IT: AWS Appstream
What is AWS AppStream?
Cooper Union AWS AppStream is a fully managed application streaming service that provides students, staff, and faculty access to a full Windows desktop experience remotely via a web browser either on Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, or even a ChromeOS.
How do I access AWS AppStream?
You will need a valid Office365 email address for access. Not everyone has access to the platform, please ask your professor or IT if AWS AppStream is available for your class.
- The http://awscad.cooper.edu fleet is open to everyone at Cooper.
- The http://awschem.cooper.edu fleet is open to ChemE and students taking Chemistry courses that need to use the software installed on the fleet.
- You will need to be granted access to http://awssim.cooper.edu (email email@example.com for inquiries).
- You will need to be granted access to http://archrender.cooper.edu (email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries).
Please see the next section for more information on the fleets available and what software each fleet provides.
What software is available on AWS AppStream?
The following computer resources (Fleets) are currently available. Cooper Union’s Fleets are grouped according to major.
Chemistry/ChemEng (http://awschem.cooper.edu) – Control Station, COMSOL, Spartan ‘20, Spartan Student V8, SuperPro Designer, Parallel, Aspentech, Matlab
Architecture (http://awsrender.cooper.edu) - Autocad, Maya, Blender, ArcGIS, Rhino 7 + Vray, Autodesk ReCap (photogrammetry), Anaconda
Civil Engineering/Mechnical Engineering (http://awscad.cooper.edu) - Autocad, Maya, Blender, ArcGIS, Revit, Robot, Rhino 7.0 +Vray, Solidworks, Matlab, Robot Structural Analysis 2021
Simulation work for ME students (http://awssim.cooper.edu) - Altair Hyperworks, Ansys, Solidworks, Matlab
Full-Screen and the “Esc” key:
Many users will prefer to use programs on AppStream in “Full Screen” mode. However, if the user enters full-screen mode by clicking the corresponding symbol on the AppStream Toolbar, then the “Esc” key will exit out of full-screen mode. This may be undesirable as the “Esc” key is commonly used in different programs. There are workarounds for this for users on both Windows and Mac computers.
Windows: Enter full-screen mode using the button on the AppStream toolbar, then exit using the “F11” key instead of “Esc”. Hitting “F11” a second time will then bring the window back to full-screen, but “Esc” will not exit this view. The AppStream toolbar will remain at the top of the window, but the browser UI will be hidden.
Mac: Use the green “Maximize” button to enter full-screen mode. The AppStream toolbar will remain at the top of the window, but “Esc” will not exit full-screen mode.
Do I need to be on campus to use AWS AppStream?
No, you do not need to be on campus to access Cooper Union’s AWS AppStream.
Platforms and browsers needed to run AWS AppStream?
Cooper Union’s AWS AppStream can be used on almost any platform, including, but not limited to Windows, OSX, Linux and ChromeOS if it has an up-to-date, modern web browser (e.g., Google Chrome). A robust internet connection is recommended when using Cooper Union’s AWS AppStream. Google Chrome is the recommended browser to access Cooper Union’s AWS AppStream.
Is my AppStream session temporary?
Yes, your session is temporary. All files are deleted after your session ends. Please save your files to your OneDrive before ending your session.
I walked away to do something else and when I came back my AWS AppStream disconnected. What happened?
Each AppStream session has an idle timeout of 1 hour before the session is disconnected. You are notified before being disconnected due to inactivity. You can reconnect to your session if the “disconnect timeout” (refer to the next question) is not reached. Try not to walk away or do something else while you are working.
I just lost my connection to a AWS AppStream session or I accidentally closed my browser or the idle timeout was reached. What do I do? Is all my work lost?
Your AWS AppStream session is kept alive for 2 hours from the time you are disconnected for any reason, which includes reaching the idle timeout in the previous question.
- Example 1 – Your session has been idle and your session is disconnected after reaching the idle timeout of 1 hour. The disconnect timeout now kicks in and you have 2 hours to sign back in before your session is forcibly ended. To reconnect to your AppStream session, you can use the web link you used earlier.
