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Computing and Information Services

Account Services

Account Services - Desktops

When you use a University managed computer, the way it looks, feels and works is all part of your desktop environment. CIS currently provides a number of desktop services which give a consistent and up-to-date set of tools and applications for staff and students.

Managed Desktop (teaching)

  • The Managed Desktop is available on over 2,200 student and teaching machines in computer classrooms, open access areas, lecture theatres and teaching rooms across the University. In 2017 it will also be rolled out to staff machines.
  • All you need to access Managed Desktop computers is your CIS username and password. Managed Desktop machines provide:
    • Internet and email access
    • A standard desktop based on Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit only)
    • Access to personal file store space
    • Microsoft Office 2016 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
    • Data analysis applications
    • Programming languages
    • Specialist subject based applications to support teaching and learning
    • Access to printers (including scanning, photocopying)
  • Applications are maintained centrally and streamed to the PC you're using as you need them, using software called Cloudpaging. This means applications are available at all Managed Desktop PCs rather than having to go to a certain area of the campus to use a specific application (subject to licensing conditions).  
  • To ensure a consistent experience, it is a locked-down desktop and all installations of software are controlled centrally by CIS

Managed Desktop Service (MDS)

  • There are over 4,000 MDS desktops deployed across the University and they are designed for use by staff
  • MDS machines provide you with:
  • There is a core portfolio of applications as standard however additional software can be deployed on request
  • Remote access is available to your MDS desktop through mdsanywhere
  • Administration rights to facilitate role-specific software can be deployed upon request. Please raise requests via the IT Service Desk
  • MDS is available in 32 or 64 versions of Windows. Both versions are supported by CIS however certain Durham business applications are only supported in 32bit so that is the recommended version in most cases

Linux Teaching Desktop Service

  • Suitable for staff and postgraduates with Linux computing requirements and provides the benefits of a managed, supported service with the flexibility of a Linux desktop 
  • Not generally suitable for staff with administrative responsibilities as it will not support Windows-based applications such as Oracle Financials or Banner 
  • The desktop is built upon Debian 8.x, the latest long term support release
  • Features include:
    • Mate desktop, with a suite of core applications including LibreOffice for office, Iceweasel (Firefox) for web-browsing, and IceDove for email, deployed to every dual boot machine in key computer classrooms
    • A wider range of applications, including some scientific packages deployed by default
    • Secure access to both personal and departmental data storage
    • Upgrades and security fixes pushed automatically to the desktop
    • Access to the existing MDS Printing system
    • Fully restorable configuration in the unlikely event that a major software or hardware problem damages the system
    • Advice and support from the IT Service Desk for core applications
    • Local administrative access available on request

Terms and conditions

Managed Desktop (Teaching)

  • Locate a free machine and log-in with your CIS username and password
  • You can find out where Managed Desktop classrooms are located by visiting this page:
    • CIS computer classroom locations
  • Log-out when you have finished using the machine
  • If machines are idle for 20 minutes they will automatically log out to protect security

Managed Desktop Service (MDS)

  • Most staff will be provided with an MDS machine as their primary Windows workstation
  • If you have been provided with an MDS desktop or laptop, simply switch the machine on and log-on when prompted, with your CIS username and password
  • If you are not on an MDS machine and want to be, please contact the IT Service Desk in the first instance.  We can apply the MDS desktop to any compatible machine (which will be the majority of standard machines) connected to the network (either wired or wireless)

Linux Service

  • Desktop computers that can run Linux are available for general use in computer classrooms. These computers are dual boot and can run both Linux and Windows.
  • In Durham City, dual boot machines can be found in room CM002 in the Computing and Maths building and rooms CG65, CG66 and CG68 in the Courtyard Building.
  • To start the computer in Linux, follow the instructions that are displayed on the Welcome screen. Once logged in to Linux, the Mate desktop will be displayed.
  • You can also access the Linux service remotely by logging into the time-sharing service Mira 
  • If you want to try installing Linux on your own PC it's free; you might like to try Debian​.​
  • For information on accessing Mira, click on the following link:
  • ​As each desktop provides access to a number of other services and applic​ation, please refer to the information on the relevant service or application for further details.

Managed Desktop (Teaching)

 

  • You can see the current applications available on Managed Desktop machines here
  • If any additional applications are required, academic departments can request that CIS install software and/or data sets for use by students on the Managed Desktop
  • Unless the software or data is to be used across a number of different academic departments, departments are expected to meet the license costs of the software or data sets themselves
  • A copy of the license agreement will be required by CIS
  • Where a product may be used by a number of different departments CIS will consider providing a contribution towards the cost of the software (subject to available resources)
  • Use the following link to get the Software Request form: Software request form
  • We ask that staff give as much notice as possible, (no less than 2 working weeks), for such requests to be completed.

 

Managed Desktop Service (MDS)

Linux Service