Page tree

When signing into Whitman Remote Desktop/RDS.syr.edu, after you enter your netid@syr.edu email address as your username, ensure you select 'Work or School account' - otherwise you will not be able to utilize Whitman Remote Desktop.

What is Whitman Remote Desktop?

Whitman Remote Desktop is a remote desktop session available to Whitman faculty, staff, and students by logging into https://rds.syr.edu. It provides a Computer Lab experience accessible over the internet and from any internet-connected device. Whitman Remote Desktop is the best way for students to use course-required software. 

How to access Remote Desktop?

How to access Virtual Machines from Remote Desktop Services? (Double Hop)

Why do we have it?

We have Whitman Remote Desktop for three reasons:

  • There are some software programs which due to licensing terms and restrictions, cannot be installed on personal computers.
  • It provides access to Windows-only programs for people who use Apple computers.
  • It guarantees an up-to-date and consistent experience when using Whitman software.

Who has access to Whitman Remote Desktop?

  • Whitman Active Faculty
  • Whitman Active Staff
  • Students enrolled in Whitman courses

What should you know about Whitman Remote Desktop?

  • Your G: and H: Network Drives are automatically mapped for you. 
  • All the software available in our labs is also available on Whitman Remote Desktop; it will look just like the labs

Please Note: Users logging into rds.syr.edu at times may experience a small delay during the login process. Please be patient.

What software is available on Whitman Remote Desktop?

Click here for the full list of software installed on Whitman Remote Desktop

How do you use Whitman Remote Desktop?

The Ideal Experience

Open your favorite web browser and go to https://rds.syr.edu

At this website, you will be asked to log in using your SU NetID and Password.

Accessing Whitman Remote Desktop by Downloading its .rdp File

If you are experiencing connection issues, you may have a better experience by downloading Whitman Remote Desktop's .rdp file and opening it with Remote Desktop Connection (if you are using Windows) and using Microsoft Remote Desktop (if you are using a Mac) to open it.

To change this .rdp file setting, click the Settings gear at the top right of rds.syr.edu (after logging in with your NetID and password):

Ensure the "Download the rdp file" radio button is selected:


Next time you click on Whitman Remote Desktop's icon, it will instead download a .rdp file to your computer which you can then open and login.

If you wish to go back to using Whitman Remote Desktop within your web browser, simply go back into Settings and switch the radio button to "Open resources in the browser".

Using Whitman Remote Desktop locally on PC

Using the file that was created previously, you put file anywhere for use later. Simply copy the file from your downloads folds Whitman Remote Desktop.rdp and place where best suits your needs.

Double click on the file and will open Remote Desktop Services and connect you to Whitman Remote desktop that was previously used.

Using Whitman Remote Desktop locally on Mac

The first time you use Whitman Remote Desktop on a Mac you will need to do the following:

  • Complete the previous steps on downloading the rdp file.
  • Open the file. It will open Microsoft Remote Desktop application.
  • Once open you will need to import the rdp file into software. Click on the circle with 3 dots. Select Import RDP file…

  • Find the downloaded file and select it and click import

  • It will be imported and Show Whitman Desktop. Double click and enter credentials and you will be logged in.

  • Next time you would like to log in open Microsoft Remote desktop and click on desktop and you will be logged in.

Using Whitman Remote Desktop in the Browser

Please Note

Currently, the best and fastest in-browser experience is with Microsoft Edge, which can be installed on any device.  Edge can be downloaded here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge

Once you've logged in, you will see an icon named Whitman Remote Desktop (you will also see SULabs, and any other custom session you may have access to).

Click the Whitman Remote Desktop icon, check the box that says "Don't ask me again for connections to this computer", and click "Allow". You will be connected to the Remote Desktop within your web browser which will give you access to your desktop, H: + G: network drives, and applications available on any Whitman lab computer.

Known Issues

Microsoft Activation:

RDS - Web User Interface Issues

  • Going into Full-Screen mode (double-ended arrow next to the gear) can cause the connection to go black. This issue currently is known to affect all browsers.

    • Resolution: Reload the browser page, you will be brought back into your active session after you log back in.
    • Workaround: set rds.syr.edu to download the .rdp file rather than using the in-browser experience - click the gear, then the radio button for "Download the .rdp file"
  • Keyboard and Mouse input issues. This is a local hardware compatibility issue --with varied models of laptops\desktops\keyboards\mice.
    • Resolution: Utilize an alternative connection method to RDS (.rdp file).

Errors and Resolution:   "Connection Failed: The RDP file could not be downloaded.   If this keeps happening, please contact your system administrator"

Resolution:   Clear browser cache - and reload RDS.SYR.EDU. (How to clear your browser's cache.)

  • No labels