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The CCB cluster is accessed using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). A connection via RDP to the CCB servers will create a virtual desktop allowing you to run graphical and command-line tools. If you are familiar with using a command line interface you can also access the servers via a terminal.

Instructions on setting up RDP can be found below or can be downloaded: Accessing the CCB Cluster

Installation of the RDP client

Install the 'Microsoft Remote Desktop' app from the Mac App store, at:





Logging in

IMPORTANT: To protect your research, access is restricted to University networks. Make sure that, if you are not working on the University network, you have connected to the University Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you try to connect from the internet it will not work.


Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app and navigate to the “PCs” tab at the top:




Enter “” next to “PC name”, then choose “Add User Account” from the “User account” drop-down box:




Add your CBRG username and password and click “Add”:




Click “Add”:




Double-click on the new connection:




Improving RDP performance

If you have problems with RDP performance, there’s a few things you can change to make it faster.

On your remote desktop:

 - Turn off display compositing:

  • Applications > Settings > Window Manager Tweaks > Compositor > (Untick "Enable display compositing”)

 - Use a plain desktop wallpaper:

  • Applications > Settings > Desktop > Background > Style: > None


Suspending and resuming your session

If you have a long-running job you need to monitor, or a rich environment with lots of open programs, it’s a pain to have to log out one day, log in the next and get everything set up just right. Thankfully, you don’t have to.

To suspend your session and leave everything as it is on the cluster for another time (up to a maximum of ten days), click the cross on the top right of the blue menu bar and then choose “OK” from the pop-up dialogue:




Although it is possible to connect to CCB servers using the simple terminal application (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) we recommend using the xterm via XQuartz for all connections. This will allow you to gain maximum use of the software available via your CCB account.

  • Start XQuartz (from "Applications" and then "Utilities")
  • Within XQuartz, open a new xterm window by choosing "Applications" and then "Terminal".
  • To connect to CCB type the following and press the return key:
    (Note: in the example below, the -Y is upper-case, and the -l is a lower-case 'L' )
    ssh -Y -l username

Setting up XQuartz

Click to download XQuartz

Further details regarding XQuartz (and X11) for Mac OS X can be found at the Apple website.


Use the following set of instructions to install XQuartz.

Double click on the XQuartz.pkg icon to open the installer:



When prompted click "Continue"






The XQuartz application will be installed in "Applications - Utilites"