Troubleshoot Research Desktop

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Screen size issues

If the Research Desktop (RED) window covers your entire display, hiding control menus or positioning them off-screen, use the following keyboard shortcuts to either exit full-screen mode or terminate ThinLinc Client. Whichever method works for you, make sure to change the ThinLinc Client screen size settings before launching another RED session; for help, see Download, install, and configure ThinLinc Client to use Research Desktop (RED) at IU.

  • Exiting full-screen mode: Select the display background to make sure RED is the active window, press F8 to open the pop-up menu (depending on your system, you may need to press Fn-F8 or Win-F8), and then de-select Full screen.
  • Terminating ThinLinc Client: If you cannot exit full-screen mode, you may need to terminate or force quit the ThinLinc client. To do so, select the display background to make sure RED is the active window, and then:
    • In Windows, press Alt-F4 or Esc. Alternatively, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete or Ctrl-Shift-Esc, and then select Start Task Manager; then, on the Applications tab, select ThinLinc Client, and then choose End Task.
    • In macOS, press Command-Option-Esc to open the "Force Quit" window, select ThinLinc Client, and then select Force Quit. Alternatively, press Command-Tab to switch to the last used application; then, from the Apple menu choose Force Quit..., select ThinLinc Client, and then select Force Quit.

      If you cannot force quit ThinLinc Client, you may need to log out of your macOS user account or reboot your computer. To log out of your user account, press Command-Shift-q. To reboot your computer, press Ctrl-Eject, and then select Restart.

Login issues

  • After five consecutive unsuccessful login attempts, you will be blocked from logging in for one hour. When this happens, you will see an error message similar to this:

    ThinLinc Client error message after too many failed login attempts

    If you receive an error similar to the one above and cannot log in, contact the RED development team for help.

  • Instead of logging in, a window appears with a message similar to one of the following:
    • Could not connect to session bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-fmw0GvVigr: Connection refused
    • ThinLinc login failed.
      (The SSH connection succeeded, but the ThinLinc server connection failed. Perhaps this server doesn't run a ThinLinc server?)

      RED connection error message

    Changing the PATH environment variable in your .bashrc file can often cause this issue.

    When changing the PATH in .bashrc, append rather than prepend any changes. For example, rather than entering:

    export PATH="/path/to/my/cool/program:$PATH"

    Instead, enter:

    export PATH="$PATH:/path/to/my/cool/program"

    Sometimes installing certain software (for example, Anaconda) will place a command that redefines the PATH environment variable in your .bashrc file. Even if you did not modify the file yourself, check to see if the file has a line redefining the PATH.

    To access the Research Desktop, you will need to log in directly to Carbonate using a terminal program, and then use an editing program such as vim or Emacs to edit your .bashrc file.

  • If you find that Anaconda has modified your .bashrc file with lines similar to the following:
    # >>> conda initialize >>>
    # !! Contents within this block are managed by 'conda init' !!
    __conda_setup="$('/N/soft/rhel7/anaconda/python3.7/2019.03/bin/conda' 'shell.bash' 'hook' 2> /dev/null)"
    if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
        eval "$__conda_setup"
        if [ -f "/N/soft/rhel7/anaconda/python3.7/2019.03/etc/profile.d/" ]; then
            . "/N/soft/rhel7/anaconda/python3.7/2019.03/etc/profile.d/"
            export PATH="/N/soft/rhel7/anaconda/python3.7/2019.03/bin:$PATH"
    unset __conda_setup
    # <<< conda initialize <<<

    Remove or comment out all of the lines between and including the lines that say:

    # <<< conda initialize <<<

    In the future, do not use the command conda init. Use the command source activate instead of conda activate.

  • If you attempt to log in and immediately see the following message, you may be using the wrong port:
    Connection to server "" has timed out.

    In the ThinLinc login window, select Options.... In the Security tab of the window that opens, make sure the port is set to 22 (default SSH port).

  • If you see the following message, you may have placed the wrong destination in the login window's server field:
    Thinlinc Login Failed
    (....Perhaps this server doesn't run a Thinlinc server?)

    Be sure to use the server

  • If your login hangs, displaying a blank blue screen or perhaps telling you it is at "step X of Y", these steps work if you can use the Thinlinc Client to connect, rather than the Web Client:
    1. If the session window is open, close it.
    2. Restart the thinlinc client. In the login window, select Advanced
    3. Select the End Existing Session>, and then log in.
    If you can only use the Web Client to log in, email Research Desktop development noting that you can only use the Web Client, and request a reset of your session.

Issues with thindrives

  • If an exported local drive or directory in your thindrives folder is not responding, check the ThinLinc Client options to make sure you entered a valid path (see the Exporting local drives and folders section in Download, install, and configure ThinLinc Client to use Research Desktop (RED) at IU).
  • If you cannot copy files to an exported local drive or directory in your thindrives folder, check the ThinLinc Client options to make sure the path you entered is correct and has read/write permissions assigned.
  • Configuring ThinLinc Client to export local drives lets you select local paths that are specific to the computer on which you are currently working. Consequently, when you launch a RED session from that computer (for example, your desktop), you can access those local paths via the thindrives icon. However, if you disconnect from that session (without logging out), and then later re-connect to that session from another computer (for example, your laptop), the thindrives icon no longer will work, because it is still configured to access the local paths on your other computer (for example, your desktop).
  • If you are sure that you correctly exported a local folder, but it still does not display in your thindrives folder, try logging out of your RED session (not just disconnecting), and then log in again. To enable thindrives access to your personal computer's drives or folders, you must configure the ThinLinc Client's "Export Local Resources" option before connecting to a new session. If you configure "Export Local Resources" during a session that is already running, those local resources will not be available in the thindrives folder until you log out of the current session, and then log into a new session.

Other issues

  • If your computer's operating system is set to a language that is not supported, ThinLinc Client may not function properly. (See the Supported languages section of Research Desktop (RED) usage policies and interface features.)
  • You may encounter the following (or similar) message when you try to connect:

    The Thinlinc session is currently unreachable. Try again later or press "Abandon session" to abandon the session, in which case it will never be possible to connect to the session. The session will not be terminated, which means that the desktop environment and applications may continue to run.

    If you do not want to abandon the session, contact the RED development team for assistance. They may be able to restore the connection to your session.

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 apxu in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-08-08 16:22:09.