Building your virtual machine

Building your virtual machineStep 1. Creating your virtual machineStep 2. Installing base softwareStep 3. Installing ArcGIS Pro• Installing ArcGIS Pro 2.4• Upgrading to 2.4.3• [Reminder] Starting ArcGIS Pro

Step 1. Creating your virtual machine

  1. Navigate to Duke's Virtual Computing Manager:

  2. Log in. (Multifactor authentication is required...)

  3. Click Reserve a VM.

  4. From the New Virtual Machine Reservation list, select Windows 10 and click Reserve. (Note: Do NOT select the ArcGIS Desktop and Pro as those are the incorrect versions; you will install ArcGIS Pro later on your own.)

    It will take a few moments for your virtual machine to build. When complete, you'll receive an email notification.

    Note the name of your machine, something like You can use this to access your machine via remote desktop. Or you can always return to to log into your machine.

    Also note that VMs are set to power down every night. This is to conserve power. However, if you are likely to use your machine consecutive days or will have processes running over serval days, you may consider switching off the "Automatic power downs" option.

  5. When your machine has been built, click the Remote Desktop button.
    →[NOTE: If working off campus, you will need to be using Duke's VPN to access your VM]←

    You may wish to save instead of open the remote desktop I recommend saving it to your desktop so that you'll have an easy shortcut to your virtual machine.

  6. Open the remote desktop connection ( file.

    If you get a "failed to connect" error, it's possible that your machine is not finished being built. Wait a few more moments; if after 20 minutes or so you still cannot connect, seek help.

    You may get a warning stating "The publisher of this remote connection can't be identified. Do you want to connect anyway." That's ok; check the "Don't ask me again" and you won't get this for this machine anymore.

  7. Log in using your Duke NetID and password.


Step 2. Installing base software

Your virtual machine is equipped with the Microsoft Software Center which enables quick and easy software installation.

  1. Ideally, you should run Windows Update to get the latest security patches installed on your VM.

    • Click the Windows icon, in the lower left corner of your screen.
    • Start typing Check for updates until you see that option appear in the menu.
    • Select the Check for updates button in the system setting.
  2. Open the Software Center via the desktop icon.

  3. Check the boxes next to the apps you want to install. I recommend: 7-zip, Chrome, and Notepad++.

  4. Select Install Selected.

    Note: I've seen on occasion that no programs appear in the Software Configuration Manager. If this occurs, I recommend using to select and install basic apps on your machine. It's pretty nifty!


Step 3. Installing ArcGIS Pro

Our labs currently have ArcGIS Pro v. 2.4.3 installed. We highly recommend installing this version to remain consistent with lab machines. This is a two-step process; first you must download and install ArcGIS Pro 2.4 with one installation process, and then you must download and apply a patch to update this to 2.4.3.

• Installing ArcGIS Pro 2.4

  1. Download the base ArcGIS v2.4 installation file:

  2. Run the ArcGISPro_24_169232.exe file.

    • Use the default destination folder, and click Next >.
    • When the file is finished extracting, keep the Launch the setup program. checked and hit Close.
    • Click Next > at the Welcome to the ArcGIS Pro Setup program`...
    • Accept the master agreement...
    • Install for "Anyone using this computer (all users)"...
    • Accept the default destination folder...
    • Enable (or disable) the "ESRI User Experience Improvement program" and click Install
    • Click Yes when asked to allow the app make changes to your device.

    After a few moments, ArcGIS Pro will be on your machine. Don't open the app yet as we will apply the update patch.

  3. To save disk space on your VM, you can remove the `ArcGISPro_24_169232.exe file as well as the ArcGIS Pro 2.4 folder found in your Documents folder.


• Upgrading to 2.4.3

  1. Download the update patch file:

    If asked/warned against downloading an msp file, override the warning and continue the download.

  2. Run the ArcGIS_Pro_243_173271.msp file, accepting all default options.

  3. When installation is complete, open ArcGIS Pro.

  4. To save disk space on your VM, you can now delete the ArcGIS_Pro_243_173271.msp file...


• [Reminder] Starting ArcGIS Pro

When you open ArcGIS Pro for the first time, you need to log in to ArcGIS Online.