Linux Virtual Desktop

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Hello and welcome to using a Linux Virtual Desktop at Wageningen University and Research. This desktop has been provided to you using the VMWare Horizon services, and can be reached using various Horizon connection options.

This system is available to you 24/7, and is available for connection via both the Horizon connection or ssh, once one initial connection is made to the desktop.


There are some usage requirements:

  • This desktop is not a server, and as such we rigorously make sure that no ports are externally opened. Please do not abuse this. We regularly scan the systems for vulnerabilities, and if we find anything insecure, your use of this machine may be forfeit. The one service that is active is SSH, and you can connect to your desktop this way from within WUR as soon as you log in once via Horizon.
  • Updates will be handled automatically for you once a month. You may do this yourself, but there's a risk that an update may attempt to replace the live running desktop, making your machine becomg unusable. If you wish to do this yourself (for some reason), please do this via SSH. Please don't break the update process - if you prevent a machine from being updated automatically, access may be forfeit.
  • You (and all users who can log in) always have sudo rights. You may become root and install anything - but you can also break anything. We cannot revert a desktop step by step, but we can replace them totally with a new one, at a loss of all local data. You are free to do as you will, but care is advised.
  • Both your M: and W: drives are automatically mounted on login, to the folders ~/M and ~/W. This allows you to get access to your normal files on the WUR servers. You can write to these directories to store data off the server should you be concerned by the issue above.
  • Printing should be automatically configured for you, should you require this service.
  • If you have any issues, please contact Servicedesk and request a ticket.


The default Linux desktop consists of:

  • 2xCPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 40GB of local storage
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Unity or GNOME desktop


In addition to being available for personal use, these desktops are available for courses. If you are a teacher and you are running a course on Linux, and you wish to have customised desktop, please contact Servicedesk and we will come and talk about how to implement what you need.


Customisations have previously included:

  • Pre-installation of required tools for course
  • Distribution of examples and user code
  • Desktop customisations (Please bear in mind that Horizon will not work with desktops other than GNOME-based, so only Unity, Gnome3 and MATE(Gnome2) will work)
  • Different physical characteristics (More/less memory, disk space, cpus, etc.)