The VMRC (VM Remote Console) has gone through several transitions from initially being available as a standalone Windows application to an integrated browser based plugin with the release of the vSphere Web Client. In the latest vSphere 5.5 Update 2b release, a new standalone VMRC has been re-introduced to provide an alternative way to launch a VM console. The reason for this is due to the deprecated and eventual removal of NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) based plugin support from all modern web browsers which the current VMRC implementation leverages. Here is a quick excerpt from the vSphere 5.5 Update 2b release notes:

Inability to open virtual machine console using Google Chrome browser when NPAPI support is deprecated
When the NPAPI support in Google Chrome is deprecated, the virtual machine console provided in the vSphere Client Integration Plugin might no longer function when the Chrome browser is updated. As a result, you might be unable to open the virtual machine console using the Google Chrome browser and you might not be able to connect to devices.

UPDATE (10/21/14) - Looks like the standalone VMRC has just been made available and you can now download it by either following the link in the vSphere Web Client if you are on vSphere 5.5 Update 2b OR simply by going to http://www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc

UPDATE (10/12/14) - It looks like the standalone VMRC is currently not available for download just yet. You can continue using the existing methods to connect to your VM Console, the new Standalone VMRC is NOT required but the links have been put in place to proactively get ready for NPAPI deprecation (more details below). You can subscribe to VMware KB 2091284 which will be updated when the download is available.

UPDATE (05/31/15) - If you are connecting directly to an ESXi host you can either use the vSphere API to query for the VM MoRef ID or you can easily pull it by running the following command directly in the ESXi Shell:

vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

The deprecation of NPAPI support is nothing new and has actually been communicated by all major web browsers for quite some time now. To ensure that VMware customers are not affected when this change goes into effect, a new standalone VMRC is being introduced to preempt the upcoming change and provides a new way ofย  launching a VM console using the vSphere Web Client as seen in the screenshot below.

vmrc
To be able to open a VM Console using the new standalone VMRC, you will of course need to have it installed first. You can find the link to the download on VMware.com but there is also a direct link provided on the VM Summary page in the vSphere Web Client. In addition to the new standalone VMRC, you will still be able to use the existing method as well as the HTML5 based VM console. The HTML5 console continues to work if you do not have CIP (Client Integration Package) installed on your Windows system or if you are running on a Mac OS X system. I am sure many of you are probably asking when will there be Mac OS X version of VMRC? I know I definitely am ๐Ÿ™‚ The good news is that this is being worked on and hopefully we will see a Mac OS X version in the very near future.

Furthermore, the new standalone VMRC also includes some nice enhancements that I know some of you have been asking for, especially those that have used the previous standalone VMRC application. The new VMRC can now be directly launched using the following two URI methods:

vmrc://[USERNAME]@[VC]/?moid=[VM-MOREF-ID]
vmrc://clone:[VC-TICKET]@[VC]/?moid=[VM-MOREF-ID]

Here is a screenshot of the standalone VMRC application:

vmrc-0
The first method accepts basic authentication using username/password, the vCenter Server address and the VM MoRef Id. Here is an example of what that would look like:

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Remote Console\vmrc.exe vmrc://root@reflex.primp-industries.com/?moid=vm-37

The second method accepts a vCenter Server session ticket which you can generate by using vSphere API acquireCloneTicket() method. A quick way to test this example is by using the vSphere MOB and making a call to acquireCloneTicket using the following URL https://[VCENTER-SERVER]/mob/?moid=SessionManager&method=acquireCloneTicket and then specifying the ticket as seen in the example below.

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Remote Console\vmrc.exe vmrc://clone:cst-VCT-5244c230-f59b-75c4-f4e9-4205d1918497--tp-DF-A9-72-7B-32-15-48-44-E0-E1-01-6D-F5-DB-59-E4-AC-35-F1-DA@reflex.primp-industries.com/?moid=vm-37

With the new URI handler, you can automatically associate it with the standalone VMRC application which means you can type this into a browser or into a Windows explorer and it will automatically launch VMRC. The other nice thing about the new standalone VMRC is if you would like to reduce the complexity of getting a regular use connected to their desktop, you can easily use the standalone VMRC and dynamically generating a link for your end users to access their VMs without ever exposing them to the underlying vSphere infrastructure. I suspect there will be some really interesting use cases for the new standalone VMRC and the VMRC team will continue to iterate to make it better based on customer feedback.

36 thoughts on “Standalone VMRC (VM Remote Console) re-introduced in vSphere 5.5 Update 2b

    • Yea, I was told it was supposed to get published last night but I’m still having troubles reaching it as well. I would probably give it a few more days. I’ll update the blog post when it’s really working. Sorry for the delay

  1. About the timeframe of the vmrc for Mac OSX, do you have any insight of how soon? This year, spring 2015, Q4 2015, this decade? Also do you know if there is a beta program for it? Its very frustrating to hear OSX console support will be in the next release for vSphere, only to have another product like vCAC released without console support.

