Accessing Campus Computing Resources (Faculty/Staff)

Murray State provides remote access options to the campus community via virtual desktops for faculty and staff that need to access campus resources while they work off campus. This solution meets the needs of the majority of faculty and staff and provides access to Banner, E-Print, AppXtender, and other campus resources, including desktop computers.

To enhance security related to remote access, the University is transitioning away from using the OpenVPN client. This article provides instructions for remote access going forward using virtual desktops via Racerdesk.

There are two ways to access these desktops. Please use the method that works best for you.

Quick Access

 

Method 1: Access via a web browser

To access a virtual desktop in a web browser, go to the Horizon login screen at https://racerdesk.murraystate.edu/portal/webclient/index.html.

You will be redirected to a https://login.microsoftonline.com/ address with a Murray State background image. 

Enter your @murraystate.edu email address and click "Next." On the next screen, enter your Murray State password and click "Sign in." 

 

If you aren't already authenticated with Duo, you will be taken to a Duo Authentication page. Follow the instructions to accept a Push, Phone Call, or Text, or enter a Passcode as you normally would when accessing myGate.

 

Once successful, you may be asked if you want to "Stay signed in?" Choose "No" or "Yes" to continue. If you are on a trusted computer, select "Yes" to skip this step when connecting through Racerdesk in the future. The next time you connect, you will be taken to the VMware Horizon screen.

 

On the VMware Horizon screen, enter your Murray State username (without the @murraystate.edu) and password. If you don't see a place to type your username and password, refresh the page in the browser.

 

Once you are logged in, click on the “Remote Access” button and your virtual desktop will load. NOTE: Some individuals will have the "Physical Desktops" option. These individuals will continue to use this option as they did during the COVID-19 work remote period. 

 

OpenVPN Users: If you have previously used OpenVPN to access your office computer from another location/computer, you will need to continue on to the "Connecting to your office desktop (RDP)" section below.

 

Method 2: Access via the Horizon Client software (recommended)

You can also access a virtual desktop using the Horizon Client software. You can find more instructions for installing and using the Horizon Client in our "VMware Horizon Client" article. This method provides a better remote experience, but does require software to be installed on the computer you are using at home. If you need the Horizon Client installed on an MSU device that you will be taking home, please work with the Service Desk or your technology coordinator so that a technician can assist with the installation of the software.

To access a virtual desktop via the VMware Horizon client, open the VMware Horizon Client on your computer. Select "racerdesk.murraystate.edu" as the Connection Server, or add it if you this is the first time you are connecting. Your default browser will open and you will be redirected to a https://login.microsoftonline.com/ address with a Murray State background image. 

Enter your @murraystate.edu email address and click "Next." On the next screen, enter your Murray State password and click "Sign in." 

 

If you are not already authenticated with Duo, you will be taken to a Duo Authentication page. Follow the instructions to accept a Push, Phone Call, or Text, or enter a Passcode as you normally would when accessing myGate.

 

Once successful, you may be asked if you want to "Stay signed in?" Choose "No" or "Yes" to continue. If you are on a trusted computer, select "Yes" to skip this step when connecting through Racerdesk in the future. The next time you connect, your default browser will open and you will see the pop-up message below.

 

You will see a pop-up message saying "Open VMware Horizon Client?" This pop-up may look different based on the browser you are using. Click the "Open VMware Horizon Client" button. NOTE:  It's recommended to select the "Always allow racerdesk.murraystate.edu to open links of this type in the associated app" checkbox.

 

On the Login screen, enter your Murray State username (without the @murraystate.edu) and password..

 

Once you connect through the client, you will see the pool(s) you can connect to:

 

Before selecting the pool, FIRST TIME USERS (or those upgrading their VMWare Horizon software) will need to right click on the "Remote Access" or "Physical Desktops" pools and make sure "PCoIP" is selected in the menu.

 

Once you have selected "PCoIP" or ensured that it is already selected, choose the “Remote Access” pool. NOTE: Some individuals will have the "Physical Desktops" option. These individuals will continue to use this option as they did during the COVID-19 work remote period. 

OpenVPN Users: If you have previously used OpenVPN to access your office computer from another location/computer, you will need to continue on to the "Connecting to your office desktop (RDP)" section below.

 

Connecting to your office desktop (RDP)

Once you have connected to the "Remote Access" virtual machine through either method 1 or 2 listed above, you will have access to campus resources such as Banner and network shares through the virtual machine. If you also need access to the computer in your office, you can use Remote Desktop Connection to access it. If you have not previously accessed your office desktop remotely, you will need to request this to be set up using the "Request Remote Access to Office Computer" service.

NOTE: If you have previously used OpenVPN to access your office computer, this is the same procedure you used with OpenVPN. However, you will now perform the steps from the virtual machine.

On the Virtual Machine, navigate to the search bar in the Windows task bar and search for ‘Remote Desktop Connection’.

 

Open the "Remote Desktop Connection" app and input your computer name. This will be the name of the device that you are trying to connect to on campus. You can find the name of your on-campus device by typing ‘About’ in the same search bar and selecting ‘About this PC’ option and looking at the ‘device name’ while at the on-campus device.

Click the "Connect" button and enter your MSU credentials to allow access to the desktop. You will then be connected to the desktop on campus with your normal access.

NOTE: If this is your first time remotely connecting to a desktop, a technician may need to make changes to the desktop beforehand to allow you to connect. You can submit a "General Computer Support" ticket for this, and put "Allow connection via remote desktop" in the Subject line.

 

Considerations when accessing virtual or physical desktops

  • Use your home computer for tasks that do not require campus resources, such as email, Hangouts chat, Jabber, Zoom, and general web browsing. Accessing these tools using your home computer will provide a better experience.
     
  • The first time you access a virtual desktop, you may see the Welcome screen for 60-90 seconds while the system creates a profile for you. Subsequent logins should take about 30 seconds.
     
  • If you are using a web browser and your virtual or physical desktop locks (asking you to press CTRL + ALT + DELETE), you have to use a special button to send that command to the virtual desktop. Click on the tab on the left side of the screen to open a menu. At the very top, click the leftmost button to send a CTRL + ALT + DELETE command.
    Control Alt Delete screenshot
     
  • For virtual desktops, please log off when you will not be using the virtual desktop for a period of time. You can log off by clicking on the Start menu, then clicking on the person icon above the power and settings icons, then clicking Sign Out.
    Log Off screenshot
     
  • For virtual desktops, if you close the window, put your computer to sleep, or disconnect from your virtual desktop session, you can log in again and pick up where you left off. However, if you do not reconnect within 60 minutes, you will be signed out automatically and you may lose any unsaved work.
     
  • For physical desktops or accessing your personal desktop, make sure to leave your desktop powered on when you leave the office or end a remote session. Use the ‘sign out’ option instead of shutting down the device.

 

Additional Support and Information

If you have trouble connecting to Racerdesk or your office desktop, submit a "General Computer Support" ticket. If you have an issue with your password or with Duo, please call the Service Desk at 270-809-2346 for assistance.

 

Details

Article ID: 100079
Created
Thu 3/5/20 1:05 PM
Modified
Fri 11/5/21 4:36 PM

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