How to avoid the downtime

Updated (26/08/21): this work is complete.

This is about downtime for the remote desktop service, and how you can carry on using the service while your usual server is not available.


The remote desktop service gives you a remote DICE graphical session when you connect to, where username stands for your own DICE username. (For a more detailed reminder, see the remote desktop help pages.)

It’s provided by several servers, and those servers now need to be updated to keep them secure and working well. While we’re updating a server, it will not be possible to use it; and the updates may take a whole day.


  • cittern, dulcimer and lute will be down on Monday 23 August.
  • cittern, guitar, theorbo and zither will be down on Thursday 26 August.

Which server do I normally use?

At a DICE command prompt, type the command: host username.remote
where username is your own DICE username. The first line of the output has the name of your usual remote desktop server. For example: is an alias for
To get a DICE command prompt, open a terminal window.

How to avoid the downtime

On the day your usual server will be down, use the address instead.
If you’ve forgotten how to configure your remote desktop software for a new host, see the remote desktop help pages.
After that day, please go back to using your usual host, because is only temporary.

Comments and questions

If you have any, please send them in using the computing support form. Thanks!

About Chris Cooke

Chris Cooke is a Computing Officer in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He works in the Systems Unit and rides a very large bicycle.
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