Following are the Prerequisites for using the Research Remote Desktop Service (RRDS) and instructions for how to get connected from a PC or Mac. 


  • You will need to request an account to access RRDS.  There is a workflow set up for this here:  https://workflow.uiowa.edu/form/rrdsrequest
  • Due to the secure nature of some research data, Duo Two Step Authentication is required to log into the remote servers.  This is the same system the University of Iowa uses to secure logins to Employee Self-Service and other sites.  If you're configured to log into our Employee Self-Service page, you should already be set up.  If you haven't opted into Duo Two Step Authentication, or if you are unsure, see this page:  https://its.uiowa.edu/duo.
  • A VPN connection is required to connect to RRDS when connecting from off campus.  You will need the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client.  For more information, click here:  https://its.uiowa.edu/vpn

Connection Instructions

Connecting to RRDS is fairly straightforward.  The Remote Desktop client is built into Windows operating systems and there is a client for Mac OS X available.

MS Remote Desktop Client


NOTE:  The method of typing a Server Name in the Remote Desktop Connection client that is built into Windows no longer works.  Instead, a connection (RDP) file needs to first be downloaded to connect to RRDS.  The method shown at left will result in a connection error.


  • Windows 10/11:  A simple RDP connection file can be downloaded to connect to RRDS.  For instructions, click here.
  • Mac OS X:  You will need the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X.  For instructions, click here.


Article number: 
Last updated: 
November 27, 2023