Software Farm

Software farm for Android

IT-info: programvare Målgruppe: Medarbeidere Studenter Tema: Verktøy IT-hjelp

Software Farm with Android telephone and tablet, and Chromebook #

The Software farm makes it possible for you to run several windows-based computer programs without having to install them locally on your own device. This user guide tells you how to use Sofware Farm with your Android device.

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

Norwegian version - Programfarm med Android

How to get the program #

In order to use the Software Farm on Android you need to use a program called Microsoft Remote Desktop. You can install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Google Play Store.

Search for “Microsoft Remote Desktop” and download the app shown here:

This will install the program, after which it is ready to run.

Three ways to use Software Farm #

There are three ways to use Software Farm with Microsoft Remote Desktop

1. Direct access to the remote resources on the Software Farm through a menu in Microsoft Remote Desktop.  This is by far the easiest, and therefore the recommended method, both on your phone and tablet.

2. Log on via a remote Windows desktop. This might be difficult on a telephone because it will be a bit small, but other than that it is fully functional. This method is good to use when you are required to work in a Windows environment with several of the Software Farm’s programs open at the same time. It is primarily recommended for use on tablet.

3. Using the Software Farm’s web interface.This will involve the use of Microsoft Remote Desktop as a service program for a web browser. This method requires a bit more work than the previous methods, but if you really want to do it, it is possible.

We recommend the first method. The other two methods may work for your needs, but require more effort to make it work. Method three is the most complicated.

1. Direct access to the remote resources on Software Farm. #

This is by far the easiest method, and is therefore the recommended one.

The next time you open Microsoft Remote Desktop all of your remote resources are available immediately. There is no extra log on or start up.

This method allows you to let the remote program to continue to run; meanwhile you shut down the connection both to the Software Farm and MS Remote Desktop. This enables you to get back to a program that is already running by running the MS Remote Desktop again, either from the same Android device or some other device that runs MS Remote Desktop. This could either be a different Android or a Windows PC.

Nonetheless, our experience shows us that you cannot be logged on from two different devices at the same time. The last log on shuts down the first.

Set up “Remote Resources”. #

This is how Microsoft Remote Desktop now would appear on a phone when opened just after installation:

To connect to Software farm you must:

Connect to our VPN through the Cisco Anyconnect app (unless you are already at campus).

Tap the + -icon and choose Remote Resource Feed

You will then see a form that you will have to fill in:

It is sufficient to write “” in the URL field. The program will figure out the rest of the address itself.

After the form has been filled in, tap the next -button in the upper right hand corner.

Then you will be asked to choose user account. Press the dropdown menu (the arrow pointing downwards) and press Add user account.

In the new meny, please fill in your username on the form: win-ntnu-no\yourusername. And fill in your NTNU-password.

After you press save in the top right corner your remote resources should now be available in the Apps-menu.

This will open up the next time you start MS Remote Desktop without requiring any other action.

How to start a remote program #

By tapping a program icon, the program will start up, and will look almost as if it was running locally on the Android.

Nonetheless, the first time you will be prompted to approve that you trust the desktop you are attempting to connect to. Press connect to open the program. If you wish you may also check the box which says Never ask again.

In the following example the application we have chosen to open is StataMP 16. You will find Stata and other apps in the Apps-meny in MS remote dekstop.

Microsoft Remote Desktop toolbar: two icons #

At the top of the Microsoft Remote Desktop screen you will now see a toolbar containing two icons.

1. A hamburger menu

2. A Keyboard icon

The Hamburger Meny #

By clicking on the “hamburger menu”, the three lines at the top of the screen, you will find options for the app on your left hand side, and the home button and controller options on the right side. 

Options for the app consists of closing the current program you have running, something wish may be useful to stop applications running in the background when you are finished. You can also start a new application by pressing Start New

The home button takes you back to the start page of MS remote desktop. This may be useful in a situation in witch you can't access the home button of your mobile device. Controller options allows you to change between using your touch screen or using a remote mouse you may have connected. You can change between the two modes by pressing the icon.

Keyboard icon #

By pressing the keyboard icon a full qwerty-keyboard is shown on the lower half of the screen:

From here you can access the windows-button, and any shortkeys related to shift, ctrl, alt, etc.

