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Remote Access:

Users may choose to ship their crystals to SBC (via "next morning" courier delivery), then remain at their home institution, remotely login to SBC computers, and collect their data from home.

Remote Access requires the use of the SBC Sample Mounting Robot, now available on both beamlines 19-ID and 19-BM.

Remote Access

Overview

 

Introduction

 

The SBC General User Program offers support for data collection and processing from a remote computer located at the user’s home institution. This is accomplished by using freely available remote desktop software. 

 

Running a remote desktop client makes it possible to display the entire desktop of the SBC server on the user’s remote computer.  Data acquisition and data processing can then proceed as if the user were sitting at the console of the SBC server.  Data backup is typically performed by copying data over the network from an SBC Backup Server to the user’s remote computer. 

 

Presently, SBC supports both NoMachine and ThinLinc remote desktop clients.

 

In addition to the network copy, some users send a USB disk to the beamline along with their crystals.  SBC currently supports USB disks which are less than 2 Terabytes in size and are formatted either FAT32 or ext3.

 

 

Requesting Remote Access

 

Remote Access requires the use of the SBC Sample Mounting Robot.

 

Remote Access is available to experienced SBC CAT users - those who have previously collected data locally at SBC, are familiar with SBC CAT hardware and software, and who have up-to-date SBC beamline-specific training.

 

Users who meet these requirements, and who wish to collect and process data remotely at SBC CAT, need to request remote access when submitting their proposal for beamtime.  SBC management must review and approve the request for remote access before beamtime is scheduled. 

 

For a group to operate remotely, SBC requires the group have at least one expert user available at their home site to help and support the less experienced users of the group.

 

 

Hardware Requirements

 

The user’s remote computer must have network connections at least as fast as ADSL, and must support video resolutions of at least 1280x1024 (preferably 1600x1200). 

 

 

Preparations

 

Remote Connections

 

Access to SBC CAT computers is restricted. After your application for beamtime has been accepted, you will receive an e-mail, containing the necessary details for logging into and using SBC computer resources.

 

Before your beamtime is scheduled to start, download and install remote desktop software on each of the computers you intend to use during your beamtime; this will allow for both remote data collection and remote data processing during your scheduled time-slot.

 

NoMachine is a remote desktop server that is installed on the user’s computer.  Detailed instructions are provided on the NoMachine website.

 

ThinLinc is also a remote desktop server that is installed on the user’s computer. When you launch the program ThinLinc, please go to “Options", then “Screen", then deselect "Full screen mode”. The F5 key also switches between Full Screen and windowed client.

 

We recommend using Skype and a web-camera to communicate with beamline personnel. Please setup and familiarize yourselves with this ahead of time. This will avoid unnecessary (long-distance) phone calls.

 

 

Remote Desktop Session Templates

 

As an alternative to creating NoMachine sessions with the NoMachine Connection Wizard, you may simply copy the configuration files provided by SBC.

 

For example, on your Linux or Windows NoMachine Remote Desktop Client system, copy:

 

IDDAQ-almond.nxs and IDPX-olive.nxs

odd numbered ID user accounts: IDPX-white.nxs

even numbered ID user accounts: IDPX-peach.nxs

 

BMDAQ-pink.nxs and BMPX-gold.nxs

odd numbered BM user accounts: BMPX-magenta.nxs

even numbered BM user accounts: BMPX-red.nxs

 

to $HOME/.nx/config.

 

 

For Macintosh clients, the configuration files should be located in folder:

 

Documents/Virtual Desktops.

 

 

ThinLinc does not require any session templates.

 

 

Login

 

Your assigned host will communicate your account login name and password to you, before your scheduled beamtime starts.

 

Beamtime

 

Beginning

 

Establish contact with your SBC Host, and exchange contact information with them.

 

This allows you to contact your host whenever you need assistance, and will allow the host to contact you, should there be any need to do so.

 

Once your scheduled beamtime has begun, and you have received your account name and password, you may open remote desktop sessions between your systems and the SBC servers.

 

Your host will ensure that the sample mounting robot has been initialized and that your samples are properly loaded into the robot dewar(s).

 

While they are doing this:

 

Once your samples have been loaded into the dewars, the host will interlock the D-hutch, then open the X-ray shutters on the beamline.

 

You may then begin to collect and process data as if you were sitting at the console of the SBC servers.

 

 

 

Finish

 

Remember to dismount your final sample!

 

Check Out, using the SBC User Registration System. Only one individual from the group needs to check out.

 

Close all applications that you have open on the SBC servers.

 

LOG-OFF of all SBC servers and "terminate" all Remote Desktop Sessions.  Please do not choose the "disconnect" option, as this will only suspend the connection and will prevent our next user connection.

 

Please end your sessions on time.

 

WARNING:  In order to be fair to the "next" scheduled user, remote desktop sessions are automatically (and abruptly) terminated 30 minutes past the scheduled beamtime!

 

Contact your SBC Host and arrange for the return of your samples, and your data backup disk if you sent one.