Fun with Horizon View HTML5 and Unity Touch


Hopefully you have been keeping up with my blog series on updating your VMware View 5.2 environment.  So far we’ve done the following:image

Updated the VMware Connection Broker

Added the new End User Experience Pack to the Broker

We’ve updated VMware View Composer

Updated the View Agent & Installed the Remote Experience Pack into the desktop

Created a new Desktop Pool in Horizon View 5.2

By the way, this is also pretty close to the steps needed to install Horizon View 5.2 from scratch. 

Anyway, all the work we’ve done to upgrade our Horizon View 5.2 environment is so that we can take advantage of some of the new features.  HTML5 was formally known as “App Blast” at all of the latest VMware shows and conferences.  Unity Touch was relatively new add but in my opinion, the most significant and cool feature to the Remote User Experience pack.  I’ve dedicated this blog posts to these two features.

If you are not familiar with HTML5, it’s a feature that allows you to run your Virtual Desktop inside an HTML 5 compatible browser.  It looks, feel, acts just like you were running this in a dedicated RDP session expect it’s a TAB in your browser.  This is a 1.0 release and with that it has a lot of limitations when compared to the full blown View Client, but if you are just looking to jump into a Virtual Desktop quickly, you can’t beat HTML5.

Unity Touch is my favorite of the new features.  This really allows smaller end point devices like iPad’s (Mini and full blown) as well as Android Tablet devices to be a TON more useable.  If you have big old man hands like mine, it can sometimes be REALLY difficult on an iPad Mini to select the applications or documents you want.  Unity Touch offers a slidebar tab inside the client with lots of shortcuts to apps and documents.  Like I said, its probably my most favorite new feature.

So lets get into it already !

Fun with VMware Horizon View 5.2 HTML5

First things first, let’s look at the new HTML5 access feature.  If you have not had a chance, point your web browser to your View Connection Server https://VIEWServer.FQDN/

1. From this screen you can see that you have 2 options. You can download the View Client, or you can click on the HTML Access box. Click on the VMware Horizon View HTML Access button.

default site

2. Next screen will ask you to log into your view connection server.  Enter in your credentials.

21 - click on the horizon blast

3.This screen will show you all of the desktops your account is entitled to use.  In this case I have one called Testing Pool, let’s click on the Testing Pool.

22 - notice the desktop pool available to you

4. And that’s it, if we set everything up correctly, you should now see your Windows 7 Desktop image.

Firefox - Windows Desktop - Mac

5.  You want to see Microsoft Visio running on a Mac Smile  Check this out !!  BOOOOM

Visio on Apple Mac


So that’s it for HTML5.  As I pointed out above, this is a 1.0 release that has a TON of promise. 

Let’s get into Unity Touch now.

Fun with VMware Horizon View – Unity Touch Feature

Unity Touch is probably the #1 reason I would recommend going through the process of updating your View 5 environment to 5.2. It just makes using the iPad VMware Horizon View App so much more useable !

Open up the VMware Horizon View Client on your iPad and launch the view client.  Make sure you are running the latest and great version of the client by the way.

1. First things first, if you don’t already have your View Connection Server setup, click on the + Symbol and add your Horizon View Connection Server into it.  Once you do that, you will see it show up under the Cloud Symbol.  Click on it:

Photo Apr 22, 9 40 33 AM

2. This will prompt you to type in your credentials.

Photo Apr 22, 9 14 50 AM

3.  This will take you right into your Desktop session.  Notice the little tab “thingy” (Technical Term) on the left.  That’s the Unity Touch area.  Just drag it to the right and you will see all sorts of cool things

3 - Little tab

4.  The first thing you will notice is the All Programs Area as well as My Files.  This makes finding and running your applications really quick.  Instead of trying to click on Start, Programs, Click on the folder that the app sits in and then finally clicking on the app, you can do all that from this window. 

Unity Touch Options

5. Let’s say you want to launch Visio using Unity Touch.  Click on All Programs, then Microsoft Office  (By the way – lessons learned on this – I installed Visio from my ipad’s desktop session so I could show these screen shots, it didn’t show up in the Unity Touch All Programs area until I rebooted the desktop. So keep that in mind if you run into an issue getting an app to show up.)

Launch Visio - All Programs - Microsoft Office -

6. Now you will see Microsoft Visio 2010 – just click on that:

Click on Visio

7. BOOOOM there is Visio running.  Sooooo cool and really easy to move around the desktop.

Photo Apr 22, 9 21 24 AM

8. If you go back to the Unity Touch Tab, you will see that various applications you have running.  In this case I opened up Notepad and Calculator just to show multiple applications running.  If I want to switch between the three, I don’t have to go to the task bar and mess around with trying to click on a running app, I can just go to the side panel and select it.  By the way, while this might not be a big deal on a giant iPad, on the iPad mini this makes it (Mini) SOOOO much more useful for an end user.

running applications


That’s it for Unity Touch !

So as you can see, there is a TON of new features put into VMware Horizon View 5.2 Remote User Experience Pack.  If HTML5 feature is not enough to motivate you to upgrade, then I think Unity Touch probably puts you over the upgrade mark.  It’s that impressive and from a usability perspective, your users will love the new capabilities !

Once again, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them as comments below.












5 thoughts on “Fun with Horizon View HTML5 and Unity Touch

  1. In the HTML5 instructions, at step 4, I get a window that says this instead, “Your VMware Horizon View server does not support web access.” When I look on my View connection server, I see that TCP port 8443 is open. I am on View version 5.2. Any ideas?


    1. Hi Todd, sorry, did you manage to get passed the “Your VMware Horizon View server does not support web access.” message? I am on View 5.3 and im being unable to provisiong desktops using the html access, i always get that error message.

      Thanks in advance.

      1. You need to make sure your SSL cert is correct. Use an Internal CA to get it working. I had this problem with 5.3 and fixing the cert fixed this issue.

        I had checked everything. Also verify the URLS in the Connection Server settings in /admin/

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