How to install configure and deploy VMware View 5 on vSphere 5

Updated: 12/12/2011

It seems to me that at this moment the hottest discussion going on in the IT world is around Virtual Desktops.  Whether you buy in on the hype, or you are one of those that don’t think it’s ready for prime time you have to admit that the best way to gain a better understanding of a product or solution is to just role up your sleeves and install it.  This blog post is a culmination of an 11 part series that takes you through the complete step-by-step, screenshot-by-screenshot process of installing VMware View 5 in your home lab.  Please note, 11 blogs has more to do with trying to break up as much of the information as I could then it was any indication of the complexity of the install.  In a lot of cases, the install is “next, next, next, finish” but I documented it none the less.  My hope is this process will give you a better understand of where VMware View 5 is and how far they have come over the last 2 years.

First things first, my install is based loosely on the official “VMware View Installation Guide for View 5.0.  I’ve included a link so you can download it so keep it handy(click on image toVMware View 5 Install Guide the right).  Keep in mind, from a security perspective, best practices etc I really tried hard to follow them but sometimes you just have to “wing” it 🙂  When in doubt, look it up in the installation guide.

Feel free to follow along or you can skip from blog to blog depending on where you are at in the install process.  Some of the assumptions I’ve made is you already have vSphere 5 installed, Active Director and the Windows 2008 vCenter 5 version squared away.  Other then that, I’ll take you through the process of installing everything. 

You will need to create the following Windows 2008 R2 VM’s from the template (or clean install) – if you want to know how to do that, just follow along here: How to setup an OS Template as well as my “How to Deploy from Template”

  • Windows 2008 R2 for SQL 2008 R2
  • VMware Connection Server

When you are done creating those 2 Windows VM’s – make sure they authenticate to your Active Directory and you have good clean IP’s.  Once you are done with the base OS’s we can move on with the actual installation of SQL 2008 R2 SP1 and the rest of the stuff.

You should have the following software downloaded and handy.vmwareviewlogo1

  • Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 SP1
  • VMware View Composer 2.7.0-481620 (or latest)
  • VMware View Connection Server x86_64bi 5.0.0-481677
  • VMware View Agent x86_64_5.0.0-4871677 (Windows 7 64bit)

Let’s get started and in this particular order.

12-12-2011 Updated/Added the following:

This series will be growing as I start adding more and more administration stuff like how to setup Profile Management, Thin App and how to enable event monitoring.  I also want to get into mixing up the datastores onto different performance tiers.  I’m in the process of adding some SSD into my Iomega PX6-300D so I should be able to get to this pretty quickly.  That’s where the fun will really start to happen !!

By the way, I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in the blogs so feel free to let me know when you come across them.  Also, I had all sorts of fun issues with DNS/DHCP that I’ll be blogging about.  My guess is you won’t run into them like I did but just in case, I’ll write it up soon. 

If you find any issues, please let me know.  I’m sure there will be, I did most of the big installs in one night, staying up until 2am 🙂

Good Luck !!



29 thoughts on “How to install configure and deploy VMware View 5 on vSphere 5

  1. – we installed VMware View 5 connection server in vSphere 5
    – Setting up View 5 Connection Server for the 1st time.

    Both of these link the same article.

    – Setting up View 5 Connection Server for the 1st time.

    When visit this page, the ” Setting up View 5 Connection Server for the 1st time.” also links to the wrong page.

    This has already been mentioned in the comments on that page – please fix!

  2. Hi Vtexan

    I am having problem enabling composer. It says Connection Problem.
    I have set my View 4.5 lab as:
    Active directory
    View connection server 4.5
    vcenter 5 with View composer 2.5
    ESXi5 host

    I have added vcenter 5 server in View connection.
    But i am not able to enable view composer. i get Server error: connection problem.

    Let me know if you encountered same problem or have solution for the same.


    1. i never ran into that issue – any reason you are using View 4.5 instead of 4.6 or even 5? Also, have you tried using the IP address of the server instead of the FQDN ? I had all sorts of DNS issues for a little while.

  3. Hi Harinder,

    Try putting the domain name in front of the user whrn trying to enable View Composer eg: domainadministrator

    It did the trick for me.

  4. Tommy,
    Great stuff! I’ve been trying to find recommended VM size for the security server. Any info on sizing for an environment of only about half a dozen remote users?

    Much appreciated,


  5. Awesome. Thank you for all your hard work and saving me a ton of hard work. I followed all of your steps and everything works great.

