One of the new features packaged with VMware Horizon View 5.2 is the ability to provide desktop access by way of the Blast protocol with HTML5. This gives you three major methods to connect users to their desktops: PCoIP, RDP, and Blast. Horizon View HTML Access is required to be installed and configured on the connection servers, and the Horizon View 5.2 feature pack 2 must be installed on your virtual desktops.
While performing an upgrade from View 5.0 to Horizon View 5.2 (build 987719), including the View 5.2 Agent software, I noticed many of the desktops had a status of Startup for many minutes, followed by a status of Protocol Failure.
The VDM logs stated:
Failed to initialize BLAST server interface, protocol will not be available.
Searching for the issue revealed KB 1039274 entitled VMware View Administrator shows the virtual machine status error: Configuration Error that sounded like it may be the culprit. The KB highlight a few likely causes:
- One of the display protocols such as RDP, PCoIP or HTML are not enabled.
- The View Administrator can display desktops in a protocol failure state when one protocol failed, but other protocols are started.
- This issue may occur if the Remote Graphics Software (RGS) is installed. RGS connection protocol is supported only in physical computers.
- It can also occur if other video adapter drivers are installed, such as those used by remote management software.
None of these were my issue. What gives?
VMTN Communities to the Rescue
I finally stumbled on this post in the VMTN forums with a question asked by VirtualSven which was nearly identical to my issue. He used a quiet installation script to deploy the 5.2 View Agent to his desktops with specific options defined:
A VMware employee named mpryor responded with this nugget of wisdom:
There’s a known issue in the 5.2.0 agent, where if you specify an explicit list of components on the command line such as ADDLOCAL=Core,PCoIP,USB,VPA,VmwVaudio,VmVideo,VMCI then you don’t get the HTML access interface dll (needed for talking to the feature pack component), causing the protocol to be reported as in an error state even if the feature pack is not installed. You can include the Appblast component in the list to work around this. (source)
This sounded promising, as I was installing a very specific set of components and didn’t even know there was an Appblast option.
In fact, Appblast isn’t even listed on the Silent Installation Properties for View Agent 5.2 page! Apparently it’s so vital that it isn’t even worth putting in the documentation? Wait, what?
More bad news:
It’s unlikely the documentation will be updated, it’s not generally changed for update releases – instead the installer will be fixed to not require the component and the original problem will/may be release noted. (source)
This is what sparked me to make a post to (hopefully) help others avoid this silliness.
You have a few options in order to avoid hitting this snag:
- Use ADDLOCAL=ALL to install all of the components
- Use the ADDLOCAL property with any features you need and make sure to include Appblast component (example being Core,PCoIP,USB,VPA,VmwVaudio,VmVideo,Appblast)
- Avoid using the ADDLOCAL property to specify individual components, which will install the default components
Looking forward to seeing this fixed