Software Farm

Software farm for Android

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

Software Farm with Android telephone and tablet #

The Software farm makes it possible for you to run several 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 by tapping the icon called “Play Store”.

Tap the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to get the search field:

Search for “Microsoft Remote Desktop”.

Tap the red program icon:

And choose“Install”.

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

This is how it will look when Microsoft Remote Desktop is installed on an Android tablet.

This is how it will look when MS Remote Desktop is displayed with other downloaded programs on an Android telephone:

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.

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 work, but require more 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 tablet when opened just after installation:

And this is how it would appear on a mobile telephone:

On the picture of the tablet above, you can see that the left part of the screen contains a menu.

On the picture of the telephone, you will find that menu by tapping the black field where it says “Remote Desktops”.

Choose “Remote Resources” from the menu.

Then tap the +-sign (black field at the bottom on a telephone, and the black field at the upper right corner on a tablet) to be able to establish a new “Remote Resources” –connection.

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.

This is how the form looks on the tablet:

After the form has been filled in, tap the checkbox icon in the upper right corner (marked “Done” on the tablet), to store the setup.

The remote resources are now available.

After that, the remote resources will open up automatically and will look like this on the telephone:

This is how it looks on the tablet:

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 the Software Farm’s certificate.

If you click “Trust Always”,  the approval will be stored under the menu choice called “Certificates”.

If you a very curious person, you can click “Certificates” in the previous menu, and see how the approval of the certificate is stored.

The program you have chosen to open will now run on a black background. (On a Windows PC it will run on the background of the Windows desktop, so that it looks like it is actually run locally on the PC.)  This is how the dictionary program “Clue.exe” looks on a tablet:

Microsoft Remote Desktop toolbar: three icons #

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

1. Navigation icon

2. The name of the program you are running

3. Keyboard icon

Navigation icon #

By clicking on the “Navigation icon” you will see a big blow-up of the screen shot. This is handy on a mobile telephone screen. A copy of this icon will also be located close to the center of the screen. By touching the screen on this icon, and moving your finger in the direction you choose, you can navigate on the screen.

An example of using the navigation icon:

Program name icon #

Tapping the program name symbol will give you a number of useful key selections at the bottom of the screen. The navigation icon also appears, but this time without the zooming ability.

By pushing the keyboard icon that appears on the bottom right corner, you will get a more complete keyboard.

On the keyboard shown on this picture, the no. 2 key from the left will make it possible to run more programs from the Software Farm. By clicking on this key you will see a menu of all the accessible programs.

The no. 1 key from the left makes it possible to switch between the programs you have started.

Keyboard icon #

By pressing the keyboard icon, the navigation icon appears again, and a full qwerty-keyboard is shown on the lower half of the screen:

Shut down a remote program #

You shut down the remote program in the same manner as you normally would, either by using the program’s shut down button or its menu: File -> End/Quit.

You will then see this odd goodbye message, which will disappear by tapping on the message or by  pushing the Android’s “back”-button twice.

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

By pressing twice on the Android’s “back”-button, the connection to the Software Farm and Microsoft Remote Desktop will shut down.

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.

Available disks in the remote session #

The remote program you are running has access to your network drive (home directory M:  - and other disk areas attached to your NTNU account)  in addition to the Android’s own storage area.

During the remote session, the folder Library->Documents (Norw: Biblioteker->Dokumenter) goes to your network drive (home directory M:). This directory also shows up under its own name:

Computer -> Home directory (M:).  The screenshot also shows where the storage area on your Android is found: Computer ->Android on localhost.

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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