When you are away from UF and need access to your files and emails, one of the simplest tools for accessing them is the PHHP Terminal Server, ts.phhp.ufl.edu. Using a commonly available tool called Windows Remote Desktop, you can access a virtual desktop on a server in the PHHP server room. From that desktop you can run commonly needed tools like MS Office, Outlook, and SPSS while seeing the same server drives you can see from your own PC at work.
When connected to a terminal server session, programs run on the terminal server. Windows Remote Desktop sends your keystrokes and mouse movements to the terminal server and displays the screen image sent back from the terminal server.
The terminal server provides a more uniform, secure environment then can generally be achieved on a conventional home PC or laptop.
Attention Mac Users
Note: if you are using a Mac you will need to download the free Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 in order to connect to ts.phhp.ufl.edu. You can find it here: Microsoft Remote Desktop App from the App Store
Older versions of the Microsoft Remote Desktop (8 and lower) will no longer connect and you will see the “Remote Desktop Connection cannot verify the identity of the computer to you want to connect to” error.
Making the Connection
To login to the terminal server, follow these steps:
- Click Start Button > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection
Click Start Button > All Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection
- Enter ts.phhp.ufl.edu in the Computer field
- Click Connect
- A new window will open with the remote desktop session. To log in, put UFAD\ before your username (for example UFAD\johnsmith) and then enter your Gatorlink password.
There is a lot of software available on the Terminal Server, but very few shortcuts on the desktop. Look under Start, All Programs to find MS Office, Outlook, Firefox, SPSS, Acrobat Reader, Skype for Business, etc. If you want icons on your desktop or in your Quick Launch bar, you can drag them from Start, All Programs.
You will not be able to install software on the terminal server. If a program you need to do your work is not available on the thin clients please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of that program, a brief description of the program and its role in your work at PHHP. IT and departmental staff will review the program to determine if it can be installed on the terminal server. Software packages do not always work well in a Terminal Server environment and require evaluation.
Printing to a Work Printer
The terminal server has access to the same networked printers you see at work and you can add them in much the same way. To do so, go to Start, Printers and Faxes. Click Add a Printer, Next, Next, Next (with “Find a Printer in the Directory” selected), enter ‘phhp-‘ in the name field and press enter. Select the networked printer for your room. The printers or named according to building number and then room number. The building number for the HPNP Building is 0212.
Disconnecting & Reconnecting
Your terminal server session keeps running for an hour if you disconnect from it. This allows you to disconnect from a session from one computer and reconnect to it for up to one hour from the same or a different computer.
You can also steal a session running on another computer. If you start a session at work and leave it running at the end of the day, you can connect to it when you get home.
To disconnect from a session, choose Start, Shutdown, Disconnect. When you disconnect from a session, it automatically locks so no one but you can reconnect to it. To reconnect just login. The terminal server will detect your running session and connect you to it.
To reconnect from a different computer, you will need to put your Gatorlink ID into the Remote desktop client and remove any Domain information prior to connecting. If you provide your GLID, the system will do it’s best to reconnect you to your disconnected session. Please note that “UFAD\glid” is *different* than simply “glid”.
- Note: The Mac Remote Desktop client insists on filling in the Domain field with the name of the computer you are connecting to. You *must* delete that entry to successfully reconnect to your session.
To conserve its memory and processor, the terminal server will disconnect idle sessions after 3 hours of inactivity. It will also expire disconnected sessions after 1 hour in the disconnected state. If you stop using a session you have 3 hours until you are disconnected and 1 more until the session is expired. So save your work!
Video on the Terminal Server
The PHHP terminal server environment is not designed to handle audio/video streams. You can do it but it will not be a great experience. The audio stream will lag about 2 seconds behind the video–at best. This problem can be mitigated somewhat by reducing the size of the window displaying the video, but it cannot be fixed. This may be OK for your purposes, but if you want perfectly synchronized audio and video, you will not get it from this system. As such we don’t advise watching video running on the terminal server.
This problem is inherent to the remote desktop connections used to connect you to the terminal server. Even with the best hardware and software the lag only goes down to about 1 second when using remote desktop. Truely synchronized audio and video is possible for remote connections, but this system cannot do it.
Audio Players such as Windows Media often provided an animated display coordinated with the music. The video updates caused by the animation will slow down your internet connection and the terminal server. Due to the aforementioned problems with video, the animation will not even move in time with the music. As such, PHHP IT recommends you minimize the animation window or turn animation off. The bigger the size of animation the slower things will be.