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Academic Technology Launchpad: Virtual Desktops on your computer

Computer and academic technology resources for students

vmware horizon iconVirtual desktops

 Access a cloud computer, either on or off campus, from your device or ours

This may give you access to course-specific software. It may also offer a more full-featured environment to work in (ex. Chromebooks)

How-To Guides

Connect to a virtual desktop on your own device

Choose the VMware Horizon Client or the HTML option

  • Install on your device to access a virtual desktop
  • College-loaned laptops will already have the VMware Horizon Client installed
  • Best user experience with all features
  • Works with most operating systems and many mobile devices
  • USB drives can be connected

 Server = mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu

  • Quick and easy access
  • Displays right in your browser
  • Use this when you can't add the Client app (ex. someone else's computer...) 

Install the VMware Horizon Client: Windows Computers

You must have the proper permissions (admin access) to install applications on your computer

 Install VMware Horizon Client

  • After the VMware... .exe file finishes downloading, click the downloaded file to begin installation
  • If you are asked if you want to allow the app to make changes to your device, choose Yes 
  • When the splash screen appears, click Customize Installation

customize

  • Uncheck the "Log in as current user" checkbox 
  • In the Default connection server field, type mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • Select Agree & Install

vmware horizon customization

  • Click Finish 
  • You will be prompted to Restart Now or Restart Later
  • Option: Hide the selector after launching an item (3 lines hamburger menu icon)
  • Option: Autoconnect to this server (right-click the server cloud icon)

Use a virtual desktop: Windows

VMware Horizon icon

  • Double-click the VMware View Client icon on the desktop or Start from your programs 
  • Connection Server: https://mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu 
  • Log in with your usual college username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and password

vmware login box

Off-Campus - use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.​

  • You should be connected to your virtual desktop

desktop screenshot vdi

Sign Out / Log Off and Disconnect

How do I save my work? 

  • Save to a USB drive, your H: drive or other cloud storage (ex. OneDrive).
  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop! Everything on the virtual desktop is deleted when you sign out. 

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

  • Plug the device into one of the computer’s USB ports
  • Click to Connect the USB Device using the Toolbar options
  • It may take a minute or two for Windows to recognize the USB Device before it can be used. If your device does not appear in the menu, or you see an error message, try plugging into a different port
  • To disconnect USB Devices, use the USB link in the Toolbar.

You can connect to your Windows virtual desktop using your MAC

Setup the VMware Horizon Client: MAC Computers

You must have the proper permissions to install apps on your MAC (your MAC admin password)

  • Using Firefox or Chrome, go to https://mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • Click on Install VMware Horizon Clientinstall vmware client icon
  • After the VMware... .exe file finishes downloading, click the downloaded file to begin the installationvmware horizon mac install screenshot with applications folder
  • Review and accept the VMware End User License Agreement (EULA) - Click Agree
  • Click and drag the WMware Horizon Client over to the Applications folder shortcut in the mounted disk image box 
  • Open your Applications Directory and select VMware Horizon Client to launch the app
  • Tip: Drag the VMware Horizon Client to your dock for quick access.
  • VMware was downloaded from the internet warning - click Open
  • Start remote USB and Printing Services - click Continue
  • VMware Horizon Client wants to make changes - enter your MAC admin User Name and Password (not your college username and password) and click OK. mac admin username for changes dialog screenshot
  • Enter Connection Server: mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu 
  • Check Always connect at launch and click Connect connection server dialog
  • Login with your Madison College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and Password
  • You should be connected to your desktop

Use a virtual desktop: MACmac wmware client icon

  • Click the VMware Horizon Client icon - or open from your Applications folder. Tip: drag it to your dock for easy access
  • Connection Server: mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu

mac login vmware

  • Log in with your College Username and Password

Off-Campus -  use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.​

  • Your Desktop should appear

screenshot of mac connected to a virtual desktop

Sign Out / Log Off and Disconnect

How do I save my work? 

  • Save to a USB drive, your H: drive or other cloud storage (ex. OneDrive).
  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop! Everything on the virtual desktop is deleted when you sign out.

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 Keyboard layouts and functions -  differ between MAC and Windows. 

Install the VMware Horizon Client: Android 

Use a virtual desktop: AndroidVMware Horizon sign in screen - Android

  • Open the VMware Horizon app on your device
  • Accept these options, if prompted: Allow Horizon to make and manage phone calls. Allow Horizon to access photos, media and files on your device
  • Server Name or Address: enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu, and tap Connect
  • Log in with your usual College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and password, then tap Connect

Off-Campus - use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.

