The Social Sciences Division provides a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment for researchers needing access to Windows applications both on and off-campus. The service resides on servers in a secure data center and is maintained by Social Sciences Computing Services (SSCS).

For your convenience, prerecorded video tours are available for viewing on-demand.  These videos cover the same content as this written guide:


Getting Started – Before You Begin

Connecting For the First Time

There are two parts in connecting to the SSDLAB. The first part involves connecting to a web site to get a configuration file that you will download onto your computer to tell it how to connect to the service. Once you have got this configuration file it will not need to be done again unless you require access to a different resource (another desktop or app).

  1. Open in a browser.
  2. Use your CNET E-mail address to log in (your This page will also accept ALOCAL\your cnet.
  3. Authenticate with DUO
  4. You will see a page of remote resources that you have been granted access to. Click on the resource you would like to use.
  5. A file will download to your computer. A prompt will appear to select a location and to change the filename. It is recommended that you save this file to the desktop. You may name this file whatever you wish. You do not need to download this file from the website every time you would like use SSDLAB, instead you can open this file to skip the website.
    • For MacOS, a dialog will appear to allow you to save the file. It is recommended you save the file to the Desktop and name it something easy to remember.
    • On a PC using Chrome, a bar will appear across the bottom of the page.
      Click on the drop down option on the “Save” button and select “Save as”. It is recommended that you save the file to your Desktop and name it something easy to remember.

Using the Saved RDP Configuration File

After you have completed the steps above you will have a file saved to your computer that will allow it to connect without having to go through the website again. You can always repeat the steps above as a troubleshooting step or if you have lost the file.

To start a connection, double-click on the file you downloaded. You will be prompted for a username (your and password.  NOTE: Some users will need to put their username in this format due to a difference in their CNET account configuration: adlocal\cnet .

After you enter your credentials you will receive a DUO push.  This DUO push will happen every time you connect to the server. If you do not get a DUO push or your 2FA configuration has a phone number listed first you may get an error message with the code 0x5000003. Check your DUO configuration at and contact us for help. Remember to always have one-time passwords printed and stored in a secure place before making any changes to your 2FA configuration.


It is possible to tune some parameters, such as resolution, screen size, mapping drives and sharing clipboards.