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ACMS Virtual Computing Labs: FAQ

Am I eligible to use the Virtual Computing Labs?

Virtual Computing labs are open to UC San Diego students. Faculty and staff may be given access for instructional and classroom support purposes (please submit a CINFO request).  Engineering students are preregistered; all others may register here.

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.

When can I use 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 with at least 1.5 Mbps downstream throughput. If you are on a dial-up 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 in order to connect to the Virtual Computing Lab, regardless of whether you are on or off campus. However, if you cannot connect to the Virtual Computing Labs without the VPN connection, installing the VPN client may correct the issue.

I can't 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”.  

What operating systems are supported for Virtual Computing Labs?

Windows (8, 7, Vista, XP)
OS X 10.6+
Ubuntu 10.04+
Android 2.2+
iOS 5+

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. More alternatives include Microsoft Office Web Apps and Google Docs.

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 ACMS servers.

How do I print from the Virtual Computing Lab?

Windows users will have their local printers listed on their virtual desktop. All other users will have to use our Remote Printing service. Remember to pick up your print jobs from the lab the job was sent to!

How do I copy files to my virtual desktop?

On Windows and Macintosh, you may use your USB drive to transfer files from your local desktop. Connect your USB drive to your computer and wait for your local desktop to recognize the device. Then, to access the files:


  1. Select Connect USB Device at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the USB Device you would like to connect to the remote desktop.


  1. Click on the USB icon seen at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the USB Device you would like to connect to the remote desktop.

Linux users will have to use an alternative method to transfer files to your virtual desktop (e.g. email attachments, Dropbox). Please keep in mind that the virtual desktop is located on the UC San Diego campus; if you are trying to copy large files to your virtual desktop, it might take some time.

Where should I save my files?


Be sure to save any important files you wish to keep under Computer → Network Location:

Any files left behind on the desktop of the ACMS Virtual Lab computer or outside of your Network Drive 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.

Non-students do not have ACMS computer lab storage for them to save personal files. Any files left behind on the ACMS Virtual Lab computer may be lost or deleted.

Please be sure to save files through alternative methods, such as saving to a flash drive, sending the file through an email attachment, or cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive).

Still having trouble? Contact the ACMS Help Desk and we'll do what we can to help!