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YOU ARE HERE: Skip Navigation LinksEdinburgh Napier Staff Intranet > Service Depts > IT > Off Campus Services > Virtual Desktop Service

Virtual Desktop Service​


Virtual Desktop logoThe Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) enables you to access an Edinburgh Napier desktop from anywhere, anytime on almost any device.


This includes:


When you use the VDS a fresh, clean desktop is presented each time you log on, maintaining  performance and reducing likelihood of potential corruption, viruses and incompatibilities.


This differs from the Virtual Private Network which enables you to remote desktop to your own University PC, you won't be able to access the VDS from your staff PC.


Use the VDS on campus if you are working away from your staff PC or on another campus, or off campus to work from home, or even abroad!


How to install the Virtual Desktop Service

How to use the Virtual Desktop Service

Frequently Asked Questions


Installing the Virtual Desktop Service


You can access the VDS from devices based on the following Operating Systems:

  • MS Windows 7 and above
  • Apple Macintosh OS X 10.6.8 (minimum)
  • Apple iOS
  • Google Android (including Kindle Fire)
  • Linux, 32-bit Ubuntu


To access the VDS from your PC or device it must be network connected and you will need to install a VMware View client application:


Installing the VDS on a tablet

Installing the VDS on a PC, laptop or tablet with no VMWare Horizon client available in the app store


Installing the VDS on a Tablet


To install the VDS client on your tablet:

  • Visit your Tablet’s app store and search for “VMware Horizon Client”. 

VMWare Horizon Client image

  • Follow the on screen instructions to Download and install the client app which should be free.


Installing the VDS on a PC, Laptop or tablet with no VMWare Horizon client available in the app store


View the Windows or Mac instruction videos, alternatively follow the step by step instructions below:

VMWare Horizon image

  • Select Install VMware Horizon Client and you will be redirected to the VMWare Horizon client download page.
  • Find the correct client for your operating system i.e. VMWare Horizon Client for Windows, Mac, iOS etc:

VMHorizon image

  • Follow the on screen instructions to download and install the client.


Using the Virtual Desktop Service


To open the Virtual Desktop Service:

  • Open the VMware Horizon client or app:

             VDS logo

  • Connect to the Connection Server: “desktop.napier.ac.uk”:
  • Log in using your University username (matriculation number) and password:

               VMWare login screen

  • When you successfully logon you will see all virtual desktops available to you, select the required desktop
  • Your virtual desktop will open enabling you to:
    • Securely access the University's online services and teaching applications
    • Save your work and access the files stored on your networked data areas

Once finished remember to Log off via the Virtual Desktop Start Menu.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Can I print using the Virtual Desktop Service?
A:  You are able to print to a sub-set of on-campus network printers.

To attach to a printer when required:

  • Click on the Announcements and Print Setup icon:

               VDS printing

  •  Click Setup Campus Printer and follow the on screen instructions to install a printer.

Devices running Windows or Mac OS X Operating systems can also print to a local printer already connected to the device. 
Q:  Can I use sound via the Virtual Desktop Service?
A:  Sound from Virtual Desktops is available via the host device speakers.


Q:  Can I connect a USB device when I’m accessing the Virtual Desktop Service?
A:  The majority of VMWare clients will allow you to “through connect” USB devices from a local device e.g. a personal laptop.


Q:  Can I connect to more than one Virtual Desktop at any one time?
A:  No, only one Virtual Desktop connection is allowed per user at any one time.


Q:  Will my Virtual Desktop disconnect after a period of inactivity?
A:  Yes, staff members’ Virtual Desktop will automatically disconnect after 30 minutes, students’ will disconnect after 15 minutes. 


Q:  How do I access my Outlook Archive from the Virtual Desktop?
A:  The following document describes how you can access your Outlook Archive from the Virtual Desktop Service.
Accessing your Outlook Archive from the VDS


Q:  Is the VDS available for students?

A:  Yes, information for students can be found on myNapier.