Virtual Computer Lab

About the Virtual Computer Lab

The "Virtual Computer Lab" is a service that allows students to run Windows and most of the software applications found in our MacLean 210 computer lab on their own Mac or Windows laptop. This allows professors to have all students in their class do hands-on exercises in any classroom, and allows students to use most of our engineering applications on their own computers with only a simple "thin client" to install.

What you will need

Using the Virtual Computer Lab on your personal computer requires the installation of a small piece of software called "VMware Horizon Client." Detailed directions for installing the software are below.

Supported operating systems are:

  • Mac OS X 10.10 or higher
  • Windows 7 SP1 or higher
  • Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04 or 16.04; Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.8, 6.9, 7.2 or 7.3; SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 SP4; CentOS 6.8 or 6.9

You'll need to be connected to the Dartmouth network to connect to the virtual lab.  We've found the service to be usable over the campus wireless, or even from off campus with a good Internet connection and an established VPN connection. ( see here for setting up VPN)

Getting Help

Your first point of contact is Thayer School Computing Services.  If you have any issues with the Virtual Computer Lab send an email to: or stop by MacLean 126 or our Atrium hours.

Getting Started


You will want to make sure your computer is configured to connect to the Dartmouth Secure or Thayer Secure wireless network.  If it is not, then  click here for directions. If you have an Ethernet adapter on your computer, even better.

Install, Configure, Connect

Mac OS X setup

  • Download the VMware Horizon Client for Mac
  • Drag the VMware Horizon Client application to your Applications folder.
  • Open the VMware Horizon Client application from the Applications folder
  • The first time you run this, it will ask if you want to "Start remote desktop USB and Printing services" - it is safe to click Cancel
  • Click "New Server"
  • When prompted for the Connection Server, enter:
  • When prompted for your username and password, enter your NetID and Dartmouth password
  • You'll then be logged into the Windows computer. Success!

Windows setup

  • Download the VMware Horizon Client for Windows
  • Run the installer and follow the steps through the install Wizard
    • When asked for the Network protocol, be sure to select IPv4
  • When prompted for the "Default Horizon Connection Server", enter:
  • You can safely accept the defaults for the rest of the wizard steps.
  • You'll need to restart once the installer finishes.
  • After restart, open the "VMware Horizon Client" application (should be in your Start menu or on the desktop)
  • At the server selection screen, there should be an icon labeled "" - double-click this
  • When prompted for your username and password, enter your NetID and Dartmouth Password
  • You'll see an icon that says "Thayer Virtual Lab" - double-click this
  • You'll then be logged into the Windows computer. Success!


Download the VMware Horizon Client for Linux

Detailed installation instructions can ben found here: Using VMware Horizon Client for Linux

This client is already installed on all Thayer Linux systems, and can be accessed by clicking the "Dash" button and searching for "View" (Unity) or under the Applications->Internet menu (Gnome).

  • When prompted for the View Connection Server, enter:
  • Click "Connect"
  • When prompted for your username and password, enter your NetID and Dartmouth Password
  • Double-click the "Thayer Virtual Lab" icon

Connect to the Virtual Computer Lab

Virtual Lab server:

Enter your NetID and Dartmouth Password

USB Passthrough

It is possible to pass through local USB devices to the virtual Windows desktop. This is useful for things like programming Arduino boards. The easiest way to use this feature is to enable the VMware Horizon client to automatically connect USB devices when they are inserted,  before you actually plug in the USB device. To enable this option, follow the instructions below:

Mac OS X

  • After connecting to the Virtual Lab, select the Connection -> USB -> Start remote desktop USB services menu item
  • Enter your local administrator username and password when prompted
  • Wait for services to start - this may take several minutes
    Note: Enabling USB services is a one-time operation - you won't need to do this again
  • Select the Connection -> USB -> Automatically connect when inserted menu item
  • All USB devices you plug into your Mac after this point will connect to the Virtual Lab computer


  • Move your cursor to the top of the screen to reveal the VMware Horizon Client menu bar
  • Select the Connect USB Device -> Automatically Connect when Inserted menu item

Tips and Tricks

More screen real estate

Some applications need as much screen space as possible.  If you are running Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, you should have a "full screen" button in the upper-right window of the View Client.  Click it to make the Windows desktop go full screen.  You can exit fullscreen by moving your mouse to the top of the screen, and clicking the button in the upper right.


Place two fingers on the trackpad and click.

You'll need to have the "Secondary click" option enabled in the Trackpad System Preferences.

Solidworks tips

Rotating in

Hold the command key down, then click and drag on your trackpad to rotate a model


Place two fingers on the trackpad and swipe up and down to zoom in and out.

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