Sunday, February 19, 2012

Enabling "Autoconnect USB Devices" for VMware View Client with Active Directory Group Policy

I find that most often than not, I would always want to have the VMware View virtual desktops automatically connect USB devices that users plug into their physical desktops or thin-clients but as some of you may already know, the default setting for the VMware View Client is to actually not automatically USB devices that users plug in:

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Users are able to manually enable this themselves from the VMware View Client toolbar which will then be remembered for the next time they log on. 

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So what if we wanted this setting to be enabled regardless of whether the end user has turned it on?  The answer is to use Active Directory Group Policy with the VMware supplied vdm_client.adm template.

Open up Group Policy Management Console and create a new policy linked to the physical desktops or thin-clients (if they’re joined to the domain):

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Highlight the Administrative Templates node click on the Action tab and add the vdm_client.adm template:

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Navigate to Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> VMware View Client Configuration –> Scripting Definitions and enable the following 2 settings:

  1. Connect all USB devices to the desktop on launch.
  2. Connect USB devices to the desktop when they are plugged in.

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Once the settings have been configured, close the Group Policy Object Editor and you’ll be able to review the policy settings under the policy’s Settings tab:

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Proceed with refreshing the policy of the desktop or thin-client and log on and off if necessary.  Once you connect to the virtual desktop, you should now see the Autoconnect USB Devices option grayed out with a checkmark beside it:

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Note that users will no longer be able to disable this feature.

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