Download, install, and configure ThinLinc Client to use Research Desktop (RED) at IU

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Before you begin

To use Indiana University's Research Desktop (RED), you need an IU research computing account on Quartz and a device enrolled with IU's Two-Step Login (Duo) service. For help with Duo, see Get started with Two-Step Login (Duo) at IU and Help for Two-Step Login (Duo).

Download and install ThinLinc Client

Download ThinLinc Client for Windows, macOS, or Linux from ThinLinc downloads.

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 on your personal computer, launching the application opens the ThinLinc Client login window:

The ThinLinc Client login window

ThinLinc Client login window

Configure ThinLinc Client options

Before you log into the Research Desktop with ThinLinc Client, you'll need to configure some ThinLinc Client settings.

In the ThinLinc Client login window, select Options to open the "ThinLinc Client Options" window. (If you don't see the Options button, select Advanced>> to expand the login window.)

The ThinLinc Client Options window

ThinLinc Client Options window

Use the following instructions to set up ThinLinc Client for use with RED. For supplementary information, see Client configuration in the Cendio ThinLinc Administrator's Guide. When you are finished configuring options, select OK to return to the ThinLinc Client login window, and then refer to the instructions below to connect to RED.

Display options

In the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, on the Display tab, you can choose a display option. The default display option is Windowed. Normally, the Windowed and Full screen on current monitor options are the most useful.


UITS recommends not using the Full screen on all monitors or Full screen on selected monitors options, because they may cause unexpected display problems.

ThinLinc Client display options

ThinLinc Client display options

Public key authentication


To set up public key authentication:

  1. In the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, on the Security tab, select Public key.
  2. Select 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, select the ... (browse) option to locate and select the key on your local file system.

Export local drives and directories

The web client does not support the option to export local drives or directories.

If you want to give your RED session access to drives and/or directories on your personal computer:

  1. In the "ThinLinc Client Options" window, on the Local Devices tab, select Drives, and then (next to it) select Details.
    Screenshot of ThinLinc Client Options 'Local Devices' tab
  2. In the "Export Local Drives" window, select Add, and then, under "Drive Options", select ... (file browser).
  3. Locate and select the desired local drive and directory, and then select OK.
    ThinLinc Client will not allow you to export the root directory ( / ) of your local file system.
  4. Under "Permission", use the drop-down to select Read Only or Read and Write permissions for location indicated in the "Exported Path" field.

    With Read and Write permissions enabled locally, you can drag and drop files between your personal computer and your Quartz account. However, do not use drag and drop to copy large (multi-gigabyte) files.

  5. To select other directories to export, repeat this process. Otherwise, select OK to return to the "ThinLinc Client Options" window.
Any drives or directories you export will not appear until you start a new session. To see newly added drives, log out of your current session, and then log back in.

During your RED session, your exported directories will be accessible via the thindrives folder. For more about RED's graphical interface, see Research Desktop (RED) usage policies and interface features.

Connect to RED

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

  • "Server" field (if you don't see the "Server" field, select Advanced>> to expand the login window)
  • "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)

The ThinLinc Client login window

To connect to RED:

  1. In the "Server" field, enter
  2. In the "Username" or "Name" field, enter your IU username.
  3. In the "Password" field, enter your IU passphrase.
    If you have public key authentication set up (see the instructions above), you should see a "Key" field in place of the "Password" field. Make sure the "Key" field points to your private key file, and then continue to the next step.
  4. Select Connect.
  5. In the "Authentication" window, enter a Duo passcode, or enter 1 to select a Duo Push, and then, select OK:

    Duo two-factor authentication options for logging into RED

  6. The first time you connect to RED, ThinLinc Client will prompt you with a warning that the server's host key is not cached in the registry. Select Continue to connect to RED.

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

Logging out versus disconnecting your session

In a RED session, "logging out" and "disconnecting" are two different actions:

  • Logging out: This closes any applications currently open in your RED session, terminates the session on the server, and closes the RED graphical desktop window. The next time you launch ThinLinc Client and select Connect, a new RED session will be launched on the server.

    To log out and terminate your current RED session, on the RED desktop, double-click Log Out.

  • Disconnecting your session: This suspends any currently open applications and keeps your RED session running on the server, allowing you to reconnect to it later.

    To disconnect (but not terminate) your current RED session, on the RED desktop, double-click Disconnect Desktop Session. Alternatively, simply close the RED graphical desktop window.

    • 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, your session will remain active on the server, and you can reconnect to it whenever you regain network connectivity (if it's within the aforementioned timeframe).

    When you have an existing disconnected RED session, selecting Connect in the ThinLinc Client login window will reconnect you automatically to your session, and all applications, terminals, and file browsers that were open when you disconnected will still be running.

    Alternatively, to launch a new RED session instead, in the ThinLinc Client login window, select End existing session, and then select Connect.

Get help

If you are using Research Desktop (RED) and need help or have questions, use this form to contact the Research Desktop development team directly.

This is document aput in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-06-12 13:35:22.