Administrators and sometimes end users can configure whether client connections are rejected if any or some server certificate checks fail.

Certificate checking occurs for SSL connections between Connection Server and Horizon Client. Certificate verification includes the following checks:

  • Is the certificate intended for a purpose other than verifying the identity of the sender and encrypting server communications? That is, is it the correct type of certificate?
  • Has the certificate expired, or is it valid only in the future? That is, is the certificate valid according to the computer clock?
  • Does the common name on the certificate match the host name of the server that sends it? A mismatch can occur if a load balancer redirects Horizon Client to a server that has a certificate that does not match the host name entered in Horizon Client. Another reason a mismatch can occur is if you enter an IP address rather than a host name in the client.
  • Is the certificate signed by an unknown or untrusted certificate authority (CA)? Self-signed certificates are one type of untrusted CA.

    To pass this check, the certificate's chain of trust must be rooted in the device's local certificate store.

Note: For information about distributing a self-signed root certificate and installing it on Mac client systems, see the Advanced Server Administration document for the Mac Server that you are using, which is available from the Apple Web site.

In addition to presenting a server certificate, Connection Server also sends a certificate thumbprint to Horizon Client. The thumbprint is a hash of the certificate public key and is used as an abbreviation of the public key. If Connection Server does not send a thumbprint, you see a warning that the connection is untrusted.

If your administrator has allowed it, you can set the certificate checking mode. Select VMware Horizon Client > Preferences from the menu bar. You have three choices:

  • Never connect to untrusted servers. If any of the certificate checks fails, the client cannot connect to the server. An error message lists the checks that failed.
  • Warn before connecting to untrusted servers. If a certificate check fails because the server uses a self-signed certificate, you can click Continue to ignore the warning. For self-signed certificates, the certificate name is not required to match the server name you entered in Horizon Client.
  • Do not verify server identity certificates. This setting means that no certificate checking occurs.

If the certificate checking mode is set to Warn, you can still connect to a Connection Server instance that uses a self-signed certificate.

If an administrator later installs a security certificate from a trusted certificate authority, so that all certificate checks pass when you connect, this trusted connection is remembered for that specific server. In the future, if that server ever presents a self-signed certificate again, the connection fails. After a particular server presents a fully verifiable certificate, it must always do so.