Getting Started with the CAES Virtual Computer Labs

We’re excited to announce that the CAES Virtual Labs are online for Spring Quarter 2021!

The Virtual Labs are based on Azure Windows Virtual Desktop technology (just like last quarter).  Please read this message in its entirety to find out how to access the Virtual Labs.

For Spring Quarter, we have added Duo Multi-Factor Authentication to the Virtual Lab.  Duo provides an important layer of security to protect both your UC Davis Computing Account and our Windows Virtual Environment.  Please see the campus Move to Duo page for additional information (


Lab Access Lab Software Lab Maintenance Contact Information Feedback

Section 1 – Lab Access and Accounts

The physical computer labs on campus in 1137 PES and 253 Hunt Hall will remain closed for Winter Quarter for health and safety reasons.

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

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.


Section 2 – Lab Software

The CAES Virtual Lab is based on multi-session Windows 10 Virtual Machines running in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.  Sessions are automatically load balanced between available Virtual Machines. For Spring quarter, we’ve updated the lab to the latest version of Windows 10 (20H2) and we’ve updated many of the lab applications

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

  • Remember to save your work to Box Drive!
  • Students will get automatically signed out after 60 minutes of idle time. Unsaved work might be lost if this happens so 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 Virtual Labs, please visit

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


Section 3 – Lab Maintenance

The Virtual Labs will be available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The Virtual Lab maintenance will happen transparently in the background and we won’t schedule downtime or maintenance windows unless we run in to technical issues.


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 Virtual 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 run in to any application or performance problems with the Virtual Labs.  We closely monitor lab performance as the quarter ramps up but your feedback on how the Virtual Labs are working for your class would also be very helpful.

Thanks for your attention, best of luck with your classes, and Happy New Year!