New Possibilities With Open Source VMware VDI Client for Linux

You’ve probably already heard about VMware’s open source VDI client. VMware’s official announcement  for the VMware View Open Client was released on February 4.  Touted as  the next step  for  creating a universal client to be used on any device from anywhere, VMware releasing the client as open source enables technology partners to start to fufill the vision.  In VMware’s words:

“Now, VMware is providing VMware View Open Client for partners, enabling them to use VMware View source code to optimize their products to deliver rich, personalized virtual desktops to users. In addition, partners will be able to use the source code to help accelerate the development and delivery of solutions for enterprises to provision and manage thousands of virtual desktops simply, securely and at substantially lower operating costs.”

What I find most interesting is that Linux systems now have a installable VDI client. Unless I am mistaken, previously  a web browser was the only way a connection to a virtual desktop could be made  from Linux.  Not only does this increase the functionality and features,  but it could substantially lower the total cost of a VDI solution. Whether using a thin client or a desktop computer, using Linux as the device OS generally should reduce the cost of implementation.

Looking forward, I’m curious to see if specialized distributions are developed that integrate the Linux VDI client. I would imagine a “VDI LiveCD” from Ubuntu, Suse, or even Google’s gOS could be released to minimize the installation and administration  learning curve and adoption barriers.  Ultimately, this client could be a native feature of a desktop hypervisor too.

For a screen shot of the VMware View Client on Suse desktop check out Duncan’s post VMware View Open Client, test it! » Yellow Bricks.

The post VMware ships open source Linux VDI client  summarizes information about specific features and differences in the commercial and open source versions of the Linux client.

“VMware will continue to offer its commercially licensed View Client stack for Linux and Windows. The commercial stack adds features like USB redirection, multiple desktop sessions, and multimedia redirection. Like the commercial version, though, the free, open source View Open Client enables a Linux desktop or thin client to connect to a remote Windows desktop managed by VMware’s “View” virtualization software. The free client boasts a “full” command line interface, and is said to support secure tunneling using SSL, and two-factor authentication with RSA SecurID. The release is said to work with VMware Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) 2.0 and 2.1, as well as VMware View Manager 3.0. Posted on Google Code, the client software is licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License version 2.1 (LGPL v 2.1).”

VMware employees have also blogged about the new VDI client. Check out Mike Dipetrillo’s post VMware View Open Client  and John Troyer’s VMware releases open source desktop client.

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Rich Brambley


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