Submitted on Thursday, 10/19/2023, at 2:16 PM

Remote Windows and Unix systems provide a graphical interface by using the local application Remote Desktop Connection.  It is standard on Windows and also available for Mac users in the App Store. This can be a good way to connect to remus, romulus, or the HPC system if you want to run graphical programs. 

When you run the program, you will need to configure it first. On Windows, click on the button Show Options; on Macs, click on the menu + (Add desktop or workspace) and then select Add PC. The Computer or PC name that you're trying to access should be the full domain name, e.g. "", "", or “”, or an IP address, e.g. “”. 

On Macs, you can provide a simpler Friendly name for this destination.

Important: the Unix systems do not understand high-resolution color. Therefore, click on the tab Display, and in the menu Colors / Color Quality, choose 16 bit.

By default, you will be asked for your Amherst username and password everytime you log in. Optionally, you can save this information for quick recall. Back in the tab General:

  • On Windows, fill in the User name and click on the button Allow me to save credentials.
  •  On Macs, click on the menu User account and then select Add User Account…. Provide your Amherst and password, and click the button Add

On Windows, click on the button Save , and click on the button Connect.  On Macs, click on the button Add, then locate this new destination in the list of PCs and double-click on it.

You'll probably then be told that the identity of the remote computer cannot be verified.  It's OK to click "yes" to continue for this very first time.  Then give your username and password if you didn’t save it. Be aware that Romulus and Remus now require two-factor authentication, so be prepared to OK a second approval method.

This gives you a Unix desktop, which you can use in many ways.  A good way to get started is to run Applications>System Tools>Terminal.  This gives you an initial terminal window.

There are two ways to exit Remote Desktop Connection. Best is to choose System>Logout.  This terminates your programs on the remote machine and logs you out.  The other way is to pick the X in the blue bar at the top of the screen.  This closes the RDC program but preserves your session.  You can later return to the very same session.  This ability to return to an active session can be useful, but please note that the active session will continue to use system resources.