Frequently Asked Questions - Working Remotely

SoC account information for students enrolled in a CSCE/SOFT/RAIK course

Students may need a School of Computing (SoC) account if they are enrolled in a CSCE, SOFT, or RAIK course. This SoC account is used to log in to computers in the computer labs in Avery Hall, and is also used to access various SoC servers and websites used to complete and submit lab and homework assignments. A SoC account is separate from a My.UNL account (e.g. jdoe2) which is used to access UNL services like Canvas, Box, and Microsoft 365, and a TrueYou account (e.g. 12345678) which is used to access NU (system-wide) services like MyRED and Firefly. Usernames (or LoginIDs) for SoC accounts do not contain any numbers, and the password for your SoC account is not synchronized to your My.UNL or TrueYou account password.


If you are enrolled in a CSCE/SOFT/RAIK course and do not already have a SoC account, you can create one online at by entering your full email address. After submitting your Huskers email address, you’ll receive a confirmation email at that address; click the link in the email to verify your identity and set up your new SoC account. This process will prompt you to choose your own password for your SoC account, complete the consent form to agree to the university’s computer use guidelines, and then provide you with the username (or LoginID) for your SoC account. Make note of the username/LoginID for your SoC account, as it will be different than the My.UNL account username you use to access Canvas and other UNL services.


If you already have a SoC account (e.g. from a previous CSCE/SOFT/RAIK course) but don’t remember your username (LoginID), you can get that by entering your full email address at to verify your identity first.


If you know your SoC account username (LoginID) but don’t remember your password, you can reset your CSE account password online by entering your full email address at to verify your identity first.

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Connecting to and other unix servers with ssh from Windows

You can connect to School of Computing (SoC) server and other UNIX servers in the department using the PuTTY ssh client.

PuTTY can be downloaded from the this web site.  After you have downloaded and installed PuTTY, you can use it to connect to

Double click the PuTTY icon on the desktop or enter "putty" in the search bar to start PuTTY:

putty secure shell connect example ip or host name specify.

Enter " in the Host Name (or IP address) field and hit enter.

The first time you connect to a remote host, you will receive a message stating: "The server's host key is not cached int the registry.  You have to guarantee that the server is the computer you think it is."  You should click "Yes" here.

putty secure shell connection accept message

Next, you will be prompted to enter a user name and password.  This is your SoC user name and password; this example uses "sac"
 as the user name and as the login server:

putty secure shell connection to the School of Computing server completed view.

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Connecting to and other unix servers with ssh from a Macintosh

  1. Launch a terminal window. Type ⌘-K to launch spotlight. Type "Terminal" and you should see the "Terminal" application. click to launch.
  2. Type in ssh cse-login-id@hostname where hostname would be or another server running an ssh server and cse-login-id is your login id (credentials) for the School of Computing (SoC) systems.

An example of this using the Terminal application: The user's SoC login id is 'jsmith'

Last login: Mon Jul  1 14:41:39 on ttys003
macbook-prompt> ssh

Last login: Tue Jul  2 10:25:18 2019 from 101.431.103.46
                               Welcome to CSE
The operating system on this computer was upgraded on March 18, 2018.

Please contact "" to report problems, request software
or ask questions about this system.

On your first connection to a server, you may see a message from SSH indicating that the host authenticity is unknown.

macbook-prompt> ssh
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 3f:1b:f4:bd:c5:aa:c1:1f:bf:4e:2e:cf:53:fa:d8:59.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Last login: Tue Jul  3 11:05:12 2019 from 101.231.303.416
                               Welcome to CSE

The operating system on this computer was upgraded on March 18, 2018.

Please contact "" to report problems, request software
or ask questions about this system.


This only occurs on the first connection to a host and you should respond to the question with a 'yes' (as shown above) so the host becomes authenticated.

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Connecting to and other unix servers with ssh from Linux

Open a Terminal window.  The instructions that follow are for Ubuntu Linux.  Other distributions are similar.

Click on the grid button in the lower left corner.

ubuntu search icon

Enter "Terminal" in the search dialog that appears.

ubuntu terminal command search window view

In the window that appears when you click on the Terminal icon shown above, enter "ssh -Y".  Substitue your cse user name for "username" in this command.  You can omit the "-Y" flag if you do not want to use ssh X forwarding (and if you don't know what this is, you can safely omit it).  The examples below use a user name of "sac".

ubuntu terminal secure shell connection initial system connection prompt

The first time that you connect to, or any other Linux/Unix server, a dialog like that shown above will appear.  Answer "yes" to this.

