Home » SMARTER@HKU IT Developments » Virtual PCs (VPC)

Virtual PCs (VPC)

About VPC

Virtual PCs is a new initiative to standardize central PC management by leveraging the use of cloud infrastructure and technologies.  It aims at supporting general computing needs in departments with the first phase targeted for use by the administrative and clerical staff.

Key Benefits

  • Reduce manpower in PC support by using common set of software and centralized update
  • Extend the PC replacement cycle 
  • Improve security protection with continual Windows and security patch updates
  • Single sign-on to central IT services such as email and centrally managed file storage e.g. SharePoint and Departmental Data Asset Storage (DDAS)
  • Self-service data recovery via daily snapshots (up to 30 days)
  • Quick deployment, plug-and-play
  • Go green requiring little electricity and desktop space

Provision through Central Cost

  • One VPC box per user with keyboard and mouse (reuse existing monitor)
  • Disk storage: 100GB personal drive on VPC per user and 5TB OneDrive for Business on Microsoft O365
  • Departmental storage connecting to central file server f1.hku.hk (100GB/department) and Departmental Data Asset Storage (200GB/department)
VPC Boxvpc

Common Software List

A common set of software is installed on the VPCs and will be regularly updated through central management.  The latest software list is tabulated below and will be updated from time to time:

Categories Application Name Description
Web browser
  Microsoft Edge  
  Microsoft Internet Explorer 11  
  Mozilla Firefox  
  Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016
(Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word)
Office suite
  Skype for Business 2016 Instant messaging, video conferencing tool
  PDF-XChange PRO PDF document editor and viewer
  Notepad++ Text/source code editor
  OneDrive@HKU Access OneDrive as network drive
  WinMerge Text differencing/merging tool
  Adobe Acrobat Reader DC with Font Pack PDF document viewer
  Skype App Instant messaging, video conferencing tool
  SmartDraw 2018 Diagramming software
  EndNote X9 Reference management software
  VLC Media Player Multimedia player
  IrfanView Graphic viewer
  GIMP Image manipluation
  Microsoft Azure Information Protection Document protection
  Sophos Endpoint Security and Control Antivirus solution
  VeraCrypt File encryption/ decryption tool
  7-Zip File archiving tool
  FileZilla FTP client FTP client
  PuTTY Terminal emulator
  HP Universal Print Driver PCL6 One versatile print driver for HP printers
  RICOH PCL6 Universal Driver One versatile print driver for RICOH printers
  TOSHIBA Universal Printer 2 Driver One versatile print driver for TOSHIBA printers
  Xerox Global Print Driver V4 PCL6 One versatile print driver for Xerox printers
  KONICA MINOLTA Universal PCL One versatile print driver for KONICA MINOLTA printers
  EPSON Universal Print Driver One versatile print driver for EPSON printers
  Brother Universal Printer Driver One versatile print driver for Brother Printers
  Canon Generic PCL6 Driver One versatile print driver for Canon Printers
  HP Universal Printing PS One versatile print driver for HP printers (PS)
  FX DocuCentre-V C5576 PCL6 Dedicated print driver
  Kyocera TASKalfa Univeral Print Driver One versatile print drive for Kyocera TASKalfa printers
  Adobe Flash Player  
  Oracle Java SE 6 or 8 (either version)  

Rollout Schedule

Phase 1: Mid-November 2018 

  • To launch 500 VPCs.  ITS will conduct reviews with users and track benefits following the completion of Phase 1.

Phase 2: June 2019

  •  More VPCs will be deployed to departments not covered under Phase 1.


Onsite training will be provided to those departments who are going to use VPCs to equip colleagues with the necessary hands-on skills.

Other colleagues who are interested in knowing more about the VPCs are welcome to visit the Learning Environment Services offices at the Chi Wah Learning Commons (CPD-1.64) or the Curve (KKL-204) to try out the demonstration units.

Get Started

Fill in CF85 on Application for Virtual PCs.  The allocation of the VPCs will be based on the rollout schedule indicated above.


User Guide