateway machine only allows access to users who have registered for remote access. Do this by sending your username to foe-support@leeds.ac.uk.
  • Remote access privilege of the machine you are connecting to

Setting up the Secure Tunnel

1.   Open the programme Terminal

2.   The command to set up a secure tunnel is a single line:

ssh -L 3389:remotedesktop.leeds.ac.uk:3389 username@see-gw-01.leeds.ac.uk

What does this command mean? If we split it up into its component parts it is easier to understand.

  • ssh -L  The -L switch tells the ssh command that it is going to be setting up a tunnel to transport other traffic (note that the case is important)

  • 3389:  This is the number of the local port that we will reroute throught the tunnel

  • remotedesktop.leeds.ac.uk:3389  This is the address and port number of the remote machine that we are connecting to on the other side of the tunnel (the destination).  This will not give you access to the foe-sterm cluster.

  • username@see-gw-01.leeds.ac.uk  This is your username at leeds, and the server that your connection will pass through on the way to its destination (this is the other end of the secure tunnel)

3.   The first time that you connect you are presented with a warning that the authenticity of the remote computer cannot be established and at this point type in yes and then enter your password.

4.   After successfully logging on to see-gw-01, you can minimize the Terminal window.  You do not need to type anything more, you just need to leave the window open to maintain the connection.

Connecting to the remote machine

  1. Start the program that you downloaded from Microsoft
  2. Rather than enter the name of the computer that you want to connect to (as you would if both machines were connected to the same network), enter and then click the Connect button.  You will now connect through the tunnel that you created to the machine specified in the previous command.

Ending the Session

When you have finished, logout of the remote machine, then type logout in the terminal window and press enter.