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Virtual Lab Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Virtual Lab (aka. "Virtual Desktop" or "Online Lab")?

The Virtual Lab is 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 Virtual Lab provides access to specialty software packages including SPSS, SAS, and Microsoft Office 2010, and other applications found on our public lab computers.

How do I Login to the Virtual Lab?

From a web browser, browse to the Connection Server at  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.  Client installation instructions can be found here.

Who can access the Virtual Lab?

Current faculty, staff, and students (both undergraduate/graduate) are allowed access.

Can I store data or files in the Virtual Lab?

As with the physical computer labs, any data saved on the local C:\ drive of a Virtual Lab computer will be purged at logoff. Do not save any files to the C: drive or desktop in the Virtual Lab! All files and changes on the virtual computer will permanently vanish once you’ve logged off, so it is imperative that you save your data elsewhere prior to doing so. You have two options:

  1. Save files to one of the mapped network drives under My Computer,
  2. Save files to a USB drive attached to your own computer.

Can I print from the Virtual Lab?

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 from a system that is configured with that printer.

Is there a time limit associated with the Virtual Lab?

There is no maximum time limit; however your session will be logged out after 15 minutes of inactivity.

If your Virtual Lab session disconnects abnormally, reconnecting will restore the interrupted session without loss of work -- so long as the reconnection takes place in less than 10 minutes. It is therefore highly recommended that you frequently save your work to network or USB drives frequently.

Can I incorporate the Virtual Lab as part of my classroom instruction?

Yes. Students can bring their own device, but still experience all the benefits of a standard university desktop. This negates all need for bulk laptop reservations and is highly encouraged.

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