Virtual Desktops - Frequently Asked Questions

Common answers about our Virtual Desktop environment (

Q:    What is Virtual Desktop (the "Online Lab")?

A: It’s a desktop PC that is delivered in real time to your computing device (supported Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux operating systems, Apple iOS and Android tablets/phones).  The Online Lab provides access to specialty software packages including SPSS, SAS, and Microsoft Office 2010, and other applications that you can find on our open lab computers.

Q:    How do I Log-In to a Virtual Desktop?

A: From a web browser, visit  You have 2 options for connecting - from within your web browser or using the VMware Horizon View Client.  The web based virtual desktop is convenient since there is no software to install.  However, the client offers better performance (i.e. screen redraw speed), and offers you the ability to connect a USB drive into the virtual desktop.  For more information on connecting with the client, please read the KB article on setup and connecting

Q:       Who can access Virtual Desktop?

A: All current faculty, staff, and registered students, both undergraduate/graduate, can access the Online Lab

Q:       Can I store data or files on Virtual Desktop?

A: Once you log-in, you will have access your network drives. You can also use a USB flash drive to save your data.  Similar to the physical computer labs, any data saved on the local C:\ drive will be purged at log off.  Make sure that all data is stored to network or USB drives. All files and changes on the virtual computer itself will permanently disappear after you’ve logged off.

Q:      What happens to the contents of my desktop when I log off or disconnect?

A: Do not save anything to the desktop.  Anything saved to the desktop (or other places on the C:\ drive) will permanently disappear when you disconnect from the virtual session.

Q:       Can I print my output or results from the Virtual Desktop?

A: Printing can be sent to the Follow-You print queue, where it can be released at one of our release stations,in the following locations. If you want to print to different print queue, you will need to save your work and then print it from a different system that is setup with that printer.

Q:       Is there a time limit associated with the Virtual Desktop?

A: There is not a maximum time limit; however your session will be logged out after 15m of inactivity. Also, if the session disconnects abnormally, reconnecting will take you back to the interrupted session without loss of work as long as the reconnection takes place in less than 10 minutes.  It is highly recommended that you frequently save your work to network or USB drives frequently in case you encounter one of these timeouts.

Q:       Can I incorporate Virtual Desktop as part of my classroom instruction? How many virtual

           machines are available at a given time?

 A: Yes, professors can incorporate the Online Lab into classroom instruction.  Students can now bring their own device, but work from a standard university desktop.  This means that they will no longer need to reserve a computer laptop delivery if all students are capable of bringing their own device.

Keywords:FAQ virtual desktop virtualpc VDI   Doc ID:28015
Owner:Erik B.Group:Xavier University
Created:2013-01-10 16:52 EDTUpdated:2014-08-11 13:17 EDT
Sites:Xavier University
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