Administrators can configure the ability to use USB devices, such as thumb flash drives, cameras, VoIP (voice-over-IP) devices, and printers, from a remote desktop. This feature is called USB redirection, and it supports using the Blast Extreme, PCoIP, or Microsoft RDP display protocol. A remote desktop can accommodate up to 128 USB devices.
You can also redirect locally connected USB thumb flash drives and hard disks for use in RDS desktops and applications. Other types of USB devices, including other types of storage devices, are not supported in RDS desktops and applications.
When you use this feature in desktop pools that are deployed on single-user machines, most USB devices that are attached to the local client system become available in the remote desktop. You can even connect to and manage an iPad from a remote desktop. For example, you can sync your iPad with iTunes installed in your remote desktop. On some client devices, such as Windows and Mac computers, the USB devices are listed in a menu in Horizon Client. You use the menu to connect and disconnect the devices.
In most cases, you cannot use a USB device in your client system and in your remote desktop or application at the same time. Only a few types of USB devices can be shared between a remote desktop and the local computer. These devices include smart card readers and human interface devices such as keyboards and pointing devices.
Administrators can specify which types of USB devices end users are allowed to connect to. For composite devices that contain multiple types of devices, such as a video input device and a storage device, on some client systems, administrators can split the device so that one device (for example, the video input device) is allowed but the other device (for example, the storage device) is not.
The USB redirection feature is available only on some types of clients. To find out whether this feature is supported on a particular type of client, see the feature support matrix included in the "Using VMware Horizon Client" document for the specific type of desktop or mobile client device. Go to https://www.vmware.com/support/viewclients/doc/viewclients_pubs.html.
When you deploy the USB redirection feature, you can take steps to protect your organization from the security vulnerabilities that can affect USB devices. See Deploying USB Devices in a Secure View Environment.