Last year, a standalone Virtual Machine Remote Console (VMRC) was released for Windows as part of vSphere 5.5 Update 2b which provides an alternative way of launching the VM console due to NPAPI deprecation. There was of course a huge request for Mac OS X support and the VMRC team has been working hard and today I am please to announce that standalone VMRC is now available for Apple Mac OS X which you can download using the following URL: www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc
Note: Mac OS X 10.8 or greater is required to use the new Standalone VMRC. The release notes will be updated to reflect this requirement
There are currently two methods of launching a remote console to a Virtual Machine using the vSphere Web Client as seen in the screenshot below:
- Using HTML5 VMRC simply by clicking on the thumbnail preview
- Using the new Standalone VMRC by clicking on the "Launch Remote Console" link
When using the Standalone VMRC method, instead of opening the VM console in the browser, it will launch the native VMRC application on your system whether that be Windows or Mac OS X. All basic functionalities of the Standalone VMRC is available as you would expect such as power operations, device management, etc.
Note: There is not a specific version of vSphere that is required to directly launch the Standalone VMRC. However, to launch it within the vSphere Web Client, you will need vSphere 5.5 Update 2b or greater.
The other great thing about the Standalone VMRC is that it can function without vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client and you can actually use it to connect to VM directly on an ESXi host. To use the VMRC without the vSphere Web Client, you will need to construct the VMRC URI which looks like the following:
where TICKET is obtained by calling the AcquireCloneTicket() method using the SessionManager in vCenter Server. The HOST will either be the Hostname/IP Address of vCenter Server and the PORT should be default to 443 and you will need to specify the VM MoRef ID. In the case of a standalone ESXi host, you would just change the HOST property. If you do not wish to use the clone ticket, you can also just provide the following URI which will prompt for your ESXi credentials
Once you have generated the VMRC URI, you MUST launch it through a web browser as that is how it is passed directly to the Standalone VMRC application. In my opinion, this is not ideal especially for customers who wish to automatically generate this as part of a VM provisioning workflow to their end users and not having to require a browser to launch the Standalone VMRC application. If you have some feedback on this, please do leave a comment.
In the mean time, a quick workaround is to use the "open" command on Mac OS X along with the VMRC URI which will automatically load it into your default browser and launch the Standalone VMRC application for you.
UPDATE (05/31/15) - If you are connecting directly to an ESXi host you can either use the vSphere API to query for the VM MoRef ID or you can easily pull it by running the following command directly in the ESXi Shell:
I am sure there are probably a few of you asking, what about for Linux users? Well, you can probably guess what is being worked on next 😉