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How to use and configure the Virtual Desktop in Comodo Client Security

Release Time
05/29/2019
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Introduction

  • The 'Virtual Desktop' is a sandbox environment in which you can run programs and browse the internet without fear those activities will damage the host computer.
     
  • Applications in the virtual desktop are isolated from other processes on the host computer, write to a virtual file system, and cannot access user data. Changes made to files and settings in the virtual desktop do not affect the originals on the host system.
     
  • Similarly, any attacks by internet-based malware cannot reach or compromise the host system. This makes the Virtual Desktop a highly secure environment for general workflows, and specifically for surfing the internet.
     
  • Any files you wish to keep can be saved in the special folder called 'Shared Space'. This folder is accessible to both the local host and the virtual desktop. Admins can use the Endpoint Manager to reset the shared space folder as required.
     
  • Because the virtual desktop can run any Windows program, admins could use it as the default login environment for its users. You can also password-protect the virtual desktop. Users and guests will need to enter the password before they can exit the desktop. 
     

This wiki explains how to  use and configure the virtual desktop in Comodo Client Security:

Open and use the virtual desktop

  • Download and install Comodo Client Security
     
  • Click 'Tasks > 'Containment Tasks':

 

  • Click 'Run Virtual Desktop' > 'Start Virtual Session':


 

  • The virtual desktop will open as shown below. All application shortcuts from your real desktop are shown on the left of the virtual desktop:


 

  • The bottom-right corner of the screen has controls to switch between the desktop and Windows, pause the session, and more.


 

  • Click the 'C' button at bottom-left to open browsers in the virtual desktop:


 

  • The virtual keyboard can be used to input confidential data like website user-names, passwords and credit card numbers. The keyboard is compatible with touch screen displays:


 

  • Click the 'C' button at bottom-left, then 'This PC' to open any file/program in the virtual desktop:


 

  • Shared Space When using the virtual desktop, you must save items in the 'Shared Space' folder if you need to access them from your host operating system. For example, use this folder to save files you want to keep from the internet, or to save documents you have been working on.

    You can use any of the following methods to access shared space:
     
    • Click 'Tasks' > 'Containment Tasks' > 'Open Shared Space'
       
    • Click the 'Shared Space' shortcut on the CCS home screen
       
    • Click the 'Shared Space' shortcut icon on the CCS widget
       


 

Virtual desktop settings

The settings area lets you configure password and session protection, auto-login and virtual shortcuts.

  • Open Comodo Client Security
     
  • Click 'Settings' > 'Containment' > 'Virtual Desktop'
     

  • Request password when exiting Virtual Desktop – You can configure CCS to require a password in order for users to close the virtual desktop. This prevents users or guests from exiting the virtual desktop and accessing the host, potentially exposing it to danger.
     
    • Click 'Create/Change Password' to set the exit password.
       
    • Users must enter the password after they click 'Switch to Windows view':
       


 

  • Auto-login for usersYou can configure CCS to automatically send users into the virtual environment when they log in. This makes the virtual environment the default operating system for the selected user.
     
    • Click 'Settings' > 'Containment' > 'Virtual Desktop'
       
    • Click the 'Users' tab
       
    • Click 'Add' to select specific users or user-groups
       
    • Use the 'ON/OFF' switches to enable or disable auto-login to the virtual desktop
       
  • Virtual shortcuts for applications – Virtual shortcuts are used to open a locally installed application inside the virtual environment.
     
    • Click 'Settings' > 'Containment' > 'Virtual Desktop'
       
    • Click the 'Applications' tab then 'Add'
       
    • Browse to the application for which you want to create a virtual shortcut
       
    • Use the 'Desktop' and 'Start Menu' switches to choose where the shortcut is shown:
       


 

  • Protect paused Virtual Desktop session with a PIN - If enabled, users will need to enter a 4 digit number to resume a paused virtual desktop session.
    • Users can suspend a virtual desktop session by clicking the pause button in the controls box:


       
    • If PIN protection is enabled, they will need to enter the 4 digit number to resume the session. Other users cannot resume the session without the PIN:


       
    • The PIN is auto-generated at the start of each session. Click  in the tool-box to view the number at any time:


       
      • Duration of paused Virtual Desktop session - Set an expiry time for a paused virtual desktop. Paused sessions are terminated when the time expires. This prevents the virtual desktop from being locked indefinitely by a user.
         
  • Show disclaimer upon virtual desktop startup The disclaimer is a notification shown to endpoint users when the virtual desktop starts up. Users must click 'Accept' in order to proceed.  You can populate the disclaimer text with your own company's text.         
                                       
    • Click 'Settings' > 'Containment' > 'Virtual Desktop'
       
    • Enable 'Show disclaimer upon...'
       
    • Click 'Edit Disclaimer' to change the message text


       
    • The new text is shown at startup as follows:

 

Further reading

How to configure the Virtual Desktop in Endpoint Manager

How to surf the internet from the safety of the Virtual Desktop