Software Farm

Software Farm for iPhone and iPad

The Software Farm makes it possible for you to run several computer applications without having to install them on your own device. This user guide tells you how to use the Software Farm with your iPhone or iPad iOS device.

For a more general explanation of the Software Farm, see Software Farm.

Norwegian version: Programfarm for Ipad og IPhone.

Who is this for? #

The Software Farm is available to all NTNU students and employees.

Software necessary for access: Microsoft Remote Desktop #

You need an application called a Remote Desktop Client to access the Software Farm. We recomment Microsoft Remote Desktop. This works with the iPhone 5 and newer, and on the iPad 2 and newer. On older devices (iPhone 4 and 4S) an application with the name Parallels Client (legacy) is known to work, but only for Logging on to a remote Windows desktop. This user guide is for Microsoft Remote Desktop only.

Install Microsoft Remote Desktop #

The first thing is to download and install the application from App Store

Then start the application. This is what its startup screen looks like:

Three ways to use the Software Farm with Microsoft Remote Desktop #

  1. Direct access to the remote resources in a menu in : "Remote Resources".  This is by far the easiest, and therefore the recommended method.
  2. Log on to a remote Windows desktop: "Remote Desktops". This method is convenient when you have to work in a Windows environment with several of the Software Farm's programs open at the same time. But because of the small screen of the telephone, you might not want to use on your phone.
  3. Using the Software Farm's web interface. This is a very convenient way for Windows computer users, but is very inefficient on all other devices. But if you really want to do it, it is possible. Not recommended.

Method 1 (recommended): Direct access to the remote resources from MS Remote Desktop #

How to set up "Remote Resources" #

From the startup screen of MS Remote Desktop, choose Remote Resources.

This form will then appear:

Fill in the fields with the Software Farm's URL, and the details of your ordinary NTNU account:

URL  (The remainder of the address will be filled in automatically)

User name:\<yourusername>

Password: <yourpassword>

Then press Save.

The use of "Remote Resources" #

When you have pressed Save, a list of all the Windows applications available at the Software Farm will now appear:

Tap on the application you want to run.

The first time you start an application from the farm, you will be shown a relatively enigmatic message about certificates.

Tap on "Connect always", and your application will start to run. The question about certificates will normally never appear again once you have chosen "Connect always" at the start of your first run.

When the remote Windows application runs, Microsoft Remote Desktop will show a black toolbar at the top of your screen:

The first symbol is a navigation stick as seen from above. It is used for zooming in on the Windows application and for navigating inside of this enlarged picture.

The second symbol will normally show the name of the Windows application that is running. If you have chosen to run MS Word for Windows the text will say "WINWORD". In the example above, I am connected to the Windows desktop "Officefarm" (see below: Method 2)

The third symbol is of course a PC keyboard

If you need more information on how to use the Microsoft Remote Desktop toolbar, check out the section called "More on the use of Microsoft Remote Desktop and Remote Resources", below.

Method 2: Log on to the Software Farm's remote Windows 8 desktops #

This approach might be too small on a mobile phone screen, but it still works without problems. It is convenient if you need to work in a Windows environment with several of the Software Farm's programs open at the same time.

3 available Windows desktops:  #

The Software Farm has 3 different Windows desktops:

  • adminfarm, which contains office programs and other commonly used programs for employees
  • officefarm, which contains office programs and other commonly used programs for students and external users (like Uninett).
  • calcfarm, which contains mathematical and statistical programs such as Matlab and SPSS.

How to set up a  remote desktop connection #

From the startup screen of your application, choose New Remote Desktop:

A form will then be shown:

Fill in the fields in the following manner:

Connection Name: Give the connection a name, e.g. Officefarm or mynumbercrunchingfarm.

PC name: Write the address of the remote Windows desktop, either or

Leve the remaining fields blank. Tap Save.

The connection you have set up will now be accessible from the main menu of Microsoft Remote Desktop, under the title Remote Desktops.

Tap on your newly made desktop connection, and you will be given this form to fill in:

You are asked to fill in you username and password.

user name: write\<yourusername>.

It is possible to fill in your password too, and then save the username and password for later sessions by choosing "Store credentials".

If you press "Logon" without having written your password and saved it, you will be provided yet another form where you have to type in your password.

