How to setup your first Desktop Pool in VMware View 5


Quick Recap of what we’ve done so far:

My assumption at this point is you have done all of the steps above, and your Windows 7 Desktop image installed, LinkedClones Pictpatched and have the agent installed per the “Installing View 5 Desktop Agent in Windows 7” blog post I did and are ready for the next step.

From a high level, the way you deploy Virtual Desktops to end users is via “Pools”.  You create a pool of Desktops and then you “Entitle” the users to the pool and this gives them the necessary privileges to access it.  In order to grant access to a desktop you first need to have a desktop created in vCenter.  If you want to utilize VMware View Composer and it’s ability to use “Master Images” followed by Read/Write Snapshots or Linked Clones you need to take “snapshot” of your primary desktop (powered off). The snaphot image is what the pool uses to create it’s master image as well as it’s Linked Clones.  I know, that’s a lot to take in at once, the good news is I take you through the whole process so it should make more sense as we go through the screen shots.


1. Lets open up vCenter and make sure that our Windows 7 Template is powered off, and then lets right click on it.

1 - Find your Windows 7 template

2. Right click on your powered off desktop, click on Snapshot, Take Snapshot

2 - take a snapshot of your desktop

3. My plan is to take 2 snaps and create 2 different pools from it – so the first pool is my Standard Pool – I’ll use this for playing around.

3 - name the snapshot

4. I then created another called “CallCenter” as you can see below.  Click close when you are done and we are done in vCenter so lets move on to the View Admin Portal

Snapshot Manager (could be 3)


Now we need to create the pool of desktops using this snapshot.


1. Let’s log into View Admin Portal

10 - Log into View Manager

2. You get the familiar portal site

11 - Dashboard

3. Under Inventory – click Pools and then click Add under pools to the right.

12 - click on pools - add pools

4. I’m choosing Automated Pools.  Automated pools use a vCenter Server template or VM Snapshot to generate new desktops.  Manual Pools provide access to an existing set of machines that you simple installed the Desktop Agent on and Terminal Services Pool are pretty self explanatory. 🙂 – Again, I’m choosing Automated Pools for all the fun reasons !!

13 - Choose Automated Pool

5. Whats the point of a dedicated desktops !!  I want to play with Floating Pools!! Change the default from Dedicated to Floating.  I do give up the ability to have Local Mode which is the ability to “check out” a desktop and not have to be connected to the internet for it to work.  I’ll mess around with that in a future blog.  For now, I’m sticking with Floating Pools FTW !

14 - Change to Floating Pools

6. Same thing here, I don’t want to mess with Full Virtual Machines, I want to play with View Composer Linked Clones so make the change on this screen.

15 - change to View Composer LInked Clones

7. I’m naming the pool CallCenter

16 - name the pool

8. Here is where we can lock down some of the attributes we want on those desktops.  In my case you can see some of the changes I made.  For testing purposes I just played around with a few things.  I’ll create another pool with a lot less restrictions at another point.

17 - set the attributes of the pool

9. I kept the default for the Disposable File Redirection – and left the default size.

18 - set the View Composer Disk info

10. Provisioning Settings, one thing I will point out and this is important from a naming convention.  Notice in the naming pattern I’m using:                     “Desktop-{n:fixed=2}”

This means that when composer creates my linked clone desktops, they will be named “Desktop-01”, “Desktop-02” etc in vCenter.  If you change Fixed=1 then it will drop the 0 in front and if you change it to Fixed=3 then it will add 2 digits so in my case it would be Desktop-001.  Also, from a pool sizing perspective, Max number of Desktops, Number of Spare Desktops and at what time you want them provisioned plays a big part in larger installations.  The more you can have spun up, the quick your users can get a desktop assigned to them.  This is a great way to cut down on bootstorms. 

19 - more provisioning settings - pay attention to naming pattern

11. This is where the work we did at the top in doing the Snapshots pays off.  Click Browse and lets go find that snapshot to use as the “replica” or “master” image for this pool.

