You can use locally attached USB devices, such as thumb flash drives, cameras, and printers, from a remote desktop or a published application. This feature is called USB redirection.

About this task

When you use this feature, most USB devices that are attached to the local client system become available from menus in Horizon Client. You use these menus to connect and disconnect the devices.

Note:

With View Agent 6.1 or later, or Horizon Agent 7.0 or later, you can also redirect locally connected USB thumb flash drives and hard disks for use in published desktops and applications. Other types of USB devices, including other types of storage devices, such as security storage drives and USB CD-ROM, are not supported in published desktops and applications. With Horizon Agent 7.0.2 or later, published desktops and applications can support more generic USB devices, including TOPAZ Signature Pad, Olympus Dictation Foot pedal, and Wacom signature pad. Other types of USB devices, including security storage drives and USB CD-ROM drives, are not supported in published desktops and applications.

If you use the client drive redirection feature to share a USB storage device or a folder on a USB storage device, you cannot use the USB redirection feature to redirect the device to a remote desktop or application because the device is already shared.

Using USB devices with remote desktops and published applications has the following limitations:

  • When you access a USB device from a menu in Horizon Client and use the device in a remote desktop, you cannot access the device on the local computer.

  • USB devices that do not appear in the menu, but are available in a remote desktop, include human interface devices such as keyboards and pointing devices. The remote desktop and the local computer use these devices at the same time. Interaction with these devices can sometimes be slow because of network latency.

  • Large USB disk drives can take several minutes to appear in the desktop.

  • Some USB devices require specific drivers. If a required driver is not already installed on a remote desktop, you might be prompted to install it when you connect the USB device to the remote desktop.

  • If you plan to attach USB devices that use MTP drivers, such as Android-based Samsung smart phones and tablets, configure Horizon Client so that it automatically connects USB devices to your remote desktop. Otherwise, if you try to manually redirect the USB device by using a menu item, the device is not redirected unless you unplug the device and then plug it in again.

  • Webcams are not supported for USB redirection.

  • The redirection of USB audio devices depends on the state of the network and is not reliable. Some devices require a high data throughput even when they are idle. Audio input and output devices work well with the Real-Time Audio-Video feature. You do not need to use USB redirection for those devices.

  • You cannot format a redirected USB drive in a published desktop on an RDS host unless you connect as an administrator user.

You can connect USB devices to a remote desktop or published application either manually or automatically.

Note:

Do not redirect USB Ethernet connections to a remote desktop. The remote desktop can connect to the network if the local system is connected. If you have set the remote desktop to autoconnect USB devices, you can add an exception to exclude the Ethernet connection. See Configuring USB Redirection on a Mac Client .

Prerequisites

  • To use USB devices with a remote desktop or published application, a Horizon administrator must enable the USB redirection feature.

    This task includes installing the USB Redirection component of the agent, and can include setting policies regarding USB redirection. For more information, see the Configuring Remote Desktop Features in Horizon 7 document.

  • The first time you attempt to connect a USB device, you must provide the Administrator password. Horizon Client prompts you for the password.

    Some components required for USB redirection that Horizon Client installs must be configured, and configuration of these components requires Administrator privileges.

Procedure

  • Manually connect the USB device to a remote desktop.
    1. The first time you use the USB feature, from the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Start remote USB services and provide the Administrator password when prompted.
    2. Connect the USB device to the local client system.
    3. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Connect to a desktop to list USB devices.
    4. Connect to a remote desktop to list the connected USB devices and select a USB device.

    The device is manually redirected from the local system to the remote desktop.

  • Connect the USB device to a published application.
    1. The first time you use the USB feature, from the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Start remote USB services and provide the Administrator password when prompted.
    2. Plug in the USB device.
    3. Open the published application.
    4. Click the Settings button (gear icon) in the upper right corner of the desktop and application selection window.
    5. Select Applications in the left pane of the Settings dialog box.
    6. Click USB at the top of the right pane of the Settings dialog box.

      The available USB devices appear in the left pane.

    7. Select a USB device and click Connect Device.

      If a USB device is already connected to a remote desktop or application, you must disconnect the device from the desktop or application before you can select it.

    8. Select a published application and click Continue.

      You can select any running application on the RDS host. After you select a published application, you can use the USB device with the published application.

    9. After you finish using the published application, open the Settings dialog box again, select USB, and select Disconnect to release the USB device from the published application.

      You can now use the USB device with your local client system, a remote desktop, or another published application.

  • Configure Horizon Client to connect USB devices automatically to a remote desktop when you plug them in to the local system.

    Use the autoconnect feature if you plan to connect devices that use MTP drivers, such as Android-based Samsung smart phones and tablets.

    1. Before you plug in the USB device, start Horizon Client and connect to the remote desktop.
    2. The first time you use the USB feature, from the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Start remote USB services and provide the Administrator password when prompted.
    3. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Automatically connect when inserted.
    4. Plug in the USB device.

    USB devices that you connect to your local system after you start Horizon Client are redirected to the remote desktop.

  • Configure Horizon Client to connect USB devices automatically to a remote desktop when Horizon Client starts.
    1. The first time you use the USB feature, from the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Start remote USB services and provide the Administrator password when prompted.
    2. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connection > USB > Automatically connect at startup.
    3. Plug in the USB device and restart Horizon Client.

    USB devices that are connected to the local system when you start Horizon Client are redirected to the remote desktop.

Results

The USB device appears in the remote desktop or published application. A USB device might take up to 20 seconds to appear in the desktop or published application. The first time you connect the device to a remote desktop you might be prompted to install drivers.

If the USB device does not appear in the remote desktop or published application after several minutes, disconnect and reconnect the device to the client computer.

What to do next

If you have problems with USB redirection, see the topic about troubleshooting USB redirection problems in the Configuring Remote Desktop Features in Horizon 7 document.