Then enter your cse password.

ubuntu terminal window showing successful secure shell connection to remote host

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Connecting to the Windows Terminal Server from Mac OS

How to connect an Apple MacOS system to the School of Computing (SoC) Microsoft Windows Terminal Server:

1. On Your Mac open the "App Store" application and install the "Microsoft Remote Desktop" application.  Please be sure to install version 10 of this application.

2. Launch Microsoft Remote Desktop.

3. Click the button labeled "Add Desktop".

microsoft remote desktop window showing add new desktop

4. Complete the Pop-up Connection Dialog as described below:

      i. PC name:

     ii. User Account: You can either choose "Ask me every time" or "Add User Account ..." (see below)

    iii. Freindly Name: SoC Terminal Server

remote desktop window selecting terminal server and account info

5. If you chose "Add User Account ..." above complete the Add User Account as described below:

    Username: CS.UNL.EDU\username (where "username" is your SoC login ID)

    Password: your cse-password

    Friendly name: SoC Terminal Server or csnt-ts  The choice is up to you

certificate warning acceptance message on connection to terminal server

6. Click the Add button for the "Add User Account Dialog" and for the "Add Desktop" dialogs.

7. You will now see a window that looks like the following:

add user account for remote desktop window view

8. Double click the Desktop you just added "csnt-ts"

9.  When you connect you will get a dialog like the one below.  Click Continue.

confirmation message for connection to terminal server

10. You will either bet presented with a login screen or your csnt-ts desktop, depending on whether your selected "Ask me every time" or "Add User Account ..." in step 4.

11. When you disconnect the  blank preview or your "Saved Desktops" will be changed to a thumbnail of your actual desktop.

saved desktops view in microsoft remote terminal application

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Connecting to the Windows Terminal Server (Windows)

  1. The Remote Desktop Client appears in different locations in the start menu in different versions of Windows. If you are able to locate the Remote Desktop Client in your start menu, launch this application. If you are unable to find the client, then either search for "mstsc.exe" in the metro tiles screen or type it into the Run dialog.
  2. Once launched, on the first dialog, enter in the Computer field and click on Connect.
  3. You should see a dialog to enter your credentials. Enter your School of Computing (SoC) credentials here, however your user name must be of the form CS.UNL.EDU\login_id. Where login_id would be your SoC login ID. Then, click on "OK"
  4. You may be presented with a certificate warning. Go ahead and accept the self signed certificate.
  5. This should connect you to the remote terminal server. The remote desktop will likely replace your local desktop, to return to the local desktop, mover your mouse to the middle of the top few pixels on the screen , a control bar will slide down, allowing you to iconify our remote desktop.
  6. When you are finished working on the remote desktop server, please log off the remote server and don't simply disconnect the session. Disconnecting the session still leaves it running on the remote server and continues to utilize resources.

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Connecting to the Windows Terminal Server from Linux

The instructions that follow are for Ubuntu Linux.  Other Linux distributions are similar except for installing the "Remmina" program.

Click on the grid icon at the lower left of the screen.

ubuntu search icon

In the search dialog that appears enter "rdp".  The Remmina application should appear in the results.  Click on that icon.

ubuntu search window for Remmina application

In order to connect to our terminal server you need to add a customized connection.  Click on the green "+" symbol in the Remmina program and enter the following information:

Profile name: csnt-ts (or another name that you'd like to use).


User password: your cse password


Color depth: True color (24 bpp)

And then click the "Save" or "Save as Default" button.

Remote desktop settings window of Remmina application

Double click on the session you just saved.

Remmina session view

A dialog may appear asking you to accept a certificate for csnt-ts.  You should accept the certificate.

Remmina certificate acceptance window

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Accessing using NoMachine - remote X11 GUI access.

