Citrix Frequently Asked Questions
This article applies to the following Citrix/Virtual Desktop clients:
- Who can use Virtual Desktop?
- What is the difference between Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Remote Desktop?
- Which Citrix client should I use?
- What types of applications can be accessed via Virtual Desktop?
- Are Virtual Desktop applications available through ResNet?
- If I am using e-mail via Virtual Desktop and open a document that uses a program that I don't have rights to use, what happens?
Connecting to Virtual Desktop
- What is the best way to connect to Virtual Desktop?
- What is the address of the Virtual Desktop Web Interface?
- What username/password should I use to authenticate to Virtual Desktop?
- Why is my Virtual Desktop window freezing?
- Can I use Virtual Desktop to connect to a remote application using a dial-up connection?
- Are Virtual Desktop connections encrypted?
- Can I use Mozilla Firefox to connect to the Virtual Desktop Web Interface?
- What do you mean by printer or drive redirection?
- Why does printing or saving something over a Virtual Desktop connection take so long?
- How do my local drives appear when in a Virtual Desktop session?
General Virtual Desktop FAQ
What is the difference between Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Remote Desktop?
Remote Desktop allows users to connect to the entire desktop of a remote Windows computer from other Windows computers or Mac OS X. The experience is much like maintaining two separate computers, each with their own data, settings and installed programs. Citrix XenApp, which is the technology that the Virtual Desktop service is based on, provides better security and simplifies the experience for the end user.
Which Citrix client should I use?
On a Windows PC, you should use the Citrix XenApp Plugin. On a Mac, there are two available options, the Citrix Client for Mac OS X or the Citrix Client for Java. Click here to read about the differences between the two.
What types of applications can be accessed over Virtual Desktop?
Virtual Desktop can run most any application that will run under Windows 2000/XP/2003. See the list of available applications (on and off campus) here.
Are Virtual Desktop applications available through ResNet?
Yes, Virtual Desktop is available through ResNet. See the list of available applications here. As part of the University's on-campus network, ResNet users have access to all Virtual Desktop applications.
If I am using e-mail via Virtual Desktop and open a document that uses a program that I don't have rights to, what happens?
If you are using an e-mail program or web browser via Virtual Desktop and click on a link for a document that opens with another program like Microsoft Word that you don't have rights to use via Citrix, the document will open in a Virtual Desktop session as long as the necessary application exists on the server. Permissions must be granted to users to use each application via Virtual Desktop but if they open a program indirectly, like opening a Word document as an e-mail attachment, it will open in the Virtual Desktop session provided that Word is installed on the Virtual Desktop server.
Connecting to Virtual Desktop FAQ
What is the best way to connect to Virtual Desktop?
The easiest way to connect to Virtual Desktop is by using the Virtual Desktop Web Interface. When users log into the web interface, it displays icons for all of the applications to which they have been given permissions.
What is the address of the Virtual Desktop web interface?
What username/password should I use to authenticate to Virtual Desktop?
You should use your Hawk ID or Active Directory account (they are the same) to connect to Virtual Desktop.
Why is my Virtual Desktop window freezing?
The reasons that your Virtual Desktop-delivered application could be freezing up are numerous. The most likely cause is that your internet connection has either dropped all together or has drastically slowed so that your Citrix client can't receive video data from the Virtual Desktop server. The best course of action is to disconnect and reconnect to the internet.
Can I use Virtual Desktop to connect to a remote application using a dial-up connection?
Yes. Virtual Desktop is based on Citrix technology which uses advanced compression technology to minimize bandwidth usage, especially as compared to a Remote Desktop connection. Running a Virtual Desktop-delivered application over a slow dial-up connection is very possible though slow compared to a broadband connection.
Are Virtual Desktop connections encrypted?
Yes. 40 bit encryption is used for the actually Virtual Desktop connection and 128 bit encryption (SSL) is used on the Virtual Desktop Web Interface to transfer your user ID and password.
Can I use Mozilla Firefox to connect to the Virtual Desktop Web Interface?
On a PC: Yes.
On a Mac with the Java client: Yes BUT you may see some degradation in image quality. If this is causing issues, you may want to try the Safari browser instead.
What do you mean by printer or drive redirection?
One of the important features of Virtual Desktop is printer/drive redirection. This feature allows you to access your locally installed devices while in a Virtual Desktop-delivered application, which you are actually "remote controlling". Virtual Desktop "maps" a path in your Virtual Desktop session back to your local device so they are accessible during that session.
Why does printing or saving something over a Virtual Desktop connection take so long?
When you are working on a document in Microsoft Word via Virtual Desktop, for example, the application is running on the remote Virtual Desktop server. When you save that document back to your hard drive, it is more like downloading it from the internet, which essentially, is what you are doing. This will take much longer than if you were saving it from the RAM on your local machine to your local hard drive because the document never leaves the inside of your computer. The same rules apply to printing to a mapped printer.
How do my local drives appear when in a Virtual Desktop session?
There is an article on how to manage documents within a Virtual Desktop session here.