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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Access
This document outlines the connection procedure for accessing the VMware VDI environment.
What is VDI?
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the hosting of desktop environments on a central server; it is a way to access a computer desktop over the internet.
VDI Video Tutorial
How do I access it?
Accessing VDI using the VMware Horizon Desktop Client
1. Navigate to https://virtual.swtc.edu. When the site loads, select Install VMware Horizon Client on the left.
2. You will be redirected to the VMware download site. Select the download for the appropriate operating system (OS). For information about finding your operating system, see here.
3. You will be redirected to download the client for the OS you chose in step 2. Click the blue Download button to begin.
4. The client will begin downloading. Depending on what browser you use the download progress will be shown on the bottom of the browser.
5. When the download has completed, either browse to your default download folder, or press Ctrl + J (on Windows) or Option-Command-L (Mac) to bring up the browser download menu. Shown below. Run the installer to begin the install.
6. When the installer loads, select Agree & Install to accept the default installation configuration. When completed, click Finish.
7. The final prompt you will see asks to restart your computer before using the software. Note: ITS recommends that you restart your computer before using the VMware desktop client.
8. After restarting, launch the VMware Horizon Client. On first launch, you will see an icon to Add Server. Double click the add server to get conneted.
9. Enter virtual.swtc.edu and select Connect to add the server to your connection list.
10. You will then be prompted to log in with your netID. Enter your credentials and click Login.
If your name is John Smith and your student ID is 1234567, you will log in with smi4567. If you need assistance with account access or password reset, please visit our KB page: https://kb.swtc.edu/82541
11. Once you login you will now see your the virtual machines your account is entitled for. You can then click on the virtual machine and it will load and fill your screen and you can begin using the virtual desktop.
Note: You do not need to complete these steps again after initial configuration. These will remain persistent as long as the VMware Horizon Client is installed on your computer.
Accessing VDI from a web browser
1. To access VDI, begin by visiting the webpage https://virtual.swtc.edu
2. Once your webpage loads, you should see a screen with a prompt like the one shown below:
3. Select "VMware Horizon HTML Access" on the right to proceed.
4. A new screen should load prompting for login credentials. Login with your Southwest Tech username and password that you would use to login to the computers on campus. If you need assistance with changing passwords, please visit our student password reset guide: https://kb.swtc.edu/82541
4. Once logged in, you will then see a grey screen with a computer icon. This is a virtual machine that you are entitled to use. Click on the virtual desktop you would like to access and it will begin the login process.
5. During the login process, you will be met with a familiar Windows screen showing your username and a loading wheel. Once your profile setup has been completed, you will see the Windows desktop with the Charger logo.
The virtual desktops are not persistent, meaning that anything you customize or save locally will not exist the next time you access the desktop.
6. From here, you can use the computer as you normally would if you were sitting in front of one on campus.
Note: this virtual desktop is running through a web browser and all of the browser controls still apply. For example, if you select the Back button, your browser would exit the desktop and revert to the previous page. Similarly, if you close out of the web browser, your virtual desktop session will close as well.
What software is available in VDI?VDI offers the same base software that is available on campus computers. These include: Microsoft Office Suite, VLC Media Player, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Adobe Acrobat DC.
In addition, we are pilot testing program-specific software. Guides for accessing those can be found below.
SnapPlus Access in VDI
1. Launch the SnapPlus software. The icon is located on the desktop.
2. Select File, then Open SnapPlus farm.
3. Browse for the file by finding and double-clicking This PC in the left column.
4. Once This PC is opened, the menu will expand to show additional locations. Scroll down to find network drive that matches your student netID. (i.e. Joe Smith with a student ID of 1234567 would be smi4567). This location is called the H: drive. Select the H: drive to open the contents in the right column.
From here, select the farm you want to open, this case being Horsfall.
5. After the farm opens, you will see a message about network drives pop up. Select OK or Cancel to proceed.
After closing the previous message, the Help file will open. Close this by clicking the X in the top right corner if the SnapPlus Help Version 19 window.
6. The Farm file is now opened and ready to modify.
Note: Be sure to save regularly. Once the Farm is opened for the first time, it is good practice to make a change to the Farm, then save and close. Reopen the farm using the above steps and verify that the change was saved successfully.