Frequently Asked Questions for Virtual Desktop Service (VDS)

  1. What is Virtual Desktop Service (VDS)?
    VDS generally referred as Virtual Desktop Service (VDS), allows users to access another operating system without altering the settings on their own computers.  VDS is particularly useful when you are away from the campus but want to access the Windows environment and software similar to some platforms such as library PC. Using virtual desktops that have a Windows operating system, you can access it from laptop, desktop, iPad or Android mobile device.

  2. Where can I use VDS?
    DILWL students and staffs can use the Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) via Campus Network within VTC site or via New VTC VPN from remote or home.

    To install VPN, please login to  Then read the related installation guide under the topic "VTC VPN with Global Protect client procedures".

    For the connection via WiFi, users are strongly advised to stay in a location after connected since the VDS session and all unsaved works and data will be lost if the WiFi is disconnected. As good user practice, please do save work/data regularly when using VDS (see suggested steps from the rest of this FAQ).

  3. Who is allowed to access the VDS?
    DILWL VDS only serve DILWL staffs and students who have activated Computer Network Application (CNA). If there is any question about CNA, please read the FAQ of CNA
  4. How to connect to the VDS? 
    1. If you have installed the VMware Horizon Clients, please go to Step 4c.  Otherwise, please download the VMware Horizon clients from: 
      MacBook or iMac
      VMware Horizon Client for Mac
      Windows Notebook or desktop PC
      VMware Horizon Client for Windows
      iOS/iPad device
      VMware Horizon Client for iOS devices
      Android device
      VMware Horizon Client for Android
    2. Then install it in your platform  
    3. Make sure that your device is connected to VTC Network (either via wired LAN or WiFi) or VTC VPN from remote or home.
    4. Run the VMware Horizon Client on your device (Below is an example in Microsoft Windows 10)
    5. Click New Server or double click Add Server, input in the textbox as the name of the Connection Server and then click Connect
    6. Please click the Continue
    7. Login with your Computer Network Application (CNA) and password
    8. Double Click on the icon of the Virtual Desktop to start the VDS session

  5. How long is each VDS session?
    For fair use, a user can connect to one VDS session only at any time. Each session is two hours maximum. Each session will be automatically closed and initialized after two hours. A reminder will be shown 15 minutes before a session end. The user should stay alert to this message and must save his/her work before the session is closed. Otherwise, any unsaved work will be lost when the session ends and is immediately initialized for use by another user.  It is no way to recover the data.  We would NOT be responsible for any data loss.

  6. “The desktop sources for this desktop are not responding…” is prompted when I click the desktop icon?  What should I do?
    VDS connections are supported on a first-come-first-served basis. The message will be shown if all VDS connections are fully occupied by users. Please be patient and try to connect to it again later. A number of VDS connections may increase depending on the resource and usage.

  7. Can I connect to more than one Virtual Desktop at the same time?
    No, only one Virtual Desktop connection is allowed per user at any time.

  8. What software applications are available on the virtual desktop?
    The software applications are not the same as computer in LRC and LRC computer laboratory because some complex applications require more studies before they can be provided on the VDS at next phase. A list of software applications is available at DILWL LRC website (which has multiple sheets for different config in s workbook file). 

  9. Can I retrieve my data stored on the disk drive of Virtual Desktop after the session is closed? 
    No, the Virtual Desktop will be refreshed to its initial state and all stored data will be cleaned. Users are strongly advised to 
    save their work files regularly to removable storage (e.g. Microsoft 365 OneDrive) during a session.

  10. Where can I save my data?
    You can save your data files on: 
    1. Cloud Storage – such as Microsoft 365 OneDrive
    2. Local drive or USB redirection
    3. Email – send your data files to your email account
      (Remember to encrypt all sensitive data or files before save or send them.)
  11. Can I add keyboard and mouse to tablet for using this service?
    No, user is not allowed to add keyboard and mouse to tablet.

  12. How can I use the DVD Drive of Virtual Desktop?
    The DVD drive of the Virtual Desktop is a logical drive for exclusive use by system only and cannot be used by users.

  13. How can I encrypt information when saving or sending data?
    User should employ encryption method on files stored at movable electronic device containing important information, in order to protect those information from unauthorized access.  To achieve this, user can make use of software come with some of the movable electronic device.  Besides, user can make use of some software to get files encrypted. One of the examples is BitLocker (, which is a drive encryption tool provided by Microsoft.

  14. What can I do if the mouse doesn’t work in VDS session on iMac or MacBook?
    To enable the mouse & keyboard in VDS session on iMac or MacBook running Apple MacOS 10.14 or later, user should allow “VMware Horizon Client” to control your computer in System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyPrivacyAccessibility.
  15. Does it support Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) for graphic design or rendering in VDS?
    Currently the VDS support basic graphic editing or drawing in AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, etc.   At next phase, the VDS with GPU would provide for a special group of students.
  16. Why is there any delay in VDS?
    VDS sends the screen across the network from a server to your local machine.  It is important that you have at least 1Mbit/s throughput and the latency (or network delay) should not be over 200ms.  If you are at a location with very slow network connection and the latency is very high, the experience using VDS will be adversely affected.