You can use multiple monitors and all types of keyboards with a remote desktop. Certain settings ensure the best possible user experience.
Best Practices for Using Multiple Monitors
The following are recommendations for successfully using multiple monitors with a remote desktop:
- Define the primary monitor as the bottom-left-most monitor.
- Enable Xinerama. If you do not enable Xinerama, the primary display might be identified incorrectly.
- The menu bar appears on the top-left-most monitor. For example, if you have two monitors side by side and the top of the left monitor is lower than the top of the right monitor, the menu bar appears on the right monitor because the right monitor is still the top-left-most monitor.
- You can use up to four monitors if you have enough video RAM.
To use more than two monitors to display your remote desktop on an Ubuntu client system, you must configure the kernel.shmmax setting correctly. Use the following formula:
max horizontal resolution X max vertical resolution X max number of monitors X 4
For example, manually setting kernel.shmmax to 65536000 allows you to use four monitors with a screen resolution of 2560x1600.
- Horizon Client uses the monitor configuration that is in use when Horizon Client starts. If you change a monitor from landscape to portrait mode or if you plug an additional monitor into the client system while Horizon Client is running, you must restart Horizon Client to use the new monitor configuration.
Horizon Client supports the following monitor configurations:
- If you use two monitors, the monitors are not required to be in the same mode. For example, if you are using a laptop connected to an external monitor, the external monitor can be in portrait mode or landscape mode.
- Monitors can be placed side by side, stacked 2 by 2, or vertically stacked only if you are using two monitors.
- If you specify that you want to use all monitors, and if you are using the VMware Blast or PCoIP display protocol, you can specify a subset of adjacent monitors to use by right-clicking the desktop in the desktop selector window, selecting Full Screen - All Monitors from the Display drop-down menu, and clicking to select the monitors you want to use.
Note: If you have an Ubuntu client system, you must select the top-left-most monitor as one of the monitors. For example, if you have four monitors stacked 2 X 2, you must select either the two monitors on top or the two left-most monitors.
Consider the following guidelines when setting screen resolutions:
- If you open a remote desktop on a secondary monitor and then change the screen resolution on that monitor, the remote desktop moves to the primary monitor.
- If you use more than two monitors, the monitors must use the same screen resolution.
With the VMware Blast display protocol or the PCoIP display protocol, a remote desktop screen resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160) is supported. The number of 4K displays that are supported depends on the hardware version of the desktop virtual machine and the Windows version.
Hardware Version Windows Version Number of 4K Displays Supported 10 (ESXi 5.5.x compatible) 7, 8, 8.x, 10 1 11 (ESXi 6.0 compatible) 7
(3D rendering feature disabled and Windows Aero disabled)
3 11 7
(3D rendering feature enabled)
1 11 8, 8.x, 10 1 13 or 14 7, 8, 8.x, 10
(3D rendering feature enabled)
1 13 or 14 7, 8, 8.x, 10 4
For the best performance, the virtual machine should have at least 2 GB of RAM and 2 vCPUs. This feature might require good network conditions, such as a bandwidth of 1000 Mbps with low network latency and a low package loss rate.Note: When the remote desktop screen resolution is set to 3840 x 2160 (4K), items on the screen might appear smaller, and you might not be able to use the Screen Resolution dialog box in the remote desktop to make text and other items larger.
- With RDP, if you have multiple monitors, you cannot adjust the resolution for each monitor separately.
Generally, keyboards work as well with a remote desktop as they do with a physical computer. Following is a list of the limitations you might encounter, depending on the type of peripherals and software on your client system:
- If you use the PCoIP display protocol and want the remote desktop to detect which keyboard map your client system uses, such as, for example, a Japanese keyboard or a German keyboard, you must set a GPO in Horizon Agent. Use the Turn on PCOIP user default input language synchronization policy, available as part of the View PCoIP Session Variables ADM template file. For more information, see the Configuring Remote Desktop Features in Horizon document.
- Some multimedia keys on a multimedia keyboard might not work. For example, the Music key and My Computer key might not work.
- An administrator can configure which keyboard shortcuts to send to the remote desktop and which keyboard shortcuts to send instead to the client system when a desktop session is open. For more information, see the VMware Horizon Client for Linux Installation and Setup Guide.
- If you connect to a desktop using RDP and if you have the Fluxbox window manager, if a screen saver is running in the remote desktop, after a period of inactivity, the keyboard might stop working.
Regardless of which window manager you use, it is a good practice to turn off the screen saver on a remote desktop and avoid specifying a sleep timer.