Gibson Virtual Desktops FAQ

For questions or comments about Gibson please email

What is Gibson?

Gibson is a virtual desktop environment which gives student 24/7 remote access to high-end software previously available only by visiting SEFS computing labs.

Who can access Gibson?

Gibson is currently available to students registered for courses in SEFS. Staff and Faculty availability is planned for launch in Fall quarter 2013.

How do I connect?

Computer labs within SEFS are already configured to connect you to Gibson. If you use a SEFS computer you already have the client installed, simply look for VMware View in your start menu.

If you want to connect using your personally owned device please download the appropriate client from VMware. Once installed, tell it to connect to "" and use your UWNetID to login.

If you receive a message stating you are "unentitled" or have any other difficulty connecting, contact or call 206-616-7365 for assistance.

What is "Local mode"?

Local mode is the ability to copy a virtual computer to your physical computer and take it with you to a location that has no or limited internet connectivity. This feature is not enabled at this time.

Can I access Gibson from off-campus?

Yes. Gibson can be accessed from any Internet connected network worldwide using a supported device. Keep in mind internet connection speed will affect the user experience but not the performance of the virtual computer.

If I go away from my computer or disconnect, how long will I stay logged into Gibson?

Once a User's session is disconnected for 48 hours it is logged off and any unsaved work is lost. Remember to save early and save often.

How do I save files on Gibson? What happens to files when I log off?

The "Students" pool allows the storage of 5GBs of user profile data such as preferences, your Desktop, and "My Documents" folder. If you exceed 5GBs you will receive a warning every 15 minutes to move the excess data to another storage location such as a flash drive or network/cloud space. You may continue to work, however to prevent data loss you will not be able to log out until your profile is within the storage limit. Data stored outside of your user profile will NOT be retained!

Current known issues

Occasionally we run into a problem with the University's systems and 1 or more virtual desktops get a bad computer account. This causes a "SAM account database" error on login. To work around this issue simply click switch user and use the red button at the bottom left to shut down the virtual computer. On next login the system will offer a different virtual computer and you should be able to log in. On rare occasion you may find multiple bad virtual computers, simply rinse and repeat until you get in. We are working with UWIT and VMware for a resolution to this issue.