The following list summarizes the key features supported on Horizon Linux desktops.

Note: Where applicable, the following entries identify the subset of Linux distributions that support a given feature. For the complete list of Linux distributions supported for Horizon Agent, see System Requirements for Horizon Agent for Linux.
Active Directory Integration
  • PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO) Authentication supports offline domain join with Active Directory for instant-cloned desktops running the following Linux distributions.
    • Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04
    • RHEL 7.x
  • Samba supports offline domain join with Active Directory for instant-cloned desktops running the following Linux distributions.
    • Ubuntu 18.04/20.04
    • RHEL Workstation 7.2 or later, and 8.x
    • RHEL Server 7.8, 7.9, 8.3, and 8.4
    • CentOS 7.8, 7.9, 8.3, and 8.4
    • SLED/SLES 12.x/15.x

For more information, see the subtopics under Integrating Linux Desktops with Active Directory.

Audio-in
Audio input redirection from a client host to a remote Linux desktop is supported. This feature is not based on the USB redirection function. If you want this feature enabled, you must select it during installation. You must select the system default audio in device "PulseAudio server (local)" in your application for the audio input. This feature is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 with MATE or Gnome Ubuntu desktop environment
  • RHEL 7.x with KDE or Gnome desktop environment
  • RHEL 8.x with Gnome desktop environment
  • SLED 12.x/15.x
  • SLES 12.x/15.x
Audio-out
Audio output redirection is supported. This feature is enabled by default. To disable this feature, you must set the RemoteDisplay.allowAudio option to false. When accessed using Chrome and Firefox browsers, VMware Horizon HTML Access provides audio-out support for Linux desktops.
Automated Full-Clone Desktop Pool
You can create automated full-clone desktop pools of single-session Linux desktops.
Client Drive Redirection
When you enable the Client Drive Redirection (CDR) feature, your local system's shared folders and drives become available for you to access. You use the tsclient folder that is located in your home directory in the remote Linux desktop. To use this feature, you must install the CDR components.
Clipboard Redirection
With the clipboard redirection feature, you can copy and paste a rich text or a plain text between a client host and a remote Linux desktop. You can set the copy/paste direction and the maximum text size using Horizon Agent options. This feature is enabled by default. You can deactivate it during installation.
Digital Watermark

You can create a unique digital watermark as a solution for authenticity, content integrity, and ownership protection of your intellectual property. A watermark shows traceable information that can deter people from potentially stealing your data.

The watermark can be displayed on the following Linux remote sessions:
  • Published applications and applications running on a desktop pool
  • Virtual desktops and multi-session hosts
  • Multiple monitors
  • Primary session in a collaborative session

The watermark feature has the following limitations:

  • Recorded sessions in Zoom or Webex applications do not include the watermark.
  • Screen capture applications and the Print Screen key operated from within the remote desktop do not include the watermark. However, screen capture applications and the Print Screen key operated from the client system do include the watermark.
  • If you use an old client version with the latest agent version, the watermark may not display.
  • If you use the latest client version with an old agent version, the watermark does not display.
  • A shadow session in a collaborative session cannot show the watermark.
  • The watermark does not display when the Search, Activities, or Show Applications desktop features are in use
  • Watermarks are not supported on the K Desktop Environment (KDE).

You can configure the digital watermark using the following methods:

Display Scaling
With the Display Scaling feature enabled, Linux remote desktops support the client display's scale factor. If the DPI (Dots Per Inch) setting on the remote desktop does not match the DPI setting on the client system, the remote session is displayed using a scale factor that matches the client system.

This feature is turned off by default. You can enable it by setting a configuration option as described in Setting Options in Configuration Files on a Linux Desktop.

DPI Synchronization
The DPI Synchronization feature ensures that the DPI setting in a remote session changes to match the DPI setting of the client system when users connect to a Linux remote desktop or published application. The feature is supported on Linux distributions running Horizon Agent 2012 or later, with one further requirement: RHEL/CentOS 7.x desktops must be running RHEL/CentOS 7.6 or later.

