Instructions for reaching RDS resources (for Mac users)


The MicroAge Lab maintains a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) infrastructure to broker access to Windows-based servers in the lab. These RDS components allow a user to work on these machines running on the lab's servers via a remote connection.

Launching RDS Resources from a Mac

These instructions are for Apple Mac users. Please instead see this page if you need instructions for connecting from a Windows-based PC.

To access RDS resources from a Mac, the Microsoft Remote Desktop app needs to be installed.

1. Go to App Store.

2. Search for Microsoft Remote Desktop in App Store.
RDS resource Search Remote Desktop on AppStore


3. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop into your Mac.
RDS resource Download Remote Desktop into your Mac

4. Go to the MicroAge Lab RDS web access site:

5. For the domain\user name, put catnet\<your NetID>. (For example, my userID is xiaol, so I put catnet\xiaol here). Make sure to put backslash here (not a forward slash); otherwise it will not work!
For password, put your NetID password.
RDS resource Enter Domain and Username

6. Click sign in.
RDS sign in

7. Now you will log into the Work Resources RemoteApp and Desktops page. On this page, you will be presented a list of remote machines that you are permitted to access. To begin working with one of them (in this example, we're trying to access the MicroAge Lab Staff resource), click on it to download the .RDP file to your machine.

RDS resource Click on MicroAge Lab Staff

9. After the file is successfully downloaded, click on it to launch. The file will automatically open with the Microsoft Remote Desktop app.
RDS resource Download RDS file

10. Input your catnet\<your NetID> and password again, same as step 5, then click OK. This will attempt the login process.
RDS resource Enter Login info again

11. Now your RDS resource is available to use.

RDS resource available to use

More information about our RDS resources

Some other things you should know about machines in our RDS system:

  • We apply idle session limits to our machines. This is similar to a screen lock; when a user does not interact with the remote resource screen for a period of time (for example, 30 minutes), the connection will be terminated but the session itself will still be running on the remote computer. A user can log back in to the system to continue their work where they left off, so long as the session hasn't been disconnected for 2-3 days.
  • We apply disconnected session limits of 2-3 days, to allow for background patching and administrative activity to take place. This means that if you become disconnected from your session and don't reconnect within 2-3 days, you will be logged out, and any work still running won't be saved!
  • If you need additional users to have access to your machine(s) over the RDS, please contact us with a detailed support request. 
  • In certain cases, we may provide users with administrative privileges over the remote resources so they can make changes to the system as required by their project or use case. In those instances, please keep the following in mind: 
    • MicroAge Lab staff retains administrative access rights to all machines under our purview, but generally only use these when needed, and expect our administrative end-users to manage their own machines in accordance with our University's information security policies and with security best practices.
    • If multiple users have administrative access, they are able to effect system changes while multiple people are logged in. This can result in unpredictable results. You may want to limit system administration tasks, like configuration changes, patches, updates and software installations, to when only one administrator is logged in.
    • The machines under our management participate in automatic schedules for Windows updates and anti-virus configuration. Other administration tasks should be performed by the user.

Technical Support

If you experience technical issues (e.g., your list of available Work Resource RemoteApp and Desktops is empty), please send us a support request and explain that you are having trouble with the MicroAge Lab RDS infrasture. Please provide detailed information about the issue you are experiencing and provide screenshots when appropriate. Be sure to include your NetID; that account is the one used for our lab's RDS system.

You should receive support within 1-2 business days.

If you do not know your NetID credentials, or are having trouble with the WebAuth system, please contact the UITS 24/7 Support Center at 520-626-TECH.