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Academic Technology Launchpad: Virtual Desktops on your computer

Quick Guide to computer and academic technology resources for students.

virtual desktop iconcomputer help logo

Access virtual desktops from your personal computer or mobile device

Install a free software application - VMware View Horizon Client 

vdi laptop

  • On-campus - connect to MC-Secure Wireless and use VMware View.
  • Virtual Desktop and Software/Application Availability limited by software licensing and other considerations.
  • Access to Local Drives – When using a virtual desktop, you will not be able to see or use files on your device’s local storage, C: drive, or CD/DVD drive.
  • USB - External USB devices may be supported.
  • Off-campus remote access - available for some courses.

The VMware View Client offers the best user experience with all features.

How-To Guides: VMware View App

Install the VMware View Client: Windows Computers

1. Check your computer and internet connection - Requirements for virtual desktops 

  • PC:  Standard x86 or x86 64-bit compatible desktop or laptop computer
  • CPU: Minimum: 1 Ghz or higher processor speed; Recommended 2 Ghz or higher processor speed. 
  • OS Version: Recommended: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7.
  • Memory: Minimum: 1 GB of RAM; Recommended 3 GB of RAM or higher.
  • Hard Drive Capacity: Minimum: at least 100 MB of available storage; Recommended: at least 5 GB of available storage. 
  • Internet Connection: Minimum:1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Identify your operating system (Windows: 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP)

  • Click on the Start logo button; Right-click on Computer; Click on Properties in the menu OR Go to Start > Control Panel > System.
  • If you have XP or Vista, check if the “System type” is 32-bit or 64-bit.install vmware horizon client button image

3. Download and install the View client

  • In your web browser, go to https://mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • Click on Install VMware Horizon View Client.
  • Select the appropriate download link for your operating system.  
  • Click Run in the Security Warning window; then click through the install by selecting Next as needed.
  • Accept the license agreement. 
  • In the Default Server window, enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu.
  • Set default option to login as current user should NOT be checked.
  • Click Install in the Ready to Install window; and in the final window click Finish.
  • Click Yes to reboot your computer and installation will complete. 

Use a virtual desktop: Windows

  • Double-click the VMware View Client icon on the desktop or start from your programs.
  • Enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu as the Connection Server.
  • If you see a box labeled log in as current user, make sure that the box is not checked. 
  • Click the Connect button.
  • In the next window, log in with your usual college username and password.
  • Choose a desktop by clicking on the desktop name, then click the Connect button. 
  • Your desktop will appear.The toolbar at the top of the screen confirms that you’re on a virtual desktop. 

Log Off

  • When you’re finished, and you log off from the virtual desktop, you will be returned to your computer’s normal desktop.

Save your work

  • Save to a USB drive, your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.
  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent: when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is deleted. 

USB Devices (i.e. USB drives, headsets, etc.)

  • Plug the device into one of the computer’s USB ports.
  • Click on Connect USB Device in the Toolbar.
  • Then click on the name of your device in the menu.
  • Note: USB 3.0 ports (usually marked with “SS” or colored blue) are not currently supported by virtual desktops. If your device does not appear in the menu, or you see an “unable to redirect” message, try plugging into a different port.
  • It may take a minute or two for Windows to recognize and install the USB Device before it can be used.
  • To disconnect USB Devices, use the USB link in the Toolbar.

Install the VMware View Client: MAC Computers

1. Check your computer and internet connection: Requirements for virtual desktops

  • MAC: standard Intel-based Macintosh laptop or desktop
  • OS Version: Minimum: 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard); Recommended 10.7 (Lion) or higher. Note: If you recently upgraded your Operating System, you may need to uninstall any previous versions of the VMWare View App, and reinstall the latest version. Or use VMware Blast
  • Memory: Minimum: 2 GB of RAM; Recommended 4 GB of RAM or higher.
  • Hard Drive Capacity: Minimum: at least 100 MB of available storage; Recommended: at least 5 GB of available storage. 
  • Internet Connection: Minimum: 1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Download and install the View Client: install vmware horizon client button

  • In your web browser, go to https://mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu 
  • Click on Install VMware Horizon View Client
  • Click on the Mac OS link to download the disk image to your Mac.
  • Open your Downloads folder to locate the VMWare Horizon View Client disk image. Double-click the disk image icon to open the disk image.
  • Review and accept the  End User License Agreement. 
  • The disk image will mount on your Macintosh’s desktop and open its folder. Click on the VMware Horizon View Client icon and drag it into the Applications folder. When the copy has finished, installation is complete.
  • To connect to Madison College virtual desktops, find and double-click the VMware Horizon View Client icon in the Applications folder.

Use a virtual desktop: MAC

  • Double-click the VMware Horizon View Client icon in the Applications folder. If you see a warning that the View Client was downloaded from the internet, click Open to continue.
  • Connect to Madison College by double-clicking on the server (cloud icon) labeled mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu. If you do not see this server, then you should add it. Click on Add Server.
  • In the window that appears, enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu into the Hostname: box. Then click Continue.
  • In the next window, log in with your usual College username and password, then click Continue.
  • Choose a Desktop by double clicking on a desktop icon.
  • Your Desktop will appear. The toolbar at the top of the screen confirms that you’re on a virtual desktop. 

