UMUC Virtual Labs

Getting Started

First Time Accessing UMUC Virtual Lab Environment

You can access your Virtual Lab environment, your student Workspace, by navigating to this portal, https://vdi.umuc.edu. The UMUC Virtual Lab environment is accessible using any major browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. Your lab environment and applications have already been configured based on the course(s) in which you are currently enrolled. 

HOME View

The portal is made up of three views, the HOME, APPS, and DESKTOPS views. Upon accessing your Virtual Lab environment, you will be presented with the HOME view by default. On this view, you will see groups of applications made available to you based on your course, lab work, and other productivity needs. These groups of applications (i.e., Cyber Programs, Data Analytics Program, Microsoft Office, and Productivity) will be presented in a carousel as depicted below.

HOME view of the UMUC Labs portal displaying applications groups and Lab Broker App under Favorites.
Source: Citrix

DESKTOPS View

The DESKTOPS view will provide you access to a full virtual desktop. Some classes will require access to a full virtual desktop to complete the course exercises. Upon clicking the DESKTOPS icon to access this view, you will be presented the Virtual Desktops available to you based on your course(s).

DESKTOPS view of the UMUC Labs portal displaying Cyber Programs Desktop and Data Analytics Programs Desktop.
Source: Citrix

To open a virtual desktop, you just need to click the intended virtual desktop. This will open in another tab within your browser to access the virtual desktop as shown below.

Cyber Programs’ desktop with open applications.
Source: Microsoft Windows

APPS View

On the portal, you will also be able to access the “Apps” view. This view will show you all applications that you have access to for your course(s), lab work, and other productivity needs. You are able to open these applications from this view by simply clicking on their icons. The application will open a new tab within your browser where it will be ready for use.

From this view, you can also bookmark an App to be accessible from your Home view by marking it as “Favorites.” This is done by clicking to select (turn yellow) the star on the top left corner of the Apps button.

APPS view of the UMUC Labs portal displaying available applications.
Source: Citrix

The UMUC Lab Broker

What is the UMUC Lab Broker?

Located in the Virtual Lab environment (your Workspace), the UMUC Lab Broker is an application that allows you to access the lab virtual machines (VMs) needed for your course(s).

Opening Lab Broker

Under the APPS view of the portal, you will see the icon for Lab Broker. You may open this application by clicking on its icon, and it will open in a new tab in your browser. Once the application is open, it will display your course(s) name(s) and provide you access to the lab resources for your course(s).

List of available applications with focus on the Lab Broker app.
Source: Citrix

Using Lab Broker to Access the Lab VMs

Once you open Lab Broker, you will see a new window open. Each of your courses that contain labs will be listed in the interface.

Lab Broker application interface with focus on the “Nodes” button
Source: Citrix

If you are accessing the lab for the first time, after expanding the list of nodes available for your course, you’ll notice that the “Connect” and “Start” button are grayed out and only the “Allocate Lab” button is clickable. Click on “Allocate Lab” to activate the nodes.

Lab Broker application interface display of CYB670 course block.

Lab Broker application interface with focus on the “Connect” button.

Within each course block (e.g., CYB 610), you will see the machines needed for your labs. Follow your lab instructions regarding which machines to access for each lab assignment. To connect to an individual lab machine, simply click the “Connect” icon.

Lab Broker application interface with focus on the “Destroy Lab” function.

Clicking the “Destroy” button allows you to delete the existing nodes within that course and the option to reallocate new machines.

Credentials to Access the Lab VMs

User ID: StudentFirst

Password: Cyb3rl@b

Button Use
If you’re accessing the lab for the first time, you will need torequest that lab machines be set aside for your use. Clicking this buttonprovides those resources to you.
Clicking this button starts allocated labmachines.
Using this option will destroy your currently allocated lab resources.
Once your machines are available and running, the connect option willbecome available. Clicking this will link you to the new lab machine. **
Use this button to start an individual lab machine. Once the machine isstarted and running, the connect option will become available.
The icon next to the IP address lets you copy the IP address and pasteit in applications or tools used to connect to that node.

**Note: The first time you attempt to connect to a Windows machine and a Linux machine, you will receive a pop-up notification (External Protocol Request) that will ask you to approve Lab Broker to open your lab machines. For convenience, it is recommended that you select “Remember my choice for all links of this type.” Next, click “Launch Application” to proceed to the lab environment.

Obtaining Help With UMUC Labs

Primary support for labs is available from a team of trained professionals. Lab assistants (LAs) will help with technical issues associated with the environment or with the virtual machine(s) created so you can perform your lab exercises. LAs are not instructors or teaching assistants. Therefore, course or project content-related issues, which require subject matter expertise, should be directed to the instructor.

To obtain lab assistance, e-mail GraduateCyber@umuc.edu with the following information in the body of your email.

Provide any information related to the issue that you are experiencing and attach any screenshot that you may be able to produce.

Once you send an email, a ticket is created based on the information you provided. The next available LA will contact you to provide help within a 24-hour period. As needed, a Google Hangout, a Zoom session, or a phone call may be scheduled by the LA. A LA may need a remote support session with you to expedite resolution. Please make yourself available.