Installing the VMware Horizon Client and Accessing a Rice VDI

This document provides instructions on how to install the VMWare Horizon Client and how to access a Rice VDI. This information only applies to users who have already been granted access to a VDI.

Installing the VMWare Horizon Client

To access a VDI on a non-Rice computer, you must download and install the VMware Horizon Client. If you are using a computer that already has the VMWare Horizon Client, you can skip to the "Accessing a Rice VDI" section below.

Open a web browser, and go to If you are off campus or if you are using the "Rice Visitor" wireless network on your own computer, you need to install and use the ANYCONNECT VPN client and DUO two-factor authentication. (The Cisco VPN client will stop working on October 31, 2018.)

Install the VMWare Horizon Client:
install vmware horizon client

It will take you to the VMware site to download the client for your operating system.  The rest of these instructions are for Windows, but Mac instructions are similar.

Find your operating system, and then click on “Go to Downloads” next to it:
download client

Select "Download" and save the file. Then double-click the file to open it.

Allow the app to make changes to your device:
allow app to make changes

Review the privacy and license agreement and "Agree & Install":
license agreement

You will need to restart the computer to complete the installation.

After you reboot the computer, you will see the VMware Horizon Client icon on your desktop. You can also search your Start Menu for "vmware."
desktop icon

Double-click the VMWare Horizon client to launch it.

Click on "Add Server":
add server

Enter the name of the connection server,, and then click "Connect":
connection server

Accessing a Rice VDI

The VMWare Horizon Client is installed on all Podium and Teaching Lab PCs and Macs. You may also install it on your own computer. If you are off campus or if you are using "Rice Visitor" wireless access, please be sure to use the AnyConnect VPN client and Duo two-factor authentication.

On a PC, launch the VMWare Horizon Client from the Start Menu. On a Mac, you can search for it using Spotlight or find it in Applications.

Select the connection server, You may have to manually type this in.

Log in with your NetID username and password. If you are not affiliated with Rice and have been granted a guest user name and password, please enter this info here:

Launch the VDI by double-clicking on the icon, or you can right-click and select "Launch":
launch vdi

Select whether you want to allow access to your local files or removal storage/USB device:

On a PC these are set in "Settings" and via "Connect USB Device":
access local files

connect usb device

On a Mac, these settings are set in Preferences:
mac file access

After your session, be sure to SIGN OUT. Go to the Start Menu, and click "Sign Out." If you just click the "X" to close the VDI, you will stay logged in. 
sign out


  • If you are accessing the VDI from an off-campus location or via "Rice Visitor" wireless access, you need to connect to the Rice Network via the AnyConnect VPN client and DUO two-factor authentication. (The Cisco VPN client will stop working on October 31, 2018.)
  • DO NOT save files on the VDI; they might not be there the next time you log in. Instead, save files to a USB drive or a network location, eg, your U drive or your cloud storage location.
  • Be sure to SIGN OUT of the VDI as indicated above. Clicking the "X" does not sign you out of the VDI.