How to create a vSphere Web Client Google Chrome Application Shortcut, looks better and works faster

Posted Sep 5 2012 (updated on Feb 2 2014) in
  • ESXi
  • Productivity
  • Feb 02 2014 Update:
    This article has been superseded by a new, improved technique:

    How to create a vSphere Web Client shortcut, using Chrome Canary to fly

    Sep 05 2012 article, as originally published:

    new-web-ui-intro-6c61ebb21d3d2dd0244857cdb68ea7dd
    web-client-datacenter-view-85d5f933f28995f29a001f04228c2284

    Don't like that enormous waste of space your browser takes for tabs, URLs, and bookmarks, when trying to get used to the new VMware vSphere Web Client GUI? When vSphere 5.1 is released next Tuesday, September 11th, why not try to get used to the browser interface as well? Consider using Chrome's way of "App-iffying" your browser-based client. See for yourself. Finally, Chrome works, and it appears to me to be the fastest, a claim also made in a wonderfully detailed article, with UI elements clearly illustrated, over here.

    The old ways of doing things, with 32 bit Windows vSphere Client application on the left, and vSphere Web Client on the right, using the typical default Chrome browser tab view.

    before-view-summary-tab-of-a-vm-1280x720-side-by-side-77e3cfc96cd39d4cea89aef667874449

    The new way, note how the Chrome Application Shortcut version of vSphere Web Client removes a lot of clutter at the top, giving you a much better view. Also note that the Chrome shortcut pinned to the Taskbar doesn't even show Chrome as running:

    after-view-summary-tab-of-a-vm-1280x720-side-by-side-53449587aa880ede7e5a53a72982f298

    Give this tip a try by following along with the short, 1080P video below, and let us know what you think!

    See also:
    vSphere 5.1 Announced with Enhanced vSphere Web Client August 27, 2012 by Gregg Robertson

    Back to Basics: Using the vSphere 5.1 Web Client to create a Datacenter object, 11 September, 2012 by Duncan Epping

    What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1?
    here's an excerpt (which does not mention Chrome)

    Management (with vCenter Server)

    vSphere Web Client –The vSphere Web Client is now the core administrative interface for vSphere. This new flexible, robust interface simplifies vSphere control through shortcut navigation, custom tagging, enhanced scalability, and the ability to manage from anywhere with Internet Explorer or Firefox-enabled devices.


    Sep 03 2013 Update:
    ESXi 5.5 relies heavily on the vSphere Web Client, and good news, my old Chrome shortcut works fine with the new vCA 5.5 / ESXi 5.5 combo!  See also Superguide: VMware vSphere

    chrome-running-the-vsphere-web-client-ui-on-5.5-e7566e7f1cfc6d0e52aa7fd7798ab9f6

    Feb 02 2014 Update:
    Because the vSphere Web Client uses Adobe Flex, and because I often get Chrome slowdowns for all my other browsing needs, I now prefer to use a separate Chrome instance for just the vSphere Web Client. How? Simple, just install Chrome Canary, here's how:

    1. download and install Chrome Canary from Google here
    2. launch Chrome Canary
    3. point to your Chrome Canary browser to:
      https://vcenterservername:9443/vsphere-client/
    4. browse your way to a VM that's powered up and try a remote session
    5. when you see the popup error, make sure to allow all popups from this site
    6. click the 3 little bars at the top-right of Chrome Canary, select Tools, Create application shortcuts...
    7. be sure 'Pin to Taskbar' is selected, then click 'Create' and you'll now have a 'vSphere Web Client' shortcut on your Taskbar

    launch this new shortcut, and click past the yellow certificate warning, log on, and you're all set, with remote control windows now working as well, with no wasted space for browser menu bars and so forth. Nice!