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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Important!  Duo two-factor authentication is now required for off-campus access to VDI.

Enroll in DuoLearn more about Duo


Complete instructions for downloading, installation, troubleshooting, and web version of VDI Client: VMWare View Client Setup and Usage (pdf)

Connect to VDI

Select one of the following links:


Download VMware Client or use HTML web-based access

Android Mobile Devices

Download/Open VMware App

iOS Mobile Devices

Download/Open VMware App

For mobile devices:  Open the VMware app, enter server name, enter your W&M Username and password.  Make sure the domain is set to Campus

Mac users: if you are having issues with the VMware Horizon Client, please download the latest version from by clicking on Install VMware Horizon Client.

About VDI

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allows you to log into a virtual desktop with a standard William & Mary computer image.  It's similar to logging in to a lab computer or classroom podium computer.  Network drives, Microsoft Office software, standard computer applications, and various browsers are all available through VDI. 

VDI offers a secure environment to access certain IT services.  An app for tablet computers and smart phones for both Android and iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.) makes using VDI easy while on-the-go.

Using VDI

VDI can be accessed by downloading the VMWare View client or by using a web-based version. The web version can be a more convenient option for some users, but it has limitations, including slower performance than the client version and the inability to use thumb drives. If you choose to download the client, you may download it to the device(s) of your choice:  a laptop, home computer, iPad/iPhone, Android phone, etc. 

To access VDI, go to  You will be presented with the two options: to Install the View Client or HTML Access.  Choose HTML Access for the web-based version of VDI.

Complete instructions for downloading, installation, troubleshooting, and web version: VMWare View Client Setup and Usage (pdf)

For mobile devices, you can download VMware Horizon View Client from the app store.  Use the same instructions (above) for installation.

  1. Connect to VDI either through the VMware Horizon client or web (HTML access)
  2. Select the Connection Server ( and click Connect.
  3. Enter your W&M Username and Password and click Login.  Domain will default to CAMPUS.  If you logging in from off-campus, refer to the off-campus access instructions below.*
  4. Choose the Virtual Desktop you would like to connect to (you may only have one option, depending on what desktop profile(s) you were assigned). 
  5. You may choose to adjust the display options.
  6. Click Connect.
  7. Please be patient.  It may take a minute or two to connect.

*Off-Campus Access:  If you are accessing VDI from off-campus, you will login using Duo Two-Factor authentication. First, you must enroll in Duo at:  Then you can follow the access instructions found here:

Access Limitations

VDI is available at all times, however there are a couple things to keep in mind that might limit your use.  

Virtual desktops are arranged in different "pools" to which different groups are given access.  For instance, there are 50 virtual desktops in the Faculty/Staff desktop pool.  Any employee may access desktops in this pool, as well as affiliates on a case-by-case basis.  Since there are 50 desktops in this pool, there can be a maximum of 50 people logged in to the VDI FacStaff desktops at one time.  Once 50 is reached, you will not be able to log in and must wait until someone logs off to use the system. 

Similarly, the business desktop pool contains 50 desktops for select business students and faculty.  Requests for access to this pool must come from business school instructors.

Time is also a limiting factor. An active session will be available for 10 hours (no matter what pool or desktop you are signed into).  After 10 hours (regardless of activity level) the session will be logged-off and disconnected automatically.  The screen will automatically lock if the session has been inactive (no keyboard or mouse movements) for 20 minutes.  Enter your W&M Username and Password to resume your session. 

Network Drives

You will be able to see the network drives you have permissions to, like your personal H: drive.  If you have access to your department's group drive (G: drive), you will be able to access it as well. 

You will not be able to access your office computer's C: drive.  The C: drive you see on VDI is a virtual C: drive, not the one on your office computer.  Be careful not to save any information to this C: drive, as it will be lost.

Requesting Software and Software Version Changes

All software change requests must go through a license review process, even if it is "freeware".  After that, we need to test the software in the VDI environment to make sure it is compatible.  Finally, we have to recompile the VDI desktops to include the requested software.

For these reasons, we cannot honor software and software version change requests on short notice. We ask as much advance notice as possible, but at least 2 months is required. 

We will make every reasonable effort to integrate your software, but please be aware that not all software will work in VDI.

Saving & Printing

The VDI desktops use "folder redirection", meaning anything you save to the following locations will actually save to corresponding folders on your H: drive:

  • The Desktop
  • Favorites
  • My Documents
  • My Music
  • My Pictures
  • My Videos
  • Downloads

If you want to verify that a file you saved in one of these locations is safe on your H: drive, access the H: drive (for example, via the "Computer" link on the Start Menu) and verify your file is there. However, if you save a file just under your user folder (such as C:/users/my_user), you are saving it on the C: drive, and it will be lost.

Important!  You MUST save all your work either to a network drive or a USB (thumb) drive.  Any data saved to the virtual C: drive WILL BE LOST.

To save to a usb (thumb) drive, plug it into into your computer and use the "Connect USB Device" option (at the top-left of the VDI window) to connect it to your virtual desktop.

You can also print from VDI.  Simply connect the device you are using to a printer and then you can print from the VDI to that printer.


If you have problems logging in to VDI verify your W&M Username and password are correct, as well as the correct domain (CAMPUS).  Also verify that you are authorized to use VDI (W&M Faculty/Staff).  If you are accessing VDI from off-campus, you must first enroll in Duo two-factor authentication at:

Another issue may be that a virtual desktop may not be available.  There is a maximum number of concurrent sessions at any given time.  If all sessions are taken, you must wait for someone to log-off before you can log-in. 

Support is available during normal business hours through the Technology Support Center.

Need help?  Contact the Technology Support Center (TSC)

757-221-4357 (HELP) | | Jones 201, Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm