VDI Frequently Asked Questions

What is VDI?

  • VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, a service that allows you to access your SFA desktop from anywhere, including any university level licensed software and applications.
  • The VDI service delivers your desktop image (icons, folders, toolbars, software, etc.) to an authenticated user remotely over a network, essentially allowing you to access your SFA desktop as if it were stored locally on your device. This service also allows SFA ITS to maintain updates to software/applications for users to access at any time.


When should I use VDI?

  • Use VDI when you need access to university level licensed software/applications.
  • VDI is not necessary to access your email, mySFA, D2L, Microsoft Office OneDrive, etc.


Who can use VDI?

  • VDI is available for all faculty, staff and students with their mySFA credentials.


How do I know which version of VMware Horizon Client to install for Windows?

  • Right click the Start Menu in your Computer, select Properties (or System), then scroll to System Type – this will tell you either 32-bit or 64-bit Operating system.
  • If you are running Windows 10, you can also type “System Type” in the search bar on your Start Menu to view whether you are 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • If you try to install the incorrect version, you will receive an error message. You can then download and install the correct version of VMware Horizon Client.


Can I access documents that I save on VDI?

  • When saving documents on VDI, be sure to save them your Z: Drive (mySFA username drive), in a cloud solution (SFASU provided OneDrive account) or using a USB storage device.
  • Files left on the VDI (desktop) will be deleted upon logging out of the VDI session, as each session refreshes the desktop and any locally stored files are deleted.


Saving documents when using VDI:

  • ITS recommends that you save all documents created/modified/accessed when using VDI to your Microsoft Office365 OneDrive account. OneDrive allows you to access any files you may need by simply logging into your mySFA and navigating to OneDrive (click on the Office 365 Apps button on your mySFA Home Tab).
  • When saving the document, Save As to “OneDrive – Stephen F. Austin State University” (located on the left side of the screen), and click the appropriate folder on the right that appears. Your mySFA email address will show below the title of the drive to verify that you are saving it to your SFASU OneDrive account.


How do I navigate the VDI session?

  • Using VDI is just like being on a desktop computer on campus. You will see the Start Menu, the Taskbar, and all of the familiar Windows components. Navigating through VDI just as you would if you were on campus in a computer lab. You will have the ability to open applications/software from icons on the desktop or the Start Menu, utilize internet browsers and get online, etc.


How do I log out of the VDI session?

  • Click on the Windows icon, click on the SFA/Account logo and select “Sign Out”.
  • Before logging out, remember to save all of your documents on your OneDrive account or a USB.


If I personalize my VDI desktop, will my changes be saved?

  • The VDI desktop will revert to original settings once you log off. Changes to your virtual desktop will not be saved. Remember to save all of your documents on your OneDrive account or a USB.


Do I have to pay to use VDI?

  • No. Faculty, Staff, and Students can access and use VDI at no additional cost.


What do the navigation icons stand for on an Apple or Android device?

Navigation Icon: opens navigation options below

Gesture Help: scroll to view explanation of all gestures
Touchpad: acts as a touchpad/mouse similar to a laptop
Basic Navigation Keys: arrows, page up/down, home, CTRL
On Screen Keyboard: acts as a computer keyboard
Settings: change touch/mouse/keyboard settings
Disconnect the Session: tap and confirm to disconnect VDI session


Can I use my personal printer while using VDI?

  • Yes, you can print to your personal printer, but only if you are using the FULL (not web) client. If you are using your home computer, you can print to your home printer. You will NOT have access to campus printers.


If I need help with VDI, who do I contact?

  • If you have any questions, email the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@sfasu.edu, or call 936-468-4357.


What software/applications are available with VDI?

  • Public Image Software/Applications (include but not limited to):
    • Microsoft Office and all licensed products (Word, Excel, Publisher, Access, etc.)
    • ArcGis (non-vGPU)
    • Business Explorer
    • FileZilla
    • Gimp
    • Google Earth
    • SPSS
    • HIS Kingdom
    • HIS MarKit GeoSyn
    • K-Lite Codec Pack
    • MATLAB
    • SQL Server 2008 & 2014
    • Notepad ++
    • OneDrive
    • Petra
    • PUTTY
    • SAP Business Client
    • VideoLAN
    • Visio 2016
    • XMing
  • Specialty Software associated with student labs (include but not limited to):
    • ArcGis with vGPU support
    • City Engine
    • Revit
    • Adobe Creative Cloud (all offerings)
    • WinSCP


How do I obtain VDI access?

Need assistance with the above instructions? Contact the Help Desk at 936.468.4357 or by visiting help.sfasu.edu.


Article ID: 103260
Thu 3/26/20 4:33 PM
Fri 3/27/20 12:20 PM