VLab is a service provided by Student Computing Services that allows you to run university-licensed software on your own computer from anywhere with an internet connection. Once you have installed the client, simply select the program you would like to run in your browser and get to work. Because the software does not run directly on your system, most modern computers will be able to run any VLab-provided software.
VLab is powered by Citrix XenApp.
VLab has the following specialty software installed on the server, with more programs being added and licenses being acquired.
- ArcGIS Desktop 10
- ArcGIS Workstation 10
- Oracle 10g
- ArcView 3
- Distance 6
- Geometers Sketchpad
- Geospatial Modeling Environment
- Mark 6
- MathCAD 15
- Matlab R12
- Minitab 16
- NIS Reference Fluid Properties
- TK Solver
Student Computing Systems supports the following platforms for connecting to VLab:
Windows Operating Systems:
- Windows XP or newer
Mac Operating Systems:
- OS X 10.6 or newer
- Internet Explorer
Chromebooks: VLab does not currently work with Chromebooks. ITS is currently working on adding support for Chromebook devices.
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.
VLab requires the Citrix Receiver client to be installed on your computer. The Citrix Receiver download will be provided at the VLab login screen if no client is detected. You will need administrative rights on your computer to install the client.
VLab requires a broadband internet connection. While the bandwidth requirements are low, a faster connection will make access to local drives and printing more pleasant.
Currently ITS only supports VLab access using:
- Windows 7 and newer
- OS X 10.8 and newer
- iOS 7 and newer *
- Android 4.0 and later *
*Citrix does offer clients for both iOS, Android and Linux, but these platforms are not yet officially supported by ITS.
The U: Drive
Your network home directory (the U: drive) is automatically available when using VLab applications. Working from the U: drive is recommended as your data will be available no matter what machine you are connecting from. Your data will also be quick to access and will be backed up regularly.
Local Drives on your Computer
When you connect to VLab, the local drives from your system will automatically be made available.
When connecting from a Windows machine, all local drives are connected and named as they are on your machine.
When connecting from a Mac, local drives are connected in a way that simulates a Windows system. The “C:” drive is connected to your home folder while other drives are connected to your DVD drive/card readers/etc.
The first time you connect to a local drive on your computer, the Citrix Receiver will ask you if you would like to allow it to be accessed. Select “Permit all access” (Windows) or “Read & Write” (Mac) to allow your VLab applications to open and save files on your computer.
More information on how Macs connect drives to Citrix can be found here.
When you launch a Citrix application, all of the printers connected to your machine will automatically be made available. Citrix uses a universal print driver to that should be compatible with most printers.
All students enrolled at the University of Idaho can access VLab and the full list of software.
Yes, but only if the program is not doing anything. Since VLab is a shared system with limited resources, running programs that are not being actively used for longer than an hour will force VLab to automatically close and disconnect.
However, this is only if a program was left running with no user input or activity. If the program is being actively used or is doing long-term computations, there is no connection timeout limit for VLab.
No. Once you have started the program(s) you need, you can close the VLab webpage. Even if you leave the page open, the VLab webpage will automatically time out and log you out after 10 minutes of inactivity. To launch another program after being logged out, simply log back in to the site and launch the program you need.
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 tells the Citrix client how to connect to the program you are trying to launch. If you get an ICA file, simply open it and the Citrix client will launch your program.