Home > 2009 Fall BTO130 > Using the Computer Studies virtual machines for Windows Vista

Using the Computer Studies virtual machines for Windows Vista

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The School of Computer Studies offers Windows Vista virtual machines for selected courses. This facility enables students to learn and work with all features of the operating system, which is not possible on the College’s managed computers. This post helps you get started with using your virtual machine.

Key concepts

The College’s computers are managed, which provides a consistent and quality experience for student and faculty users. The configuration of the managed computers cannot be changed by users, in order to ensure this consistent and quality experience. 

BTO130 students, however, need to be able to perform administrative tasks, in order to support their learning, and achievement of the course objectives. As a result, each BTO130 student is provided with their own Windows Vista virtual machine.

As a concept, virtualization enables a computer to host a number of guest operating system (OS) instances. Each guest OS is provided with software-based hardware emulation, so that the guest OS works as if it was running on actual hardware. A guest OS instance is referred to as a “virtual machine”.

The College uses VMware Server as the virtual machine host. Each College computer is configured with software that enables you to connect to the server and run a virtual machine.


Connect to and run your virtual machine

On a College computer that’s running Windows Vista, look for the VMware Server Console icon in the Quick Launch area beside the Start button. Start the program, and you will see the following dialog:


Enter the server host name and the credentials that you have been provided with. At that point, you will see the two-panel console: The left panel lists your virtual machines (there should be only one), and the right panel is the working area, which shows details about a selected item, and acts as the viewport for your virtual machine.


To start your virtual machine, click the item in the left panel, and the VM’s details appear on the right. Click the “Start this virtual machine” link.

After the Windows Vista VM loads, login with the credentials that you have been provided with.


Work from home

Can you work from home? Yes.

Visit the VMware web site, and download the VMware Server Console. Then, you can install it on your home/laptop computer. Here’s where to go:

VMware Serve 1.0.9 downloads page

Look for the VMware Server Windows client package, as shown below:


Click the “Download” button, and click through the EULA.

The downloads page shows (again) the VMware Server Windows client package. Select its “Binary (.zip)” download link, as shown below:


The downloaded zip (as it notes) contains four components. The software to be installed is named “VMware-console-1.0.9-156507”.

Install the software (the default settings are suitable for most situations), and you’re ready to use it.


Using your virtual machine

There are several typical tasks that all personal computer users do. This section gets you started with these tasks when using your virtual machine (VM).


The above “Connect to and run your virtual machine” section enabled you to get started. The important concept to note is that you must always use the VMware Server Console to connect to and start your VM.

Shut down

A virtual machine works just like an operating system that’s running on a physical computer. As a result, you must treat it the same way: When you’re ready to end your work with your VM, choose the OS’ shut down command.

Toggle between the view port and the full screen

The VMware Server Console’s right-side panel is a viewport to your running VM. Many times, it will be more convenient for you to use your VM in full-screen mode. In this mode, almost all keystrokes are sent to your VM.

To enter full screen mode, click the “Full Screen” button on the VMware Server Console, at the top of the right-side panel.

To exit full screen mode, press this special keystroke: Ctrl+Alt

Copy/paste to and from the VM

You can copy and paste text and graphics to and from your VM. Do this in the normal way, in viewport mode or full screen mode. In viewport mode, the program’s VM menu offers additional functionality.

Print from the VM

Normally, the printers on your home/laptop computer are published and made available to your VM.

In the near future, the BTO130 professors will suggest that PDF creation software be installed on your VM to provide you with one more option.

Categories: 2009 Fall BTO130
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  1. September 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

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