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Using Mentor remotely


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You must use the Computer Science linux computers to do your work for 552. In the past, students who have used the CAE systems have experienced difficulty. The instructions and procedures given will not work as intended.

There are many ways to use the CS machines remotely (i.e. from your home, CAE lab, or some place else). Some connections are persistent, while others are not.

  • A one time connection or non-persistent connection terminates as soon as you close the connection from the clients side.
  • A persistent connection is alive even if there is a network interruption. It stays alive until you log off explicitly. Such a connection can be handy if you want to continue your work from a different machine or if you want to demonstrate an issue at the TA's office desktop.

NOTE: All mumble machines are rebooted on Monday mornings. So expect persistent connections to be disconnected.

Method 1: ssh (Fastest method)(Non-persistent connection)

If you wish to use the CS systems remotely, either from home or from CAE workstations, you may log on with the command:

ssh -X

where "username" is your CS login name, and "system" is replaced by the name of the individual computer (e.g. mumble-01).

  • Hint: Instead of choosing a specific mumble machine, it is possible to specify "". When you do this, you will be allotted the mumble machine with the minimum load.

When you log in, you will be asked for your password. Once you type it in, the window you are running is a window into your CS account. Other programs that you open up from that window will access your CS afs directory. You can run dmgr, da, and most anything else you might need in this way. Use "ps -lA" to see if you happen to be using a system already loaded down by an in-person user.

To run mentor over an ssh connection, you must have the mentor fonts set up on the machine that you are logging in from. Instructions for doing this vary from system to system. Only some systems have had instructions identified for them. If you are having problems with fonts or get a font error, read the Tools FAQ.

Method 2: Remote desktop connection (Persistent connection)

If you are familiar with Windows Remote desktop protocol, you can use that. Email for help.

  • If you are using windows, the software 'Remote desktop Connection' should be preinstalled in your machine. In case you are using linux, you might have to install a package for this.
  • Connect to CS VPN (
    • Go to the page
    • Click on the link COMP_SCI_SPLIT
    • You will see a login page; use your CS username and password
    • (If you are connecting for the first time, the Cisco VPN client will be automatically downloaded)
    • You should now be connected to the CS VPN (Linux users will need to additionally specify the "" in the Cisco AnyConnect client.)
    • The next time you want to connect, just launch the Cisco VPN client software.
  • Connect to a mumble machine via Remote Desktop
    • Open the software 'Remote Desktop Connection' (This is shipped with windows)
    • Pick your favourite mumble machine (eg, and press the 'Connect' button
    • Login using your cs username and password
  • Remember, this is a persitent connection .So, don't forget to 'Logout' from the machine when you are done.

Method 3: Connect using load balanced vncs (Non-persistent connection)

  • Download and install an appropriate vncviewer for your OS.
  • Connect to CS VPN ( (There are some detailed instructions under Method2)
  • Open vncviewer and connect to one of the following three host names
  • Login to the machine using your CS username and password

Method 4: Setup your own vnc and connect to it (Persistent connection)

Part I: Setting up the server (To be done only once)

  • To setup the vnc, you should have access to one of the mumble machines. (Either go to the mumble lab or use method 1 to access a mumble machine)
  • Type the following commands on a terminal/ssh window.

% vncpasswd

% stashticket

% runauth /usr/bin/vncserver -geometry 1280x1024

The vncpasswd command will ask you for a password - type in a password here. This should NOT be your CS password, this is a new password you must create. Also you can pick the resolution that suits you best.

Part II: Connecting to server remotely

  • Download and install an appropriate vncviewer for your OS.
  • Connect to CS VPN ( (There are some detailed instructions under Method2)
  • Open vncviewer and connect using the complete <hostname>:<session number>
    • eg,
  • Login to the machine using your vnc password which was set in Part I

Instructions from CSL are here

Part III: Killing a vnc server (To be performed once when you are done using the vnc)

To keep track of your active vnc sessions, you can check the .pid files in <home folder>/.vnc.

To kill a vnc session on, Login to mumble-07 and type the following command

% vncserver -kill :1

Page last modified on February 03, 2016, visited 1261 times

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