ArcGIS Pro on Remote Desktops at the University of Illinois

Students and faculty at the University of Illinois can access ArcGIS Pro desktop software in a variety of ways:

For most people in the U of I community wishing to do work using ArcGIS Pro while away from campus, the preferred option is to access on-campus computers via remote desktop. Even though you are interacting with the software as if it is on your own desktop or laptop computer (Mac or PC), the software is actually running on a computer on campus.

There are three different types of on-campus machines you can connect to through remote desktop: SESE-GIS, classroom lab computers, or the open lab computers supported by Instructional Computing Services (ICS).

Note that you should never store personal or work files on these machines. These are shared machines and you have no assurance either that your files are secure from being viewed or modified by other users of these machines, or that your files will not get erased by other users or by system administrators.


SESE-GIS is a server computer maintained by ATLAS for the benefit of GEOG/ESE/NRES students and faculty. This is the preferred option as the machine is very powerful and it also is generally available.

You can connect to it by downloading the RDP file from the following link and opening it when prompted using the Remote Desktop Connection utility on a Windows computer.

Connecting to SESE-GIS Using Remote Desktop on PC

On Apple computers, you will first need to download the free Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the Apple Mac Store.

Microsoft Remote Desktop App in the Mac App Store

Classroom or Open Lab Computers

Alternatively, there a number of classroom and open lab computers that you can log into remotely. Note that some of these machines may not be available when the classroom is being used for a class, or if someone else is already using that machine.

A list of available machines is at

The machines with ArcGIS Pro include the ATLAS machines in NHB 1020 and 1088, and some of the ICS machines

Connecting to a Lab Machine Using Remote Desktop

Home Installation

While you can install the software on a home computer at no cost to you under a one-year student license, the software only runs on Windows machines (or Macs with a Windows partition), requires significant memory and disk space, and can be quite tricky to install.

You can download ArcGIS Pro from the WebStore.

ArcGIS Pro Download From the U of I WebStore