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UMKC Remote Labs →  Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to UMKC's Remote Labs. The UMKC Remote Labs are a collection of lab computers that are designed to be accessed from a remote broadband-connected computer. The remote lab computers have a similar configuration to the UMKC lab computers found on campus. Access to student Q: drive storage is available.

Connect now (UMKC single sign-on authentication required) to view a list of what is available, or visit our frequently asked questions page for more information.

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Who can access the UMKC Remote Labs?

The remote labs are currently available to students, faculty, and staff with accounts on the UMKC domain.


What do I need to connect to the UMKC Remote Labs?

To access the UMKC Remote Labs you must have the following:

  • A high speed Internet connection
  • A computer or device with a compatible Remote Desktop client. Minimum version requirements are listed here. For best results, UMKC highly recomends always running the most up to date version.
  • Linux users also have the additional requirement of needing to use a VPN connection. Instructions can be found here. Mac, iOS, and Android devices no longer require VPN if using the Microsoft Remote Desktop client 8.0 or higher.


How do I connect to the UMKC Remote Labs?

Detailed instructions for connecting can be found here.


Why Can't I Access The "SCE II" Remote Lab On Windows XP Or Linux Device?

The "School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) II" Remote Lab is a pool of virtual desktops with specialized graphics capabilities. This configuration is not supported by certain combinations of operating systems, web browsers, and remote desktop clients.


What is the difference between a remote desktop lab connection and a remote application connection?

A Remote Desktop connection gives you full access to the Remote Lab computer. The Windows start menu and desktop are visible and you may open any available application.

A Remote Application connection allows a program to be run off of a remote computer, but appear as if it is running locally on your computer. Although remote applications appear to be running on your computer, the application will only have access to the remote file system (namely your personal storage on the Q: drive).


What software is available on the UMKC Remote Labs?

Available software depends on which school you are enrolled in. The only way to see a complete list of available software is to login. The general lab (available to all students) currently has the following software:

Available as remote applications and via the full desktop:
  • FileZilla
  • GIMP
  • LibreOffice
  • Maple 18
  • MATLAB R2014a
  • Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007
  • Minitab 17
  • NetAnatomy.com
  • PSPP
  • Remote Labs File Manager
  • SAS 9.4
  • SPSS 22
  • SQL Server 2014 Management Studio
  • Visual Studio 2013
  • Visual Studio 2013 Express
  • Windows Explorer
Available via the full desktop only:
  • AMOS 22

How do I request new software for a Remote Lab?

IS maintains a consistent, stable computing environment in all of its labs. Ensuring this level of quality means limiting the available software for the most part to those applications faculty request to support their teaching initiatives. New software is added three times a year, at the start of each semester. Software submissions are subject to review for proper licensing and compatibility with the existing software set. The deadline for software requests is three weeks prior to the first day of class for each regular semester. If you are a faculty member and wish to request new software for a Remote Lab, please fill out the new software request form which contains further instructions and can be found here.


Can I print from the UMKC Remote Labs?

Yes, printing is available in the Remote Labs if you have a printer installed locally on your computer.  The Remote Labs use a universal print driver to connect to the printer you have installed locally on your computer.  Because the driver is not an exact match for your printer, there may be differences between what is displayed on the screen and what is printed.


Can I copy files from my local computer to the UMKC Remote Lab Service computer?

Direct file transfer capabilites differ among Operating Systems and may not be available on all clients. The Remote Labs General Lab provides two Remote Applications to make file management easier. The "Remote Labs File Manager" offers drag&drop capabilities while "Windows Explorer" offers copy&paste capabilities. These applications will be unable to detect local drives on a Linux or iOS device.


Where can I save my files?

When you are logged into a Remote Lab, you can save files to your personal Q: drive or another shared directory to which you have access, such as a course share. Depending on your Operating System and Remote Desktop client settings, you may be able to access drives connected to your local machine. You will not be able to save directly to a Linux or iOS device.


My connection to the remote lab disconnected. Can I reestablish the connection to the same computer?

Yes, you can connect to the same computer for 10 minutes from the time the connection is dropped.  Connect to the same lab/application and you will be reconnected to your disconnected session.


When is the Remote Lab Service available?

Generally, the Remote Lab is a 24 x 7 service so that it's always available to students. However, UMKC staff may perform maintenance work on the Remote Lab servers between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. on Fridays. The labs are also rebooted Saturday and/or Sunday mornings at 2:00 a.m. Users will not be warned if maintenance work is being done during these periods, and it is possible that access may be disrupted. UMKC staff will try to minimize the impact of maintenance work by scheduling these activities during low usage times.


How long can I stay connected?

The time limit for idle sessions is 3 hours. The time limit for active sessions is 8 hours. After reaching one of these session limits, users will be disconnected. Disconnected sessions will be logged off after 1 hour. A user may log back in if a computer is available.


Can I switch to my local machine from my remote lab session?

When you are logged into a remote lab PC on a Windows machine, you can move your cursor to the top of the window until a Connection Bar appears. You can then minimize your remote lab window to a button on your taskbar and access your local machine. Do not close your Session Manager window or your connection will be terminated. To bring your remote lab session up again, click on the taskbar button.


What factors may cause long login times?

If you have not recently connected to the remote lab computer there will be a delay as your profile is created. This is normal.


What factors affect the performance of Remote Labs?

Performance is heavily dependent on your broadband connection. You may experience slowness on some DSL connections, or if your local network is under heavy use (file sharing is the most common culprit). Dial-up connections are not supported.


How secure is the UMKC Remote Lab Service?

The Remote Lab software uses an encrypted connection to provide secure access to remote lab machines. This means all communications from your computer to the remote lab PC are encrypted, making it virtually impossible for someone to hijack the session or view data. When a connection to one of the remote lab machines is broken (by an unexpected disconnect), the server will cleanly close out all sessions to the workstation before allowing connections by other remote users. Furthermore, the remote lab machines are located in a secured area, so while they are being accessed, others can't approach them. When a user has an active remote session to one of the machines, the screen appears "locked out" and can only be unlocked by that user or an administrator. Remote Lab machines have antivirus software installed and are running a firewall.


Tips for Mac Users

  • Mac users need to install Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0 (or higher)
  • When using a Remote Lab, you may find that your Dock is in your way. You can quickly turn on Dock hiding by going to Apple -> Dock -> Turn Hiding On. You can also change your Dock position from this location or choose Dock Preferences for more advanced options.
  • When you are connected to the Remote Lab, remember you are now using a Windows machine, so your Mac keyboard shortcuts such as Command (Apple) + C and Command + V for copy and paste no longer work. Many common commands are similar, but you should use the Control key (such as Control + C and Control + V to copy and paste) instead.
  • When ending your Remote Lab session, always be sure to go to Start -> Log Off. Please do not just quit Remote Desktop. Doing so ties up resources and prevents other users from logging onto that machine.


Tips for Linux Users

  • Linux users need Windows compatible Remote Desktop software to connect. Many client options are available for free and one may or may not be included with the Linux distribution you are using.
  • Off campus Linux users have the additional requirement of needing to use a VPN connection. Instructions can be found at http://www.umkc.edu/is/support/services/vpn/linux/.
  • When you are connected to the Remote Lab, remember you are now using a Windows machine, so your Linux keyboard shortcuts will not work. Many common commands are similar (such as Control + C and Control + V to copy and paste).
  • When ending your Remote Lab session, always be sure to go to Start -> Log Off. Please do not just quit Remote Desktop. Doing so ties up resources and prevents other users from logging onto that machine.