The latest version of this documentation can be found here

Introduction

With Thincast Client you can turn your computer into a full Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Client, making it easy to connect remotely to your company infrastructure. Using the Remote Desktop (RD) WebAccess Client you gain easy access and control to published virtual machines (with Thincast Workstation), desktop sessions and applications. With its built-in, hardware-accelerated Remote Desktop Client (RDC) it delivers a rich user experience by saving valuable CPU power. Thincast Client is completely free and available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

If you have already installed Thincast Client, please go to chapter "Usage".

Versions

We provide different versions:

  • Stable - Official releases. Use this for production.
  • Beta - Upcoming release. Beta versions are under qualification testing, and may include significant issues.
  • Nightly - Development snapshot. Contains the latest features and improvements but isn't completely tested and may include severe issues.

The beta and nightly versions are mainly for preview and evaluation purposes. Don't use them in production!

It is the end users' responsibility to protect their systems and data when using beta or nightly software. It is strongly recommended that end users back up all their data prior to using beta or nightly software.

Beta and nightly software does not carry any warranties or support services.

Requirements

Systems that run Thincast Client must meet specific requirements:

Supported Operating Systems

Windows

  • Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 / 2012 / 2012 R2 / 2016 / 2019

Thincast Client supports x64 environments.

macOS

  • macOS 10.12 or later is supported

Linux

Thincast Client is distributed through Flathub and Snapcraft and has been tested on the following platforms:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 (bionic) / 19.10 (eoan) / 20.04 (focal)
  • OpenSUSE Leap 15.1
  • Fedora 30 / 31

Graphics Card

To take advantage of the hardware acceleration in Thincast RDC, your graphics card must meet the following requirements:

Windows

Hardware drawing and H.264 video decoding is available on GPUs that support at least DirectX version 9.0c. However, the GPU drivers must support DirectX 11 Feature Level 9.1 (which means the DirectX 11 API has been implemented in the GPU driver to be compatible with DirectX 9 hardware). The following list shows supported GPUs but is subject to driver support for your operating system:

  • Nvidia Geforce 8 Series or higher
  • AMD HD 2000 Series or higher
  • Intel HD Graphics Sandy Bridge generation or higher

macOS

Hardware drawing and H.264 video decoding is supported using Metal on macOS 10.14 or later.

Linux

Hardware drawing requires a graphics card with working Vulkan drivers. Some graphics cards are known to have incomplete Vulkan support e.g., the Intel Haswell GPUs. In this case Thincast RDC falls back to software drawing. Currently there is no support for hardware accelerated H.264 video decoding available on Linux.

Network

Thincast Client requires a properly configured network to communicate with the Thincast Workstation or the resources on your network.

Installation

Prerequisites

Thincast Client supports multiple platforms. Please refer to chapter "Supported operating systems". Please make sure that you have installed all recent operating system and driver updates.

Windows

  1. Download the latest version of Thincast Client for Windows from here.

  2. Open the installation package.

  3. Thincast Client Setup will now open. Continue with "Next".

    install wizard start up

  4. Accept the End-user License Agreement and proceed with "Next".

    License Agreement

  5. Select the destination folder for Thincast Client and click "Next".

    Ghost Script License Agreement

  6. Accept the Ghost Script License Agreement and proceed with "Next".

    Beginn installation

  7. Click "Install" to begin the installation. Accept by clicking "Yes".

    install wizard start up

  8. Click "Finish" to complete your installation.

You can find Thincast Client and its components under the destination folder. By default it is:

C:\Program Files\Thincast\Client\

macOS

  1. Download the latest version of Thincast Client for macOS from here.

  2. Double-click the .pkg file to open Thincast Client setup.

  3. Click "Install" to begin the installation. It might be necessary to provide user credentials before the installation can continue.

  4. Click "Finish" to complete your installation.

  5. Delete the .pkg file by dragging it to the trash.

  6. You've now installed Thincast Client for macOS. The application is inside your Applications folder.

Linux

Flathub

If not already installed, the following requirements must be met:

  1. flatpak command line utility
  2. You might want to consider installing one of these plugins to correctly integrate snap in your desktop environment:

    • GNOME Software Flatpak Plugin for GNOME environments
    • Plasma Discover Backend Flatpak for KDE environments

For individual platform instructions, consult https://flatpak.org/setup/

To install Thincast Client, use one of the following command lines:

  1. Per user installation:

    flatpak install --user com.thincast.client

  2. System-wide installation:

    flatpak install --system com.thincast.client

    After installation logout and login again.

