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Remote Access to Lab Computers

Download the instructions on this page as printable "cheat sheets"

Initial setup:

  • If you don't already have one, please install either or both VPNs -- you'll need to use one every time you remotely connect to a lab PC:
  • If on a Mac, install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the App Store
  • On Windows, Remote Desktop Connection is already installed
  • To find it, click the Start button, then type “Remote Desktop Connection”

Connecting to a lab PC from a Windows computer

  • Connect to either the UVA Anywhere VPN or the McIntire VPN
  • Visit this page: https://labs.comm.virginia.edu
    • Click the “Random Workstation” button in the appropriate category:
      • General Lab Workstations for most people
      • Crystal Ball Workstations if you need to use Crystal Ball
  • Copy the IP address displayed in the pop up window
  • Open Remote Desktop Connection
  • Paste the IP address you copied into the “Computer” field, and click Connect
  • Enter your COMMBADGE user name and password
  • Click Yes on the certificate warning screen
  • You will now be remotely connected to the PC and can work on it as normal
  • When you’re done, click the Start button, click the profile icon on the left edge, and click Sign Out
  • You can now disconnect from the VPN as well

Connecting to a lab PC from a Mac

  • Connect to either the UVA Anywhere VPN or the McIntire VPN
  • Visit this page: https://labs.comm.virginia.edu
    • Click the “Random Workstation” button in the appropriate category
      • General Lab Workstations for most people
      • Crystal Ball Workstations if you need to use Crystal Ball
  • Copy the IP address displayed in the pop up window
    • Open Microsoft Remote Desktop from your Applications folder
  • Click the plus sign in the menu bar and click Add PC
  • Paste the IP address you copied into the “PC name” field, and click Add
  • Double-click the entry you just added
  • Enter your COMMBADGE user name and password
  • Click Continue on the certificate warning screen
  • You will now be remotely connected to the PC and can work on it as normal
  • When you’re done, click the Start button, click the profile icon on the left edge, and click Sign Out
  • You can now disconnect from the VPN as well

Tips and tricks for using remote PCs

  • If you get a “no more connections are available” error when attempting to connect, this means another user logged in to that PC between the time you copied the IP address and when you attempted to log in
  • Please make sure you save your work before logging out
  • If you are “idle” – i.e. not doing anything on the remote computer – for an hour, you will be logged out
  • All remote sessions have a maximum time of six hours
    • If you need to work longer than six hours, please log out and log back in
  • All McIntire lab computers reboot at 4 a.m. each day
    • If you are logged in at 4 a.m., you will lose any unsaved work