Linux based VDI with Horizon View 6.1.1

One of the new features provided in Horizon View 6.1.1, which I’ve mentioned in the What’s New article, is the support of providing Linux based virtual desktops. There are some limitations, but it is definitely a feature which is good to have in our pocket as VDI engineers.

Limitations

Here is the list with limitation from the official VMware documentation:

  • Single Sign-on (SSO) is not supported. After logging in to Horizon 6 and launching the remote desktop, the user must log in to the Linux guest operating system.
  • Automated provisioning and other features that are provided only with automated desktop pools are not supported. For example, the refresh on logoff operation is not available.
  • Local devices cannot be used on the remote desktop. For example, USB redirection, virtual printing, location-based printing, clipboard redirection, Real-Time Audio-Video, and smart cards are not supported.
  • HTML Access is not supported.

Supported Linux versions

  • Ubuntu 12.04 – x86 and x64
  • RHEL 6.6 – x86 and x64
  • CentOS 6.6 – x86 and x64
  • NeoKylin 6 and NeoKylin 6 Update 1 – x86 and x64

NeoKylin is still in tech preview. Zero clients and mobile clients are not supported. KDE is not officially supported.

Prepare a Ubuntu VDI Template

For our testing we are going to use Ubuntu 12.04 x64. It can be downloaded from here. Assuming that the OS is already installed, we need to install first VMware Tools – KB102525

  • Open a Terminal window. For more information, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892).
  • In the Terminal, run this command to navigate to the vmware-tools-distrib folder:
    cd Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
  • Run this command to install VMware Tools: sudo ./vmware-install.pl -d
    Note: The -d switch assumes that you want to accept the defaults. If you do not use -d, press Return to accept the defaults or supply your own answers.
  • Enter your Ubuntu password.
  • Restart the Ubuntu virtual machine after the VMware Tools installation completes.

Second step is to install Horizon View Agent for Linux

  • Download View Agent from here
  • Extract the archive on the Desktop
  • Open Terminal and navigate to the extracted folder 1
  • Run the command sudo ./install_viewagent.sh -b mybroker.mydomain.com -d mydomain.com -u domainuser -p password 
    • Domain user must have permissions to Register agents to the Horizon View
  • You will be prompted to install Oracle Java 1.7.0_80 which is mandatory for the agent. You need to have internet connectivity from the VDI source VM. 2
  • Reboot is required

Create a Linux Manual Pool in View Administrator

  • Go to Catalog -> Desktop Pools -> Add and select Manual Desktop Pool as the only supported option for Linux based VDI so far. 3
  • Dedicated or Floating ups to you.
    4
  • Select Other Sources
    5
  • Type ID and Display Name for the pool
    6
  • Pool Settings, ups to you. There are no specific requirements.
    7
  • Select your Ubuntu. During the Agent installation it was registered with the Horizon View
    8
  • Create user entitlement after that and confirm the pool creation.
  • Connect with Horizon View Client to you connection server and you will see the Ubuntu Pool.
    9
  • After lunching the virtual desktop you will be able to login to your first Linux VDI10
  • Looks like the Display Protocol which we will be able to use in Linux VDI is BLAST.11

References: VMware Horizon View Official Documentation

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Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

Latest posts by Nikolay Nikolov (see all)

About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
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11 Comments

  1. thx for good post.
    its right, that linux based vdi not working in view 6.1.1 standart edition ? thx !

  2. Hi Tomask,
    That’s correct. You should have Enterprise level of licensing if you want to be compliant. For reference: https://www.vmware.com/products/horizon-view/compare
    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hi Nikolay Did you try same setting on 6.2 because it doesnt work

  4. I cannot get this to connect following these instructions exactly. Running 6.1 view with 6.1 agent and ubuntu 12.04. When I go to connect to the desktop it says the desktop does not support the requested display protocol. Did I miss installing something on the machine? Thank you!

  5. I installed linux view agent on ubuntu 12.04, and the status is runing,
    I create a pool as your instruction, and the status of my agent for the ubuntu machine which I entitled for is available,
    but I got this error :
    the desktop does not support the requested display protocol.
    I did all your instruction step by step,
    is there any other checking?

    • Hi Sali,
      do you use Horizon 6.1.1 or a newer release? I suggest to check the pool settings and be sure that the PCoIP is not the forced protocol. You can also try to change it. A reboot of your Ubuntu machine could also help.
      Thank you for your comment!

      • Actually I use 6.2, but ubuntu 12.04 and jre1.7.0_80 , do you think the problem is version 6.2 , and I have to use 6.1?
        Thank you for your answer

  6. Thanks for sharing, this is very intresting article.

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