Accessing vLabs using VMware Horizon View Client for Android

The following demonstrates how to install and use the VMware Horizon View Client from any Android device. This client allows the user to connect to virtual lab machines that you have been provisioned access to from any Android device with an internet connection. These instructions are for installing the VMware Horizon View Client version 2.1 from the Google Play Store, which is used by all Android devices, to download and install applications. There is no cost to install the application. Please note, these instructions were written for a Motorola Droid Razr running Android version 4.1.2. The images shown will vary between devices and Android versions.

Device Requirements

UMass Lowell only supports using VMware Horizon View Client version 2.1 or higher since it works on any Android device running version 3.0 or later. If you do not know which version of Android your device is running, go into your “System Settings” and at the bottom of the options, you will find “About Phone.” Open the “About Phone” menu and you will find “Android Version.” Figure 1 shows the steps to verify your version of Android.

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Figure 1

Installing the Client

1) Enter the Google Play Store and search for “VMware Horizon View Client.” Figure 2 shows the results of the search, and the application page in the Google Play Store.
Figure 2

2) Click the “Install” button to begin the installation process. Once this button is clicked, you will be asked to accept the application permissions needed by the VMware Horizon View Client. Click the accept button to begin the “Accept” button to continue. Figure 3 shows the application permissions pop-up.
Figure 3

3) The application will download and install itself, please wait for this process to finish.

4) Once the installation process is complete, open your applications menu and find the VMware Horizon View Client. Figure 4 shows the icon for the application.
Figure 4

5) Open the application by clicking on the icon shown in figure 4. If you receive the warning shown in figure 5, please follow steps 6 and 7 to resolve the warning. If you do not receive the warning, skip ahead to step 8.
Figure 5

6) To resolve this warning, open your Device Settings and find the “Developer Options” settings folder. The folder boxed in red in figure 6.

Figure 6

7) Open this folder and scroll all the way to the bottom. At the bottom you will find an option called “Don’t keep activities.” Make sure this box is not checked. Figure 7 displays the option unchecked. 

Figure 7

Connecting to a vLabs Virtual Machine

8) Now you can open the VMware Horizon View Client without the warning. The first time the application is opened there will be an “Add Server” button shown in figure 8. Click this button.

Figure 8

9) You are then prompted for a Server Name, enter “vlabs.uml.edu.” The server description shown below in orange is optional. Then click the connect button. Figure 9 shows the entered information.

Figure 9

10) After clicking connect, you are prompted for your username and password. Enter your student e-mail address and password into the proper fields as shown in figure 10. You can safely ignore the “Domain” field.

Figure 10
11) Click the connect button to log into vLabs.

12) Once logged in, the will be a list of all virtual labs that you have been provisioned access to. Select the virtual lab desired to log in. Figure 11 shows the list of virtual labs available.
Figure 11

13) Click the lab that you would like to use and you will be automatically logged into the selected lab.

VMware Horizon View Client for Android Features

The VMware Horizon View Client for Android has a few features in place to make the mobile experience easier. The ability to use the client over 3G, 4G, or LTE data connection as well as a wireless internet connection makes the client usable from anywhere. Please note that if the VMware Horizon View Client is being used over 3G, 4G, or an LTE data connection, you will be using your carrier data plan. The VMware Horizon View Client will use a lot of data, unless you have an unlimited data plan.

There is also an easy access menu wheel that has common task buttons. To open the menu, click on the icon enclosed in red in figure 12.

Figure 12

Each button in the menu wheel is used to accomplish a different task. Starting from top to bottom, each button is explained below.
  1. Question Mark vlabs20 – This button opens up the gesture guide. Gestures are different touch combinations used to execute different tasks.
  2. Settings vlabs21  - This button opens the “Settings” page. From there you can change some basic settings. If a smartphone is being used you should not have to change any of these settings.
  3. The resize button vlabs22 - This button will resize the screen in and out of full screen mode.
  4. Disconnect vlabs23 - This button opens the “Disconnect” page. Here you can select whether or not you would like to disconnect from the virtual machine. More about disconnecting is explained on the next page.
  5. Arrow Keys and Keyboard vlabs24vlabs25 - Both of these buttons open an on-screen keyboard. The arrow keys only open up the arrow keys along with the “Page up”, “Page down”, “Home”, and “End” keys. The keyboard opens a full on-screen keyboard.
  6. Touchpad vlabs26 - This button starts a virtual touchpad which makes the entire screen a touchable interface like a laptop.
The final feature exclusive to mobile devices is the Unity Touch interface. The Unity Touch interface allows you to easily browse or search for files and applications, as well as add favorite files and applications without a keyboard and mouse. To open the Unity Touch interface, swipe across the devices screen from left to right. Figure 12 shows the menu that will open. To close the menu, swipe from right to left.

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Figure 12

Disconnecting from vLabs

 There are a few different ways to close a virtual machine. You can either disconnect or log out.
  • Disconnecting will close the virtual machine and start a 1-hour timer. Disconnecting allows you to reconnect to the same session at a later point in time, as long as you do not exceed the one hour timer. After one hour, the user is logged out.
  • Logging out immediately disconnects the user and destroys the virtual machine. This removes any files that have been created since you have logged in. 
First, you must disconnect from the desktop by using the “Disconnect” button explained earlier. You will then be brought to the “Recent Desktops” screen shown in figure 13. To log out, press and hold until the log off menu is displayed. Then click “Log off” to log off of the vLabs virtual machine.

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Figure 13