Mines Virtual Labs Virtual Desktop Explanation and Installation

What is a Virtual Desktop?

A Virtual Desktop stems from the term Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and refers to the process of running a user desktop inside a virtual machine that lives on a server in the data center.


Why is a Virtual Desktop (VDI) valuable?

Using a Virtual Desktop environment allows students to access and run specialized software they might not otherwise have access to on their personal computers. VDI also provides a consistent environment for a variety of personal computing devices without investing in expensive hardware and/or updates. Mines classes often rely on these industry-standard applications for real-life experience.


A list of virtual desktops and the applications that are installed please refer to the following kb.



Mines Virtual Desktop Application

VMware Horizon is the software Mines uses to provide the Virtual Desktop service. For the best desktop experience, we recommend installing the Horizon client application and ensuring you are using the Mines Online technology requirements.


Operating Systems

For the Mines-provided Virtual Desktop, Windows and MacOS operating systems work and align with the Mines Online technology requirements. If you experience difficulties downloading or installing the Virtual Desktop, submit a ticket here.


Virtual Desktop Installation

Following the step-by-step instructions according to your computer’s operating system, Windows or Mac 

Connecting to the Virtual Desktop

After configuration, simply connect to Virtual Desktop service via https://vlabs.mines.edu



VDI Problems

If you experience difficulties downloading or installing the Virtual Desktop, you may submit a Mines Help Center ticket at any time. However,  troubleshoot issues on your own, here are steps that may help you get up and running: 


1.       Are you enrolled in the appropriate online class that is utilizing virtual desktop infrastructure?


2.       After connecting to vlabs.mines.edu did you install the VMware Horizon Client? (link to instructions in TDX).


3.       After installing Horizon, are you launching the VMware Horizon Client from your shortcut on the desktop and clicking "Add Server" to enter "vlabs.mines.edu" for the initial setup?

4. If you receive the following message when you click on a desktop pool. Please wait 15 minutes and try again. If you continue to receive the message then please open a ticket.

"This desktop is currently has no resources available. Please try connection to this desktop again later, or contact your system administrator" 


If you still have problems please submit a Service Request ticket using this specific VDI service: https://helpcenter.mines.edu/TDClient/Requests/TicketRequests/NewForm?ID=OunwQUHHz9Y_

Adding or Updating software 

Additional software will typically not be installed during the academic semester. See the software request deadlines on the instructional technologies team page for further information.


The Virtual Lab Team will update software in specific labs once each semester. (The software configuration to be applied is known as a “build.”) Requests for new or updated software must be submitted by a specific deadline in the previous semester. Here are those deadlines:

• For Summer semester builds – 14 days prior to Spring Commencement

• For Fall semester builds – 14 days after Spring Commencement

• For Spring semester builds – 14 days prior to Fall Commencement

Commencement dates may be found in the official Mines Academic Calendar: https://catalog.mines.edu/calendar/.

Requests made as early as possible via Mines Help Center are very much appreciated. After the deadline, changes may be accommodated on a case-by-case basis if possible; however, this may not always be possible. Much testing goes into each lab build to insure software compatibility, so we take a cautious approach to late software additions. Staffing and timing issues may also influence whether a late software addition is possible.


Software Problems Once Inside the VDI

If you experience difficulties with the specialized applications accessed through the Virtual Desktop reach out to your instructor and/or software vendor. This information is located in your Canvas course. 


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Article ID: 84085
Wed 7/31/19 7:51 AM
Fri 9/2/22 10:30 AM

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