For general information on what VDI is, and how to get started, please visit our service catalog.

How can I install the VMWare Horizon Client?

For Windows For Mac

How do I use VDI, Once Installed?

  1. Launch the ICF (Instructional Computing Facility) client (VDI for students):
    • If a popup window appears asking for an “External Protocol Request”, check the “Remember my choice for all links of this type” box and then click the “Launch Application” button.
      Click "Launch Application" in the External Protocol Request window
  2. Enter your HarvardKey/Email Address/MyHarvard username and password in the “VMWare Horizon” login box that appears, and then click on “Login”.
    • NOTE: Depending on your connection speed, this process may take a few minutes, but you will be connected directly to your ICF virtual desktop.
  3. When you are finished using your ICF virtual desktop, simply go to the Windows start menu and choose “Shutdown”.
  • All Programs such as SAS and Stata can be accessed from the “Start” menu.
  • All work should continue to be saved to your P: drive. Files saved to the desktop will be lost after you reboot or logoff.
  • If your machine freezes or locks up, you can simply power off the computer by pressing the power button, then turn it back on. If you reconnect within 5 minutes, your programs and files will still be open.

What are the Minimum Requirements to run VDI?

Our virtual laboratory requires a modern laptop (PC or Apple).  In general most laptops that are less than 4 years old will run the VDI client without an issue.  More detailed requirements may be found below.



Windows 10 32 or 64-bit
Service Pack: N/A
Edition: Pro and Enterprise

Windows 8 or 8.1 –  32 or 64-bit
Service Pack: None or Update 2
Edition: Pro and Enterprise

Windows 7 32 or 64-bit
Service Pack: SP1
Edition: Home, Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate

Note: Chrome, Linux, ios, Android and XP operating systems are not supported.


You can install Horizon View Client for Mac OS X on all Intel-based models that use the Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later operating system.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8)
Mac OS X Lion (10.7)
Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9)
Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11)
Mac OS X Sierra (10.12)
Mac OS X High Sierra (10.13)
Mac OS X Mojave (10.14)
Mac OS X Catalina (10.15)


Model: Standard x86 or x86 64-bit compatible desktop or laptop computer
Memory: At least 4GB of RAM
Note: Horizon Client 3.3 and later also support x86-based tablets, such as the Windows Surface Pro.

Model Intel-based Mac
Memory At least 4GB of RAM

What Software is Included with VDI?

  • 7-Zip
  • Adobe Acrobat XI Pro v11.0.20
  • ArcGIS Desktop v10.6.1
  • ArcGIS Pro v2.2.12813
  • Bitvise SSH Client
  • East6 v6.5
  • EndNote x9
  • GeoDa v1.12.1.59
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Earth Pro
  • IBM SPSS Statistics v25
  • IBM SPSS Visualization Designer v1.0.3.1
  • Internet Explorer
  • JMP Pro 13 and 14
  • MathType 6 v6.7a
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2016
  • Microsoft Project Pro 2016
  • Microsoft Visio 2016
  • MLwiN v2.28
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Poll Everywhere v2.5
  • PuTTY
  • Python (Anaconda) v2.7.10
  • Python v3.4.3
  • QGIS Bonn 3.2.2
  • QuickTime
  • R v2.15.0, 3.0.2, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.3.0, 3.3.2, 3.4.4, and 3.5.1
  • RStudio v1.1.456
  • Salford Predictive Modeler v8.2.0.782
  • SAS v9.4 TS Level M6
  • SaTScan v9.4.1
  • Skype
  • Stat/Transfer v14
  • Stata/IC v14.2 and v15.1
  • SUDAAN v11.0.3
  • TeXStudio v2.9.4
  • TeXWorks v0.4.5
  • Tinn-R v3.0.1.9
  • TurningPoint v5.3.1.3337
  • TurningPoint 2008 v4.5.1
  • TurningPoint Cloud v7.2.0.80
  • VLC Media Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • WinSCP
  • Zoom

Other general-use software, or custom time-frame licensed software is not included in this list. Please contact helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu with questions.

How do I request software for the coming Term?

Teaching faculty receive an email, prior to the start of each full term, asking to verify the software needs for their course. If you have any questions or did not receive this email, please contact helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.