How It Works

Zero Clients connect to a central server where the operating system and software is stored. You have your own desktop image that is customizable by you in the same way as a typical desktop computer. The software that you would normally download and save on a personal computer is now stored on the network, so you can access your desktop and files from anywhere.

Software Images

IS&T offers Windows 7 and Microsoft Office Professional 2010 suite. Other licensed software is the responsibility of the department or school.

Providing the Service

Local IT groups that are interested in providing Zero Clients to faculty, staff, and researchers should contact the IT Help Center for more information on providing the service.

Ordering Zero Clients

Wyse Zero Clients are available in the new BUworks Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) vendor catalog with product ID 20818707. The cost for a Zero Client is ~$300.

Accessing Your Virtual Desktop

At Your Desk

When you’re at your desk, sign in to VMview with your BU login name and Kerberos password. Your files are saved in a Document Library:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Select Computer.
  3. Choose Libraries.
  4. Open Documents.
From Home
  1. Visit https://mydesk.bu.edu
  2. If you haven’t already, download the View Client (available at mydesk.bu.edu). When you’re installing the software, enter https://mydesk.bu.edu as the connection server URL.
    • On a PC, choose the option to create a shortcut. Mac users need to add it to their Dock or Applications folder.
    • For iPad users, download the free app called VMware View Client.
    • You do NOT have to use VPN to connect to your desktop from home.

Using an Existing Computer

There will be a software charge to set up a virtual desktop on an existing computer.

  1. Request a virtual desktop from the IT Help Center or your local IT support group.
  2. Once you have a virtual desktop, connect as above using the VMview client and the connection server https://mydesk.bu.edu.

Troubleshooting

Black Screen:

Like other computers, there is a screen saver that will cause your display to automatically go black after a period of inactivity. Simply moving the mouse or pressing the Enter key will bring your display back. For most users, the default is 10 minutes.

Software:

If you need to download any new software or encounter any problems, contact the IT Help Center online, via email, or by phone at 353-HELP (4357).

HIPAA-secure Server:

Q: “Our staff are on AD2 and need access to our HIPAA-secure server so that they can keep client records. Can we still do this using a Zero Client?”
A: VMView works with either AD or AD2. However, VMView and Zero Clients only support DHCP IP Addresses, which may be a problem for access to HIPAA servers. Contact us for an assessment and our Information Security group will help decide the best course of action for your group.

If you have any further questions, contact the IT Help Center or your local IT support group.