What is VLab
VLab, provied by ITS Student Computing Services, allows you to run university-licensed software on your own computer from anywhere with an internet connection. Once you install the client, you can simply select a program you would like to run in your browser and it will launch as if it is on installed on your machine.
VLab is visualization software - programs do not run directly on your system and most computational resource loads are processed on ITS servers - which means most modern computers with a broadband internet connect can run computational-intensive programs offered by VLab.
You can access VLab at http://vlab.uidaho.edu and read on to learn more about VLab (powered by Citrix XenApp).
What software is available on VLab?
- ArcGIS Desktop 10.1
- Distance 6
- Mark 6
- Minitab 16
- TK Solver
- Oracle 10g
- Geometers Sketchpad
- MathCAD 15
- NIS Reference Fluid Properties
- ArcView 3
- Geospacial Modeling Environment
- Matlab 2013a
- SAS 9.3
Student Computing Systems supports VLab on the following platforms:
We provided at the VLab login screen if no client is detected. You will need administrative rights on your computer to install the client. Please note that VLab requires a broadband internet connection. While bandwidth requirements are low, a faster connection will make access to local drives and printing more pleasant.
Working with Files
When you launch a Citrix application, all of the printers connected to your machine will automatically be made available to print to. Citrix uses a universal print driver that should be compatible with most printers. If you add a new printer to your machine while connected to VLab, you will need to restart VLab for it to recognize the new printer.
Windows using the Citrix Universal Printer Driver
OSX using the Citrix Universal Print Driver
Frequently Asked Questions
VLab is currently available to all enrolled students, including Engineering Outreach students, at the University of Idaho. If you are a faculty member who would like to use VLab for teaching, please send an email request to the ITS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if I leave my VLab software session running?
Since VLab is a shared system with limited resources, running programs that are not used for one hour will automatically close and be disconnected from the server. If you are actively using a program, there is no limitation as to how long you can be connected and using it.
Do I need to leave teh VLab website open while using VLab software?
No. Once you have logged in to VLab and started the program you wish to use, you may close the VLab webpage if you wish. If you leave the VLab webpage open, you will be automatically logged out after ten minutes of inactivity. If you would like to start another VLab program, you may need to log back in to the VLab site to select and launch the software.
When I click on a VLab program, why is it trying to download an ICA file?
Most browsers will automatically start the Citrix client when you click on the program. Some browsers, depending on how they are configured, will instead download an ICA file. This file is used by the Citrix client and tells it how to connect to the program you are trying to launch.
If your browser does download an ICA file, simply click and open it in your browser's download bar to launch VLab and the program.
Do I need to be on VPN to access VLab software?
No, VLab can be accessed from anywhere without a VPN connection - so long as you can connect to the internet (with broadband service) you can access VLab software.
Why am I being asked to download and install the Citrix client even though I have already downloaded it?
Citrix periodically releases new version of their client and the VLab website will check to see if you are running an up-to-date version. If a newer version is available, VLab will prompt you to upgrade. You can choose to defer upgrading, click the "Skip to Log on" link to bypass the client check.
For some users of the Google Chrome browser, Chrome is unable to properly detect the Citrix client and will always ask you to install the client. If this happens and you do have the Citrix client already installed, click the "Skip to Log on" link to bypass the download and log in to VLab without issues.
Alternatively, you can use another browser, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari, which does not have this issue and is able to properly detect the Citrix client.
What platforms are supported by VLab?
Student Computing Systems currently only support accessing VLab from Windows and Mac machines. Citrix does provide clients for additional platforms such as Linux, iOS and Android, but Student Computing Systems does not currently provide direct support for these clients.
You can view a full list of Citrix-provided clients on their client webpage