Getting Started in the CAES Instructional Computing Labs

We’re excited to announce that the CAES Computer Labs are open for Fall Quarter 2022!

If you are receiving this email, you are a student, TA, or instructor scheduled to be in a course that traditionally makes use of the campus instructional computing labs in PES and Hunt Hall.  We also offer a remotely accessible Virtual Lab to supplement the Physical Computing Labs.  The Virtual Lab is based on Azure Virtual Desktop technology (just like last quarter).  Please read this message in its entirety to find out how to use the labs. 

COMPUTER REFRESH: We’ve replaced the 1137 PES lab computers with new Dell Precision workstations running the Windows 11 Operating System.  The hardware in the new workstations is significantly more powerful than the previous generation of lab computers.  We’d love to hear your feedback on the new workstations and on Windows 11 (see Section 5 below).



Section 1 – Lab Access and Accounts

The Physical Computer Labs on campus in 1137 PES and 253 Hunt Hall are open for in-person access.  Physical Lab access is managed through the UC Davis AggieAccess program.  Instructors, TAs, and students who are enrolled in a class using the Physical Labs will automatically get access provisioned at the beginning of each quarter.  Please expect an email from AggieAccess with additional instructions.

To access the CAES Virtual Labs, please follow the instructions here.  You will need to log in using a UC Davis Computing Account.

Microsoft changed the website used to connect to our Virtual Lab on April 18th.  You may need to update your web browser bookmarks if you’ve used our Virtual Lab in the past:

Students without campus logins will not be able to use the computer labs. Please note that it is a violation of campus policy to share campus computing accounts.

** Please DO NOT prop open the lab doors or allow anyone else to enter the computer labs after you open the door to enter or leave the labs.  Students, instructors, and TAs should use their own individual AggieAccess proximity card or mobile app to enter the labs.  This is critically important for physical security and for tracking lab utilization.


Section 2 – Lab Software

The CAES Physical and Virtual Labs use the latest version of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, and all the labs contain the same software applications (with a few small exceptions).  The Hunt Hall physical lab and remote Virtual Lab use Windows 10, the newly refreshed PES physical lab uses Windows 11.

In order for the Labs to work efficiently for the largest number of students:

  • Remember to save your work to Box Drive!
  • You will get automatically signed out of the Virtual Lab after 60 minutes of idle time.  Unsaved work might be lost if this happens, please remember to save regularly.
  • There is no maximum connection time limit as long as you are active.
  • Certain pieces of lab software only have a limited number of licenses, and other students may not have access to the software until sessions are released.  Please be considerate of your fellow students and sign out when you have completed your work.

If you’d like to see what software is currently installed in the Labs, please visit the Software page.

When reserving the labs, if you have software requests please fill out the Software Request form.



Section 3 – Lab Maintenance

The Virtual Lab will be available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Virtual Lab maintenance will happen transparently in the background, we won’t schedule downtime or maintenance windows unless we run in to technical problems.

The Physical Labs in 253 Hunt Hall and 1137 PES will be available 22-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Building access is limited to normal business hours for both labs.  Physical lab maintenance will happen nightly between 12-2am.



Section 4 – Contact Information

We are available through several different communications channels, depending on your needs:

We have also created a mailing list,, to send announcements to students, TAs, and faculty using the Labs.  All future updates will be made through this mailing list, so if you know someone that isn’t on the list that should be, please let us know.



Section 5 – Feedback

Please let us know if you experience any application or performance problems with the Computer Labs.  We closely monitor lab performance as the quarter ramps up but your feedback on how the Labs are working for your class would be very helpful.

Thanks for your attention and best of luck with your classes!