Part 6 | Installing VMware View Agent – Step-by-Step guide

View Agent must be installed on all virtual machines, physical systems, and Terminal Service servers that you use as sources for View desktops and desktop pools. On virtual machines, this agent communicates with View Client to provide features such as connection monitoring, virtual printing, View Persona Management, and access to locally connected USB devices.

This is the last part of our View Installation step-by-step guides, covering the installation of VMware Horizon View agent. View Agent must be installed on each of your VDI desktops sources – stand alone virtual machine, managed virtual machine, physical machine or terminal server. The installation steps are similar for every kind of source desktop. The difference if you plan to install the agent on a stand alone VM, physical desktop or terminal server is that you have to point the agent to FQDN or IP address of one of your connection servers building your view pod. Once you add your View Connection server during the agent installation, a registration also occurs and you see all registered sources from the View Administrator (will be covered in more details in a future post).

In this guide we are going to install View Agent on a virtual machine managed by the same vCenter, which will allow us to use that VM for a source of desktop pools  or convert it to a template and being used for a full-cloned virtual desktops.

The supported OS could be different for all View versions. Since the series is based on Horizon View 5.2, you can find bellow which OSes are supported for this version.

Table.1

Guest OS Version Edition Service Pack
Windows 8 64-bit and 32-bit Enterprise and Professional N/A
Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit Enterprise and Professional None and SP1
Windows Vista 32-bit Business and Enterprise SP1 and SP2
Windows XP 32-bit Professional SP3
Windows 2008 R2 Terminal Server 64-bit Standard SP1
Windows 2008 Terminal Server 64-bit Standard SP2

The hardware requirements for the agent are covered by the hardware requirements of the guest OSes. What the virtual hardware of the source VM will look like depends on the type of workload which will be done by the virtual desktop. Usually it is defined in the VDI architecture document.

Let’s begin with the installation

First of all you must have downloaded the installation files accessible from the source OS. If you do not have it, you can download it from the VMware download page

  1. There are two versions of the agent – 32bit and 64bit. Which one you will choose depends on the source OS type. In our case we use Windows 7 64bit, so we are going to install the 64bit version of the View Agent. installation files
  2. You might be asked to reboot your source desktop in order to continue with the installation. reboot requiredAfter the reboot, re-run the setup and you will be able to continue with the installation.
  3. From the welcome wizard you can verify the version of the view agent which you are about to install. Click Next to continue… welcome wizard
  4. Read and Accpet the ELUA if you agree with it. Agent ALUA
  5. Select all modules from the View Agent which you want to install. Each of them has its own function. You may not need all of them. Refer to your build or architectural document. Click Next to continue …Agent modulesHere is a quick explanation for each of the features:
    Feature name Usage
    USB Redirection Gives users access to locally connected USB devices on their desktops. Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 do not support USB redirection.*Even you install the feature, you can still disable the USB redirection via GPO
    View Composer Agent Lets View Agent run on the linked-clone desktops that are deployed from this virtual machine.
    Virtual Printing Lets users print to any printer available on their Windows client computers. Users do not have to install additional drivers on their desktops.
    PCoIP Server Lets users connect to the View desktop using the PCoIP display protocol.
    PCoIP Smartcard Lets users authenticate with smart cards when they use the PCoIP display protocol.
    View Persona Management Synchronizes the user profile on the local desktop with a remote profile repository, so that users have access to their profiles whenever they log in to a desktop.
  6. Verify the destination folder for the installation and Click Install to continue …agent install

If the installation is successful a screen like this should appear Successful

Once you click Finish you will be asked to reboot the machine.

Once the View Agent is installed you must shut the machine down and create a snapshot if you plan to use Linked-Cloned based desktop pools or convert it to a template if you plan to use Full-cloned virtual desktops in your pool.

In the next post we are going to link all server components together and create different kind of pools, describing what option Horizon View gives to us.

References:

VMware Horizon View Installation

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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.

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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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