NoMachine is a fast, multi protocol remote access client. Which allows RDP and X11 type connections to a variety of servers. We have a NX server installed on, which will allow GUI X11 access to Below are steps on setting up a noMachine connection to

You can download and installed noMachine from 

To configure a new connection, after you launch noMachine: 

  1. from the Recent connections pane,  click on ‘New’ 
  2. for Protocol select NX 
  3. In the Host input enter ‘’
  4. for Authentication method select Password
  5. select the Don’t use proxy radio button.
  6. Name your connection and finally click on Done

Once you have configured a connection to establish a connection:

  1. from the Recent connections pane,  double click on the named connection
  2. Enter your School of Computing (SoC) login credentials for the server (username and password)
  3. Double click on the Create a new virtual desktop  icon new virtual machine
  4. Click thru the next four dialogs that provide you an overview on using noMachine

Tip: You can save your password, the connection type, and click on Don’t show this message again on the dialogs for one-click connection to

Note: Please log off when you are done working on Simply disconnecting the NoMachine client will consume resources on the server and your session will be forcefully quit at somepoint, possibly resulting in loss of any unsaved data or settings.

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Requesting a Virtual Machine (VM) for research and/or classwork

The School of Computing can provide students and faculty remote Windows or Ubuntu Linux virtual machines (VMs). These machines can be used by students needing a PC to run Altera or Xilinx to program FPGA boards who do not have a Windows system.   If you have a research or instructional use case for a VM send your request for a VM to


Can I save files on my VM or load software?  

Yes.  You can save your files on your system itself or access your network drive (Z drive). However, at present, we do not have the capacity to backup  Virtual machines. It the end user's responsibility to store their files on the Z: drive which is backed up or to store a copy of important files on their local storage by sharing their remote device with the VMs.

Can I access Resources on my VM such as an external drive or Altera or Xilinx Board?

 Yes.  You will have access to USB devices.  You can load and save data from an external hard drive or program an Altera or Xilinx Board

How Do connect an Altera or Xilinx Board to my VM ?

 The software to program your board has already been loaded on your virtual machine.

You plug the board into your system running the Virtual Machine.  The USB redirection set on the VM allows you to see your connected physical devices.  You select your specific board both on your Horizon Client and in the Design software which then reads your board and allows you to program it.

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How Do I access the VM which has been provisioned to me?

Download the VM Horizon client on to your system using the appropriate link below.  Install and Launch the Horizon client. Create a new connection to Login to the connection server with your School of Computing (SoC) credentials. When you are connected, the server will open a window that contains the virtual machine(s) that are provisioned to you.   Once you log in, the virtual machine will function as a separate system running on your current one.

You can download the Vmware Horizon Clients from:

For Windows:  Vmware Horizon client for Windows

For Mac: Vmware Horizon client for MAC

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How do I access my home directory from off campus from Windows

For occasional transfer of file between your home directory on the departmental server and your personal computer, we recommend using a SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) client. One such client is FileZilla.

You will need to download the FileZilla client, Not the FileZilla server. Install and launch the FileZilla client. In the "Quick Connect" bar in the main FileZilla window, enter s as the Host, along with your School of Computing (SoC) Username and password and click on 'QuickConnect'. The Port field can be left empty if you specified the "sftp://" prefix as part of the host name.

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Connecting to your home directory from a Mac from off campus

The simpler method to access your home directory(Z: drive) from off-campus is to use an SFTP client like Cyberduck. This will allow you to easily transfer files between your account to your local computer. While a free version of Cyberduck is available online, users are cautioned to be mindful to download Cyberduck from a reputable source - as the source code is readily available online and can thus be easily modified and made vunerable. A version is also available thru the  Mac App Store as a paid app. We recommend the paid app store version as it ensures the source as reputable.

To actually mount your files from an off-campus account you will need to configure a VPN client and then follow the instructions on mounting your drive from on campus. Both of these topics are discussed in other sections of this FAQ.

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Setting up a VPN connection to campus

Some websites and servers are secured by a firewall that only allows connections from on campus. To access these restricted resources from off campus, you will need a VPN connection. Note:Most students don't have access to systems that aren't available from off campus, so a VPN connection is rarely ever needed by students.

Information Technology Services now operates a VPN service for faculty, staff and students. More information about their service is available at

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MySQL Database Account - Requesting & Connecting

MySQL is the general purpose database subsystem provided by the School of Computing (SoC) for student use. Each user is allowed one database. This database is automatically created after requested by a user and is named the same as your SoC systems username. Users can create as many tables as they want but we ask that they keep all databases to a reasonable size.

