Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A quick review of the HP t310 zero client

For over two years now, I've exclusively purchased Teradici based zero clients for use in my employer's VMware Horizon View environment because of their ease of management and excellent performance, particularly with full screen video.  I've evaluated a lot of demo units, and usually buy by price (since all Tera 2 chipset zeros essentially perform the same) unless one has a specific feature that I'm looking for in an application.

The following are some of my thoughts on the HP t310 zero client:

Significant Pros: 

- Audio out jack on the back, headphone jack on the front.  Makes for a clean desktop install if you use a monitor with speakers or external amplified speakers.

Potential Cons:

- VESA mount if needed is a pricey extra cost option ($25+).
- Somewhat more expensive than a lot of newer competitors ($359.00 list price....usually around $325 street pricing)

Some other thoughts:

- Could maybe use more rear USB ports.  A lot of competitor's products now have 6 USB ports.
- Includes a USB keyboard and mouse, which take up the rear 2 USB ports.
- Has a security cable slot on back of housing.
- Two DVI ports for monitors, so no need for a DisplayPort adapter if you are hooking up two monitors with DVI connectors.

Not killer features, but still nice touches:

- LED on power switch is green when unit is powered on, amber when it's off but still connected to a power source (might be handy to quickly see if the unit's power cord is unplugged).
- Has a separate LED near the power switch that shows if the zero is currently connected to an active session.
- The headphone and mic jacks are color coded.

In a nutshell, the t310 is my preferred zero client for staff use (when I can get them competitively priced) primarily for the "Pro" I listed above.  Being able to hook up external speakers via the rear audio jack without taking up the headphone jack on the front just makes for a clean desktop install without anyone having to unplug/plug any wires for headphone use and vice versa.  The less my users have to mess with any wires causing potential issues the better in my opinion.  A lot of my staff users also prefer dual monitor setups and I personally prefer using 2 DVI jacks (like the t310 has) over finding a second monitor with a DisplayPort input or using an adapter dongle that adds another potential issue area.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Installing the Horizon View 3.2.0 Client on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64 bit

It was quite a process to get the new Horizon View 3.2.0 Client working on my Chromebook running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64 bit via Crouton.

Previously I had the View Client 2.2.0 installed using the Synaptic Package Manager which was a relatively easy click on the downloaded file (vmware-view-client_2.2.0-0ubuntu0.14.04_i386.deb) and install.

The Horizon View 3.2.0 Linux client is currently only available from VMware in a generic .bundle format package available at:

Also, the new Linux client is 32-bit only which makes life harder for those running a 64-bit Linux OS.  With today's amounts of cheap RAM, who installs 32 bit anymore??  But at least VMware has finally posted an up to date generic client for Linux on their website, so that's progress.

I installed the .bundle package by using the following terminal commands in the directory the package was downloaded to:

sudo chmod +x VMware-Horizon-Client-3.2.0-2331566.x86.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.2.0-2331566.x86.bundle

Note: for me it seems that having the 2.2.0 client installed was a necessary step (it must install some prerequisites) because the 3.2.0 installer wouldn't launch on another one of my 64 bit Ubuntu test machines unless the 2.2.0 client was already installed.

I checked the options to install everything in the wizard except for Smart Card, and at the end of the installation you are able to scan for any missing dependencies. Turns out that there is quite a few when you are running 64 bit.  Not only would the new client not launch, it broke my previous 2.2.0 client install as well.

So after a lot of trial and error and Googling, I found that the following finally worked:

Run the following commands using root or sudo:
dpkg --add-architecture i386
apt-get update
apt-get install libudev1:i386
apt-get install libtheora0:i386
apt-get install libssl1.0.0:i386
apt-get install libXss1:i386
apt-get install libpulse0:i386
apt-get install libv4l-0:i386
apt-get install libudev1:i386
apt-get install libxml2:i386
apt-get install libXtst6:i386
apt-get install libpcsclite1:i386
apt-get install libuuid1:i386
apt-get install libspeex1:i386
ln -s /lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /lib/i386-linux-gnu/
ln -s /lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /lib/i386-linux-gnu/
ln -s /lib/i386-linux-gnu/ /lib/i386-linux-gnu/

After this, clicking on scan in the installer reported no errors, and I was able to start the Horizon Client by running the command vmware-view from the command line.  After launch, you can then lock the icon to the Launcher for future use.

I did get one error when starting the client, that the ssl lib was old (version 1.0.1f), but according to Ubuntu it is up to date and patched, so I'm not sure why the Horizon Client is looking for version 1.0.0i.  You can dismiss the error message and make it so it's not shown again.

I'm not sure that all features work completely even with all the pre-requisites installed. For instance, I'm guessing that USB redirection doesn't work, because I don't see an option in any of the menus to connect a USB device.

Hopefully this saves someone a lot of head scratching to get the 3.2.0 client installed on Ubuntu, and I wish VMware would have done most of this work for us by making it available in a .deb package like the 2.2.0 release.