Panther Virtual Desktop

Work Anywhere

Welcome to the Panther Virtual Desktop Pilot program. Information Technology Services is collaborating with selected departments and users to pilot a program to provide a virtual desktop environment.

The ITS team deployed the VDI solution VMware Horizon View on Dell EMC VxRail hardware with GPU support. It will enable virtualized remote desktops and applications through a single platform.

The goal is to make applications that have traditionally only been available in department computer labs available anywhere at any time with an internet connection using any compatible device – PC, Mac, iOS, or Android.

User Guide for the Virtual Desktop Pilot Program

Options for connecting to the Panther Virtual Desktop

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At present, you have two options for connecting to the virtual desktop environment.

OPTION 1 – HTML Web Access version – access Panther Virtual Desktop inside of a web browser. Good for accessing from public devices where you cannot install the client software.

Secure access to the Home drive and applications from any computer with an Internet connection and a browser.

OPTION 2– Download the full-featured VMware Horizon Client – access Panther Virtual Desktop in a stand-alone client that will allow you to use your computers peripheral (printer, scanners, external hard drive).

See the comparison and choose which client you prefer to use

Accessing the Panther Virtual Desktop via Web Browser (VMware Horizon HTML Access)

Follow these steps to access Your Panther Virtual Desktop via your browser (Public Devices).

Open your Internet browser and type https://mydesktop.pvamu.edu in the address bar and press ENTER.

Click the VMWare Horizon HTML Access shortcut/link.

Optional: If you always access through your browser, you can check the box to bypass this page.

 

Enter your PVAMU AD Username and password.

Click the Login button

Click the available Panther Virtual Desktop

Click OK and lunch the Windows 10 desktop

Click on the Start Menu button to see more options and available applications. It’s the Windows icon in the bottom left corner.

You should log out when you are ready to disconnect the Panther Virtual Desktop.

Click the user profile icon. A context menu will appear. Click Sign out.

Installing the VMware Horizon Client and Accessing the Panther Virtual Desktop (PC)

If you wish to download the client to your personal computer, follow these steps:

Open your Internet browser and type https://mydesktop.pvamu.edu in the address bar and press ENTER.

Click on “Install VMware Horizon View Client” (the left-hand option) to install the regular client on your machine.

If your machine’s type is recognized, it will suggest a file for download. Simply save the file it offers. If your machine’s type is not easily recognized, you might be presented with a menu of choices, like the one below. Choose the link to download a client appropriate for your system.

The remainder of this document is based on a 64-bit Windows client, however, the instructions will be similar for all platforms.

Read the Product Details, Select the latest version from the drop-down, and Click the “Download” button to the right.

Save the file to your computer and make a note of the location of the downloaded file.

Browse to the file location on your computer and double-click the file.

Click through the security prompts to run as administrator.

Click “I Agree & Install”

Click “Finish”

Launch the VMware Horizon client.

If this is a new installation, double-click the Add Server.

Type in https://Mydesktop.pvamu.edu and click ‘Connect.”

At the login screen, enter your PVAMU AD username and password

At the desktop selection screen, double-click on the icon for the desired desktop (the desktop options on this screen vary by user).

You are now connected to a Panther Virtual Desktop (VMware Horizon Desktop).

Click OK and lunch the Windows 10 desktop.

Available Software

Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, MS Office Suite 2016, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, SPSS, Respondus LockDown Browse and, etc.

Saving Files in Virtual Desktop

Each time you log in, a new virtual computer is built for you. All files are erased from the C:\ drive of a virtual desktop after each session terminates.

However, if you save documents in your Desktop and Documents, they will automatically be saved in corresponding folders in your H:\ drive (home directory).

The path to the directories looks like :

  • (\\pvfiler01\home$) (H:)
  • >This PC > Documents

At present, this option is not available for saving Pictures, Music, or Videos files.

Accessing USB Devices and Optical Drives

USB storage devices (flash drives and DVD drives) are supported when using the Full-Feature Virtual Client and not supported using a web browser (HTML Web Access).

Copying and Pasting

When using VMware Horizon Desktop Client, you can use traditional copy/paste functions between your computer and the Panther Virtual Desktop.

When using a web browser to access the Panther Virtual Desktop, the Copy & Paste panel must be used to transfer text to and from the Panther Virtual Desktop. Open the Horizon sidebar in your web browser by clicking on the tab.

The Copy & Paste panel is accessible from the sidebar.

Clear the Copy & Paste panel every time you use this feature to make the Copy & Paste panel ready for the next use.

Transfer Files Using a Web Browser (HTML Web Access)

The File Transfer panel must be used to transfer files to and from the Panther Virtual Desktop. The File Transfer panel is accessible from the Horizon sidebar.

transfer

 

Printing

Printing is available when you are using Full-Featured VMware Horizon Client. It allows you to print via a “pass-through” to printers that are installed on the host system.

Printing from a Web Browser (HTML Web Access) will be available soon.

Please Note:

  • You have 60 minutes from the time you were disconnected to reconnect before the system logs off your disconnected session.