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.

The Virtual Desktop at Binghamton University provides access to engineering, statistical and specialty software packages including Matlab, SPSS, STATA, SAS, Atlas.Ti, NVivo, Pro Engineer, ChemDraw12 and Microsoft Office 2010, among others.


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

A:        If you are off-campus you must log into the virtual private network (VNP) using SSL/VPN ( and your Pods, BGM, Decker or other domain username/password combination. The first time you connect to a desktop, the VMware View Client will automatically be installed on your PC. During the process you will receive some Website Security Certificate warnings as the software is being installed on your computer. You must accept these warnings and continue. You will also be asked if you want the View Client 64-Bit (32 MB) or View Client with Local Mode 64-Bit (115 MB)? You must choose the 32 MB View Client. Each subsequent time you access a virtual desktop through SSL/VPN, your connection will happen automatically through the View client.

Once you have logged into SSL/VPN, all accessible desktops are available in the “BingView” Virtual Desktop section of the page. Click on the desired desktop and it will pass your login credentials and automatically connect you. Once connected to the Virtual Desktop, go to the “Start” menu to find your chosen software.

From on-campus, you may also use the SSL/VPN or if you are familiar with the VMware View client, you may run the client from your PC to connect.

The connection server is:
Leave the port blank, if prompted.
Enter your user name and password for the domain you select.
Select a desktop.


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 31 virtual machines that have SPSS, 15 with SAS, up to 25 machines with STATA and 4 each of Atlas.ti and NVivo.


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

A:        Windows, Mac or Linux computer can all access Virtual Desktop. Mac and Linux must install Microsoft’s Remote Desktop client.


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. 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:        You must use Internet Explorer 6 or higher for accessing Virtual Desktop. Mozilla Firefox is not an option.


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 15 minutes. BUT save, save, save!


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:        For Mac installation information, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 607-777-6420 or visit the Virtual Desktop Homepage at:

Last Updated: 8/26/14