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ACMS Virtual Computing Labs: FAQ

I am interested in using the Virtual Computing Labs, who is eligible?

Virtual Computing labs are open to UC San Diego students. It is also available for faculty and staff for instructional and classroom support purposes (please submit a CINFO request).  Engineering students are preregistered; all others can register here. PID required.

How long does it take to get registered?

Generally, your registration is processed in just a couple of minutes.  Feel free to read our engrossing ACMS Acceptable Use Policies while you wait.

What are the hours for the Virtual Computing Labs?

The Virtual Computing Labs are available 24/7/365 except for the occasional downtime for upgrades and maintenance.

How can I connect to the Virtual Computing Labs?

Connection requires broadband internet (cable, satellite, etc) with at least 1.5 Mbs/downstream throughput. If you are on a dialup connection or tethering via a smartphone, you will experience problems.  

Is a VPN connection required?

No, you should not need to connect to the campus VPN or proxy server in order to connect to the Virtual Computing Lab, regardless of whether you are on or off campus. If you cannot connect to the Virtual Computing Labs without the VPN connection, installing the VPN client may correct the issue.

I cannot connect to the Virtual Lab, what am I doing wrong?

When I try to connect I am getting the following error: “The View Connection Server connection failed” or “Timeout was reached”.  
  • If you are trying to connect to the Virtual Lab via “UCSD-GUEST” wireless please connect to “UCSD-PROTECTED” wireless.  Directions on how to connect are located here.
  • Disable any proxy servers you have set up on your computer.


    Please be sure to check both your computer and browser proxy settings!

I am getting an error: “The View Connection Server authentication failed.  You are not entitled to use the system” or “You are not entitled to use the system”.  

Why isn't Microsoft Office installed?

Microsoft Office isn't installed due to our current licensing structure. However, we have provided LibreOffice which is an excellent alternative (directions on how to use LibreOffice). More alternatives include Microsoft Office Web Apps and Google Docs.

What are the computer requirements for using the Virtual Computing Labs?

Windows 7 32/64-bit, Windows Vista 32/64-bit, Windows XP-32bit, MacOS 10.6+, Ubuntu (10.04, 10.10, 11.04, 11.10).  iPad users require the free VMware View app and iOS 5+.

When I am running a CPU intensive program like AutoCAD or Matlab, will that slow down my local desktop?

No, all of the processing is done remotely on the servers which are located on campus.

How do I print from the Virtual Computing Lab?

If you are connected using a PC (Windows), your default printer should show up as a listed printer in the Virtual desktop. If you are on campus and are trying to print to a lab printer, please use our Remote Printing service.

Where should I save my files?

Be sure to save any important files you wish to keep inside your "Documents" folder (AKA the "H:/" drive). Any files left behind on the background desktop of the ACMS Virtual Lab computer or outside of your Documents folder may be lost or deleted.  
If you lose a file, please contact the
 ACMS Help Desk and we'll do our best to recover it.

How do I copy files to my virtual desktop?

If you are using a PC (Windows) you can use your USB thumb drive to transfer files from your local desktop to your virtual desktop. Plug in the USB thumb drive into a USB port on your computer. After the thumb drive is recognize by your computer, click on the "Connect USB Device" menu on the top bar of the VMWare View Desktop window and select the USB thumb drive from the drop down menu. To disconnect repeat the same process. Please keep in mind that the virtual desktop is located on UC San Diego campus and if you're trying to copy large files from your thumb drive to your virtual desktop, it might take some time. Another option is to use the free service, such as Dropbox, to copy files to your virtual desktop.