You can create an automated, linked-clone desktop pool based on a parent virtual machine that you select. The View Composer service dynamically creates a new linked-clone virtual machine in vCenter Server for each desktop.

To create an automated pool that contains full virtual machines, see Automated Pools That Contain Full Virtual Machines.


  • Verify that the View Composer service is installed, either on the same host as vCenter Server or on a separate host, and that a View Composer database is configured. See the Horizon 7 Installation document.
  • Verify that View Composer settings for vCenter Server are configured in Horizon Administrator. See the Horizon 7 Administration document.
  • Verify that you have a sufficient number of ports on the ESXi virtual switch that is used for the virtual machines that are used as remote desktops. The default value might not be sufficient if you create large desktop pools. The number of virtual switch ports on the ESXi host must equal or exceed the number of virtual machines multiplied by the number of virtual NICs per virtual machine.

  • Verify that you prepared a parent virtual machine. Horizon Agent must be installed on the parent virtual machine. See Creating and Preparing a Virtual Machine for Cloning.
  • Take a snapshot of the parent virtual machine in vCenter Server. You must shut down the parent virtual machine before you take the snapshot. View Composer uses the snapshot as the base image from which the clones are created.
    Note: You cannot create a linked-clone pool from a virtual machine template.
  • Gather the configuration information you must provide to create the pool. See Worksheet for Creating a Linked-Clone Desktop Pool.
  • Decide how to configure power settings, display protocol, and other settings. See Desktop Pool Settings for All Desktop Pool Types.
  • If you intend to provide access to your desktops and applications through VMware Identity Manager, verify that you create the desktop and application pools as a user who has the Administrators role on the root access group in Horizon Administrator. If you give the user the Administrators role on an access group other than the root access group, VMware Identity Manager will not recognize the SAML authenticator you configure in Horizon 7, and you cannot configure the pool in VMware Identity Manager.
Important: While a linked-clone pool is created, do not modify the parent virtual machine in vCenter Server. For example, do not convert the parent virtual machine to a template. The View Composer service requires that the parent virtual machine remain in a static, unaltered state during pool creation.


  1. In Horizon Administrator, select Catalog > Desktop Pools.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Select Automated Desktop Pool.
  4. On the vCenter Server page, choose View Composer linked clones.
  5. Follow the prompts in the wizard to create the pool.
    Use the configuration information you gathered in the worksheet. You can go directly back to any wizard page you completed by clicking the page name in the navigation panel.

    On the vCenter Settings page, you must click Browse and select the vCenter Server settings in sequence. You cannot skip a vCenter Server setting:

    1. Parent VM
    2. Snapshot
    3. VM folder location
    4. Host or cluster
    5. Resource pool
    6. Datastores


In Horizon Administrator, you can see the machines as they are added to the pool by selecting Catalog > Desktop Pools.

The linked clones might restart one or more times while they are provisioned. If a linked clone is in an error state, the Horizon automatic recovery mechanism attempts to power on, or shut down and restart, the linked clone. If repeated recovery attempts fail, the linked clone is deleted.

View Composer also creates a replica virtual machine that serves as the master image for provisioning the linked clones. To reduce space consumption, the replica is created as a thin disk. If all the virtual machines are recomposed or deleted, and no clones are linked to the replica, the replica virtual machine is deleted from vCenter Server.

If you do not store the replica on a separate datastore, View Composer creates a replica on each datastore on which linked clones are created.

If you store the replica on a separate datastore, one replica is created for the entire pool, even when linked clones are created on multiple datastores.

What to do next

Entitle users to access the pool. See Add Entitlements to a Desktop or Application Pool.