Topics Map > Research Computing Support > Winstat

Using Winstat

Winstat is the SSCC's Windows Remote Desktop Server cluster. Winstat allows many people to share a pool of powerful servers, but each user gets a session that looks and acts just like Windows on any other computer. While using Winstat you'll have access to SSCC software, network drives and printers. You can connect to Winstat from anywhere and use it to transfer files between your computer and the SSCC network.

Installing Citrix Workspace

In order to use Winstat you'll need to download and install Citrix Workspace on each computer you use.

Activating Citrix Workspace

You will need to activate Citrix Workspace before you can use it. You are welcome to enter in the server address below in the Add Account Window

add account citrix

As another alternative, you can activate Citrix using the file available here (right click, "save link as"):

Once downloaded, double click the file to run the script - it will automatically register your installation of Workspace.

Starting Your Winstat Session

After activating Citrix Workspace, you can start the program for the first time, and log in at the prompt using your SSCC user name and password and click the Winstat icon for the server you want to connect to.

Winstat - small servers intended for interactive work and short statistical jobs.

Winstat for Big Jobs - intended for jobs that will run for a long time or need more cores or memory (though they won’t have nearly as much of either as the Linux servers).

winstat servers

While your Winstat sessions launches you may receive a Security Warning saying that An online application is attempting to access information on a device attached to your computer. This is Citrix Workspace attempting to make the files on your computer's hard drive available from within your Winstat session. This is a very useful capability (see Transferring Files using Winstat below) so we suggest you choose Permit use and check the box Do not ask me again for this site.

Restarting Your Winstat Session

If you are having trouble connecting to Winstat, the first thing you should try is to restart your session. To do so, in Citrix Workspace click Details and select Restart. Confirm the restart if prompted.

Restart Winstat

Idle Sessions on Winstat

Idle Winstat sessions (meaning no user input, even if jobs are running) are disconnected after two hours and disconnected sessions are closed after three hours. Winstat Small has 24-hour session limits which means that 24 hours after you log in, you will be logged off.  Users will receive a warning five minutes before being force logged off.

Winstat for Big Jobs

Winstat for Big Jobs is meant specifically for users running jobs that require more time and resources than typical Winstat sessions allow.  Winstat for Big Jobs includes 24 cores and 172GB of RAM.  There are monthly reboots for maintenance and if a session is idle for two hours it is disconnected but will never be logged off (terminated).

Winstat Downtime

All of the SSCC’s servers except for Slurm and SlurmSilo are taken offline, patched, and rebooted from 6:00AM-8:00AM on the Wednesday after the third Tuesday of the month (the week after Microsoft’s “Patch Tuesday”).

Winstat on Mobile Devices

You can also connect to Winstat via mobile devices and tablets, including iPads, Chromebooks, and Android tablets.  A Citrix Workspace app is available for download from your device's App Store.  Once you have installed the app, you will be prompted for a server name or address.  Enter and your SSCC credentials when prompted and the app will be configured to connect to Winstat.

Connecting to Winstat via the Web

It is also possible to open a Winstat session directly in a web browser: Workspace For Web (WFW). We generally recommend using the full Citrix Workspace client for its increased functionality and stability, but WFW is useful if you cannot install software on the computer you are using. To access WFW go to, log in, and click on either Winstat or Winstat for Big Jobs. A Winstat session will open in a new browser tab.

animated video showing Workspace For Web pulldown options menu

WFW's extra functions can be accessed by the small black "pulldown" icon at the top of the browser window. Clicking this icon will allow you to either Download files from Winstat to your local computer, or Upload files from your local computer into Winstat - multi-selecting files at once is possible, too. You can even click the "Multi-Monitor" option to open a second browser window into the same Winstat session (only two windows maximum). Click and drag program windows you have open in your Winstat session across one browser window, to the other one. One thing you cannot do in WFW is print from Winstat to your local computer's printers - the full Workspace client is required for this.

Guidelines for Using Winstat

There are a few rules you must follow when using Winstat:

  1. Do not attempt to install or run your own software on the server. Unlike a regular Windows PC, Winstat consists of shared server that many users can access simultaneously, and the software installed there is selected specifically for such use. This includes the "codebook"programs that come with some data sets - you'll need to find another place to install and run them.
  2. Do not save files on the server's hard drive, Local Disk (C:). Save files in Documents, on the Desktop, or on network drives. (On Winstat the Desktop and Documents folders are saved on your U: drive.) Files saved elsewhere will be permanantly deleted at the end of your session and cannot be recovered.
  3. When you're done using Winstat, log off. Do not just close Citrix Workspace, or your session will continue to run in a disconnected state. If you then try to log in again, Winstat may fail to reconnect to the existing session and you won't be able to create a new one until the disconnected session is shut down automatically three hours later.

Controlling the Winstat Window

Once you are logged in to your Winstat session, you can control your Winstat window using the Receiver Control Bar at the top of your screen.

Winstat Window

Home – Returns you to the Desktop of your computer

Ctrl+Alt+Del –Allows you to open the Task Manager on the Winstat server so that you can end programs that are giving you trouble

Preferences – Sets options for the Desktop Viewer, including display options and controlling access to local files.

Full-screen/Window – Lets Winstat use your entire screen, or returns your Winstat session to a smaller window which also gives you access to your computer's desktop and programs. 

Disconnect – Closes the Desktop Viewer but keeps your Winstat session running, so that when you connect again you will return to what you were doing when you left.  You should save all work before disconnecting if possible in case you encounter any problems returning to the session.

If you have more than one monitor and want to use them in Winstat, put Winstat in Windowed mode, then drag the edges of the Winstat window such that the Window covers at least 50% of each of the monitors you want to use. Then switch to Full-screen and Winstat will use the full screen of all the monitors you put it on.

Transferring Files Using Winstat

When you log in to Winstat using Citrix Workspace, it will automatically create network drives that connect to the local drives of your computer. They will appear at the bottom of the list of drives, with names like Local Disk (C: on ...) and CD/DVD Drive (D: on ...). The last part of the name will be the name of your local computer. Be sure not to confuse them with the local hard drive of the server itself, Local Disk (C:), which you should never use. On a Mac, Local Disk (C: on ...) is actually your home directory on your Mac's hard drive.

These drives give you a very easy way to transfer files between your computer and the SSCC network. Simply open Local Disk (C: on ...), locate the file you want to transfer, and drag it to a network drive like U: (your Windows home directory). The process also works in reverse. Keep in mind that the file must be sent over your Internet connection, so if you have a large file or a slow connection it may take a while. We do not suggest that you try to analyze data sets stored on your local hard drive: better to move them to the SSCC network and then analyze them there.

One warning: Winstat sees the hard drive of your computer as a network drive, and when you delete a file from a network drive it is permanently deleted rather than being sent to the Recycle Bin. Please be careful about deleting files.

Printing from Winstat

Citrix Workspace allows Winstat to print to your local default printer. Make sure the printer you want to print to is the default before connecting to Winstat.

Keywordswinstat   Doc ID102698
OwnerZach H.GroupSocial Science Computing Cooperative
Created2020-05-31 10:23:58Updated2024-06-05 10:14:31
SitesSocial Science Computing Cooperative
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