How do I get started with Virtual Lab?

Getting Started in Virtual Lab

This start-up guide covers everything you’ll need to start using Virtual Lab including installing the Receiver plug-in, launching an application,  opening/saving files, and printing.

Virtual Lab is an easy, intuitive system to use that lets you access programs normally found only in computer labs and libraries on your laptop or mobile device, letting you work with Stata, SPSS, Microsoft Office, and dozens more applications anywhere, anytime, as long as you have an Internet connection.

If you have already installed your Receiver Plug-in, scroll down to the Navigating Virtual Lab: Opening and Saving Files, CCI Printing section.

The below operating systems are supported in Virtual Lab. Selecting a link will direct you to the operating system you will need to install for your device.

Functionality varies by device type. Local storage (i.e. saving to a device’s storage) is not available on the iPad or iPhone due to Apple’s file architecture and application permission restraints.

Installing the Receiver Plug-in on


iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod)


Linux (unsupported)

Microsoft RT

Microsoft Windows (See below)

Installing Citrix Receiver Plug-in on Microsoft Windows

Start your web browser and navigate to


Login with your Onyen and Password.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Security Message should display, click “Accept”:



Then, if this is the first time using Virtual Lab and you do not already have the Citrix Receiver installed, you should see the following window prompting you to check for the Receiver, click on “Detect Receiver”:

VirtualLabSetup_SS3 - Detect Receiver


If the Receiver is not detected on your machine, you should be prompted to download and install it, simply check the box to accept the Citrix license agreement and click “Download” :

VirtualLabSetup_SS4 - Download Receiver

If you see the above screen and you know Citrix Receiver is already installed, click “Already Installed” and you should continue on to Virtual Lab.

If you need to install Receiver, once the download completes, simply open up the downloaded installer and click through the prompts:

NOTE– During the install process you may be asked if you want to add an account.  You can do this to access the Virtual Lab apps without the need to go through a browser.  You will be asked to enter a work/school email or server address, use  Next you will be asked to log in.  Use your onyen and onyen password.  At this point you should be taken to the Citrix Storefront where you can browse and launch apps from Virtual Lab.

VirtualLabSetup_SS5 - Install Citrix Receiver

Once you are done installing, go back to the browser and click “Continue” to confirm that Citrix Receiver installation is complete and to proceed to your Virtual Lab homescreen:

VirtualLabSetup_SS7 - Post Citrix Receiver Install


From here, please proceed to setting up your Virtual Lab desktop for the first time.


Setting up your Virtual Lab Desktop for the first time


If you have not added your Favorites to your Virtual Lab desktop the following screen will be displayed.


VirtualLabSetup_SS8 - Add to favorites

To add favorites or launch an applications, click on the “Apps” tab and search for the apps, either using the search bar on the upper-right or by browsing through the folders in Categories view (all Virtual Labs applications are in the “VirtualLab” folder). Once you find an application, click on its “Details” to add it to your Favorites or Launch it:


VirtualLabSetup_SS9 - Search for Application and pin


VirtualLabSetup_SS10 - Click Add to favorites


You should now see the program in your Favorites tab and it should be there every time you log into Virtual Lab.  You can click to open it from there (either by clicking on the application or clicking on “Details” and then clicking “Open”).

VirtualLabSetup_SS11 - Click Open Program

From here, please proceed to “Launching a Program”.


Launching a Program

To launch a program, simply click on the icon and it should open up in Citrix Receiver.  If the program does not open up automatically, try double-clicking the downloaded .ica file and it should associate with Citrix Receiver and launch.  In this example, we will launch Stata 14 from our Favorites screen.


After clicking on the Stata 14 icon from above, you should get a message indicating that the program is launching (might take a few seconds to appear):

VirtualLabSetup_SS14-Launching Stata

Then, after a few seconds, you should get a prompt warning about requested file access.  Depending on your configuration, this prompt may not appear until you actually try to access files, but it should be similar.  Generally (assuming you want to be able to read and write files to/from your computer), you will want to choose to “Permit all access”:

VirtualLabSetup_SS13-Drive Access


Then, the application will be launched.


Navigating Virtual Lab: Opening and Saving Files, CCI Printing

Please read this section to ensure that you can save and open your work. Virtual Lab’s applications are hosted on ITS’s servers, so when you press “Open File” or “Save As” on almost all applications, the default is to save it on the server. If you save on the server, it is highly unlikely that we can recover your file. The key to navigating Virtual Lab is to select the drive you want to save on, whether that’s your local hard drive, a network hard drive, a flash drive, or your H: drive. This section will explain how to access those drives.

When using the file open/save-type menus, do not go to My Documents or Libraries. Access computer, either through the icon on the left hand side or through a drop-down menu.


From Computer, you can see numerous drive options. The most reliable way to navigate is by drive letter. Here, I want to access the hard drive on my workstation. This comes up in Virtual Lab as “Local Disc (C:)”. My Network Drives come up as A: and B:, and my flash drive shows up farther down the list. Select your drive by double-clicking.


When you attempt to access your local drive, you must determine what access to grant the program. ITS recommends Permit all access. This allows you to read (open) and write (save) to your local hard drive. The first two options will restrict permissions but are provided as an option to users.


Most of the folders used to save files are located in C:\Users. These would include Documents, Downloads, and the Desktop. Open the Users folder, then select your username, and you should be able to find the location you need.

Printing from Virtual Lab is easy

Your virtual session automatically detects the printers that you have available through virtual printer mapping and the Citrix Universal Print Driver (UPD).

Select File -> Print in most programs, and CCI Printing will be an option. Some programs also allow you to save or virtually print into other formats, including XPS and PDF. If you have a printer hooked up to your computer, that should appear as an option as well.

If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting. You can also submit a help request via live chat or by calling 962-HELP.