Snapcraft

If not already installed, the following requirements must be met:

  1. snap command line utility

  2. You might want to consider installing one of these plugins to correctly integrate snap in your desktop environment:

    • gnome-software-plugin-snap for GNOME based desktops
    • plasma-discover-backend-snap for KDE based desktops
  3. If you are using a desktop environment you may also install the Snap Store app as described below:

    https://snapcraft.io/docs/installing-snap-store-app

For individual platform instructions, consult https://snapcraft.io/docs/installing-snapd

To install Thincast Client, use the following command line:

sudo snap install thincast-client

Uninstallation

Windows

  1. To uninstall Thincast Client, open your Control Panel and navigate to Programs -> Uninstall a program.

  2. Select Thincast Client and click on Uninstall.

  3. Confirm with "Yes".

  4. You've now successfully uninstalled Thincast Client.

Uninstall wizard start up

macOS

  1. Quit Thincast Client.

  2. Open your Applications folder and drag the Thincast Client icon into the Trash.

  3. Empty the Trash.

  4. You've now successfully removed Thincast Client.

Linux Flathub

  1. Quit Thincast Client

  2. Depending on how you installed Thincast Client you have to run one of the following command lines:

    • Per user removal:

    flatpak uninstall --user com.thincast.client

    • System-wide removal:

    flatpak uninstall --system com.thincast.client

  3. You've now successfully removed Thincast Client.

Linux Snapcraft

  1. Quit Thincast Client

  2. Run the following command line:

    sudo snap remove thincast-client

  3. You've now successfully removed Thincast Client.

Usage

The installation package of Thincast Client contains two main components: the Remote Desktop Client and the Remote Desktop WebAccess Client. The RD WebAccess Client allows you to quickly access network resources, such as virtual machines running on Thincast Workstation or pre-configured seamless applications and full desktop sessions published with RD WebAccess.

It's completely free and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Thincast Remote Desktop Client

The Thincast Remote Desktop Client is a multi-platform RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) Client. It comes with a variety of up-to-date features and can be easily integrated into your existing infrastructure.

General tab

Quick Start

After installation, you can start Thincast Remote Desktop as follows:

  • On a Windows system, just type "Thincast Remote Desktop Client" in the search box of the "Start" menu.

  • On macOS, open the Finder and double-click on the "Thincast Remote Desktop Client" item in the "Applications" folder.

  • On Linux, either use the menu entry if your desktop environment has one, or start the application from the command line:

    • Flatpak:

    flatpak run com.thincast.client

    • Snap:

    snap run thincast-client or /snap/bin/thincast-client

After launching the app you can enter the hostname of your destination server and user name. Click on Connect to establish the connection.

By default it will launch a simple Remote Desktop session to the host which you have entered in the "Remote Desktop Server" field.

Configuration

Logon settings

In the Logon settings tab you can specify the type of the connection, Remote Desktop Server and user name. You can also save and open a previously saved .rdp connection file.

General tab

Type

From this list you can choose the type of connection you want to establish. This can be either a full desktop experience or a seamlessly integrated remote application.

Remote Desktop Server

This is where you specify the remote computer to which you would like to connect. You can use a NetBIOS name, an FQDN or an IP address.

User name

Specifies the user that will be used to authenticate on the target server.

Connection Settings

The Thincast RDC supports importing server settings from a standard Microsoft Windows .rdp file. To import a .rdp file click "Open".

To save the current connection settings click "Save" All server settings will be kept and you will be able to connect more quickly to your Remote Desktop Server.

You can also export your server settings to a .rdp file. This is very useful for distributing your connection file in your environment. To export a .rdp file click on "Save As" Copy this file to your desired client computer and import it there as described in the first paragraph of this section.

Display

The display setting is only available if you have selected the "Desktop" connection type.

Display tab

Display Configuration

Using the slider you can choose the resolution of the remote desktop. If you move the slider to the far right side the remote desktop will use the same resolution as your local desktop and the session will be displayed in full screen mode.

If you want to use all your monitors for the remote session the application automatically uses full screen mode.

Colors

Colors allow you to configure the color depth. The options are as follows:

  • High color (15 bit)
  • High color (16 bit)
  • True color (24 bit)
  • Highest color (32 bit)

Acceleration

To deliver a richer user experience and to save valuable CPU power you can take advantage of the client-side hardware acceleration by enabling this setting. Please go to the chapter "Graphics Cards" to find out more about this topic.

Program

Start a program

  • Program path and filename:

    Specify the path of the application that you want to launch e.g., C:\Windows\notepad.exe

  • Use the following command line arguments:

    Depending on your application you might want to add additional command line arguments e.g., C:\data\test.txt to open a file.

    Note: This setting is only available when the connection type is set to Remote Application.

  • Start in the following folder:

    Select the folder that the application should use as its working directory.

Program tab

Local Resources

The Local Resources tab is very important. It is used to configure whether or not resources on the client system can be accessed inside the Remote Desktop session. The configuration includes remote audio, keyboard, and local devices and resources. From a security standpoint, the local devices and resources option is the most important.

