Virtual Desktop for Students (VDI)

Dear Students of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to announce the limited release of our new virtual desktop infrastructure, referred to as VDI.  This will allow students to access all of the software available in the ICF labs from classrooms without installed computers via the school’s wired or wireless networks.  To connect to your ICF virtual desktop, please follow the instructions below:

Click here to view the minimum requirements to install VMWare Horizon Client.

  1. Download and install the VMWare Horizon Client
    • Click here for the install instructions for MAC
    • Click here for the install instructions for Windows


    • 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
  3. Enter your Novell/Computer/MyHarvardChan 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
      Enter your Harvard Chan username and password and click login
  4. 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.

If you encounter any issues, please contact our Helpdesk at

Department of Information Technology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Department of Information Technology Home Page