Appstream Software Information

Appstreaming for SPSS

With the campus being closed, Information Services is trialing the use of Amazon appstreaming to allow students to remotely run SPSS software for labs. Appstreaming allows a student to access a desktop in the cloud and run SPSS on the cloud machine, while displaying the output on their local screen.

Who can use SPSS?

Access is restricted to students in labs that have requested access. If you would like personal access, please contact IT Support to request access to SPSS via appstream.

Launching SPSS

The easiest way to launch SPSS is from within your browser via uregina Appstream 
  • Log in to your uregina.ca account via idp.uregina.ca, which will then launch an appstream session, which takes about 1.5 minutes to start up.
  • Once the session launches you will see a desktop, where you can click on the SPSS icon. SPSS will launch.

Persistent Storage - Home Folders

Each user is provided with a home folder for storing files they are working on.
  • Files saved in any other location will not be there next time you log in!
  • In file explorer the home folder can be found at: This PC -> Home Folder
Home folders' contents will be deleted at the end of the semester.

Transferring Files

You can drag and drop files from your PC to the home folder via the my files tool. Select the 'My Files' icon in the top left of the browser.

And navigate into the 'Home Folder.' Then drag and drop your file from your PC to the 'Home Folder.' You can also use the 'Upload Files' icon in the top right of the 'My Files' window to upload the file instead of dragging and dropping.

To download a file, go to 'My Files' and on the right side of each file is an arrow that you can click on and choose 'Download File.'

Accessing Local Windows Drives Transparently

You can make your local drives available in the Appstream session by using the Appstream Windows client instead of the browser-based interface.

  • To install the client, go to https://clients.amazonappstream.com and download and install the Windows client. You will need administrative privileges on your system to do this.
  • To configure the client to connect to the appropriate location, create a file called appstream.reg using notepad and paste in the text in 'Appendix A.'
  • Then save the file and double click on it to add the data to the registry.

Timeouts

As Amazon cloud services are charged for by the hour, sessions timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity. Please be careful to save your files before you take a lunch break etc.

"Resource not available Error"

If you get this message there are no available Windows hosts for you to connect to. It will take between 3-15 minutes for a new Windows host to become available - so please try again later. Although the service adds new hosts automatically when the number of available hosts gets low, it takes 10-15 minutes to create the new hosts. If random luck has a group of users try to access appstreaming at nearly the same time all available hosts could get used and you will see the error message until the automatic creation of new hosts completes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some end user related questions from the full Amazon FAQ (https://aws.amazon.com/appstream2/faqs/) are listed below:

Q: Does Amazon AppStream 2.0 support USB devices such as 3D mice?

  • Yes. Amazon AppStream 2.0 supports most USB devices, such as 3D mice through the Windows Client. All USB devices are disabled by default.
  • Administrators can enable USB devices for their users. 

Q: What is the AppStream 2.0 Windows Client?

  • The AppStream 2.0 client for Windows is a primary application designed for users who require additional functionality not available from web browsers during their AppStream 2.0 streaming sessions.
  • The AppStream 2.0 client lets users use multiple monitors and USB peripherals such as 3D mice with their applications. The client also supports keyboard shortcuts, such as Alt + Tab, clipboard shortcuts, and function keys.
  • The AppStream 2.0 client is supported on the following versions of Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows are supported.

Q: What are the system requirements for using the AppStream 2.0 Windows Client?

  • The minimum system requirements are 2 GB of ram and 150 MB of disk space.

Q: What monitor configurations are supported by the AppStream 2.0 Windows Client?

  • For browser-based streaming sessions, AppStream 2.0 supports the use of up to two monitors with a maximum display resolution of 2560x1440 pixels per monitor.
  • The AppStream 2.0 client for Windows supports up to 4 monitors with a maximum display resolution of 2560x1440 pixels per monitor.
  • For streaming sessions that are supported by the Graphics Design and Graphics Pro instance families, the AppStream 2.0 client also supports the use of up to 2 monitors with a maximum display resolution of 4096x2160 pixels per monitor.
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Appendix A – Appstream Registry key Data

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Amazon\AppStream Client]

"StartUrl"=https://idp.uregina.ca/idp/profile/SAML2/Unsolicited/SSO?providerId=urn:amazon:webservices&target=https://appstream2.us-west-2.aws.amazon.com/saml%3fstack=SPSS_Stack%26accountId=556294027903