Cendio ThinLinc Client

Updated on

Audience: Faculty, staff, students


Cendio ThinLinc is used by UM IST as the primary method for accessing its Academic Linux (CCL) computing resources.

ThinLinc provides a connection to a full, graphical desktop environment on a remote computer, including audio, local resource sharing (drives/printers/etc.), and smart card authentication. 

It operates over the secure SSH protocol and utilizes optimized variants of VNC, PulseAudio, and NFS to provide a responsive computing environment over the Internet or enterprise networks. 

Getting the software

IST managed workstations

ThinLinc is pre-installed on instructional computers in IST Open-Area Computer Labs, accessible from the INS Programs > Unix-Linux menu. 

If you do not have administrative access to your IST-managed workstation, please create a Software installation, configuration or support IT Ticket.

Home/personal computers

Desktop client

  1. Download the ThinLinc software:
  2. Install the software.
  3. If you are off-campus / not connected to ‘uofm-secure’ network, connect to the UM VPN
  4. Launch ThinLinc:
    • In the Connect window, enter the Server, your UMNetID and password and click Connect.
    • If asked about the server's host key fingerprint, verify that it matches one of the below, and then click Continue. 
          • Ed25519: "22:0c:30:88:9b:c8:84:dd:17:a7:4b:40:76:02:9c:be"
          • ECDSA: "8b:a7:b7:b1:a7:cc:76:54:5d:9b:0e:4d:56:00:84:4e"
          • RSA: "10:09:04:ab:43:c2:0e:e2:3e:ad:36:93:42:33:cf:fb"
    • If you are registered with Duo MFA, check your mobile device for an MFA prompt.
    • A large window should appear with a welcome screen asking to choose a desktop environment. Click OK.
    • IMPORTANT: To switch between fullscreen and windowed mode, press the F8 key.

Mobile devices

Access the ThinLinc Web client on mobile devices (eg tablets). This client doesn’t have all the features and integrations that the desktop software has, but it does give full access to a CCL desktop and is a convenient way to test your access or for other quick sessions.

Authentication issue

For DUO users that use passcodes, ThinLinc does not have a way to enter a DUO passcode. However, the "Call me" and "DUO push" authentication methods still work.

As a workaround for DUO passcode users, you can use the ThinLinc web URL: 

If this is unsuitable or you have another use-case that is impacted by the authentication security, please create an IT Support ticket and we will work with you to find a solution.

Configuration tips

Before logging in, you can change the default options which will be used each time you start the ThinLinc client. Use the Advanced>> button to extend the window if it's not already. Click Options... to open the Options window.

  • ThinLinc can be configured to start as a window or as fullscreen, on one monitor or all, and at a certain resolution: 
    • In the Screen tab, select a resolution option in the top section and set whether to use fullscreen using the checkboxes at the bottom.
  • Local drives can be mounted using the desktop client. The feature is documented at
    • Note that while this feature is available for convenience, it is not fully supported at the UofM.


Usage policies

When not using ThinLinc, please conserve system resources for others by logging out of the environment. Closing the ThinLinc window does not end your session – instead:

  • Click on your name, in the top-right of the screen,
  • Select either “Log Out...” or the power icon, and
  • Click “Log Out” 

Sessions which are left idle for 4 days will be automatically disconnected, but continue to run on the server.

Sessions which have been disconnected for 21 days will be automatically terminated and any running processes or associated compute jobs will be terminated.

More information

If you have additional questions/feedback, please don’t hesitate to ask. Create a Shared compute (CC Cluster) - Assistance and consultation IT Ticket or contact the IST Service Desk with an info request for the Linux team.


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