bwLehrpool via remote access

Please note: Development for remote access to bwLehrpool is ongoing. While the software is currently stable and usable, it is in the beta stage. We are grateful for feedback. Please note the limitations mentioned below.
We offer evaluation accounts for testing the remote solution using the system of Freiburg university. If you are interested in access, please send an email to bwlehrpool@hs-offenburg.de

Preface

Due to the current situation (Corona/Covid crisis) most universities are barred to public access, and their computer pools are closed. Many lecturers are recording their lectures and publishing them to the web. But the students are missing the opportunity to do practical work that was carried out on software provided in computer pools. Installing this software on student's computers is often not possible due to license constraints, missing installation packets, or often just a lack of configuration skills.

As the bwLehrpool client computers are in principle usable, but not physically accessible to students, a possibility was developed to access these unused computers from everywhere via a simple web browser. This was achieved using Apache Guacamole1), which works as a kind of VNC-proxy/gateway. Via this gateway users are connected to pool computers. Display and input works simply per an HTML5-capable web browser, which requires no special hardware or installation of software.

Usage

Requirements

An HTML5-capable browser (e.g. Firefox, Opera, Edge, Chromium or Apple Safari) and a reasonably fast internet connection is needed.

URL, Login, choice of location

The URL needed for accessing bwLehrpool-remote is different for every university. Please ask your local support for the address in your case. Javascript is required; watch out also for javascript-blocking browser extensions like NoScript.



After entering the web adress (URL) in your browser

you will see the bwLehrpool-remote login screen to analog to the picture at the right. Enter your user credentials and click “Anmelden”.

Login problems can be caused by the web interface handling special characters contained in your password differently than expected. Hint: Test the special characters in your password by typing them into user name box (do not send!).


After Login

you will perhaps find several locations. There may be a difference in software environments available for each location due to bwLehrpool's ability of showing different environments. If you do not find your accustomed environment, ask your lecturer which location you should chose.

Attention: At this step adjust the dimensions of your browser window to the size you want!

Your display may vary from the adjacent example, as each university/institution offers different locations.


Freely accessible locations

Select the location you want via single left click and press “Weiter”.


Locations secured by password

Some rooms may be password protected. In that case select the room in question, enter the password and click on “Weiter”.

This possibility might be used to restrict access to some software which is severely limited by license agreements.


Choosing the environment

Continue as usual, just as if you were physically present in the computer room.

Note: If your choosen environment „hangs“ during startup it would be advisable to logout, wait some minutes and try again.

Screencast

There's a little screencast from user's view (german):

Present limitations and problems

  • If there are no accessible computers at a given time or all readily available computers are already in use, new clients will be booted in the background (using WoL). This may take some time.
  • Currently, PVS is not usable remotely.
  • There is currently no hardware acceleration for graphics cards.
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