    Very much appreciated,


  6. Hello I am trying to create templates but when I right click on the VM it does not give me an option to create and template. Did I install vSphere Client or ESXi wrong by chagne?

    1. Are you doing this via vCenter or is your vSphere client connected directly to the hosts? You need to be using vCenter to create the template.

      1. So is there a cheap way to get vCenter? Because I really don’t want to pay the $2,000 for the cheap one.

  7. Hi,

    I am planning to install VMware View 5,but there are confusions, i have gone through you post which is verry nice & handy b’cos of beautiful screenshots but my confusion is where & how to start..:( need some assistance on this. Below are my questions
    1-Where to start
    2- What all required for this
    3- How to start?Like which one needs to be installed first
    4- Can we install vConnection Server,vComposer & vCenter on a single VM & can we use free version of ESXi5.0(i think we can)

    1. So just start with my very first blog on how to setup SQL server and just go blog by blog. they are in the order in which everything needs to be setup/installed. In each blog I explain the dependencies.

      Feel free to post more questions if you run into issues.

      1. Thanks so much for all of your hard work!!

        My all infrastructure

        2 hs22 blade servers with 8 GB RAM WITH EMBEDDED HYPER-VISOR
        1 XEON X3100 tower server with 6 GB RAM FOR VCENTER SERVER
        1 desktop for client with 4 GB RAM, OS- win 7 prof 64 bit

        1 VM For ad server WITH 2 GB RAM, OS- WIN 2008 STND,
        1 VM for connection server with 4 GB RAM, OS – win 2008R2 stnd
        1 vm for win 7 temp/ agent

        I simply followed all steps but at the end it goes failure,

        The error is (This desktop currently has no desktop sources available. Please try connecting to this desktop again later, or contact your system administrator.)

        i just don’t know where is problem pls help me to come out the problem…



        Lata Odwani

  8. This is a great walkthrough – thank you! I’m a sys admin, and am about to start setting this all up in a lab at work. Any chance of a PDF of the entire thing?


  9. Hi vtexan,

    Just a quick question, i already have vsphere client 5, vmware view composer 4.5 and sql server 2005 installed on a seperate windows 2008 box and on the other i have vmware view administrator 4.5 installed. I’m having a view composer connection issue and i understand that this is a compatibility issue so i want perform a completely fresh install of view connection server 5.

    My question is, will having sql server 2005 management studio express already installed on the vsphere server cause any issues or can i leave it there? The only things i plan to do is upgrade upgrade view composer to 4.7 and re-install version 5 of view connection server? I’m just hoping i can bypass the rest

    Many Thanks in advance for all your efforts!

  10. Hey,
    I run a win7 laptop with redhat VMs
    When doing demos with clients, I like to show them what I’m doing
    Could i use VMware view with my iPad or is that not possible?

    If so, which of the steps above do I need and which do I need to change?
    Also, I have paid for workstation 7 – however is there more cost involved?

    Sorry for questions – newbie to VMs!

  11. Great write up, i followed everything step by step… as you say easy peasy. One thing i did and i am having difficulty is the DNS setup and the reverse lookup. I could sure use some help in setting that up. Thank you for your time 🙂


  12. Great write up however I’m a tad confused about how many servers I need for this.

    I have as follows –

    1 w2k8r2 server for Active Directory & DNS
    1 w2k8r2 server for vCenter 5
    1 w2k8r2 server for View Connection

    Can I install SQL08R2 onto vCenter server or do I need to create a separate server for SQL?


    1. I would recommend just setting up a separate VM for SQL – you can use it for so many other things like VUM, vCenter, View Event Database etc. Everything else looks about right. if you want to run Security Server you will need a separate VM for it as well.

      1. Thanks vTexan!

        I went ahead and did that anyway and all is working well. Great tutorials.

        Unfortunately I already had a vCenter Server running before setting up an SQL server so will have to research on how to transfer the DB stuff to the proper SQL server. Had never touched SQL until yesterday and thanks to this tutorial I’m not so ‘scarred’ of it now.

        Just need to upgrade RAM now from 16GB as I have 5 servers running and not enough RAM to configure a Windows 8 VD for View. Damn.

        Thanks again!

  13. What is your recommendation on separating VMwareview and Prod/Dev VMs into two different Vcenter, what would i achieve doing so. currently having issues in Vcenter that is more three yrs old and running on 5.5. Please provide your suggestions.

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