  • You should be connected to your virtual desktop  

Toolbar iconsandroid toolbar

  • Help
  • Settings 
  • Full screen 
  • Disconnect 
  • Navigation Keys
  • Virtual Touchpad - Toggles setting to move mouse cursor by sliding your finger
  • Keyboard - Show or hide the onscreen keyboard

 

Log Off

When you’re finished, and you disconnect / log off from the Virtual Desktop, you will be returned to your Android'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 cloud or network storage such as your College OneDrive or H drive

Android Considerations

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

Install the VMware Horizon Client: Chrome Devices

  • Log in to the Chrome device
  • Download and install VMware Horizon Client for Chrome from the Chrome Web Store
  • Server Name or Address: enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • Log in with your College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and password

Note: If you get a certificate invalid prompt and have an older VMware Horizon Client for Chrome App, uninstall the older client and find the current one in the Chrome Web Store.

Off-Campus - use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.​

vmware horizon login screen chromebook

Sign Out / Log Off and Disconnect

How do I save my work? 

  • Save to a USB drive, your H: drive or other cloud storage (ex. OneDrive)
  • Don't save anything to the desktop or to local storage (ex.C drive) of the virtual desktop! Everything on the virtual desktop is deleted when you sign out 

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

  • Plug the device into one of the computer’s USB ports
  • Click to Connect the USB Device using the Toolbar options
  • It may take a minute or two for Windows to recognize the USB Device before it can be used. If your device does not appear in the menu, or you see an error message, try plugging into a different port
  • To disconnect USB Devices, use the USB link in the Toolbar

Install the VMware Horizon Client: IOS

Use a virtual desktop: IOS / iPhonevmware horizon server address

  • After installing the app, open VMware Horizon Client icon on your iOS device 
  • Enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu as the Server Address, then select Connect
  • Select the cloud icon with mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu beneath it
  • Log in with your College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu)  and password 
  • Choose Login

Off-Campus - use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message

  • You should be connected to your virtual desktop

 

Radial Menu - Toolsradial menu ios

  • Settings/Options 
  • Virtual Touchpad 
  • Keyboard 
  • Navigation Keys 
  • Disconnect 
  • Help 

Log Off

When you’re finished, disconnect / log off from the Virtual 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 your H drive or other cloud or network storage

IOS Considerations

  • USB Devices - not supported. To access working documents from a virtual desktop, copy them to network or cloud storage like OneDrive or your H drive
  • Printing - 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 Horizon Client: Kindle Fire 

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

Use a virtual desktop: Kindle Fire

  • Tap the VMware Horizon icon on your device
  • On the Server Name or Address line enter mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu and click Connect kindle fire screenshot with login box
  • Log in with your College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and password
  • Tap Connect 

Off-Campus - use  Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.​

  • You should be connected to your virtual desktop

kindle fire screenshot of toolbar

Toolbar

The toolbar is usually at the top of the screen. If you are in Full screen mode, 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. 

  • Help 
  • Settings 
  • Fullscreen  
  • Disconnect
  • Navigation Keys 
  • Keyboard
  • Virtual Touchpad

Log Off

When you’re finished, log off the Virtual 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 your H: drive or other cloud or network storage.

Kindle Fire Considerations

  • USB devices and Printing - not supported on Kindle Fire devices. 

Install the VMware Horizon Client: Linux

Installation instructions assume that Linux OS is the standard “out of box” configuration​

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 
  • View Connection Server = mydesktop.madisoncollege.edu
  • In the next window, log in with your usual College username (do not add @madisoncollege.edu) and password

linux screenshot of logon box

Off-Campus - use Multi-Factor Authentication. If you try to connect to a virtual desktop off-campus before activating your MFA Account, you will receive an "Access Denied" error message.​

  • You should be connected to your virtual desktop. 

linux - screenshot of virtual desktop connected

Log Off and Disconnect

  • You will be returned to your 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 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.

Virtual Desktop Login Tips

  • Enter only your username and password. Your username is the part before the @ in username@madisoncollege.eduauthenticator
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is required from off-campus:
    • Check your device to make sure you are completing MFA
    • You will only be able to use the default MFA method to log in to your virtual desktop. If you need to adjust the default method, log in to https://aka.ms/proofup and select Change next to the Default sign-in method
    • If you no longer have access to any of your MFA methods, give us a call at 608-243-4444

Security info

You may see an access denied or internal server error and be unable to access the virtual desktop if you do not follow these tips

Saving your work on the virtual desktop

Saving your workonedrive logo

You will not be able to connect to your computer's hard drive (C:) or other local drives from the virtual desktop

Save to your H drive or cloud storage like OneDrive

caution image

Virtual Desktops Maintenance: Nightly rolling outage window 1:00 am - 5:00 am & Monthly outage window every third Saturday 5pm - 2am