You must us the Keyboard icon and the following keyboard to be able to type in the MS remote desktop applications.

Shut down a remote program #

You shut down the remote program by choosing the hamburger menu and then pressing the X next to the app.

Shut down the connection to the Software Farm without closing the remote program #

By pressing your device's home/back -button, you may find yourself exiting Software farm.

But in this case the remote program is still running. If you log on again, you are back in the same place in the program as when you left it. This applies both if you open another remote program (then both of their windows will be open) or the same program. This process is linked to your user name. So if you log on with Microsoft Remote Desktop from a different device, you will end up in the program you left running.

File manager in a remote session #

From the Apps-menu, you may run the file manager application. From this app you are able to access your files on the NTNU server, files you have saved in an MS remote desktop application, and you have the option to access other home directories. You can read more about them on the relevant Innsida-articles. 

How to set up a printer in the remote session #

In some programs it is possible to choose “a printer near you” from the menu File ->Print. This procedure is similar to what is described below, in the section How to add a printer from the Windows desktop.

2. Log on to a remote Windows desktop #

It's too small to do this on a mobile and it is not recommended. But it works fine on a tablet.

The Software Farm has  3 Windows desktops that you can log on to:

  • adminfarm (contains office programs and other commonly used programs for employees)
  • officefarm (contains office programs and other commonly used programs for students and external users like)
  • calcfarm (contains mathematical programs such as Matlab)

Connection setup #

Open MS Remote Desktop and choose the menu choice “Remote Desktops”. Press the  +sign to add a remote desktop connection, and you will get a form to fill in.

Press the check sign in the upper right corner (called “Done” on a tablet) to store the form.

For the calcfarm desktop, you should write “” in the “Remote PC” field.

Open the connection #

Once you have stored the form you will see an additional entry under the menu choice “RemoteDesktops”. In this case, “officefarm”:

If you tap on this, the Software Farm’s Windows desktop will open.

Here is a screen shot of officefarm on a mobile:

This is the fully functional desktop of Windows 8 accessible on your Android device.

Here is the Windows desktop calcfarm as it will appear on an Android tablet:

To end the remote session #

You log out by tapping on your user name at the upper right corner, and choosing “Sign out”.

After that press the “Back” button on the Android to shut down MS Remote Desktop.

You can also cut the connection by pressing the “Back” button twice on the Android. But then the programs you have opened will continue to run after you disconnect. You will find the running programs next time you open the remote desktop.

Available disks #

By using this method your network disk (home directory M:) is available, but not the Android’s storage area. You can use the network drive with its own name (Home directory M:). But it is also linked to “My Documents”, so that storing something to “My documents” is identical to storing it to the network drive’s (Home directory M:) subfolder “My Documents”.

Microsoft Remote Desktop’s toolbar #

The black field with two symbols with a piece of text in between on ths top of the screen is Microsoft Remote Desktop’s toolbar. You can find out how to use this in the document: Toolbar

Add a printer from the Windows desktop #

It is possible to add “a printer near you” from the remote Windows desktop.

In the blue-tiled start menu or the taskbar on the desktop in the remote session, click the File explorer and then in the File explorer, click on Computer.

The icon for Control panel will appear in the toolbar on the File explorer.

Click it. Inside Control panel you choose Hardware -> Devices and printers.

You will then see this screen shot, where you press the “Add a printer” button (Norw: “Legg til en skriver”):

First, a panel appears that says "No printers were found" and "The printer I want isn't listed". Press Next.

Then this panel then appears:

 Click Choose a shared printer by name, and type: \\\

It is important to include the last backslash. Only then you will see the list of NTNU printers. Here you can choose the one that is close to where you are.

By opening Control panel ->Hardware -> Printers and Devices you can see the printers available in your session.  In this screenshot the print queue ntnuprint-ricoh has been chosen as the default printer for the remote session:


3. Using the Microsoft Remote Desktop as a service program for a web browser. #

This method is too tedious for a mobile phone. It has been thoroughly described in the documentation for Mac, so it’s unnecessary to describe it  again. If you want to try this on an Android tablet, see the documentation for Mac.

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