When you have filled in all your information, the remote Windows desktop will open:

Method 3: Using the Software Farm web interface #

It should be possible on the iPhone/iPad to use Microsoft Remote Desktop as a service program for a web browser. The address of this web interface is: But we have not tried this approach.

For users of a Windows PC this is a very convenient way of using the farm. But for all other types of computers and devices, the work and inconvenience of doing this makes the first two methods far superior. The technically inquisitive IPad user might be interested in the documentation for this method on the Mac. The procedure on the iPad should be the same. Using the web interface to the farm on the Mac.

More on the use of Microsoft Remote Desktop and Remote Resources #

A brief guide to the Windows 8 desktop #

The user interface for officefarm and calcfarm is Windows 8. A brief guide to the Program Farm's Windows 8 interface.

How to add a printer from the Windows desktop #

It is possible to connect to a NTNU printer from the remote desktop, and also from within some of the remote Windows applications, e.g. MS Word for Windows.

Here is how to do it from the desktop: In the remote session's blue tiled start menu open, or from the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, start File Explorer. In the File Explorer, choose Computer.

In the File Explorer's toolbar, the icon for the Control Panel will now be visible. Open the Control Panel, and choose Hardware-> View Devices and  Printers.


This panel will then open up. Click on "Add a printer" (Here shown in Norwegian as the light blue field with "Legg til en skriver").


A panel with a list of printers will then be opened, but don't be fooled - this is not the right panel. The panel has a text at the bottom: "-> The printer that I wanted isn't listed". Click on this text, and the correct panel will be shown:


Choose "Select a shared printer by name" (here shown as "Velg en delt skriver, etter navn").

Then, in the form write:  \\\  The final backslash is of decisive importance, because it brings up a list of all available printers at NTNU. Select the one you want.


When you finish the procedure by pressing the appropriate "OK"s, "Nexts" and "Finished", you will be returned to Control Panel->Hardware->Devices and Printers. Your printer will be shown with a green tick next to it:


The toolbar of Microsoft Remote Desktop application in the remote session #

The top of your screen in MS Remote Desktop has a black toolbar. It displays two symbols and a text:

The screenshots are taken from a Remote Desktop session (Method 2, above), and will not look exactly the same when you run the remote applications directly from MS Remote Desktop (Method 1, above).

1. Zoom and navigation #

When you tap the symbol on the left, which is supposed to represent a navigation stick seen from above, it will cause an enormous zoom of the remote application. A copy of the symbol will be shown on the enlargement, and should be used for navigation inside the zoom.

You can move around inside the enlargement by pulling the symbol in the desired direction.

If you want to move the symbol, tap it twice and then pull it in the desired direction.

If you want to exit this view mode, tap the symbol on the toolbar.

Here is a list of other mouse functions/finger gestures that might come in handy.

Finger movements for Microsoft Remote Desktop:

2. The keyboard symbol #

When you tap the keyboard symbol on the right of the toolbar, a PC keyboard will be shown on the lower part of the screen.

If you press on the globe on the bottom row, to the left of the spacebar, you will have a Norwegian keyboard, if your device has that set up as default. The top row has function keys. "Fn" to the left, and the tetris-like symbol to the right of the top row will display different sets of additional keys. As an example, the tetris-like symbol to the right will display this keyboard:

3. The toolbar text between the symbols: disconnect, and more on the toolbar. #

If you press the text in the middle of the toolbar, the toolbar will change to the one shown below.

The alternate toolbar offers more functions.

Pressing the socket symbol on the right will cause you to disconnect from the remote session, but it will not log you out of the session or close your running programs. They will run until timed out by the server. So, in method 1: close your remote application properly, in method 2, sign out from the desktop session as described  in our linked-to brief user guide to Windows 8 above. The connection will then probably be closed gracefully by itself.

If your are connected by Method 1: Remote Resources, and you open the altenative toolbar,  the symbol to the left of the text will display the list of remote applications, and make it possible to start more remote applications in addition to the one(s) you alread have running. So it is not necessary to open a remote desktop to run several remote applications simultaneously.

The symbol further on the left of the list symbol, and which is here shown in blue, gives you the choice of which of your simultaneously running application to show.

Furthest to the left is a symbol that will give you choices between mouse-mode or finger-gesture-mode.

Contact #

Orakel Support Services can help if you encounter difficulties. If you are an NTNU employee, consult your local IT Support.

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