Remote Apps is a service provided by the Faculty of Engineering to provide access to lab software on its members’ personal computers through a remote session using the Microsoft Remote Desktop protocol. The access can be made on-campus as well as off-campus. The applications run on uOttawa servers but are displayed on the user’s device.

  1. Access the Remote Apps portal
  2. Log in using your uoAccess credentials as follows:
    • Username: Your full uOttawa email address (e.g. [email protected])
    • Password: Your uoAccess password.
  3. Once logged in, there will be a set of remote applications.
  4. Once you select one of the applications, you will then be requested to enter your login credentials again.
  5. Once logged in, the application will launch.
    • You will then see the application’s launch screen, which can take some to load. Eventually, the remote application will start and you can start to use it. Remote apps window panes are cyan.

Connecting to Remote Applications for Mac OS X

To use the Faculty of Engineering's Remote Apps on Mac OS X, you will need to install the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client for Mac (version 10.0 or higher), which can be downloaded from the App Store. Once installed, the software will be displayed in your Applications folder. Follow these steps to configure your OS X to use the latest installed Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Remote Apps:

  1. Close the Remote Desktop app, then use your browser to access:
  2. Log in with your uoAccess account and select the application you want to use. An RDP file will be downloaded.
  3. To force the RDP file to launch with the proper client, highlight it in your downloaded items and press simultaneously “Command ⌘” + “I”.
  4. A menu will appear; expand “open with”, choose the new Microsoft RDP client, then select “Change All”.

RDP files should now open using the most recent RDP client.

Working with files

It is important to understand how to work with files, folders and drives with Remote Apps. Remote applications can access files stored on your personal computer and files stored on your uOttawa network drive.

The ‘Open’ dialog box is opened from a Matlab Remote App, we then select ‘This PC’ in the left column.

A screenshot of remote apps.

Do use

uOttawa network drive (Network locations)

  • You should use this drive for saving your work, because it is the fastest and because it is available to you across campus on all lab computers.
  • In Remote Apps, the location of your network drive should start with \\uottawa.o.univ\acadhomes\... This is your uOttawa network drive, to which the Remote App server has high-speed access.
  • This appears as under Network locations as your Z: drive if you are a student, or or H: drive if you are an employee.

Avoid using

Personal computer drives (Devices and drives)

These are drives on your personal computer. Although it is convenient to access files stored on your personal computer with Remote Apps, we recommend not using them directly with remote applications for performance reasons: When you use Remote Apps, the application displayed is running on a server within the University’s network. Files on your computer will be accessed via network using the RDP protocol, which is not designed for fast file access. This considerably reduces the performance of your remote session. We recommend instead that you transfer your files to your uOttawa network drive (Z:), then open them from that location.

Remote App server folders (Folders)

You should never use these folders to store your files. Files saved in these folders will be destroyed at the end of your remote session.

Saving and file performance

Using a remote application, you can either save your documents to your personal computer or to your uOttawa network drive. For example, when saving a file in Solidworks, you will have the option of saving on your local C: drive or the Z: network drive.

Saving files in the Network drive is better (Z: or H: drive. It's faster since it is on the same network as the remote apps tool itself. This will make a big difference in using Solidworks. Save your work here, as you go along.

Saving files on your local drive is worse (C: drive). Using this drive will affect performance especially with applications that frequently write to the file - like Solidworks, since all of the file information must traverse much slower networks to get to and from your local machine.

Transferring files from your personal computer to your uOttawa network drive or vice versa

To upload files from your personal computer to your uOttawa network drive or vice versa, you can use the Open dialog of any Remote App. For example, to copy file ‘file1.txt’ from your local computer’s C:\Users\jdoe123\Documents\Test folder to your uOttawa Z:\Test folder, you would launch one of the Remote Apps – e.g. Matlab, then select the ‘Open File’ menu item. Navigate to the C:\Users\jdoe123\Documents\Test folder, then make sure to list all file types (*.*) as circled in red in the screenshot below – otherwise only files with Matlab extensions will be listed. Select the file ‘file1.txt’ , then right-click with the mouse. You will see several options, including ‘Copy’. Once you have selected ‘Copy’, the file will be in the copy buffer.

You can then use the same Matlab ‘Open File’ menu item to navigate to your Z:\test folder. In the file list section, you would right-click the mouse and select ‘Paste’. The file will be transferred and appear in the list of files.

You can also use the Windows copy shortcut keys (CTRL-C), and then paste (CTRL-V) to copy your files to your uOttawa network drive.

You can follow the same procedure in reverse to transfer files from your uOttawa Z: folder to your personal computer’s drive.

Screenshot of remote apps.

List of supported Remote Apps clients

Browsers that were tested successfully with Remote Apps:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer
  • Edge

Students will need to use a compatible Remote Desktop (RDP) client.

Tested operating systems and RDP clients:

  • Modern Windows systems were tested successfully, using the default Windows Remote Desktop client.
  • Mac OS X systems were tested successfully. However, the default Remote Desktop client is not supported by Remote Apps. Students will need to download a more recent version of the Microsoft RDP clients for Mac from the App Store and configure it as the default client for Remote Apps.
  • Some testing has been done on various Unix/Linux systems, with varying results. Unix/Linux users will need the latest FreeRDP client.
  • Chromebook devices do not currently appear to have a Remote Desktop client that is compatible with Remote Apps.
  • OS and Android devices were tested successfully, after installing their respective Microsoft Remote Desktop clients.