vSphere Thick Client End of Life – A Look at the HTML 5 Client Fling

On May 18th VMware announced the end of the road for the C# vSphere Thick Client. The next version of vSphere the thick client will not be available. VMware has been building up to this moment and previously announced they wanted to move to a web based client to have maximum compatibility and mobility. The current versions of the vSphere thick client will remain supported (5.5, 6.0) until their end of life cycle. So what does the future look like for the vSphere Client? VMware will keep the existing Flash web client and introduce the HTML5 based vSphere Client. The Flash web client will remain so third party developers can migrate their plugins over to the long term HTML5 client.

The HTML 5 Web Client Fling is available to download and install. It gives a fantastic view of how VMware envisions the new HTML 5 client. There are quite a few limitations in the current form but VMware will have the kinks worked out before it becomes the primary client. Below is how to deploy the v1.6 HTML 5 Client Fling and link to a VCSA:

Full installation instructions can be found here

Deploying the OVA:

Once the OVA is downloaded from the Fling website, login to your vSphere Web Client, right click on the Data Center, then click Deploy OVF Template:

1 HTML Fling - Deploy OVA

Browse to the location of the downloaded OVA then click Next:

2 HTML Fling - Select Source

Click Next:

3 HTML Fling - Review Details

The License Agreement must be accepted to continue. Scroll down, click Accept, then click Next:

4 HTML Fling - Accept License Agreements

You can use the default name or enter your own, select a folder location then click Next:

5 HTML Fling - Select Name and Folder

Select which datastore you want the OVA deployed to, click Next:

6 HTML Fling - Select Storage

On the drop down menu select the port group you wish to use, on IP allocation select Static – Manual, then enter the protocol settings. Click Next:

7 HTML Fling - Setup Networks

Enter the IP address you wish to statically assign. Click Next:

8 HTML Fling - Customize Template

Review the deployment settings, check the box to Power on after deployment then click Finish:

The VM will consume 2 vCPU, 4 GB Memory, and 14 GB disk space.

9 HTML Fling - Ready to Complete

VCSA Configuration:

The HTML 5 Appliance does NOT have a GUI yet but it will! For its current stage it will need to be configured via CLI.

Open the console of your vCenter Server Application, under Troubleshooting Mode Options ensure SSH is enabled. Also enable the BASH Shell.

HTML Fling - Enabled BASH and SSH

Now SSH into your VCSA and type shell to launch the BASH shell. You will have a red prompt with the name of your VCSA appliance.

HTML Fling - Enabled Shell

Change the default login shell for the root account by entering:

/usr/bin/chsh -s "/bin/bash" root

HTML Fling - Set Default Shell

We are finished with the VCSA SSH session and can be closed.

Now SSH into the HTML5 Fling Appliance. The default username is root with a password of demova

HTML Fling - Root into HTML Appliance

 

To link the HTML 5 Fling Application to your VCSA type the following command:

/usr/lib/vmware-client-configui/scripts/configui.sh configure --start yes --user root --vc <VCSA_IP_ADDRESS_HERE>

Ensure you change the –vc trigger to the IP address of your VCSA. It will prompt you  “Are you sure you want to continue connecting?” Type Yes

It will then prompt you for the root password for the VCSA. Enter it.

After about 5 minutes it will say Success! You can now log out of the SSH VCSA window.

HTML Fling - Register with vCenter

Open a web browser and enter the IP address of the HTML 5 Fling Application. It should redirect you to your Platform Service Controller SSO login window. Once logged in it will take you to the HTML 5 Fling!

HTML Web Client Fling

I was a bit bummed when VMware announced the thick client was going away. I see the direction VMware is wanting to take it and I can get behind that! VMware has made it clear:  The HTML5 vSphere Client is here to stay.

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