This feature is enabled by default. You can deactivate it by modifying a configuration option as described in Setting Options in Configuration Files on a Linux Desktop.

FIPS 140-2 Mode
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 mode, although not yet validated with the NIST Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), is available for supported Linux desktops. FIPS mode is not supported on desktops running CentOS.

Horizon Agent for Linux implements cryptographic modules that are designed for FIPS 140-2 compliance. These modules were validated in operational environments listed in CMVP certificate #2839 and #2866, and were ported to this platform. However, the CAVP and CMVP testing requirement to include the new operational environments in VMware's NIST CAVP and CMVP certificates remains to be completed on the product roadmap.

Note: The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version 1.2 is required to support FIPS 140-2 mode.
Help Desk Tool
Horizon Help Desk Tool is a Web application that you can use to troubleshoot Linux desktop sessions. You can use Horizon Help Desk Tool to get the status of Horizon user sessions and to perform troubleshooting and maintenance operations. See Using Horizon Help Desk Tool in Horizon Console.
Horizon Smart Policies
You can use VMware Dynamic Environment Manager to create Horizon Smart Policies that control the behavior of the USB redirection, clipboard redirection, and client drive redirection features on specific remote Linux desktops. See Using Smart Policies.
H.264 Encoder and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

H.264 and HEVC can improve the Blast Extreme performance for a Horizon desktop, especially under a low-bandwidth network. HEVC provides higher image quality than H.264 at the same bandwidth.

If the client system has both H.264 and HEVC turned off, Blast Extreme automatically falls back to JPEG/PNG encoding.

The H.264 and HEVC encoders include both hardware support and software encoder support. The hardware support has the following requirements.
  • The vGPU is configured with an NVIDIA graphics card. For specific requirements, see the video codec support matrix on https://developer.nvidia.com.
  • The NVIDIA driver 384 series or later is installed in the NVIDIA graphics card.

When the system meets the preceding requirements, Horizon Agent for Linux uses the hardware encoder. Otherwise, the software encoder is used.

Instant-Clone Floating Desktop Pool
You can create instant-clone floating desktop pools of single-session Linux desktops.

For more information, see Create an Instant-Clone Floating Desktop Pool for Linux.

K Desktop Environment
The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • RHEL/CentOS 7.x
  • Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04
Keyboard Layout and Locale Synchronization
This feature specifies whether to synchronize a client's system locale and current keyboard layout with the Linux desktops. When this setting is enabled or not configured, synchronization is allowed. When this setting is disabled, synchronization is not allowed.

This feature is supported only for Horizon Client for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and only for the English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese locales.

Lossless PNG
Images and videos that are generated on a desktop are rendered on the client device in a pixel-exact manner.
Manual Desktop Pool
When configuring a manual desktop pool of single-session Linux desktops, you can choose from the following options for machine source:
  • Managed Virtual Machine - Machine source of the vCenter virtual machine. A managed virtual machine is supported for new and upgrade deployments.
  • Unmanaged Virtual Machine - Machine source of other sources. An unmanaged virtual machine is only supported when the upgrade is from an unmanaged virtual machine deployment.
Note: To ensure the best possible performance, do not use an unmanaged virtual machine.
MATE Desktop Environment
The MATE Desktop Environment is supported on Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04.
Multiple Monitors

vGPU desktop supports a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 on four monitors configured in any arrangement.

2D desktop on VMware vSphere® 6.0 or later supports the following maximum resolutions:

  • 2560x1600 on three monitors configured in any arrangement
  • 2048x1536 on four monitors configured in any arrangement
  • 2560x1600 on four monitors configured as follows:
    • Two monitors arranged on the bottom and two monitors arranged on the top
    • Four monitors stacked vertically on top of one another.

      The 2560x1600 resolution is not supported on four monitors arranged side by side.

For Ubuntu 18.04/20.04, you must use Gnome, KDE, or the MATE desktop environment to use the multiple monitors feature. See http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2151294 for more information.

Network Intelligence Support for VMware Blast

The Network Intelligence transport is supported for VMware Blast. This feature is enabled by default.

