Virtual Desktop FAQ

Q: What is Virtual Desktop?

A: Virtual Desktop separates the physical machine from the PC desktop environment using a client/server model of computing. It allows ITS to deliver desktops on demand to users anywhere and to any device. The desktop is delivered in real time to the user's PC or tablet device.

The Virtual Desktop at Binghamton University provides access to engineering, statistical and specialty software packages including Matlab, SPSS, STATA, SAS, Atlas.Ti, NVivo, Creo, and Microsoft Office 2013, among others.

Q. How do I Log-In to a Virtual Desktop?

A: The procedure for connecting to a Virtual Desktop is the same from on or off campus. Two methods for connecting are supported:

  1. VMware Horizon View Client (Preferred)
  2. HTML5 Web browser

Connecting via the VMware Horizon View Client

  1. From your system, open a web browser and connect to BingView's web page ( Select the option "Install VMware Horizon View Client".
  2. From the download page, select and download the VMware View Client appropriate for your system. Clients are available for the following operating systems:

a. Windows 32 and 64 bit

b. Mac

c. iOS

d. Android

e. Linux users should check their OS distribution repository for a client

3. Download the latest version of the VMware Horizon View client appropriate for your system.

4. Start the application that was just downloaded to begin the installation procedure.

5. Accept the default settings, when prompted for the connection server enter:

6. Depending on your operating system, you may be prompted to restart, do so before proceeding.

7. Start the VMware Horizon client, login with your user name, password and select the appropriate domain.

8. Select a virtual desktop from the list.

Connecting via a HTML5 Web browser
1. The following web browsers are supported:

a. Chrome 28 or later
b. Internet Explorer 9 or later
c. Safari 6 or later
d. Mobile Safari on iOS devices running iOS 6 or later
e. Firefox 21 or later

2. From your system, open a supported web browser

3. Connect to BingView's web page. (

4. Select the option "VMware Horizon View HTML Access"

5. Login with your user name, password and select the appropriate domain

6. Select a virtual desktop from the list.

Note: Not all of the virtual machine pools are available via the web interface.

Q: Can I incorporate Virtual Desktop as part of my classroom instruction? How many virtual machines are available at a given time?

A: Yes, professors have incorporated Virtual Desktop as part of their research methods/statistics classes. As of 8/12: we have up to 40 engineering, 30 virtual machines that have SPSS, 15 with SAS, up to 25 machines with STATA and 4 each of Atlas.ti and NVivo.

Systems are built dynamically as users log in, please contact the help desk if you are planning to use the virtual environment in a classroom setting. The systems can be pre-built prior to class reducing the time to login.

Q: What computer system or platform do I need to access Virtual Desktop?

A: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or Linux computer can all access Virtual Desktops.

Q: Who can access Virtual Desktop?

A: All current faculty, staff, and registered students, both undergraduate/graduate, can access Virtual Desktop using their BGM, Pods or DECKER username/password combination. Pods username/password is recommended.

Q: Can I store data or files on Virtual Desktop?

A: Once you log-in, using your Pods or any other domain username/password, you would have access to your own C, H or S drive on the server. These drives would be pre-fixed with your username and easily identifiable. All other drives without prefix of your username are virtual drives and nothing should be saved there as the system is deleted upon logoff. You can also use a USB flash drive to save your data.

Q: Can I print my output or results from the Virtual Desktop?

A: Printing can be done utilizing Pods printing queue. If you want to print to a printer other than a Pods printer, you will need to save your output and then print it to your printer.

Q: What are the system requirements for Virtual Desktop?

A: The VMware Horizon View clients are supported on the following Window operating systems:

  • Windows 8 or 8.1 32 or 64-bit
  • Windows 7 32 or 64-bit none or SP1
  • Windows XP 32-bit SP3
  • Windows Vista 32-bit SP1 or SP2

Mac Client requirements:

  • 64 Bit Intel-based Mac
  • At least 2GB of RAM
  • Mac OS X Snow Lepard (10.6.8)
  • Max OS X Lion (10.7)
  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Max OS X Mavericks (10.9)

iPad and iPhone Models:

  • iPhone 4, 5, 5S and 5C
  • iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation, iPad (4th Generation) IPad mini, iPad Air
  • iOS 6 or later, including iOS 7


  • ARM and x86
  • Android 2.3.3, 3, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

For HTML5 web access the following web browsers are supported:

  • Chrome 28 or later
  • Internet Explorer 9 or later
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Mobile Safari on iOS devices running iOS 6 or later
  • Firefox 21 or later

Q: Is there a time limit associated with the Virtual Desktop?

A: Presently there is no time limit but people should save their work often. Also, if the session disconnects abnormally, reconnecting will take you back to the interrupted session without loss of work as long as the reconnection takes place in less than 5 minutes. BUT save, save, save to your network drive!

Q: What happens to the contents of my desktop when I log off or disconnect?

A: These desktops are stateless. DO NOT save anything to the desktop. Anything saved to the desktop will be destroyed.

Q: What if I am using a Mac?

A: Mac users can download and install the Horizon View client or use Safari 6 or later to connect to a virtual system. Click here for more information about using a Mac to connect to the bingview virtual desktops.


Last Updated: 1/26/15