Resources tab

Remote audio

The remote audio option is used to configure audio playback and recording.

  • Remote Audio Playback

    Choose this if audio should be played on the remote computer, local computer or be muted.

  • Remote Audio Recording

    Choose this if you want to record audio from your local computer.

Keyboard

Lets you specify how keyboard commands like WIN or ALT+TAB will be processed. The default is to send them to the session only when the connection is in full screen mode.

Local devices and resources

You must be careful when allowing local resources to be used within a Remote Desktop session. If you enable local resource usage, then the server you are connecting to gains access to resources on your system. If you do not trust the remote system, you should not enable local resource usage. You can configure the following items:

  • Ports
  • Smart Cards
  • Drives

One of the key items that can be configured here are disk drives. Enabling disk drives can potentially give harmful code on a remote server access to all the files on your local system. Therefore, you must be very careful when enabling this option.

Experience

The Experience tab allows you to configure options that affect the user experience.

Experience tab

Performance

The Performance section allows you to configure options based on your connection speed. These different options use up different amounts of bandwidth. So, based on your connection, the Remote Desktop Client will provide a recommended configuration that is optimized for your bandwidth.

The configuration provides a selection of predefined profiles for different connectivity scenarios. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, you should always use the default option which allows the Client to automatically detect and adjust to your current network characteristics:

  • Detect connection quality automatically (default)
  • Modem (56 Kbps)
  • Low-speed broadband (256 Kbps - 2 Mbps)
  • Satellite (2 Mbps - 16 Mbps with high latency)
  • High-speed broadband (2 Mbps - 10 Mbps)
  • WAN (10 Mbps or higher with high latency)
  • LAN (10 Mbps or higher)

Based on the bandwidth option chosen, the following features will be enabled or disabled by default:

  • Desktop background
  • Font smoothing
  • Desktop composition
  • Show window contents while dragging
  • Menu and window animation
  • Visual styles

The Experience tab also allows you to enable the "Persistent bitmap caching" and "Reconnect if the connection is dropped" options.

Advanced

Server authentication

Server authentication is used to verify that the server you are connecting to is the server you intended to connect to. What you configure here is what will be followed if the server authentication fails.

Advanced tab

The options are as follows:

Connect and don't warn me

This is the least secure option. If the server authentication fails, the connection will still be made. In addition, the user will not be notified of the failure.

Warn me

This option is more secure and it gives the user a choice. If the server authentication fails, the user will be notified. The user can then choose whether or not to make the connection.

Do not connect

This is the most secure option. If the server authentication fails, the connection will not be made to the remote server.

Connect from anywhere

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) lets you connect to a remote computer on a corporate network from anywhere on the internet. You can create and manage your gateways using the Thincast Remote Desktop Client.

In the "Connect from Anywhere" section, tap "Settings".

RD Gateway configuration

To set up a new gateway, enter the following information:

Connection settings

The name of the computer you want to use as a gateway. This can be a Windows computer name, an internet domain name or an IP address. You can also add port information to the server name (for example: mygateway.domain.com - Port 443 or 10.0.0.1 Port 443).

Logon Settings

Select Use my RD Gateway credentials desktop to use the same credentials as those used for the remote desktop connection.

Session Window

Upon successful connection to a remote server or virtual machine you will see the session window.

Remote Desktop session window

The majority of the window is taken up by the session view, displaying the content of your current session. The following options are available in the main menu (these options vary depending on whether you are connected to an RDP server or a VM):

  • Session
  • Machine (only available when connected to a VM)
  • View
  • Help

Session Menu

The session menu provides access to the following functions:

Take screenshot - Take a screenshot. Screenshots will be saved to the clipboard and can be pasted into other applications.

Type clipboard text - Sends the current content of the clipboard to the session as a sequence of key strokes. This will only work if the clipboard contains text.

Grab keyboard - Exclusively take control of the keyboard and forward all input to the session. Note: this might not work on all platforms.

Grab mouse - Exclusively take control of the mouse and forward all input to the session. The mouse can be freed by using the shortcut Strg + M. Note: this might not work on all platforms.

Close - Disconnect from your VM and close the window.

Machine Menu

The machine menu contains the following entries:

Pause - Pause your VM and preserve its current state.

Reset - Resets your VM and reboots.

Stop VM - Shuts down the VM. You can choose between ACPI Shutdown and Power down.

Install Guest Additions - Mounts the Thincast Guest Additions ISO image into your VM. Please refer to chapter "Installing Thincast Guest Additions" for more information.

View Menu

The view menu offers various options to control the look and behavior of the application window:

Toggle fullscreen - Switches the window between fullscreen and windowed mode.

Fit session now - Adapt your session's resolution to the current window size.

