At IU, how do I configure ThinLinc Client to connect to Karst Desktop?

Following are instructions for connecting to Karst Desktop from a personal computer using the ThinLinc Client.

On this page:


Setting up ThinLinc Client

You can download ThinLinc Client for Windows, macOS, and Linux from IUware:

Install ThinLinc Client on your personal computer as you would any other application. If you need help, refer to the platform-specific installation instructions in Chapter 8 of Cendio's ThinLinc Administrator's Guide.

Once ThinLinc Client is installed, use the following instructions to configure it for use with the Karst Desktop service. For supplementary information, see Client configuration in Cendio's ThinLinc Administrator's Guide.

Connection settings

Important:

Do not connect to Karst Desktop before checking the ThinLinc Client screen size settings.

By default, the newly installed client selects screen size settings (Full screen mode and Enable full screen mode over all monitors) may cause display problems, especially if your computer is connected to more than one monitor. UITS strongly recommends de-selecting these options before starting your Karst Desktop session. For more, see Screen size settings below.

Launching ThinLinc Client opens the ThinLinc Client login window:

The ThinLinc Client login window
ThinLinc Client login window

The first time you launch ThinLinc client, the login window will contain the following items by default:

  • "Server" field
  • "Username" field (or "Name" field, depending on your system)
  • "Password" field
  • Connect, Exit, and Options buttons
  • End existing session checkbox
  • Status field (at the bottom; displays login status)
Note:
If you don't see the "Server" field or the Options button, click Advanced>> to expand the login window.

To set up a connection to the Karst Desktop service:

  • In the "Server" field, enter:
      desktop.karst.uits.iu.edu
    
  • In the "Username" or "Name" field, enter your IU username.
  • To log in using your IU credentials, in the "Password" field, enter your IU passphrase.

    To use public-key authentication instead, leave the "Password" field blank and refer to the instructions in the Authentication options section below.

To continue setup, click Options to open the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, and then use the instructions in the following sections to configure the individual settings and options that control the functionality of your sessions.

The ThinLinc Client Options window
ThinLinc Client Options window

Screen size settings

To set the size of your remote desktop window, open the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, and then, on the Screen tab:

  1. Uncheck (i.e., de-select) both Full screen mode and Enable full screen mode over all monitors.
  2. Select Current monitor or, if you prefer a particular screen size, select one of the pre-set sizes or the option for specifying a custom size.
  3. When you're finished, click OK to return to the "ThinLinc Client Options" window.
Note:

UITS recommends not using the Full screen mode or Enable full screen mode over all monitors options (highlighted below in red), because they may cause unexpected display problems, especially if your computer is connected to more than one monitor.

ThinLinc Client screen size options
ThinLinc Client screen size options
(UITS recommends disabling the highlighted settings.)

If these settings are activated (as they are, by default, when the client is initially installed), the ThinLinc Client window most likely will cover/hide all other active windows on your display(s), or position the menus for controlling your session beyond the edge of your display screen(s). In the latter case, only the background of the Karst Desktop session window may be visible (which can look very much like a blank desktop).

If you encounter this issue, follow the instructions in the Troubleshoot Karst Desktop to reduce the size of the ThinLinc Client window. Make sure to change the screen size settings before resuming your Karst Desktop session.

Authentication options

Note:
ThinLinc Client does not support DSA keys. You must use an RSA key pair instead. For help generating and uploading RSA keys, see Setting up public-key authentication using SSH on a Linux or macOS computer or contact the Karst Desktop development team.

To set up public-key authentication, open the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, and then, on the Security tab:

  1. Select Public key.
  2. Click OK to return to the ThinLinc Client login window. You should now see a "Key" field in place of the "Password" field.
  3. In the "Key" field, type the path to your locally stored private key. Alternatively, click the ... (browse) option to locate and select the key on your local file system.

Exporting local drives and directories

To indicate which local drives and directories should be exported to your remote session, open the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, and then, on the Local Devices tab:

  1. Select Drives and (next to it) Details. The "Export Local Drives" window will open.
  2. In the "Export Local Drives" window, click Add.
  3. Under "Drive Options", use the ... (browse) option to locate and select a local drive and directory, and then click OK.
    Note:
    The application will not allow you to export the root directory ( / ) of your file system.
  4. Under "Permission", assign either Read Only or Read and Write permissions for the drive or directory indicated in the "Exported Path" field.
    Note:
    With Read and Write permissions enabled locally, your Karst Desktop session will let you drag and drop (or click and drag) files between your computer and your Karst account. However, do not use drag and drop (or click and drag) to copy large (multi-gigabyte) files; use the IU Cyberinfrastructure Gateway instead.
  5. To select other drives or directories for export, repeat the process. Otherwise, click OK to return to the "ThinLinc Client Options" window.

When you connect to Karst Desktop, your exported drives and directories will be located on the desktop in the thindrives folder.

Connecting to Karst Desktop

After configuring ThinLinc Client, you are ready to connect to the Karst Desktop service. To do so, in the ThinLinc Client login window, click Connect. If you are using your IU credentials to authenticate, you need to enter your passphrase before clicking Connect.

Note:
The first time you connect to the Karst Desktop server from your workstation, you will see a warning that says the server's host key is not cached. You will be prompted to continue or abort the session. Click Continue.

As the connection is established, the field at the bottom of the login window will display details about the process. The Karst Desktop window should open within a few seconds.

Logging out versus disconnecting

In Karst Desktop, "logging out" and "disconnecting" are two different actions:

  • Logging out: This closes any applications currently open in your Karst Desktop session, terminates your session on the server, and closes the remote desktop window. The next time you open ThinLinc Client and click Connect, it will launch a new Karst Desktop session on the server.

    To log out and terminate your current Karst Desktop session, double-click the Log Out icon on the remote desktop.

  • Disconnecting your session: This suspends open applications and keeps your session running on the server, so you can reconnect to it later. The next time you open ThinLinc Client and click Connect, it automatically reconnects you to the same session by default; any applications, terminals, or file browsers that were open when you disconnected will still be running when you reconnect.

    To disconnect your current Karst Desktop session, double-click the Disconnect Desktop Session icon on the remote desktop. Alternatively, simply close the desktop window.

    Note:
    • Disconnected sessions remain active for up to seven days after your last login, but they are terminated automatically at the start of the monthly system maintenance window.
    • If loss of Internet connectivity causes your session to disconnect unexpectedly, it will remain active on the server and you can reconnect to it whenever you regain network connectivity (as long as it's within the aforementioned timeframe).
  • Reconnecting to an existing session: When you log in to Karst Desktop, if you have an existing session, the ThinLinc Client will reconnect you to it. To launch a new session instead of reconnecting to an existing session, in the ThinLinc Client login window, select End existing session, and then click Connect.

Getting help

For more on Karst Desktop, see:

If you have a question or need help with Karst Desktop, contact the Karst Desktop development team.

Support for IU research computing systems, software, and services is provided by various UITS Research Technologies units. For help, see Research computing support at IU.

This is document aopv in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-24 13:41:31.

  • Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
  • Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
  • All fields are required.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.

  • Fill out this form to submit your comment to the IU Knowledge Base.
  • If you are affiliated with Indiana University and need help with a computing problem, please use the I need help with a computing problem section above, or contact your campus Support Center.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.