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Viterbi MyDesktop

Viterbi MyDesktop is the current label for virtual computing resource available to students of select engineering classes.  MyDesktop is known by different names by different users within the school. It is sometimes referred to as the Virtual Lab by the Information Technology Program, or as the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by others. 

Viterbi MyDesktop is intended to provide Viterbi students with access to engineering and scientific software packages whose licensing terms prohibit their installation on personally owned computers, involve complex installation procedures, or require elevated hardware resources for satisfactory experience. The intent is to provide access to "installed software, on any device, from anywhere and at any time" to the extent possible.


What is Viterbi MyDesktop?
Viterbi MyDesktop currently uses VMWare Horizon virtual desktop technology.  Virtual desktops supported on MyDesktop run Windows software only.

There are currently two virtual desktop pools on MyDesktop:

1. General Desktop with light 3D graphics acceleration

2. Enhanced Desktop with heavier 3D graphics requirements

For a list of software installed on each pool, scroll to the bottom.


Who has access to Viterbi MyDesktop?
MyDesktop is set up for classroom / instructional use only.  Each semester, professors may make a request for their class to have access to MyDesktop.  Only students taking classes with approved access to MyDesktop will be able to access MyDesktop.  At the end of each semester, student access will be discontinued.


How do classes get access to Viterbi MyDesktop?
Faculty should supply the following information for the class to have access.  Approval is on a case by case basis and for the upcoming semester only.  Faculty must make access request for each subsequent semester.  Faculty may make the request through the Viterbi Service Desk within MyViterbi.USC.edu.

1. Course name, course number and section that will need access to MyDesktop.

2. Software installed on MyDesktop that will be used by the students.

3. List of TAs that will need access to MyDesktop.

For a list of classes that have access this semester, scroll to the bottom of page.


Benefits of using Viterbi MyDesktop
1. Access to the software from anywhere at any time.  The user does not need to come on campus and find an available computer to work on.

2. In most cases, the user does not need to install anything on their computer to access MyDesktop.  There is an HTML5 web access method for MyDesktop.  The user does have the option to install a client (multi-platform) for faster access and better performance while using MyDesktop.

3. Users could make use of the software installed on MyDesktop with their own laptops in classrooms not outfitted with computers.

4. Apple Mac users will be able to access Windows only Engineering software.

5. Users do not have to deal with software installation headaches and hassles such as:

a. Do I have the right operating system?

b. Does my computer meet the minimum hardware requirements?

c. The software didn't install properly.  Now what do I do?

d. Software licenses and how do I get that back from the students when they are done with the class?

6. All users on MyDesktop have a roaming profile and network storage.  Logging in with your USC Net ID, whether it is in an ITP classroom, on MyDesktop or in the Engineering Computing Center (SAL125), your shortcuts and files will follow.

7. Easily copy and paste between MyDesktop and your own computer. 

8. Easily mount and have access to your own computer's hard drive from within MyDesktop.

9. Most USB flash drives plugged into your own computer will be accessible through MyDeskop. Other USB devices may also work but will depend if Windows has driver support for your device. 


Usage Guidelines
1. Login and Getting Started guide could be found here.

2. In order to provide fair access to all while allowing sutdents to get their work done, session limits are enforced.  Virtual desktops are automatically shut down after 8 hours to make resources available for others.  Users may log off and log back on to reset the 8 hours.  There are no limits to how often you may connect to MyDesktop.

3. You are limited to one active virtual desktop session at a time.  You will not be able to initiate multiple MyDesktop sessions.  Please make sure you log off your session properly.  Simply closing or quitting the session may result in your session being hung that may require you to wait until the session times out.

4. Virtual desktops are automatically shut down if there is no activity or remains idle for 60 minutes.

5. You should always save your work to your assigned space on the Viterbi network file storage.  MyDesktop standard configuration will redirect My Documents/Documents, Desktop and Downloads to space on the Viterbi network file storage.  This is also mapped in the VM as your U:\ drive.  Performance is generally best when saving to the U:\ drive.  You should always save your work in at least two locations.  You may keep backup copies of your work on your Google Drive or other cloud storage accesible to you.  Please use the web interface for these cloud storage services.  You may also copy your data to an attached USB flash drive or to your local computer's storage.   

