SEFS Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

If you encounter any difficulties with Madrona or have other urgent questions, please e-mail or call (206) 616-7365.

What is Madrona?

Madrona is a virtual desktop environment which gives students, faculty, and staff 24/7 remote access to high-end software previously available only by visiting SEFS computing labs.

Who can access Madrona?

Madrona is currently available to students registered for courses in SEFS.  Staff and Faculty may also use Madrona on an as-needed basis.

How do I connect?

Most computers within SEFS are already configured to connect you to Madrona.  Simply look for the VMware Horizon Client in your Windows Start Menu.

If you want to connect using your personal computer, you can either download and install the free VMware Horizon Client (suggested) or use the HTML-based web client.  Both options are readily available by visiting  To install the full client just click the “Install VMware Horizon Client” button on the left and you’ll be taken to VMware’s site.  Once installed, click the + New Server button, enter then click Connect.  When prompted, use your UW NetID credentials to login.

You can also access Madrona by mobile app; the VMware Horizon Client is available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

If you receive a message stating you are “unentitled” or have any other difficulty connecting, please email or call (206) 616-7365.

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 Madrona from off-campus?

Yes.  Madrona 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 Madrona?

If you go away from your computer or close the Madrona client, your session will remain logged in for a short period.  Student sessions will only remain for 1 hour; faculty and staff sessions will remain for 48 hours.  Once a user’s session expires, it is logged off and any unsaved work is lost.  Remember to save early and save often.

How do I save files on Madrona?

Students should store documents using UW-IT’s U Drive service, or using a UW-provided cloud service such as OneDrive for Business or Google Drive.  Students requiring access to a SEFS Faculty network share should contact the appropriate faculty member to request access and set up the necessary permissions.

Staff and Faculty may store documents to SEFS networked storage, Main (NETID), depending on the purpose of the document. These drives are backed up by UW-IT, and are available on all SEFS computers joined to the campus NETID domain.  If you cannot access permanent storage from Madrona, please e-mail or call (206) 616-7365 for assistance.

Madrona allows the storage of user profile data (i.e. preferences, desktop, “My Documents” folder), however, this should not be considered permanent storage for documents.  Madrona profile data is limited to 5GB, so if you exceed this limit you will receive a warning every 15 minutes to move the excess data to another storage location such as a flash drive, your permanent storage space, or cloud storage 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.

At the end of each quarter, profiles that have not been accessed in over 1 year will be removed from the system. If you have not stored your files as recommended above, they will be lost.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email