The University of Texas at Austin
As part of the Web Central Services Retirement project, the ITS website will be retired. Information about IT services will be replaced by two new sites, IT@UT and UT ServiceNow, and ITS departmental information will be migrated to a new location. All changes will be completed by 7/28/2016.

Project: vDesk Virtual Desktops

vDesk Terms of Use

Last updated: March 3, 2011


This document outlines the terms of use for individuals and organizations that use vDesk Virtual Desktops.

Service Description

vDesk provides virtual system image provisioning which reduces the time and cost to manage campus computer labs, provides replicated, customized environments to students and faculty, and increases the flexibility of Schools and Colleges to support a diverse base of operating system and application needs.

vDesk is supported and monitored by a consortium of interested Schools and Departments at the university.

A vDesk session includes:

  • Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 10-40 GB hard drive space (evaluate with ITS)
  • Public or private network space
  • ThinApp and ITS-owned/campus licensed software

Intended users

College and departments

vDesk is intended to be used as the desktop for thin client machines in a lab environment, managed by a designated vDesk desktop administrator.

End users

Anyone who uses labs running vDesk may use the service, unless the college or department that runs the lab has chosen to restrict access.

Supported computing environment

If you are running vDesk from a thin client, the hardware specifications for the thin client are:

If you are running vDesk from a browser on a desktop machine, minimum recommended operating system requirements are:

  • Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Internet Explorer 7 or better
  • Mac OS 10.4 and above
  • Safari 3.0 or better
  • Firefox 3.0 or better
  • Latest version of Java and Microsoft RDC 2.0

For VMware View 4.5, the minimum recommended operating system requirements can be found on the VMware site.

Technical support

Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 technical support is available during normal business hours. Routine requests are typically addressed within one business day.

ITS requires that each department that uses vDesk have a designated vDesk desktop administrator for the service, and that this individual have at least one backup.

Tier 1 support

The vDesk desktop administrator in each department provides Tier 1 support for this service.

Tier 2 Support

vDesk desktop administrator may escalate issues to Tier 2, which can be contacted at

Portal administrators are also encouraged to use and contribute to the vDesk wiki.


ITS will notify customers about both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance using the ITS Services Status page of service availability and service delivery issues. Services may not be available during the maintenance periods.

Scheduled Maintenance

Scheduled maintenance for central vDesk hardware and software is essential for upgrades and to maintain security, and may occur weekly on Sundays from midnight to 6 a.m. vDesk desktop administrator may schedule maintenance for their own portals outside of this window, but are responsible for communicating any maintenance windows with their end users.

Unscheduled maintenance

Unscheduled maintenance tasks that require service downtime will be announced as soon as possible on the ITS Services Status page.

Change notification

ITS will notify vDesk desktop administrator of changes to the vDesk service.

User responsibilities

Subscribers (users) of the service and identified owners/administrators agree to be aware of and adhere to the university's Acceptable Use Policy.

In addition, vDesk users agree to:

  • Be familiar with the vDesk documentation at
  • Use supported client software.
  • Provide critical information to the departmental portal administrator in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving issues.

vDesk desktop administrators agree to:

  • Provide ITS with contact information for the yourself and at least one backup.
  • Be familiar with the online documentation at as well as the information available at
  • Provide critical information to Tier 2 support in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving vDesk issues.
  • Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues with desktop images.
  • Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues security permissions.
  • Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues related to vDesk and Austin Active Directory Group Policy.

Cost of Service

This service is funded by an ITAC grant for 360 seats through August 2013. It is currently available at no direct cost, up to 360 licenses shared among the campus community. Please note that the service will be reevaluated when the number of licenses used exceeds 360, or when the current licenses expire in August 2013.

We Can Help

Get help from an expert:

* UT Service Desk

* Call us at 512-475-9400

* Submit a help request online

We also have a walk-in service in the first floor lobby of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC). Stop by and let us help you!