Log off

  • When you’re finished, and you log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to your computer’s normal desktop.

Save your work 

  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent, meaning that when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is discarded.
  • Save to a USB drive, your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

USB Devices (i.e. USB drives, headsets, etc.)

Note: Virtual desktops run Windows, so USB devices must be formatted for Windows in order to work properly. Mac-formatted USB devices will not work on College virtual desktops.

  • Plug the device into one of the computer’s USB ports.
  • To connect your device to the Virtual Desktop, click on the USB symbol icon in the Toolbar.
  • Click on the name of your device in the menu.
  • It may take a minute or two for Windows to recognize and install the USB Device before it can be used.
  • Disconnect your USB Devices by using the Toolbar.

MAC Considerations

  • USB Devices on Multiple Desktops – When you connect to more than one virtual desktop, USB devices will only work with the first session. To use a USB device with the second desktop, you must disconnect from both desktops and then connect first to the one that needs the USB device.

Install the VMware View Client: Android 

1. Check your device and internet connection: Requirements for virtual desktops

Hardware Requirements for Android Devices

  • OS version: Minimum: 3 (Honeycomb) or later. Recommended: 4.2 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later
  • Internet Connection: Minimum: 1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Download and install (or upgrade) the  free VMware Horizon View Client for Android from the Google Play Store.

Use a virtual desktop: Android

  • Tap on the VMware View application icon on your device. 
  • Connect to Madison College by tapping on the server labeled mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu. If you’ve signed in before, you may see a list of Recent Desktops. Tap a desktop name to continue, or tap the cloud icon to see the server(s). 
  • If you do not see mydesktop in the list of servers, then you should add it. Click on “Add Server”. In the window that appears, type mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu as the Server Name, then click “Connect.”
  • In the next window, log in with your usual College username and password, then click “Connect.”
  • Choose a Desktop by tapping on the desktop’s name in the list.Your instructor will tell you which desktop to use for your class (e.g. Business, Paralegal, etc.)
  • Your Desktop will appear. The black toolbar at the top of the display confirms that you’re on a virtual desktop. 

The Toolbar toolbar android screenshot

You may tap on any of the toolbar icons for different effects. The toolbar is usually at the top of the screen. If you are in Fullscreen mode, then tap the circular icon at the right side of the screen to show the toolbar icons.

Log Off

When you’re finished, and you disconnect / log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to the device’s normal screen.

Save your Work

  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent, meaning that when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is discarded.
  • Save to your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

Android Considerations

  •  USB Devices – are not supported on Android devices. To access working documents from a virtual desktop, copy them to network or cloud storage.
  • Printing – Printing to Android device printers is not supported.

Install the VMware View Client: IOS

1. Check your device and internet connection: Requirements for virtual desktops 

Hardware Requirements IOS Devices: iPhone 4 or newer, iPod Touch, all iPads including iPad Mini

  • IOS version: Minimum: 5.0 or later. Recommended: 5.0 or later
  • Internet Connection: Minimum: 1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Download and install (or upgrade) the the free VMware Horizon View Client for iOS from the Apple Store. ​

Use a virtual desktop: IOS

  • Tap on the VMware View Client icon on your device.
  • Connect to Madison College by tapping on the server labeled mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu.
  • If you do not see this server, then you should add it. Click on Add Server. In the window that appears, type mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu, then click Connect.
  • In the next window, log in with your usual College username and password, then click Done.
  • Choose a Desktop by tapping on the desktop’s name in the list. Your instructor will tell you which desktop to use for your class (e.g. Business, Paralegal, etc.)
  • Your Desktop will appear. The Desktop Name appears below the Madison College logo.

Radial Menu

The radial menu is used on an iOS device. Tapping on the circle with the multiple dots will expand and collapse the Radial Menus. Tapping on radial menu items has the following effects:

radial ios screenshot

  • Disconnect - Disconnect from the virtual desktop session
  • Gesture Help - How to click, drag, or open keyboard
  • Keyboard - Show or hide the onscreen keyboard
  • Navigation Keys - Shows cursor movement and function keys used by Windows
  • Virtual Touchpad - Toggles setting to move mouse cursor by sliding your finger
  • Options - Various settings for using the iOS View Client

Log Off

When you’re finished, and you disconnect / log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to the device’s normal screen.

Save your work

  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent, meaning that when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is discarded.
  • Save to your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

IOS Considerations

  • USB Devices are not supported on iOS devices. To access working documents from a virtual desktop, copy them to network or cloud storage.
  • Printing to iOS device printers (AirPrint) is not supported.
  • Shift Key – The Shift key in the top row of the onscreen keyboard or in the navigation keyboard is for entering key combinations, such as Ctrl+Shift. If you need to capitalize a letter or generate keyboard symbols, use the Up Arrow in the standard onscreen keyboard as you normally would.

Install the VMware View Client: Kindle Fire 

1. Check your device and internet connection: Requirements for virtual desktops

Hardware Requirements for Kindle Fire devices

  • OS version: Minimum: Android 4.0.3 (2nd generation) or later. Recommended: Fire OS 3.0 or later
  • Internet Connection: Minimum: 1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Download and install the free VMware Horizon Client for Kindle Fire from the Amazon Appstore.