For the Spring semester, all data will be purged starting on 5/31
For the Summer semester, all data will be purged starting on 8/31 
For the Fall semester, all data will be purged starting on 12/31

Be sure to copy your data before the above mentioned dates.

6. Read all notices when you log in.  Any interruption to services will be posted when you log in.


Troubleshooting Common Viterbi MyDesktop Login Problems
Before reaching out for help, try the following:

1. If you are unable to login with the HTML5 method, have you tried downloading the Horizon client and see if you are able to login?

2. If you are unable to login with the Horizon client, have you tried using the HTML5 to login?

3. If you are using the Horizon client, are you using the latest version?  If you have a Mac and running bootcamp, you could try both the Windows and Mac version of Horizon client to see which works better for you.

4. Are you using your USC Net ID and the correct password?  If you are not sure, try logging into MyViterbi.USC.EDU.  If you can't log in to that either, there's something wrong with your username, password or both.  Please contact ITS at 213-740-5555 to confirm your USC Net ID and or reset your password.

If the above fails, please contact your faculty or TA for assistance.  If your faculty redirects you to Viterbi IT for help logging into MyViterbi or if your class does not have a TA, please email Viterbi IT at engrhelp@usc.edu.  Please provide the following information:

1. Computer Operating System and version you are using.  For example, Windows 7, Windows 10, Mac OSX El Capitan...

2. Are you using the Horizon client?  If yes, which version did you download and install?

3. Your USC Net ID.  Do NOT send your password.

4. Class you are in that requires access to MyDesktop.  Please provide the class name and course number.

Viterbi IT is opened from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  If you send in a request after hours or on the weekends, you may not receive a reply until the offices are opened.  Viterbi IT will only be able to help you log onto MyDesktop.  Viterbi IT will not be able to help you with computer hardware or software problems.


Caveats when using Viterbi MyDesktop
1. MyDesktop is set up as an additional way to deliver software for classroom and instructional purposes.  It is not meant as a straight replacement for classroom or lab computers.  As such, while the performance of MyDesktop is quite good, it will not outperform a desktop computer equipped with similar processor, RAM, video capabilities and a SSD.

2. The user's ISP speed connecting to MyDesktop will play a part in the user experience.  The faster the connection, the more responsive MyDesktop will feel.  Conversely, the slower the connection, MyDesktop may feel laggy and slow to respond.

3. Roaming profiles and network storage are very convenient but please take note.  The more that is saved to the roaming profile, the longer the login time.  Keep only the necessary items on the desktop.  Move your homework files to the network storage.


2017 Spring Semester - Classes that have access to Viterbi MyDesktop

General Desktop Enhanced Desktop  C-Enhanced
 All ITP classes  AME204  PTE572
 AME231L  AME308  
 CE207  AME408  
 CE588  CE207  
 CHE480  CE480  
 EE101  CE539  
 EE209  ITP090X  
 EE354L  ITP104  
 EE457  ITP140  
 ISE515  ITP211  
 ISE435  ITP215  
 ISE382  ITP305  
 PTE592  ITP308  


2017 Spring semester - Software installed on each Viterbi MyDesktop pool

General Desktop Enhanced Desktop   
Abaqus 6.14 ArcGIS 10.4.1  
Atlassian Source Tree Autodesk Maya 2016  
Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 Adobe CC  
Autodesk Navisworks 2016 NX10  
Autodesk Revit 2016 Solidworks 2016 with Simulation Module  
Axure StarCCM+ 10.06.010  
Bentley Microstation    
CES Edupack 2016    
Comsol 5.2    
Cryptool 2    
Erwin Data Modeler 9.6    
Komodo Edit    
Matlab 2016a    
Minitab 17    
Microsoft Office 2016    
Microsoft Project 2016    
Microsoft Visio 2016    
MySQL Workbench    
PHP Storm    
Pro II    
Visual Studio 2015    
Xilinx ISE     



Last updated: 2/28/17