You can use the silent installation feature of the Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) to install Horizon Agent on several Windows virtual machines or physical computers. In a silent installation, you do not have to respond to wizard prompts. A silent upgrade uses the same install commands. You can also modify already installed Horizon Agent components silently.

You can perform a silent installation either by entering parameters manually on the command line or by using a settings file.

About Silent Installation

With silent installation, you can efficiently deploy Horizon components in a large enterprise.

If you do not want to install all features that are installed automatically or by default, you can use the ADDLOCAL MSI property to selectively install individual setup options and features. For details about the ADDLOCAL property, see MSI Command-Line Options and MSI Properties.

You can modify features by using the ADDLOCAL and REMOVE MSI properties.

You can use the following PowerShell command to query the registry of installed components on the system where Horizon Agent is installed for the ModifyPath base command line:
Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | Select-Object DisplayName, ModifyPath | 
Where-Object {$_.DisplayName -eq 'VMware Horizon Agent'} | Format-Table –AutoSize
The output:
DisplayName               ModifyPath
VMware Horizon Agent      MsiExec.exe /I{A17DD662-DFB3-4997-9C0F-4E687A300111}

Prerequisites

  • Verify that you have prepared Active Directory. See the Horizon Installation document.
  • Prepare the guest operating system for desktop deployment. See Prepare a Guest Operating System for Remote Desktop Deployment.
  • To use Windows Server as a single-session remote desktop or as an RDSH host, perform the steps described in Prepare Windows Server Operating Systems for Desktop Use.
    Note: The Horizon Agent installer does not automatically install any role in silent mode. If you want RDS mode, then pre-install the RDSH role on the system.
  • If the machine has the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package installed, verify that the version of the package is 2005 SP1 or later. If the package version is 2005 or earlier, you can either upgrade or uninstall the package.
  • Download the Horizon Agent installer file from the VMware product page at http://www.vmware.com/go/downloadview.

    The installer filename is VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe, where YYMM is the marketing version number, y.y.y is the internal version number, and xxxxxx is the build number.

  • Verify that you have administrative rights on the virtual machine or physical PC.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Horizon Agent custom setup options. See Horizon Agent Custom Setup Options.
  • Familiarize yourself with the MSI installer command-line options. See Microsoft Windows Installer Command-Line Options.
  • Familiarize yourself with the silent installation properties available with Horizon Agent. See Silent Installation Properties for Horizon Agent.
  • Familiarize yourself with the TCP ports that the Horizon Agent installation program opens on the firewall. See the Horizon Architecture Planning document for more information.
  • Verify that the latest Windows Update patches are installed on the guest operating systems on which you plan to install Horizon Agent silently. In certain cases, an interactive installation by an administrator might be required to execute pending Windows Update patches. Verify that all OS operations and subsequent reboots are completed.

Install Horizon Agent Silently By Entering Parameters on the Command Line

  1. Open a Windows command prompt on the virtual machine or physical PC.

    The following example installs Horizon Agent with the components Core, VMware Blast, PCoIP, Unity Touch, VmVideo, PSG, USB redirection, and Real-Time Audio-Video components.

    VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /s /v"/qn VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=1 ADDLOCAL=Core,SVIAgent,USB,RTAV"

    The following example installs Horizon Agent on an unmanaged computer and registers the desktop with the specified Connection Server, cs1.companydomain.com. In addition, the installer installs the Core, VMware Blast, PCoIP, Unity Touch, VmVideo, PSG, VMware Integrated Printing, and USB redirection components.

    VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /s /v"/qn VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=0 VDM_SERVER_NAME=cs1.companydomain.com VDM_SERVER_USERNAME=admin.companydomain.com VDM_SERVER_PASSWORD=secret ADDLOCAL=Core,PrintRedir,USB"

    The following example modifies and removes the USB component from an existing installation: VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /s /v"/qn REMOVE=USB"

    ProductCode-driven command line example: msiexec.exe /I{A17DD662-DFB3-4997-9C0F-4E687A300111} /qn REMOVE=USB

    The following example modifies the agent installation by replacing Horizon Performance Tracker with the Horizon Help Desk Tool: VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /s /v"/qn ADDLOCAL=HelpDesk REMOVE=PerfTracker”

    ProductCode-driven command line example: msiexec.exe /I{A17DD662-DFB3-4997-9C0F-4E687A300111} /qn ADDLOCAL=HelpDesk REMOVE=PerfTracker

    The following example modifies the agent installation by adding serial port and scanner redirection: VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /s /v"/qn ADDLOCAL=SerialPortRedirection,ScannerRedirection”

    ProductCode-driven command line example: msiexec.exe /I{A17DD662-DFB3-4997-9C0F-4E687A300111} /qn ADDLOCAL=SerialPortRedirection,ScannerRedirection

    Note: If you install Horizon Agent on a Windows Server machine, and you intend to configure the machine as a single-user Horizon desktop rather than as an RDS host, you must include the VDM_FORCE_DESKTOP_AGENT=1 property in the installation command. This requirement applies to machines that are managed by vCenter Server and unmanaged machines.

When the installation is complete, if the virtual machine has multiple NICs, configure the subnet that Horizon Agent uses. See Configure a Virtual Machine with Multiple NICs for Horizon Agent.

Install Horizon Agent Silently Using a Settings File

  1. Create a text file containing the parameters you want to use for the installation.
    • The file can be located on either a local or network drive. Using mapped drives is also supported.
    • The file can have any extension, but must be text-only.
    • Each parameter must be on its own line.
    • Any other text (besides the parameters themselves) must be commented out using a hash sign (#) at the beginning of the line.
    • Both whitespace and empty newlines are allowed in the file.
    Note: If you install Horizon Agent on a Windows Server machine, and you intend to configure the machine as a single-user Horizon desktop rather than as an RDS host, you must include the VDM_FORCE_DESKTOP_AGENT=1 property in the settings file. This requirement applies to machines that are managed by vCenter Server and unmanaged machines.
    Attention: The installer does not process passwords. If your file includes a known password property such as VDM_SERVER_PASSWORD, the installer fails to parse the file and returns an error. To include a password, you must enter it manually on the command line. When you enter a password in this way, it is passed only once and is not logged anywhere.
  2. Open a Windows command prompt on the virtual machine or physical PC and enter the following.

    VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /v SETTINGS_FILE=<file path>

    For example:

    VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86-YYMM-y.y.y-xxxxxx.exe /v SETTINGS_FILE=C:\Users\vmware\desktop\demo\agent-settings.txt

When the installation is complete, if the virtual machine has multiple NICs, configure the subnet that Horizon Agent uses. See Configure a Virtual Machine with Multiple NICs for Horizon Agent.