Davidson College’s Virtual Lab provides faculty and students remote access to many of the computer lab resources that are on campus. This allows students to utilize applications and resources that may not be available on personal devices due to licensing or computer resource limitations. You can access the Virtual Lab using your preferred web browser. Please note that software that runs exclusively on Apple Macs is not available through Davidson College’s Virtual Lab.
Network Speeds & Guidelines
To ensure an optimal experience with Davidson College’s Virtual Lab, make sure you have a high bandwidth, low latency Internet connection. If you have a poor network connection, response times may be slow and images may appear pixelated. The use of personal hotspots is not recommended as they may not be reliable.
- For most applications, performance is good over WiFi if latency is less than 100ms. Bandwidth is typically not a limiting factor.
- For graphics-intensive applications, like ArcGIS, we recommend using a wired network connection instead of WiFi, ideally with a bandwidth of 1 Mbps or greater and latency less than 50ms.
- For video, we recommend a bandwidth of 3 Mbps for regular video or 5 Mbps for HD and latency less than 50ms.
- Wired connections can improve your experience using Davidson College’s Virtual Lab, as using Using a hard wired network connection can reduce latency by a factor of ten
Please refer to the Speed Tests section below for additional information on how to determine if your Internet connection meets the guidelines above.
Davidson College’s Virtual Lab is a hosted application running in a data center located in Virginia, which is meant to keep latency (the round trip time between your clicks and application responses) as low as possible.
- Bandwidth is likely not a limiting factor unless you are using a graphics-intensive app or streaming video.
- If you experience slow performance in Davidson College’s Virtual Lab, you may test latency and bandwidth using sites like https://www.speedtest.net or http://cloudharmony.com/speedtest-for-aws to determine whether your network connection is sufficient or not. If you use the speedtest-for-aws option, you need to allow the tests to complete to get a full understanding of network performance issues you might face.
Starting a Desktop
- Open a web browser and navigate to https://virtuallab.davidson.edu.
- Press the Log in button and enter your college email address (i.e. email@example.com) and password when prompted, and complete the Duo login process if prompted.
- Press the Launch button to open a virtual computer desktop in your browser.
Using the Desktop
Once you are logged onto a desktop through your browser, it will function just like any other Windows 10 PC. The unique features of Davidson College’s Virtual Lab are identified below.
Davidson Specific Lab Applications
All Davidson College applications used in the Virtual Lab are located in the All Software folder located on the virtual desktop opened in your browser. Double-clicking on this folder will provide you access to all of the software loaded onto these virtual lab machines.
Available options and functions are displayed as icons in the top menu bar.
Change Display Mode
Click the icon in the top panel to toggle the display to full-screen mode.
Click the icon in the top panel or press the <Esc> key to return the display to normal mode.
- Using the toggles above is a good way to maximize your workspace. You may also resize an app within Apporto using the windows resizing option in the upper right corner of the App.
- We recommend not minimizing an App via windows option (In the upper right corner of the window) unless you are working in full desktop mode. If you accidentally minimize the desktop, there is no option to re-maximize it. Please close the browser tab and restart the desktop.
Click the File upload icon in the top panel to upload a file to a cloud PC.
Click the File download icon in the top panel to download a file from a cloud PC.
Save or Restore a Snapshot
Click the Save/Restore snapshots icon in the top panel to save or restore a "snapshot" of the current session.
Share Your Screen
Use the Share screen icon to invite other users to collaborate in the current session.
Click the Messenger icon in the top panel to launch and use Messenger to chat with other users that are currently using Davidson College’s Virtual Lab.
Click the Analytics icon to view activity statistics for your user account.
Mute/Unmute your Desktop
Click the Sound icon to turn sound on or off.