Use a virtual desktop: Kindle Fire

  • Tap on the VMware Horizon icon on your device. 
  • Tell VMware Horizon to connect to Madison College.
    • If this is the first time you’re using VMware Horizon to connect to Madison College you will need to enter the Server Name. On the Server Name or Address line enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu and then click Connect. In the next window log in with your usual College user name and password and then click Connect.
    • If you’ve connected to Madison College before, you will see a Recent and a Servers tab. Select the Servers tab by tapping it and then tap mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu. In the next window log in with your usual College user name and password, and then click Connect.  
  • Choose a Desktop by tapping on the desktop’s name in the list. Your instructor will tell you which desktop to use for your class (e.g. Business, Paralegal, etc.)
  • Your Desktop will appear. The white toolbar at the top of the display confirms that you’re on a virtual desktop. The Desktop Name will appear usually below the Madison College Logo.

Toolbar

The toolbar is usually at the top of the screen. If you are in Full screen mode, then tap the circular icon at the right side of the screen to show the toolbar icons. You may tap on any of the following toolbar icons for different effects. kindle fire toolbar screenshot

  • Gesture Help - How to click, drag, or open keyboard
  • Settings - Various settings for using the View Client
  • Fullscreen  Use full screen for display (hide/show toolbar)
  • Disconnect - Disconnect from the virtual desktop session
  • Navigation Keys - Shows cursor movement and function keys used by Windows
  • Keyboard - Show or hide the onscreen keyboard
  • Virtual Touchpad - Toggles setting to move mouse cursor by sliding your finger

Log Off

When you’re finished, and you log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to the device’s normal screen.

Save your work

  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent, meaning that when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is discarded.
  • Save to your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

Kindle Fire Considerations

  • USB devices are not supported on Kindle Fire devices. 
  • Printing to Kindle Fire device printers is not supported.

Install the VMware View Client: Linux

1. Check your computer and internet connection: Requirements for virtual desktops

Hardware Requirements for Linux Computers

  • PC: Intel x86 based desktop or laptop computer
  • Linux OS: Ubuntu 10.04 or 12.04, 32 bit
  • CPU: Minimum: 800 Mhz or higher processer speed; Recommended: 2 Ghz or higher processor speed.
  • Memory: Minimum 2 GB of RAM; Recommended 3 GB of RAM or more
  • Hard Drive Capacity: Minimum: at least 100 MB of available storage; Recommended: at least 1 GB of available storage.
  • Internet Connection: Minimum: 1.5 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Recommended: 3 Mbps DSL/Cable connection Preferred: 10+ Mbps DSL/Cable connection. Note: Connections with high latency (Satellite internet, some wireless/DSL connections, etc.) may experience performance issues. Other applications, devices, and users consuming bandwidth on your network may also adversely impact your virtual desktop experience. Please note that accessing a virtual desktop remotely requires significantly more bandwidth than simple web browsing.

Installation Requirements and Firewall Considerations:

  • Installation instructions assume that Linux OS is the standard “out of box” configuration
  • You must have the proper permissions (access) to install apps on your device.
  • Antivirus and Firewall applications may need to be configured to allow VMware View applications.

2. Download and install the View Client install vmware button

  • In your web browser, go to https://mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • Click on Install VMware Horizon View Client
  • Click the link - To see the full list of VMware Horizon View Clients (including Linux clients).
  • Download the 32-bit or 64-bit Linux client appropriate for your system. 
  • Open a terminal window.
  • Run the following command to add the repository containing the VMware View Client:
    • sudo apt-add-repository "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner"
  • Update your local repository definitions by running this command:
    • sudo apt-get update
  • Finally, install the VMware View Client by running the following command:
    • sudo apt-get install vmware-view-client

Use a virtual desktop: Linux

  • Open the VMware View Client from the Dash Home.
  • If you are asked for the name of a View Connection Server, enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu.
  • In the next window, log in with your usual College username and password, then click “OK.”
  • Choose a Desktop by double clicking on a desktop icon. Your instructor will tell you which desktop to use for your class (e.g. Business, Paralegal, etc.)
  • Your Desktop will appear. The white toolbar at the top of the screen confirms that you’re on a virtual desktop. 

Log Off

  • When you’re finished, and you log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to the computer’s normal screen.

Save your work

  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop!
  • Most desktops are non-persistent, meaning that when you log off, everything on the virtual desktop is discarded.
  • Save to your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

Linux Considerations

  • USB Devices – are not supported by the Linux View Client. To access working documents from a virtual desktop, copy them to network or cloud storage.
  • Printing – Printers connected to the Linux computer are not supported on virtual desktops.
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Virtual desktop maintenance (downtime) schedule

caution image

Routine Schedule = Nightly rolling outage window 1:00 am - 5:00 am & Monthly outage window every third Saturday 5pm - 2am

Quick Browser Access

VMware Horizon HTML Access

Access using your browser - for devices like Chromebooks or when adding the app is not an option. 

html vdi access icon