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

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 2 2014 (updated on Jun 10 2014) in
  • ESXi
  • Productivity
  • Windows
  • Chrome-Canary-in-use-as-vSphere-Web-Client-on-Windows-8.1

    [June 10 2014 Update - be sure you use Chrome Canary 32 bit download, to avoid incompatibility with VMware Client Integration Plugin]

    If you happen to prefer Chrome over Firefox, like to have a lot of tabs open, and rarely need to reboot, you will likely need to restart Chrome fairly often. Lately, it would seem that I often get a huge slowdown in the Chrome omnibox when trying to type up some search terms. It's not a plugin slowing things down, and eventually I just have to close Chrome. Sometimes, I even have to go into Task Manager to be really sure it's completely closed, even with the 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed' feature turned off. That's quite annoying, especially if I had several vSphere Web Client views going, and web-based Remote Console sessions. How about a better way? A way that uses the beta version of Chrome, aka, Chrome Canary, as a sort of vSphere-only sandbox, so your tabbed Chrome browsing experience doesn't affect your vSphere 5.5 admin experience. Chrome and Chrome Canary coexist peacefully, and can be installed or uninstalled independently of one another. And it won't take over as default browser, so it'll stay out of the way. Finally, Canary based vSphere Web Client sessions resume just fine, if you suspend the workstation where Canary is running. Yes, even those Remote Console connections.


    Here's the installation and configuration step-by-step:

    1. install Chrome
    2. install Chrome Canary
    3. edit hosts file
    4. launch Chrome Canary
    5. visit http://vcenter
    6. click on 'Download vSphere Client' and install it (still needed for some tasks)
    7. back on Chrome Canary, at http://vcenter, click on 'Log in to vSphere Web Client'
    8. when prompted 'VMware Remote Console Plug-in needs your permission to run.' choose 'Always run on this site'
    9. click on the padlock to the left of the URL, click the 'Permissions' tab, select the 'Popups' drop-down menu and choose 'Always allow on this site'
    10. logoff the vSphere Web Client
    11. open https://vcenter:9443/vsphere-client
    12. click on the 3 little lines at the top-right of Chrome
    13. select 'Tools>'
    14. select 'Create application shortcuts...'
    15. make sure 'Pin to Taskbar' is selected, then click 'Create'
    16. remove the unneeded yellow Chrome Canary shortcut from Taskbar
    17. try to upload a file to the datastore, it'll download VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-5.5.0.exe for you to install
    18. you'll be prompted to close all browsers, including IE (which I had to kill with Task Manager) to continue the install
    19. install 'VMware Client Integration Plug-in 5.5.0'
    20. create Chrome Canary Application Shortcut for vSphere Web Client
    21. test it by uploading a file to an existing datastore
    22. when 'Client Integration Access Control' dialogue comes up, turn off 'Always ask before allowing this site' then click 'Allow'
    23. close Chrome Canary shortcut
    24. launch Chrome Canary again by opening the Start menu and typing 'Canary'
    25. you may get 'Windows Firewall has blocked some features of this app' dialogue, select 'Private networks' then 'Allow access'
    26. click on the 3 little lines at the top-right of Chrome
    27. choose 'Settings'
    28. chose 'Show advanced settings...' scrolling down
    29. turn off 'Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed'
    30. close Chrome Canary
      You're done! Now you can simply use your handy new shortcut to launch the vSphere Web Client at will, without affecting anything the Chrome Browser might already be doing.

    Here's the installation and configuration video:

    The above article is a new, improved version of my original post on Sep 05 2012:

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