- Example 2 - If your session is disconnected for any reason (network outage, laptop crashes, accidentally closed browser), you have 2 hours to sign back in. For example, your session is disconnected due to a network outage at 11:00PM; You will have until 1:00AM to reconnect before the session is forcibly ended. To reconnect to your AppStream session, you can use the web link you used earlier.
I was working on a simulation or rendering project that takes a long time to complete, but my session just ended and my work was lost. Is there a time limit on how long I can keep my AWS Appstream session active?
Yes. Each fleet has a maximum session duration. These are the time limits currently set for each fleet:
http://awsrender.cooper.edu – 12 hours
http://awscad.cooper.edu – 10 hours
http://awschem.cooper.edu – 12 hours
http://awssim.cooper.edu – 12 hours
Please email email@example.com if you plan on running a project that runs longer than these limits.
Do I have to end my AWS AppStream session? How do I do that?
Yes, once you are done, you will need to end your session.
1) Click on the person icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Cooper Union AWS AppStream toolbar
2) Then click “End Session”
3) If you want to reconnect, please wait at least 5 minutes before trying to connect again.
Sometimes I get a 404 error or some other error and my Cooper Union AWS AppStream session did not start
Try refreshing your browser or revisit the AWS Cooper Union AppStream link.
What do I if I get a “No streaming resources available” error?
This means all available Cooper Union AWS AppStream computers are in-use. This is equivalent to walking into one of the computer labs at Cooper Union and all computers are in-use.
At any given time, there are a certain number of available Cooper Union AWS AppStream sessions available for use. Once the number of available computers is reached, additional Cooper Union AWS AppStream resources are added. The process for provisioning additional Cooper Union AWS AppStream resources is an automatic process. However, during periods of peak usage or when a lot of students connect at once, it can take up to 20 minutes before more Cooper Union AWS AppStream resources are available. You can try connecting again in 20 minutes. If you receive this error frequently, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “AWS AppStream No Resource Error - <date and time>”
Sometimes the Start Menu doesn’t work when I launch my session – what happened?
The full Windows Desktop Experience for AWS Appstream 2.0 is a relatively new feature. If the Start Menu does not work when you first launch your session, you can end your session, wait 5 minutes for your session to full disconnect and try again.
How do I print?
You can choose the “Microsoft Print to PDF” printer and print your file out as a PDF. You can save the PDF file to your OneDrive.
OneDrive and Files FAQ
Please do not work directly from OneDrive. Copy working files to the desktop or other folders during your active session. Before you end your session, copy or save your work to your OneDrive.
How do I permanently save my files before I end my AWS AppStream session?
Since Cooper Union AWS AppStream sessions are temporary, you must transfer your files before you end your session. You can either email the files to yourself or connect and copy them to your OneDrive. Once you have connected your OneDrive, it will be available to you every session.
Connecting to OneDrive
1) Select the Folder Icon in the top toolbar (My Files)
2) Select “Add Storage” in the “My Files” window
3) Select OneDrive
4) Select @cooper.edu and a new window will pop-up
5) Click on “Accept”
6) Once that is complete, you will see your OneDrive appear in the “My Files” window
Once you have connected your OneDrive, it will be available to you every session.
How do I access my files, copy files, etc. in the Windows Cooper Union AWS AppStream Session?
1) To access your OneDrive or Temporary Files in the Windows Cooper Union AWS AppStream Session, you can open up File Explorer in the task bar.
2) If you expand “This PC” you will see the following folders including your OneDrive.
How do I copy files between my personal computer and AWS AppStream?
1) If you want to copy a file from your personal computer to your current Cooper Union AWS AppStream Session. Click on “My File” in the toolbar
2) Click on “Temporary Files” in the “My Files” window
3) Then you click on “Upload Files”
4) If you copied anything to “Temporary Files” in File Explorer, the files will show up in the “Temporary Files” folder under the “My Files” Window. If you click on it, it will download.