Virtual Desktop Interface


Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) allows the user to have a computer where the operating system, all applications, and data are kept on a central server instead of a local desktop. This Virtual Desktop allows users to access their work anywhere via the Internet and with new devices such as smartphones and tablets. Virtual desktops are updated and backed up automatically, which saves energy usage and lowers IT Administration costs.

VDI is powered by an ultra-low power and inexpensive computer terminal called a Thin Client. Not only can Thin Clients replace the traditional desktop computer, with a 6-10 year lifespan they also have a longer product lifecycle and need to be replaced less frequently. The installation of VDI software, also known as a Softclient, on a remote computer means users can access their virtual desktop from anywhere that has Internet access.

The goal of this new user-computing model is to simplify the need for computing devices in the workplace. By making this shift, UBC will provide the user with 24 x 7 computing access, realize tangible cost & energy savings, fully utilize the reliability and high availability of the data center, and simplify user desktop computing support effort.

The VDI service has been deployed to a growing number of departments and faculties throughout UBC. Are you ready to join the cloud?

Features & Benefits

Further Information

Getting Started

  • To connect to the Virtual Desktop Interface service, please visit to download the client.
    Note: You must not be connected to the UBC VPN service in order to connect to the VDI service.

  • To request Virtual Desktop Interface for your department, Initiate a request at:


If you require assistance with the Virtual Desktop Interface service,

  • Support available during business hours 8am – 5pm Mon-Fri (excl statutory holidays)

  • Contact IT Service Centre by calling 7-HELP (604.827.4357)

  • Initiate a request through: