Accessing vLabs using VMware Horizon View Client for iOS

The following demonstrates how to install and use the VMware Horizon View Client from any iOS device. This client allows the user to connect to virtual lab machines that you have been provisioned access to from any iOS device with an internet connection. This information pertains to installing the VMware Horizon View Client version 2.1 from the Apple App Store, which is used by all iOS devices, to download and install applications. There is no cost to install the application. Please note, these instructions are for an iPad running iOS 6.1.3. The images shown will vary between devices and iOS versions.

Device Requirements

UMass Lowell only supports using VMware Horizon View Client version 2.1 or higher since it works on any iOS device running iOS version 5.0 or later. If you do not know which version of iOS your device is running, go into your “Settings” and under the “General” tab, click “About." About halfway down the page, you will see “Version.” This is shown in figure 1.

ios1          ios2       ios3

Figure 1

Installing the Client

1) Enter the Apple App Store and search for “VMware Horizon View Client.” Figure 2 shows the results of the search, and the application page in the Apple App Store.

Figure 2

2) Click the “Free” then “Install” button to begin the installation process. Enter your Apple App Store credentials if prompted and install the application.

3) The application will download and install itself, please wait for this process to finish.

4) Once the installation process is complete, open your applications menu and find the VMware Horizon View Client. Figure 3 shows the icon for the application.

5) Open the application by clicking on the icon shown in figure 3.

Figure 3

6) Once opened you will see the “Add Server” button shown in figure 4.

Figure 4

7) You are then prompted for a Server Name, enter “vlabs.uml.edu” then click the connect button. Figure 5 shows the entered information.

Figure 5

8) After clicking connect, you are prompted for a username and password. Please enter your student email address and password into the correct fields shown in figure 6. You can safely ignore the “Domain” field.

Figure 6

9) Click the connect button to log into vlabs.uml.edu.

10) Once logged in, there will be a list of all virtual labs that you have been provisioned access to. Select the virtual lab desired to log in. Figure 7 shows the list of virtual labs available.

Figure 7

11) Click the lab that you would like to use and you will be automatically logged into the selected lab.

VMware Horizon View Client for iOS Features

The VMware Horizon View Client for iOS has a few features in place to make the mobile experience easier. The ability to use the client over 3G, 4G, or LTE data connection as well as a wireless internet connection makes the client usable from anywhere. Please note that if the VMware Horizon View Client is being used over 3G, 4G, or an LTE data connection, you will be using your carrier data plan. Using a vLabs Virtual desktop over a 3G, 4G, or LTE connect will use a lot of data, unless you have an unlimited data plan.

There is also an easy access menu wheel that has common task buttons. To open the menu, click on the icon enclosed in red in figure 8. You may also move the menu around the screen which is also shown in figure 8.

ios10         ios11

Figure 8

Each button in the menu wheel is used to accomplish a different task. Starting from top to bottom, each button is explained below.

  1. Question Mark vlabs20 – This button opens up the gesture guide. Gestures are different touch combinations used to execute different tasks.
  2. Settings vlabs21 - This button opens the “Settings” page. From there you can change some basic settings. If a smartphone is being used you should not have to change any of these settings.
  3. Disconnect vlabs23 - This button opens the “Disconnect” page. Here you can select whether or not you would like to disconnect from the virtual machine. More about disconnecting is explained on the next page.
  4. Arrow Keys and Keyboard vlabs24vlabs25 - Both of these buttons open an on-screen keyboard. The arrow keys only open up the arrow keys along with the “Page up”, “Page down”, “Home”, and “End” keys. The keyboard opens a full on-screen keyboard.
  5. Touchpad vlabs26 - This button starts a virtual touchpad which makes the entire screen a touchable interface like a laptop touchpad.

The final feature exclusive to mobile devices is the Unity Touch interface. The Unity Touch interface allows you to easily browse or search for files and applications, as well as add favorite files and applications without a keyboard and mouse. To open the Unity Touch interface, swipe across the devices screen from left to right. Figure 9 shows the menu that will open. To close the menu, swipe from right to left across the screen.

ios13        ios12

Figure 9

Disconnecting from vLabs

There are a few different ways to close a virtual machine. You can either disconnect or log out.

  • Disconnecting will close the virtual machine and start a 1-hour timer. Disconnecting allows you to reconnect to the same session at a later point in time, as long as you do not exceed the one hour timer. After one hour, the user is logged out.
  • Logging out immediately disconnects the user and destroys the virtual machine. This removes any files that have been created since you have logged in. 

First, you must disconnect from the desktop by using the “Disconnect” button explained earlier. You will then be brought to the “Recent Desktops” screen shown in figure 10. To log out, press and hold until the log off menu is displayed. Then click “Log off” to log off of the vLabs virtual machine.

vlabs29          vlabs30

Figure 10