20 - Lets find our desktop image to use

12. Click Browse on the “Parent VM”

21 - click on Browse

13. Select the Windows 7 template VM

22 - pick the Windows 7 template we messed with

14. Now we need to select the Snapshot we took.

23 - lets pick the callcenter snapshot we made

15. To help keep our hands around the many many potential Desktops that could be created, it’s a good idea to create a Folder in vCenter and place the desktops into it.  Here is where we would set that up.  If you are not sure how to do that, leave a comment below and I’ll walk you through it. 

24 - pick a folder to put the linked clones in

16. When you click on the browse button you will see the Linked Clones Area folder I created.  Select it.

25 - click on the LInkedClones folder we created

17. Next thing we need to do is setup the Host or Cluster info so lets click on Browse for that.

26 - lets setup the cluster info

18. You will notice the Plano Cluster I have so I’ll select it.

27 - Choose your cluster (or host)

19. Let’s do the same thing for the Resource Pool.

28 - do the same thing for the resource pools

20. Next thing we will do is select the various different Datastores we want for each of our components.  In my case, I’m putting everything in 1 Datastore.  In future blog posts I’ll be adding some different tiers of storage and will be making some changes – I’ll blog about it when I’m done.  For now, lets put these on my Iomega PX6-300d iSCSI datastore.

29 - choose the datastore these linked clones will be on

21. Lets give everything a once over – it looks fine, no changes needed so lets click Next.

30 - verify everything is good to go and click next

22. This last screen gives you the chance to review all the options you selected.  Once you are done looking it over – simply hit Finish.

32 - lets review all the stuff we've selected and then click finish

23. Looks like we created our very first Pool of Desktops.  Now, we need to Entitle our users to this pool.

33 - looks like we've created the first call center pool

24. First click on the CallCenter ID and then you will see that the Entitlements button is no longer greyed out, click on it to assign the users.

34 - click on Entitlements

25. Click on Add

35 - Click on Add in the Entitlement window

26. Do a quick search for “View” which was the Groups we created in our Windows AD OU a few blogs ago – when you do a search it produces the names of the 2 groups we created.  Go ahead and entitle both groups.

36 - lets entitle both the user and admin groups to this pool

27. Verify the 2 groups were added and click Ok.

37 - Verify that the 2 groups were added and click ok

28. By the way, while we were entitling these groups, if you snuck over to vCenter you would have noticed that VMware View Composer was busy at work deploying our Desktops.  SOOOO cool

38 - by the way - take a peek at the Recent Tasks list to see that Composer is creating my desktops

That’s it, we are done.  Now on to testing if all of this worked and what better way to test then on your iPad 🙂  “How to setup your iPad to connect into VMware View 5” is the next blog post in the series.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have one you can follow along on “How to install VMware View 5 Client on your Desktop”  blog post to check and make sure everything works well. 🙂 



44 thoughts on “How to setup your first Desktop Pool in VMware View 5

  1. You mentioned folders to stored the associated pooled desktops in, I have created a folder within vCenter under the DataCenter, but that folder doesn’t show up when in Virtual Machine Folder Location dialog box. there are no folders under the DataCenter. If you could briefly outline where and how to create these folders. I appreciate you putting these series of tutorials together.



    1. if memory serves me correctly, you want to create that folder in vCenter – in the VM’s and templates area/section for it to show up.

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  3. Hi Tommy,

    Great series! Not sure if you can help me but whenever I setup a new pool as per your settings, the new desktops start as being “Provisioned”, change to ‘Customizing” then come up with an error after a while saying there’s no communication between the VDM Agent and the Connection Server. It then says to make sure the virtual desktop can ping the Connection Server via the FQDN.

    I’ve made sure 2-way communication works between the virtual desktop and the Connection Server by PING, nslookup, reverse lookup and telnet on port 4001 – they all work without any problems.

    Can you suggest any reason why the View administrator panel would show network errors when there aren’t any obvious ones? I’ve also made sure the Remote Desktop Users groups are setup properly as per the View installation guide.


      1. Hi Chris,

        I’ve been getting the same error, and have gone through every blog post I could find — like you seem to have done. Just can’t seem to find the source of the issue. Have you had any luck with your pool? I’ve done everything from changing VLANs to screwing with video memory settings on the parent VM, to no avail.

