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UMKC Remote Labs →  Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to UMKC's Remote Labs. The UMKC Remote Labs are designed to provide free remote access to software purchased by UMKC from any device with a high speed internet connection. The remote lab computers have a similar configuration to the UMKC lab computers found on campus. Connect now (UMKC single sign-on authentication required) to view a list of what is available.

Remote Labs

What is the difference between UMKC Remote Labs and RooLabs Online?

UMKC Remote Labs offers remote access to a small subset of curated software compared to RooLabs Online. The selected software has been optimized specifically for remote access. Software is organized by UMKC Departments and does not correspond to any specific on-campus offerings.


UMKC students can remotely access ALL of the on-campus General Use Lab software via RooLabs Online. If your department participates in RooLabs Online, you will also be able to access ALL software avaialble in that on-campus departmental lab. A much broader selection of software is avaiable, however performance of individual applications over remote access will vary. More information is available on the RooLabs Online FAQ

Who can access the UMKC Remote Labs?

The Remote Labs are currently available to UMKC students, faculty, and staff. Additional Remote Labs featuring more specialized software are available to students actively enrolled in the current semester and will vary by department and degree program.


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 step-by-step instructions for connecting can be found here.


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. This is the reccomended option if you need to use multiple applications simultaneously.

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, it is still sandboxed in the Remote Lab and isolated from your local computer.


What factors affect the performance of Remote Labs?

Performance is heavily dependent on your internet connection. 100 Mbps is the recommended speed, but your experience will benefit from a faster connection. Keep in mind, the package sold by your Internet Service Provider is the "theoretical maximum" speed you can achieve. This does not neccessarily reflect your average speed. Sharing your Internet connection with streaming services like Netflix, online gaming services, and peer-to-peer file sharing services will significanly decrease Remote Labs performance. If you are experiencing slowness, conncting to the UMKC VPN will generally decrease latency and increase performance.

You may notice there is sometimes a delay when you first connect to a Remote Lab. This is largely due to measures that ensure the security of Remote Labs and the privacy of your data and your user session.


What software is available on the UMKC Remote Labs?

All students have access to statistical and productivity software in the General Lab. Additonal, more specialized software, may be available to you depending on what school or degree program you are enrolled in. The only way to see a complete list of available software is to login.


Why Can't I Access The GPU Rendering Remote Lab On Android, iOS, or Linux Device?

This particular Remote Lab offers hardware accelerated rendering with dedicated GPUs and specialized graphics capabilities. This configuration is not supported by certain combinations of operating systems, web browsers, and remote desktop clients.


Where can I save my files?

When you are logged into a Remote Lab, it is recommended you open and save files from your Q:\ drive or other UMKC Campus file share. This will guarantee Remote Labs applications have high speed access to your data. When you have completed your work, you can move your data to a cloud storage location or your local computer.

If you are connecting from a Windows computer, Remote Labs will automatically mount your local hard drives, flash drives, and other storage media. Accessing your local Mac hard drive from within Remote Labs requires additonal manual steps. Accessing local storage from a Linux, Android, or iOS device is not supported.

The Remote Labs General Lab provides two Applications to make file management easier. The "Remote Labs File Manager" offers drag&drop capabilities while "Windows Explorer" offers copy&paste capabilities.


What happens if I get disconnected? How long can I stay logged in?

If you accidently disconnect from a Remote Lab, or experience a brief interruption in Internet connectivity, your session will remain active for 1 hour. If you reconnect in that time window, all of your applications and data will still be open on the screen.

The time limit for idle sessions is 1 hour. The time limit for active sessions is 8 hours. After reaching either of these session limits, users will be disconnected.


When is the Remote Lab Service available?

UMKC Remote Labs are a 24 x 7 service so that it's always available, even when campus is not open. The Remote Labs are rebooted Sunday and/or Monday mornings at 2:00 AM. 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 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 Labs servers are encrypted, making it difficult for someone to hijack the session or view data. Furthermore, the Remote Labs machines are located in a secured data center, so while they are being accessed, others can't approach them. Remote Lab machines have antivirus and antimalware software installed and are proteced by both hardware and software firewalls.


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 Windows 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.


Tips for Mac Users

  • Mac users need to install Microsoft Remote Desktop 10.0 (or higher)
  • Accessing your local Mac hard drive from within Remote Labs requires additonal manual steps.
  • 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.

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.