When a user or administrator inserts a smart card into a smart card reader, the user certificates on the smart card are copied to the local certificate store on the client system. The certificates in the local certificate store are available to all of the applications running on the client computer, including Horizon Client.

When a user or administrator initiates a connection to a View Connection Server instance or security server that is configured for smart card authentication, the View Connection Server instance or security server sends a list of trusted certificate authorities (CAs) to the client system. The client system checks the list of trusted CAs against the available user certificates, selects a suitable certificate, and then prompts the user or administrator to enter a smart card PIN. If there are multiple valid user certificates, the client system prompts the user or administrator to select a certificate.

The client system sends the user certificate to the View Connection Server instance or security server, which verifies the certificate by checking the certificate trust and validity period. Typically, users and administrators can successfully authenticate if their user certificate is signed and valid. If certificate revocation checking is configured, users or administrators who have revoked user certificates are prevented from authenticating.

Display protocol switching is not supported with smart card authentication in Horizon Client. To change display protocols after authenticating with a smart card in Horizon Client, a user must log off and log on again.