        Let me know if you’ve found anything that helps.


      2. Hi Jeremy,

        No, I’ve had no luck fixing this issue. I’ve completely deleted all pools, virtual desktops, etc – nothing has worked. I can’t see how it can be an actual network issue if all the tests we’re supposed to run do completely successfully (i.e. ping/nslookup both ways – they’re all fine).

        So, sorry – I’ve got no good news to report, unfortunately. I asked an ex-colleague that works at VMware if he can help but I’m yet to hear back from him … will let you know if I get anywhere with that.

      3. Just figured out what I’d done — maybe this will help you, maybe not. I had a mismatch between the View Connection Server version and the version of the View Agent installed in my desktop. Running 5.0.1 connection server, but had installed version 5.1 of the agent. Once I corrected that, my pools created properly.

        Hope this is all it takes for anyone else beating their heads against a wall over this. Lost about a week to it, myself, but at least it’s fixed.


      4. Hi Jeremy,

        Interesting find – thanks for posting that. I was about to try it but since my trial period of View has long since expired (I wasn’t able to solve this issue within 30 days), I’m unable to download any more versions of the View Agent.

        Do you know if they are downloadable without logging into the evaluation site?

      5. Success! A version mismatch between the View Connection Server and the View Agent was the problem here, too. Removing version 5.1 of the agent and replacing it with version 5.0 has allowed me to logon to the desktop – sweet!

        Great spotting there Jeremy, and thanks for posting. You saved the day. 🙂

      6. Hi Jeremy,
        I also facing the same problem, & in my case their is no mismatch all are having the same version 5.0.1 but the new desktops start as being “Provisioned”, change to ‘Customizing” then come up with an error after a while…..
        plz help me out

      7. Are they the exact same build as well as version? Mine match right down to build version so I assume it needs to be that way. Also, you’ve gone through all the usual tests, right?

      8. hi Chris,
        now that problem is solved & but their is another problem in log in pool through client. the error is (the view connection server connection failed. the server returned an invalid or unrecognized response).
        pls help


      9. hi Chris,
        thanks i think this blog will be helpful…. m also install client on XP sp3 so …. lets see… t

      10. thanks i think this blog will be helpful…. m also install client on XP sp3 so …. lets see… now m going to install it on win 7 ……….. thanks..

      11. I Simply install client on win7 pro. 32 bit. n it works…

        Thanks chris for your help.

      12. I’m not sure that I helped much but I’m glad you got it working. 🙂 For what it’s worth, I had trouble getting XP SP3 working on View, too, but that was before I resolved the version conflict issue.

  4. I also trouble getting XP SP3 working on View. did your problem is solved means is your view working in XP SP3.
    if yes than i also want to know how.

    1. No, I changed to trying Windows 7 before I got Windows XP working. I intend to try Windows XP again, but there’s pressure for me to do it because I’m only using View in a demo environment.

  5. Chris you are my hero. i have been searching for 4 days and had a conferenece call setup with vmware tech support because i could not get one pool to work correctly turns out the parent for that pool had the 5.1 view agent and the server had 5.01. once i removed the newer agnet and backtracked a version on the parent all is well. really, shouldnt a newer client agent be compatible with an older agent on the view conn server????

  6. When I select the datastore to store linked clones, it shows the data stores, I select what I want and it has a server error: Cannot get the list of datastores.


      1. and I stumbled on the answer.. on the previous screen it asks if you want to save temp files to another disk. uncheck..

      2. In my case, I found the vmware view composer did not start up automatically. After I manually started up the service, the error is gone.

  7. My question is, can you delete those snapshots once you create your pool?
    I wouldn’t’ have thought about it but, vFoglight, my monitor software noticed really old snapshots on my VMView machine.

  8. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this site and the instructions. I had a project to get VM Horizon View 5.1b working for an eval at my company vs. Citrix and even though I was using VMware Tech support, it wouldn’t work until I found your page and followed your steps.

    Great Post.


  9. Any of you have any suggested best practices to patch a master image in horizon view 5.2 for the master image with linked clones?

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