Via Athena it is possible to use a large number of applications without having to install them yourself.
Athena uses the Citrix technology for this. The applications that are available on Athena are installed on servers.
To use the applications you only need a client program on your device: the so called Citrix Workspace App.
There is a client for almost all operating systems.
When using Citrix technology, only screenshots, mouse movements and keyboard strokes are sent over the network.
Athena is available for everyone with a UGent account.
By clicking on the 'Index', an overview (in PDF format) is generated of all possible folders and applications which are available. You do not automatically have access to all this software. Some packages are reserved for specific user groups, for licensing or security reasons.
What software you will be offered depends on the user group(s) you belong to.
Whether you are a student or staff and to which faculty, service or department you belong: these factors make the difference.
The software is divided into different folders:
Office: contains all office software for administrative purposes
Academic: contains software for teaching and research purposes
Tools: contains programs for configuring settings in your Athena environment
You can put the applications you use most often together under 'Favourites'.
Go to "APPS" and click on "Details" of the application you want to add. Select 'Add to favourites' or 'Delete' if you want to remove the application from favourites.
Launching an application
To launch an application single-click the desired icon (do not double-click).
When prompted to open a launch.ica file, click "Always open files of this type".
A pop-up will then appear stating that a connection is being established with the server.
When the connection to the server is established, a Citrix icon appears in the lower right-hand corner of the task bar.
It may take a few seconds to launch an application, so don't click again too soon.
Sometimes the application does not start immediately. If nothing has happened after about 20 seconds (no new icon, no new window), try again.
If it does not work, see Possible problems.
The first time you run an application you may see the following screen, asking you to grant access to the local C:-drive of your computer
We advise to enable 'Full Access' and 'Never ask me again'. This enables you to open and write files to your local C:-drive.
Save or open files
The applications on Athena can access the next locations:
The C:-drive: This is the C:-drive on your local computer.
You will see the disk C$ on 'Client' (C:) in the Explorer, in the left-hand side of the window, under "Folders".
When you open the disk, you will recognise the folder structure on your computer. If you store data here, you will not be able to access them from another device.
Attention: To access the C:-drive of your computer, you must explicitly grant access. See: Starting an application. You can also change the configuration later.
A number of network drives are automatically mounted:
Saving files within Athena happens by default on the H:-drive.
If you open the "My Documents" folder from within applications on Athena, you will also see the contents of your home drive.
Important: Please do not save files in the H:\Athena folder!
This folder is for settings (profile information) and temporary files and stored files can be deleted by the system.
All your shared network drives ("shares").
USB sticks (up to 5 pieces) are immediately visible.
Please note: on Athena the drive letter H: is reserved for to your home directory, if your PC uses a drive letter H:, you will see that as H$:.
Only USB drives can be accessed, no cd-rom, floppy drives or internal hard drives.
Opening and saving files within Athena is best done on the H drive or S drive. This is faster than accessing the C-drive of your computer.
You can write files from the local disk of the computer you are working on to a network drive and vice versa within the Athena environment. Copying files from your own computer to a network drive is the same as copying files between two folders on the same computer.
In the "Office" folder you will find the File Explorer. There you open the source and destination folder.
Select and copy the desired files into the source folder.
Paste the files into the destination folder. The only difference is that the source folder is now on your own computer (C-drive) and the destination folder is on a network drive.
Printing from an Athena application
From an application on Athena, you can send print jobs to the default printer on your local PC and to the "PDFCreator", a virtual printer that saves files as PDF.
If you wish to use another printer, you need to close all your Athena applications and then set up the appropriate printer as the default printer on your PC. Next, restart the application on Athena and print.
By printing from an application on Athena to the PDF printer "PDFCreator", you can convert a file to a PDF file.
How do you see the difference between applications running locally (= on your computer) and applications running on Athena (= central servers)?
How can you verify if applications can communicate with each other?
When starting an application on Athena the Citrix Receiver icon appears in the taskbar (lower right of screen).
It provides access to the Citrix Connection Center, where you can see active connections.
Right click on the icon and select 'Online Sessions' 'Connection Center'.
The following window appears:
Here you see on which servers you are logged on and which applications are running.
Below "Active" you see the names of the server(s) with which you have an active connection.
Below each server name you see the applications running on that server.
Applications that run on the same server can easily communicate with each other.
Applications started on Athena are opened on a Citrix-server.
To reduce the load on our servers, sessions that are inactive for 3 hours 2 hours (*) are closed automatically.
(*) changed on 19/03/2020, after intensified use of Athena because of the Corona measures (working from home).
Setting permissions for local drives
You can change the permissions of your local drives through Athena by following steps:
Click the right mouse button on the Citrix Receiver icon in the lower right taskbar of your screen and click Connection Center.
The settings are per server each time.
You select the server on which the program runs you want to reach the local disk, and then click Preferences.
Here you can set the permissions on your local disk. We recommend setting this to Read and write.
You click on OK to confirm.
Changing the MS Office language
You can change the language via Athena - APPS - Office 2019 Language Preferences
Changing regional settings
With the 'Regional Settings' tool on Athena you can set the list separator and the decimal separator (period or comma) for all your applications on Athena.
What is the difference between “locally” installed applications and applications on Athena?
“Locally” installed applications
are installed on the hard drive of your computer. You can use the locally installed applications only when the device is physically available.
On Athena, you have many more applications at your disposal. You can use them from any device which has a Citrix client program installed. Working with Athena has the advantage that no software is loaded on your computer and that you can use the latest (or several) versions of applications. Functionally there is no difference between applications running locally on your computer and applications installed on Athena.
Communication between applications
Sometimes applications need to communicate with each other, for example, to print labels with Excel data via Mail Merge in Word. Or to insert citations ("cite-while-you-write") while writing in Word documents. In such case, EndNote or Reference Manager are accessed from Microsoft Word.
For applications to communicate with each other, they must run on the same computer.
you start all communicating applications on your computer or
you start all communicating applications on Athena
It goes without saying that if one of the applications is only available on Athena, you can only work on Athena. For more information read: The Citrix Connection Center.