Requesting a MySQL Account and Database
Any user with a SoC account can request access to the MySQL server running on the server. To do so, log in to the SoC Account Management Utility (AMU) page at with your CSE account credentials. Once you log in, click the Account Settings link on the left page. From there, check the box for MySQL Account and then click Save. You should then receive an email message with your MySQL account credentials.

Connecting to MySQL Database
To connect to a MySQL database from the command-line on, type 'mysql -p' and hit enter. The password you will be prompted for will be your MySQL password, which is different from your SoC password.

To connect to a MySQL database from the command-line from another computer with the mysql command line client installed. Run 'mysql -h -u YOUR_SoC_LOGIN -p' and hit enter. Note: the password you will be prompted for will be your MySQL password, which is different from your SoC password. MySQL passwords can be reset using the SoC Account Management Utility page.

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Zoom Meetings for Graduate Defenses

Graduate students, in conjunction with their advisors and/or committee members, can choose the platform they wish to use for their remote defenses. Zoom is strongly recommended, as it is paid for and officially supported by the university. All UNL faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom and can host Zoom meetings with up to 300 people, so students can set up their own Zoom meeting for their defense and provide the link to for distribution as needed. More information about Zoom is available on the ITS service catalog page for Zoom at

After finalizing a date and time for their defense, graduate students should schedule a Zoom meeting to facilitate their defense by following these steps:

  1. To schedule a Zoom meeting, users must start at and click the Login link in the top right corner of the page, and then log in with their MyUNL account (same credentials as Canvas).
    1. After logging in, use the blue Schedule a New Meeting button.
    2. Populate the required Topic (meeting name, e.g. John Doe's Defense), When (date/time), and Duration fields.
    3. The following settings are recommended:
      1. Registration: do not click the Required box.
      2. Meeting ID: Generate Automatically
      3. Security: You'll be required to either enable a password or the waiting room feature, but can do both if you choose.
      4. Video: Defaulting video to off for both hosts and participants is generally recommended, as video can be turned on individually when needed.
      5. Audio: Both (this enables participants to call in from a telephone instead of listening to audio through the internet)
      6. Uncheck the "Allow participants to join anytime" option to prevent your Zoom meeting room from being used by a third party.
      7. Check the box to "Mute participants upon entry" to avoid interruption from participants speaking while their microphone is enabled.
      8. If you are expecting only UNL faculty, staff, and students to join your meeting, check the "Only authenticated users can join" to require participants to log in using their MyUNL account. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked so that anyone can join without logging in.
      9. If you want to record your presentation, click the checkbox for "Record the meeting automatically" and select "In the cloud". You'll receive an email message from Zoom after the meeting has ended, and it will include a link to your recording.
      10. Consider adding your advisor and/or another designee as an alternate host, which would allow them to assist with the Zoom meeting while you present if someone needs to be admitted in to the meeting (if you're using the waiting room feature), if another participant's microphone needs to be muted, or something similar.
  2. Share the Join URL for your Zoom meeting with the School of Computing Graduate Secretary so she can include it in the announcement about your presentation.
  3. Send your slide deck to committee members in advance so they can follow along from their own file if there are technical difficulties with the screen sharing functionality during your live Zoom meeting. If there is no animation or video in your slides, consider exporting them to a PDF file before sending to others.
  4. On the day of your Zoom meeting (defense), make sure to log in to using your MyUNL credentials by clicking the Login link in the top right corner of the page before launching the meeting to ensure that you have Host priviliges to start the meeting and manage options while the meeting is in progress.
  5. If you enabled automatic recording, you can pause recording after launching the Zoom meeting until you're ready to begin your presentation if you wish, but make sure remember to un-pause the record function at the appropriate time.
  6. After launching the Zoom meeting, make sure to Join Audio and Start Video so participants can see and hear you.
  7. Use the green Share Screen button to share your slides by sharing either a single application (e.g. PowerPoint) or your entire desktop.
  8. Make sure to use the red End Meeting button once your presentation has been completed. This closes the Zoom meeting for all participants and stops the recording.

With the approval of your committee, consider recording segments of your presentation in advance using a tool like VidGrid and sending a link for the video(s) to committee members so they can view it ahead of time, saving the live Zoom meeting for questions and answers. This hybrid approach can help to mitigate technical difficulties with a live remote presentation.

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Getting Help

If you need help, please send email to

Note: Please be sure to include your UNL user name in your email and, if you're asking about a School of Computing (SoC) specific topic, your SoC servers user name as well.

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