The VMware Identity Manager Desktop application includes a command-line application, hws-desktop-ctrl.exe, that you can use to perform operations related to using ThinApp packages on the user's Windows system.

The installation process for the VMware Identity Manager Desktop application installs hws-desktop-ctrl.exe in the HorizonThinApp folder in the Windows directory location where the VMware Identity Manager Desktop application is installed.

To use the hws-desktop-ctrl.exe application to perform one of its supported commands, use the following format.

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe command options



hws-desktop-ctrl.exe recheck

This command immediately does an entitlement check of the ThinApp packages that are associated with the user account that is logged into the VMware Identity Manager Desktop application. Any newly entitled or updated ThinApp packages are synced.

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe set InstallMode=install_mode

This command changes the ThinApp deployment mode used for ThinApp packages on this Windows system. Because this command changes the registry keys associated with the ThinApp deployment mode, only administrators with the appropriate registry permissions are able to change the install mode using this command.

Available values for install_mode are:

  • CopyToLocal

  • RunFromShare

  • HttpDownload

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe authorize guid=ThinApp_GUID path=package_path

This command verifies whether a ThinApp package can be launched. This command does not actually launch the ThinApp package. Provide the ThinApp package's GUID and the path to the package's executable file. If ThinApp download mode is used for the packages on the Windows client system, the path is relative to the local cache root folder, which is the same as the path relative to the repository root. An example is

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe authorize guid= 436E1D7D-552C-4F70-8197-DB1B05D30394 path="FileZilla Client 3.3.2/FileZilla.exe"

You can see the ThinApp package's GUID, application path, and executable file name on its resources page in the administration console.

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe quit

This command tells the VMware Identity Manager Desktop application to exit cleanly.

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe launch app=package_path url=launch_url

This command is used to manually launch a ThinApp package, where package_path is the path to the package's executable file, and launch_url is the VMware Identity Manager protocol URL for that package, in the form horizon://package_path. An example is

hws-desktop-ctrl.exe launch app="FileZilla Client 3.3.2/FileZilla.exe" url="horizon://FileZilla Client 3.3.2/FileZilla.exe"

This command is not typically used by end users, who can launch their entitled ThinApp packages from their Workspace ONE portal. This command is typically used for debugging.