Use a manual desktop pool if you have pre-existing groups of desktops that you want to manage with VMware Horizon 8. You can create manual desktop pools for both single-session desktops and multi-session desktops.

Compared with an automated desktop pool, a manual desktop pool has limited features. For example, Horizon 8 does not manage the life cycle of the desktops in a manual desktop pool. Instant clones are not applicable to manual desktop pools.

Horizon 8 supports the following types of manual desktop pools.

Manual Desktop Pool of VMware vSphere Machines
This type of manual desktop pool contains the following type of virtual machines:
  • Independent virtual machines that are managed by vCenter Server.

These vSphere virtual machines are not created by Horizon 8. For example, these machines were created in vSphere by another virtual desktop infrastructure software and now you want to migrate them to Horizon 8.

To create a manual desktop pool of vSphere virtual machines, you must install Horizon Agent on each machine, and then select the vCenter virtual machines option as part of the manual desktop pool creation workflow.

Instant-clone technology is not supported on this type of manual desktop pool. This type of manual desktop pool is also different from automated full-clone desktop pools in which Horizon 8 creates a pool of virtual machines that are cloned from a template VM as part of the pool creation process.

Note: After the virtual machine is added to a manual pool in Horizon 8, you need to power off the machine so the new display settings can be applied. These settings include monitor count, monitor resolution, and the Screen DMA setting. For more information, see