November 29, 2018 - Nick

Installing VMware Horizon Linux Client on Chromium OS (CloudReady) using Crostini

Preface:

Recently I’ve taken a new career leap to do something new and exciting in the world of Chromium OS (Chrome OS). I really believe that the operating system represents the end user computing model of the future (more on this in later posts). That said, expect more content surrounding my journey into the space. I’m hoping to marry a lot of my EUC virtualization experience with advancing the client-side user experiences of said technologies within chromium OS.

Installing VMware Horizon Linux Client on Chromium OS (CloudReady) using Crostini:

Prerequisite Notes:

  • Running Neverware’s CloudReady (free – installation information here)
  • Enable Crostini using Forrest Smith’s guide here
  • Why am I even trying to get the Horizon Linux client to work on Chrome OS when there is a dedicated client already? Oh! Glad you asked. At the time of this writing, late November 2018, the clients for Chrome OS are lacking features and performance that the full clients have had for years. While I must say that it is changing at a pretty strong pace as the adoption of Chrome OS is rapidly increasing, there is a still a lot of room for maturity. The main goal I was looking to achieve by installing the linux client was better multi-monitor support. The Chrome OS VMware Horizon client is currently putting out terrible performance on the secondary display (regardless of what display or output it is). Specifically redraw and refresh issues on whatever the secondary monitor is.

Installation Steps:

  1. Download the latest version of the VMware Horizon Client for Linux here
  2. Move the VMware-Horizon-Client-x.x.x-yyyyyyy.arch.bundle from your Chrome OS Downloads folder into the new Linux Files folder.
    – The Linux Files directory will only be shown if Crostini is installed. This folder is the bridge between the Crostini container and your operating system.
  3. Launch the app tray and click on Terminal
  4. Let’s install the prerequisite packages:
    1. sudo apt-get install python-gtk2 – This will install the gtk2 library necessary for the installation of the bundle.
    2. sudo apt-get install freerdp-x11 – Required for leveraging PCoIP & RDP connections.
  5. Now install the Horizon Client by running: sudo bash ./VMware-Horizon-Client-x.x.x-yyyyyyy.arch.bundle
    - The install will ask you a number of questions regarding components to enable; you can say yes to all.
    – At the end of the installation it will run a compatibility check. The results will let you know if you have all the prerequisites installed.
  6. You should now see a penguin icon with the title ‘VMware Horizon Client’ in the app tray.
  7. Login to your VMware Horizon environment by entering the URL.
  8. Once logged in, go to Connection -> Settings to switch the configuration for Connect Via from VMware Blast to PCoIP for both Applications and Desktops.
    – You will receive a black screen unless you have this setting configured, unless you can figure out what the linux dependencies are for VMware Blast to run. If you do; please let me know by commenting here.
  9. Launch your published application or desktop.

Conclusion:

  • Even running in the Crostini layer processed by sommelier; UI/display experience is better than the native Chrome OS web extension.
  • Multi-monitor support still doesn’t work; but I believe this is due to an issue of Crostini not passing more than one monitor through to VMware Horizon (or passing incorrect data).

Helpful Information I came across:

Chrome OS / Chromium OS / VMware Horizon chromeos / chromiumos / cloudready / neverware / VDI on Chrome OS /

Comments

  • Gautam Kumar says:

    Hey Nick, thanks for putting up this article, what’s your thoughts upon having VMWare Workstation for Linux, installation on Google Pixel Slate (https://tinyurl.com/ycao76r5)

    The CloudReady which you are using can the steps mentioned in this post (https://tinyurl.com/yawvxfv4) be performed ?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Nick says:

      Gautam,

      Thanks for your comments – glad you found the article useful. Before I share my thoughts I wanted to highlight that I am far from an expert in this area; so please do your own due diligence

       

      -There are currently known issues with getting virtualization to work within Crostini because of the security model around the crostini container. There is some conversation about this, in this thread here if interested.

       

      -Crouton shouldn’t have this limitation and you should be able to install VMware Workstation as described in the article you posted. This seems to be a decent how-to guide to enabling Crouton. **Keep in mind that enabling developer mode makes your device inherently more insecure.

       

      -Confused about the difference of Crostini and Crouton? There is a helpful post here

       

       

      My recommendation before making any purchases would be to install CloudReady on a device you already own. Then test out both of these configurations to see if you can accomplish your goal of getting the application working as expected. Hope this information helps – feel free to comment back if you have any follow up questions.

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