Create an SSH Tunnel for Remote Desktop

Per an earlier announcement from the Chair, ECE has moved to a Telework environment beginning Monday, 3/16, through the end of the semester. For this, we will be easing our normal restrictions of direct access to research desktops remotely. If you would like to be able to directly access your desktop from Georgia Institute of Technology’s VPN solution, please send a request to¬†help@ece.gatech.edu¬†including the IP Address (or fully qualified DNS hostname) of your research desktop and whether the operating systems is Windows, Linux, or macOS. We will permit requests for Remote Desktop under Windows and ssh under Linux and macOS. If you would like a full GUI under Linux, we will work with you to install the FastX server component on systems we maintain. For systems we do not maintain, we will provide best-effort support to help you get the “server” service for your OS set up.

Keep in mind that all other forms of remote access (VNC, Teamviewer, Chrome Remote Desktop, etc) are still not permitted either due to the lack of security support, unapproved third-party solutions or licensing we do not have.

We do not allow remote desktop access from outside of ECE. What you can do, and this is completely unsupported, is tunnel port 3389 on the remote end through ssh to one of the ecelinsrv systems, and then connect to the tunnel. Below are instructions for enabling a port forward using SecureCRT from OIT:

  1. Create a new session to one of the remotely accessible servers
  2. Open the session properties
  3. Select Port Forwarding under the Connection section
  4. Click Add
  5. Enter a descriptive name, such as RDP to myhost
  6. In the Local section, enter a port number to use, such as 33389.
  7. In the Remote section, do the following:
    • Check Destination host is different from the SSH server
    • Enter the hostname, such as myhost.ece.gatech.edu
    • Enter 3389 in the Port field
  8. In the Application section, do the following:
    • Enter C:\WINDOWS\system32\mstsc.exe in the Application field
    • Enter /v localhost:33389 in the Arguments field
  9. Click OK

When you open the session and log in now, it will open a remote desktop to your system.

Please remember that we do not provide any support for this and your mileage may vary.

For Mac OSX Users

  1. Open the Terminal program (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  2. Type:
    ssh -L 33389:[name of your ECE PC]:3389 -l [ECE Unix user name] ecelinsrv.ece.gatech.edu
    Where
    – [name of your ECE PC] is the name of your desktop that you use in ECE
    – [ECE Unix user name] is your ECE unix user name
    – ecelinsrv is one of the remotely accessible servers
  3. Open the Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac (you’ll need to download this from the App Store for the Mac).
  4. Select New Connection and type localhost:33389

For Linux Users

  1. Open a Terminal window (in Gnome, Applications > ).
  2. Type:
    ssh -L 33389:[name of your ECE PC]:3389 -l [ECE Unix user name] ecelinsrv.ece.gatech.edu
    Where
    – [name of your ECE PC] is the name of your desktop that you use in ECE
    – [ECE Unix user name] is your ECE unix user name
    – ecelinsrv is one of the remotely accessible servers
  3. In a new Terminal window type:
    rdesktop localhost:33389
    (for other rdesktop options, type: man rdesktop). If rdesktop does not come with your distribution, you can get the source code from http://www.rdesktop.org.

Last revised April 2, 2020.