Use of the StudentLabs.uOttawa.ca portal

Computer screen showing the RemoteLabs Portal

The StudentLabs.uOttawa.ca portal allows University of Ottawa students to use their personal computers to gain secure remote access to computers and software from selected university labs. 

This document explains how students can connect to the portal from their personal computer and work efficiently with the laboratory computers.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: You will need to self-enrol your account for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) before you can proceed with remote access to University labs.

Enrol your account for MFA now

Steps to connect

Access via Web browser

It is possible to connect remotely to computers and applications in some of the University’s laboratories by using a web browser. 

Lab computers using Windows 10 are accessible via the https://StudentLabs.uOttawa.ca web portal. However, computers running Windows 7 are not accessible via the Web interface; these are only accessible by using the VMware Horizon Client as described in the next section. 

Only the most recent versions of web browsers are supported. If you cannot upgrade or install the appropriate browser, consider using the VMware Horizon Client application, described in the next section. Browsers in the list below should allow you to connect to laboratory computers via the portal without having to install the VMware Horizon Client

Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 

Microsoft® Edge Chromium  

Microsoft® Edge 

Google Chrome™ 

Mozilla® Firefox® 

Apple® Safari® 

IE 11+ 

Latest version 

Latest version 

Latest version 

Latest version 

10.x+ 

Windows - Access using the VMware Horizon client

Remote access to University lab computers and applications is possible by installing the VMware Horizon Client application, which is available for many systems - including Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, Android, and Chrome OS. The following section provides details on how to install and configure this client on Windows. 

  1. Start by enrolling to MFA.
    You will only need to enrol once for MFA to be enabled for your account. Anytime you access any MFA-enabled systems, you will need to confirm your identity on your registered secondary device
  2. Download the latest version of the VMware Horizon Client. NOTE: Do not use the Windows 10 UWP client.
    Screenshot of Download folder showing VMware Horizon Client

     

Installation 
  1. Start the downloaded installer, then click on the Agree & Install button and follow the on-screen instructions. 
    Screen instruction with content VMware Horizon version 5.4.2, you must agree to the privacy agreement and licence terms before you can install the product, agree and install green button and customize installation
  2. Restart your computer after the installation is complete. 

Configuration 
  1. Run the installed VMware Horizon application from the start menu or the desktop shortcut. 
    Screenshot of VMware Horizon Cloud
  2. Click on the New Server button to add the portal connection server which will give you access to laboratory machines and applications. 
    Screenshot of VMware Horizon, New server
  3. Enter the name of the studentlabs.uottawa.ca server then click on the Connect button. 
    VMWare Horizon screen with input box to 'Enter the name of the Connection Server'

     

  4. Enter your uoAccess credentials, then click the Login button to connect. If it prompts you to enter the domain, type UOTTAWA.
    Screenshot of window with server details, user name and password boxes. Login and Cancel buttons
    • If you've completed the MFA enrolment process, on your MFA-enabled device you will receive a sign-in verification request notification. In the Authenticator mobile App click Approve.
    • If you have not completed the MFA enrolment process, you will be unable to login. Enrol to MFA to proceed with remote access to University labs.
  5. Once connected, you will see the list of laboratories and applications available to you via the client application portal.
    Screenshot of list of the list of available laboratories
Mac - Access using the VMware Horizon client

Remote access to University lab computers and applications is possible by installing the VMware Horizon Client application, which is available for many systems - including Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, Android, and Chrome OS. The following section provides details on how to install and configure this client on a Mac.

  1. Start by Enrolling to MFA.
    You will only need to enrol once for MFA to be enabled for your account. Anytime you access any MFA-enabled systems, you will need to confirm your identity on your registered secondary device
  2. Download the latest version of the VMware Horizon Client installer

    Supported versions: macOS: High Sierra (10.13), macOS Mojave (10.14) and macOS Catalina (10.15)

Installation

  1. Open the downloaded disc image file.
    Screenshot of downloads showing VMware Horizon client.
  2. In the next window, drag the VMware Horizon Client icon to the Applications folder on the right. 
    Screenshot of VMware Horizon Client window with content VMware Horizon Client and Application VMware Horizon Client

Configuration

  1. Open a Finder window, navigate to the Applications folder, then double-click the VMware Horizon Client.
    Screenshot of Application folder in Finder window. Mouse on VMware Horizon Client.
  2. At the first launch, some windows can interrupt the launch of the client. 
  3. If you are notified that the application has been downloaded from the Internet, simply click Open.  
    Screenshot of window notifying the application has been downloaded from the internet. Cancel, show web page and open buttons.
  4. If you are prompted to start remote USB and printing services, click Continue
    Screenshot of remote USB and printing services with content Start remote USB and printing services. To start remote USB and printing services an Admin password will be required. Please input your password when prompted.
  5. With the client open, double-click the plus in the area labeled New Server to add the portal connection server that will give you access to the laboratory machines and applications. 
    Screenshot of VMware Horizon, New server
  6. Enter the name of the studentlabs.uottawa.ca server then click on the Connect button. 
    VMWare Horizon screen with input box to 'Enter the name of the Connection Server'

