Virtual Lab

Wharton provides remote access to virtual computers equipped with the same software as Wharton's public computers. This service provides an alternative for students who otherwise aren't able to get to campus. The Virtual Lab is available 24/7 for student use and may be accessed from any Mac or Windows computer and many mobile devices. 

Use this service to:

  • Access specific departmental applications such as JMP and Matlab.
  • Use Windows software from a Mac.
  • Print to on campus printers if you aren't able to print from a laptop or mobile device).

Before you start:

  • To use the virtual lab, you will need admin access to your device to install the appropriate client software on your computer or app on your mobile device using the steps in this article. 
  • Most of the software listed in the Wharton Public Computers article is also available on the Virtual lab.
  • Trouble with the Virtual Lab?  See Troubleshooting the Virtual Lab

Windows and Mac

Installing the Virtual Lab Software

  1. Download and run the VMWare Horizon Client installer for your computer: 
  2. Once the VMWare Horizon Client is installed launch it.
  3. It will ask you to enter the name of a Connection Server.  When prompted for the name of the Connection Server type https://vlab.wharton.upenn.edu.
  4. Click ConnectSee "Running the Virtual Lab Software" for details about logging in.

Running the Virtual Lab Software

  1. Launch the VMware Horizon Client application on your computer.
  2. vlab.wharton.upenn.edu will be listed in the server list.Doubleclick the Virtual Lab option (https://vlab.wharton.upenn.edu).
  3. Select UPENN.EDU from the drop-down menu for Domain.
  4. Enter your PennKey username and password and click "Login".

  5. The VMWare Horizon Client connects you to a virtual desktop and gives you a few menu options, including full screen or windowed mode.
Display Note: VMware only supports screen resolutions up to 2560 X 1440. Mac users will not have to change their screen resolution, but some PC users may. See directions for how to change your VM screen resolution.

You can save time by having the Horizon client connect to VLab automatically at launch. Right click on the vlab icon in your server list and select "Always connect at launch."

Mobile Note:  Using a mobile device instead?  See our directions for mobile devices.

When you're connected to the Virtual Lab you'll notice a menu at the top of the VMWare Horizon client:

These icons represent, from left to right:

  • Disconnect: Click this button to be disconnected from your Virtual Lab session. You won't be logged out of Windows, so if you reconnect within 30 minutes you can pick up your session where you left it. After 30 minutes you're automatically logged out. If you log off, by either logging out of Windows, you will free up your virtual desktop for other users immediately.
  • USB: Some platforms may allow you to redirect USB ports on your device to the virtual machine, if that option is available it will be in the menus here.
  • CTRL+Alt+Del: If you need to send a CTRL+ALT+DEL to the virtual computer, it can also be done by clicking this button.

Via Web Browser

The Virtual Lab may also be accessed via web browser, without the VMWare client. To access the Virtual Lab in this manner:

  1. Open a web browser session and navigate to https://vlab.wharton.upenn.edu
  2. Select the "VMWare Horizon HTML Access" link on the bottom right of the form:
  3. Select UPENN.EDU from the drop-down menu for Domain.
  4. Log in with your PennKey username and password as you would in the VMware client and click the "Login" button. 
  5. Click the "Wharton vLab" option.

You will be connected to a virtual desktop scaled to your browser window; there will be a tab on the left of the window that will provide you with some additional functions/options. 

On iOS and Android

  1. Search VMWare Horizon Client In the iOS App Store or Google Play and tap install. 
  2. Type vlab.wharton.upenn.edu in the Server Address and tap Add Server/Connect.
  3. Enter your PennKey and password.  Double-check that the Domain is set to UPENN.
  4. Tap Virtual Lab to connect.

Tips

  • In iOS, helpful functions are available in the translucent circle. They pop out when you tap. For Android, these functions are always along the top (see below).
Screenshot with iOS functions showing. iOS functions
Screenshot showing how to access Android functions.
Android functions


  • Mobile device gestures do not translate exactly to the Virtual Lab environment. Basic tapping gestures are always available in the Help menu (see below).
Screenshot showing gestures available in iOS. Available iOS gestures
Screenshot showing available Android gestures.Available Android gestures


  • For more precise mouse pointing, use the trackpad feature. This allows you to move your finger as if you are using a trackpad to control the mouse pointer, resulting in fewer accidental clicks. Clicking gestures are the same in trackpad mode.
  • Don't forget that you can print! If you need to print a document, you can log into the Virtual Lab and send it to the queue, saving you the need to find an open computer 

Virtual Lab vs. Physical Lab

Since you're connecting remotely to access these computers, your network speed plays a large role in your experience. You will get the best results on a fast connection. 

VMware only supports screen resolutions up to 2560 X 1440. Mac users will not have to change their screen resolution, but some PC users may. See directions for how to change your VM screen resolution.

Note: Adobe Creative Cloud is not provided in our virtual environment due to changes in licensing by Adobe. If you already have your own Adobe CC subscription, you should be able to sign in and use Adobe products. Adobe CC student licenses can be purchased through Adobe at https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html.

Questions?

If you are having trouble using the Virtual Lab, see our troubleshooting article.

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