Fit window now - Adapt the window size to your session's current resolution.

Auto Fit Session - Automatically adapt your session's resolution to the current window size.

Auto Fit Window - Automatically adapt the window size to your session's current resolution.

Help Menu

The help menu has the following entries:

Update - Opens the update dialog with various options to control update checking.

Manual - Opens the product manual in the default browser. Note: an active internet connection is required!

About - Shows technical and legal information about the application.

Thincast RD WebAccess Client

RD WebAccess Client shows you a list of managed resources you can access, such as apps and desktops, by subscribing to a feed usually provided by your Administrator. When you subscribe, the resources become available on your local PC. The Thincast RD WebAccess Client currently supports resources published from Thincast Workstation, Thincast RD WebAccess, Microsoft RD WebAccess or any other server implementing the Microsoft specification (MS-TSWP).

After you have subscribed, the Thincast RD WebAccess Client will update automatically on a regular basis. Resources may be added, changed or removed based on changes made by your admin.

RD WebAccess Client

Double-click on a resource to launch it.

Quick Start

After installation, you can start the RD WebAccess Client as follows:

  • On a Windows system, type "RD WebAccess Client" in the search box of the "Start" menu.

  • On macOS, open the Finder and double-click on the "RD WebAccess Client" item in the "Applications" folder.

  • On Linux, either use the menu entry, if your desktop environment has one, or start the application from the command line:

    • Flatpak:

    flatpak run --command=rdwebaccessclient com.thincast.client

    • Snap:

    /snap/bin/thincast-client.thincast-webaccess

Subscribe to a feed

  1. From the main page of the client tap "Subscribe".

  2. Enter the connection URL of your feed and tap "Add". To use the current user credentials of your session, click on "use logged on user (SSO)".

    Add feed

  3. Sign in with your user account when prompted.

    Login

    Click on Remember Authentication if you wish to save your credentials.

  4. The resources will appear in the Connection center grouped by connection type.

    Connection Center

Double-click on a resource to launch it.

Unsubscribe from a feed

This section will teach you how to unsubscribe from a feed. You might want to unsubscribe to remove your resources from the system.

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the settings icon on the right side of the Work Resources pane.
  2. Select "Unsubscribe" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Review the dialog box and confirm with "Yes".

Remove

Edit a feed

A feed can be edited to change the URL of a feed or enable/disable single sign on (SSO). After a feed is edited, a new authentication is required.

Edit

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the settings icon on the right side of the Work Resources pane.
  2. Select "Edit" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Edit the settings and click "Save".
  4. Refresh the resource (tap the settings icon on the right side of the Work Resources pane and select "Refresh" from the drop-down menu).
  5. Enter your credentials.

Change remembered feed credential

To change the authenticated user for a feed, clear the feed credential and re-authenticate.

Select Info Info Dialog

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the settings icon on the right side of the Work Resources pane.
  2. Select "Info" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click "Clear Credential" to remove the saved credential.
  4. Close the info dialog box.
  5. Refresh the resource (tap the settings icon on the right side of the Work Resources pane and select "Refresh" from the drop-down menu).
  6. Enter your credentials.

Thincast Workstation Integration

If you have installed Thincast Workstation in your environment or are using the Thincast Workstation Add-On in RD WebAccess, all available virtualized desktops will be displayed under Desktop as separate collections.

Double-click on a virtual machine to connect to it.

Workstation

You can also start, pause and stop your virtual machines running on Thincast Workstation remotely. Tap the settings icon next to one of your virtual machines, or right-click one of your virtual machines and select the desired action from the drop-down menu.

VM Actions

Menu

Options menu

The options menu has the following entries:

Show folders - Arranges your collection items in folder

Separate Views - Separates your resources according to the connection type, such as Desktop and Apps.

RDP Client - Specify your default Remote Desktop client

Icon Size - Increase or decrease the size of the displayed icons

WebFeed options - Specify the time when Thincast RD WebAccess Client should update the subscribed feed automatically.

Help Menu

The help menu has the following entries:

About - Shows technical and legal information about the application.

Website - Shows technical and legal information about the application.

Check for Updates - Checks if there is a newer version of RD WebAccess Client available.

Update settings - Opens the update dialog with various options to control update checking.

Online Manual - Opens the product manual in the default browser. Note: an active internet connection is required!

Support

We are eager to hear about your experience and any troubles you may have with Thincast Client! Please let us know by filling out our contact form.

Please keep in mind that Thincast Client beta and nightly builds do not carry any warranties or support services.

Changelog

The changelog can be found on our website.

Third-party Licenses

Licenses of open-source software used in Thincast Client can be found in the about dialog by tapping the "Licenses" button.

© 2020 by Thincast Technologies GmbH.
All rights reserved.