Horizon View – Session Timeout Changes in 6.x

By | June 20, 2015

Here’s something that changed in Horizon View 6.x that we have noticed recently. This particularly affects Zero Client users more, or more specifically clients that are not able to report client activity (if the keyboard and mouse are in use). This came about because of how the clients have changed since 3.0.

To a View 5.x admin, the parameter I’m writing about is Session timeout, officially documented here. In Horizon View 6.x, this parameter has been renamed to Forcibly disconnect users, officially documented here.

Simply put, this setting specifies how long a user’s View session is allowed to stay connected, regardless of user activity. Yes, even if a user is actively using, the session will be forced to disconnect. Disconnect, not logged off; so the users just needs to reconnect and continue the session. There are good reasons for this setting, and it needs another blog post. For now, I’m just going to focus on what has changed.

In v5.x the admin there is no option to disable the timer, instead it is just to set some impossibly long time like 999999 minutes. I’ve done this for some of my clients who have setup Zero clients for wall display systems. Those displays are meant to be up 24×7, e.g. IT Operations Room monitoring screens.

In v6.x this setting has changed, not just in name but in behaviour as well. It can now be set to Never disconnect, but it is not completely true. It depends if the View client understands it. Horizon View soft clients since 3.0 will work, however Zero clients do not.

Zero client users will have to watch out here. There is a caveat. If the value is set to Never or anything above 1200 minutes (20 hours), Zero clients will always get disconnected after 20 hours. This can be undesirable, especially for the IT Monitoring Screen use case I mentioned above.

Fortunately, there is a workaround to this, and we can make some under the cover changes to prevent Zero clients from being disconnected. The steps are documented in the VMware KB article 2091458. It requires making changes to the View Connection Server’s AD LDS, so make sure you have a backup and get familiar with the procedures first.

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