     

  7. Choose the UOTTAWA domain, then enter your uoAccess credentials, then click the Login button to connect.
    Screenshot of window with server details, user name and password boxes. Login and Cancel buttons
    • If you've completed the MFA enrolment process, on your MFA-enabled device you will receive a sign-in verification request notification. In the Authenticator mobile App click Approve.
    • If you have not completed the MFA enrolment process, you will be unable to login. Enrol to MFA to proceed with remote access to University labs.
  8. Once connected, you will see the list of laboratories and applications available to you via the application portal. 
    Screenshot of list of the list of available laboratories
Linux - Access using the VMware Horizon client

Remote access to University lab computers and applications is possible by installing the VMware Horizon Client application, which is available for many systems - including Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, Android, and Chrome OS. The following section provides details on how to install and configure this client on Linux.

  1. Start by Enrolling to MFA.
    You will only need to enrol once for MFA to be enabled for your account. Anytime you access any MFA-enabled systems, you will need to confirm your identity on your registered secondary device
  2. Download the latest version of the VMware Horizon Client installer and save it in your “Downloads” directory.

    Support versions: Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.04, and distributions based on Red Hat version 6.8 to 7.3 

Installation

  1. Open a terminal window and run the bundle installer by running: 

    sudo sh ~\Downloads\VMware-Horizon-Client-5.4.1-15988340.x64.bundle 

    If you have saved the installer in a directory other than the one mentioned above, readjust it.
  2. On some systems, the installer will not be a graphical window, but will run in the terminal console. Follow the prompts for the options selected below. 
  3. Accept the EULA agreement, then click the Next button. 
  4. Leave all the features selected, click the Next button. 
    VMware Horizon Client window. Continue the installation. Next, back and cancel buttons.
  5. On the next screen, click the Install button. 
    VMware Horizon Client window. Click install to begin the installation process. Install, back and cancel buttons.
  6. Once the installation is complete, check the box labeled “Register and start installed service(s) after the installation” then click on the Scan button. 
    VMware Horizon Client window. Click install to begin the installation process. Install, back and cancel buttons.
  7. Once the analysis is complete, verify that the tests are passed. Do not worry if the VMware Horizon PCoIP test fails, it will not affect the client user in our case. 
    VMware Horizon Client window. Checking results. Scan and Close buttons.

Configuration

  1. Launch the VMware Horizon Client (listed in menu under Internet in Red Hat-based distributions). 
  2. Double-click the plus sign to add the portal connection server that will give you access to the laboratory machines and applications. 
    Screenshot of VMware Horizon, New server
  3. Enter the name of the studentlabs.uottawa.ca server then click on the Connect button. 
    Screenshot of window with content Enter the name of the connection server, connect and cancel buttons
  4. Choose the UOTTAWA domain, then enter your uoAccess credentials, then click the OK button to connect. 
    Screenshot of window with server details, user name and password boxes. Login and Cancel buttons
    • If you've completed the MFA enrolment process, on your MFA-enabled device you will receive a sign-in verification request notification. In the Authenticator mobile App click Approve.
    • If you have not completed the MFA enrolment process, you will be unable to login. Enrol to MFA to proceed with remote access to University labs.
  5. Once connected, you will see the list of laboratories available to you via the client application portal.  
    Screenshot of list of the list of available laboratories
Tips & Tricks

Available laboratories 

The computer laboratories and applications of several of the University's faculties are accessible via the portal. Some are general computing labs, others are specialized labs dedicated for certain courses. You can refer to your professor or TA to determine which laboratory to use for your needs. 

Access to files 

Once connected to a laboratory computer, we recommend that you access your files on your personal network space (Z: or H:), because access to these network disks is very efficient.  

Although access to the files on your personal computer from the laboratory computer is possible, the performance of this access will be slow. See the next section for more details. 

Please note that any files stored on the C: drive of lab computers will be lost when you exit your Windows session or are disconnected. Make sure not to save your documents there and make regular backups. 

If the location of your personal network space (H: or Z :) is not available, please send us a request for assistance via the IT Self-Service portal

File access performance 

Some software such as Solidworks requires continuous writing to the file when in use. 

The performance of accessing your personal computer's disk drives from the laboratory computer is not efficient and can, with such software, have a very negative impact on overall performance.  

For such software, we recommend that you save your files on your university personal network space as indicated in the green frame of the image below. 

Screenshot showing different Hard Drive or Network space. The university personal network space is framed in green.

 

How to transfer files between your personal computer and the laboratory computer 

Using Windows Explorer 

To transfer files from your personal computer to the lab computer - or vice versa, you can launch Windows Explorer from the lab computer. You will have access to the disks on your personal computer as well as your H: network disk, and you will be able to transfer your documents. 

Using cloud storage (Google Drive File Stream, OneDrive) 

As an alternative, you can also install one of the Google Drive File Stream or Microsoft OneDrive clients on the laboratory computer. To synchronize your work files with OneDrive, see the Tools and Resources section on the Student Zone page. Note that you will need to reinstall the client at every session. 

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