When User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is enabled, Blast establishes both Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and UDP connections. Based on the current network conditions, Blast dynamically selects one of the transports for transmitting data to provide the best user experience. For example, in a local area network, TCP performs better than UDP, and so Blast selects TCP to transport data. Similarly, in a wide area network (WAN), UDP performance is better than TCP and Blast selects the UDP transport in that environment.

If one of the inline components used does not support UDP, Blast establishes a TCP connection only. For example, if your connection is using the Blast Security Gateway component of the Horizon Connection Server, only a TCP connection is established. Even if both client and agent enabled UDP, the connection uses TCP because Blast Security Gateway does not support UDP. If users are connecting from outside the corporate network, the UDP component requires VMware Unified Access Gateway, which supports UDP.

Use the following information to establish a UDP-based Blast connection.
  • If the client connects to a Linux desktop directly, enable UDP in both the client and agent. UDP is enabled by default in both the client and agent.
  • If the client connects to a Linux desktop using Unified Access Gateway, enable UDP in the client, agent, and Unified Access Gateway.
Printer Redirection

With Printer Redirection, users can print from a Linux remote desktop to any local or network printer available on their client computer. Printer Redirection support is enabled by default when you install Horizon Agent. For more information, see install_viewagent.sh Command-Line Options.

Printer Redirection is only supported on Linux desktops running RHEL 7.9, RHEL 8.3, or Ubuntu 20.04.

Published Desktop and Application Pools

You can create published desktop and application pools based on manual or automated instant-clone farms of multi-session Linux host machines. Each published desktop or application can support multiple user sessions at the same time.

Note: Only virtual machines running RHEL Workstation 7.8, 7.9, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, or 8.4 or Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 can be configured as multi-session hosts for published desktops and published applications. vGPU capabilities are not supported for published applications.

For more information, see Setting Up Linux Published Desktops and Applications for Multi-Session Use.

Session Collaboration
With the Session Collaboration feature, users can invite other users to join an existing remote Linux desktop session, or you can join a collaborative session when you receive an invitation from another user. This feature is supported only on desktops with the following Linux distributions installed.
  • Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 with Gnome Ubuntu desktop environment
  • RHEL Workstation 7.5 with Gnome Classic or KDE desktop environment
  • RHEL Workstation 7.6 or later, or 8.x with Gnome Classic desktop environment
  • RHEL Server 7.8 or later, or 8.1 or later with Gnome Classic desktop environment
Single Sign-on
You can configure Active Directory single sign-on (SSO) for Linux desktops.
Smart Card Redirection
Smart card redirection enables users to authenticate into Linux desktops using a smart card reader connected to the local client system. This feature is not supported on desktops running CentOS.

This feature supports Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards and Common Access Cards (CAC). For more information, see Setting Up Smart Card Redirection.

True SSO Support
You can configure the True SSO feature on Linux desktops.

For more information, see Setting Up True SSO for Linux Desktops.

USB Redirection
The USB Redirection feature gives you access to locally attached USB devices from remote Linux desktops. You must install the USB Redirection components and USB VHCI driver kernel module to use the USB feature. Ensure that you have been granted sufficient privileges to use the USB device that you want to redirect.
3Dconnexion Mouse
To begin using your 3Dconnexion mouse, you must install the appropriate device driver and pair the mouse using the Connect USB Device menu on your Linux desktop.
3D Graphics
Horizon Agent for Linux supports vGPU graphics capabilities on systems configured with certain NVIDIA graphics cards and running certain operating systems.
Note: For information about the NVIDIA graphics cards and Linux distributions that support vGPU capabilities, see https://docs.nvidia.com/grid/latest/product-support-matrix/index.html.

Limitations of Linux Desktops

Linux desktops have the following limitations:

  • Location-based printing and Real-Time Video are not supported.
  • The VMware HTML Access file transfer feature is not supported.
  • Only the X11 display server protocol is supported. The Wayland protocol is not supported.

Additional limitations apply to multi-session published desktops and published applications. For more information, see Considerations for Linux Farms, Published Desktops, and Published Applications.