DePaul University Information Services > Services > Labs & Classrooms > Virtual Lab > Virtual Lab Frequently Asked Questions

Virtual Lab Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Virtual Lab?

​The DePaul Virtual Lab is a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services environment that lets you access DePaul-licensed courseware applications from your personal computer, even off-campus.​

How do I access the Virtual Lab?

You can access the Virtual Lab by downloading and opening the Virtual Lab application launcher files from our website. Once you've downloaded a launcher file, you may continue using it without returning to the website. Occasionally, we may update the launcher files, so if you are having trouble accessing the Virtual Lab, you should return to the website to download a new copy. The website can be quickly accessed at https://vlab.depaul.edu.​​

Who is eligible to access the Virtual Lab?

Any actively enrolled student or active faculty member may access the Virtual Lab. Staff members are not eligible for access (unless they are also actively enrolled students).​​

What are the computer hardware/software requirements to access the Virtual Lab?

Most modern Windows and Mac computers can access the Virtual Lab. On the Windows platform, any edition of Windows 7 or newer is required. For Macs, OS X version 10.7 or newer is required. Any mainstream web browser can be used to access the Virtual Lab application launcher file downloads; we have tested with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.​

How do I access the Virtual Lab on the Mac platform?

Before downloading the Virtual Lab application launcher files provided on our website, you will need to install the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store. The app can be obtained directly from the App Store or by searching the App Store for "Microsoft Remote Desktop." Once you have installed the app, you can simply double-click the downloaded Virtual Lab application launcher file to open it and access the Virtual Lab.​​

Can I launch multiple Virtual Lab applications?

Yes you can launch different applications. However, when launching multiple applications on the Mac platform you will be presented with the following dialog box.

MacMultipleConnection.PNG  

Click 'OK' and the next application you selected will launch. ​

While working on a Mac I minimized an application and it does not appear in my dock, where did it go?

On the Mac platform minimized applications can be found by clicking the remote resources icon in the taskbar.

RemoteResourcesDropDown.png

Where should I save my files when using the Virtual Lab?

There are two ways to save files in the Virtual Lab environment.

First, you may save files on your Virtual Lab storage drive (the S: drive). The files will then be available any time that you connect to the Virtual Lab or via a web interface if you need to transfer files out of the Virtual Lab (for example, to submit a homework assignment to D2L). Your Virtual Lab storage has a limit of 500MB. This drive is considered to be temporary storage for current class assignments. All Virtual Lab content will be deleted during the break between Summer and Fall quarters. Be sure to download any content that you wish to keep before the end of the Summer quarter.

Second, you may save them on your own computer via drive redirection. Drive redirection makes your local computer's drives (including hard drives and USB flash drives) available in the Virtual Lab.

Faculty members may save files on either their S: or U: drives. U: drives for faculty are available in the Virtual Lab.

To access your Virtual Lab storage please visit https://labdrive.depaul.edu​

I received an error when trying to save to my Desktop in the Virtual Lab. What should I do?

 In the Virtual Lab, common user folders like Desktop and Documents are restricted. Files should only be saved to a redirected drive on your own computer or to your S: drive. Please see the "where should I save my files when using the Virtual Lab?" answer above.​

When exporting data from Virtual Lab applications, I receive an error stating that I do not have sufficient privileges to perform such an operation. What should I do?

Please try specifying an “S” drive folder to export data to.

For example, the following SAS statement attempts to export 5 observations from the SASHELP.class dataset to an RTF file:

ods rtf file="output.rtf";
proc print data=sashelp.class(obs=5);
run;
ods rtf close;

The following error is reported via the SAS log window:

ERROR: Insufficient authorization to access D:\Program Files\SASHome\SASFoundation\9.4\output.rtf.
ERROR: Fatal ODS error has occurred. Unable to continue processing this output destination.
WARNING: No body file. RTF output will not be created.

To resolve this error, specify an “S” drive folder. For example:

ods rtf file="S:\output.rtf";
proc print data=sashelp.class(obs=5);
run;
ods rtf close;

Navigating to the “S” drive via Explorer shows that the RTF file was successfully created:

sas_explorer_output_rtf_exists_v2.png

Can I print from Virtual Lab applications?

Yes. Any printer available on your own computer will be automatically mapped into the Virtual Lab environment. Simply select Print in any Virtual Lab application and you will see a list of your printers.​

Is the Virtual Lab available 24 hours a day?

The Virtual Lab is always available except during certain defined maintenance periods, which will be communicated in advance. Also, every night at 5:00AM Central Time, the Virtual Lab environment is restarted. If you are using the environment at this time, you will be warned to log off.  If you have not saved your work prior to the restart, it will be lost.​

From where can I access the Virtual Lab?

You can access the Virtual Lab from almost any Windows or Mac computer with an Internet connection. You don't have to be on campus to use the Virtual Lab.​

How long can I stay logged in to the Virtual Lab?

You can stay logged in and active for up to 12 hours for each session (keeping in mind the nightly reboot of the environment that occurs each night at 5:00AM Central Time). Sessions that are connected but idle will be disconnected after two hours. Sessions where you disconnect but don't log off will remain active for 30 minutes just in case you lose your connection for any reason.​

Who can help me learn to use the applications in the Virtual Lab?

Your instructor would be the best point of contact for learning to use the applications offered in the Virtual Lab. Information Services and the Technology Support Center cannot offer assistance with usage of the individual Virtual Lab applications.​