    • Hi Dave, we’re targeting a 2015 release for VMRC for Mac. It won’t have a formal beta program, but we’ll let you know as soon as it is released on http://www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc.

      vCAC will be released with console support, but in a slightly different way. It will be an HTML console that has more basic mouse-and-keyboard functionality.

  2. VMWare Fusion 7 Pro for Mac is actually able to open the VMRC links, you can even connect directly to VCenter or an ESXi instance from Fusion Pro nowadays! I had no idea, and only accidentally ran into this feature when reconsidering which VM solution to use for Windows Phone development.

  3. Hey, thanks for the Informations….

    This URL works:

    “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Remote Console\vmrc.exe” vmrc://krm@93.0.1.6/?moid=5

    But i have to type in the VM password, is there any posibillty to do this step atomatically?

    I know the way by using the vmware-vmrc.exe ….

    “C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\VMware VMRC Plug-in\Firefox\vmware-vmrc.exe” -X -h Host -u User -p Password “[datastore1] VM/VM.vmx”

    But we have to use the remote console.

    Kind Regards.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “automatically”? You have to authenticate either via traditional username/password or you have a script/service that uses the vSphere API to acquire a token that’s then passed in. The latter method as mentioned in the article is a way on how you could “automate” this so you can provide it to your end users. Please take a look at the article for more details

      • I’m running in the same situation too. I stored the credential in the xml file. In my powershell script, I load my credential object but when running the vmrc.exe command, how can I pass the password in the commandline?
        Thanks.

        Chuong

  4. Hello,
    i have now installed the ESXI Version 5.5, how i can use the new vmrc Version to connect

    bevor 5.5 i use the old VMRC
    vmware-vmrc.exeโ€ -h Host -u User -p Password โ€œ[datastore1] VM/VM.vmxโ€

    Kind Regards,

  5. Hi William,

    I’ve been looking all over for the URI methods you posted in their very messy documentation centre to no avail. Could you kindly post a link to where you got that information.

    Thanks!

  6. Hello William,

    thanks for the great article.
    Did you get multi monitor support working? We have setup a VM that has enough video memory and set the amount of avialable displays to two. If we use the cycle monitor action in the vmrc client, we get following error:

    “This virtual machine cannot use multiple monitors for the following reasons:
    – The host’s monitor layout has changed since the virtual machine was powered on. You must power the virtual machine off and back on to use multiple monitors in Full Screen mode.
    Please see VMware Player Help for more information”

    Any ideas, on how to solve this. Of cource we rebooted the machine several times…

    Best regards,
    Ingo

  7. Good morning, I am a newbees in VM. I have installed ESXi in my HP54L micro server for running VM Linux and W. The version that I have installed is version 5.5.0 Build 1746018 for ESXi. So could you tell me if with this one I can connect to VM in HTML5 ? If yes, which tuto shall I follow ? Thanks for your help.

  8. function start-vmrc ($vm)
    {
    $si=get-view serviceinstance
    $sm=get-view $si.content.sessionmanager
    $ticket=$sm.acquirecloneticket()
    $vmid=($vm|get-view).moref.value
    $vc=$vm.uid.substring($vm.uid.indexof(“@”)+1,$vm.uid.indexof(“:”)-$vm.uid.indexof(“@”)-1)
    & ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Remote Console\vmrc.exe’ “vmrc://clone:$($ticket)@$($vc)/?moid=$($vmid)”
    }

  9. HI william,

    can u provide the current download link for the vmrc ? i couldnt access the link specified..

  10. Hi William,

    I want to open vcloud director console..is it possible to use the stand alone vmrc for vcloud director console ?

  11. Nice blog; lots of help as always ๐Ÿ™‚ One question though is since the VMID (VM MoRef Id) is dynamic (changes with vMotion, reset VM etc, how are we assuring the URL remains constant? My customer needs console access and I am still hesitant to use standalone VMRC with VM MoRef Id method because I fear the VMID will change and break my URL. Before I try and script something as a workaround, can someone please share what are you currently doing to avoid this issue from happening? Or has anyone faced this yet? Thanks a bunch in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. P.S.
    After spectating, at esxi in connections table I saw VMRC’s clients addresses, and maked conclusion that vcenter didn’t need after connection established. (mybe I should shutdown vcenter in full test to confirm my thoughts)
    TY

  13. I used vmrc://clone:[VC-CLONE-SESSION-TICKET]@[VC]/?moid=[VM-MOREF-ID] to launch VMRC app. But VMRC still prompt me to enter the username/password for vCenter. Is it expected? I thought CLONE-SESSION-TICKET is for login, then no username/password is needed.

  14. hello,
    I’m using vmrc on v6u2 but my function keys do not pass (F2, F11 ) both required to install / manage esxi on a vm so what is the trick to get f2/f11 to pass from my windows desktop to vmrc? I’ve tried i.e.11, chrome, Mozilla but none using vmrc 8.01 & I tried repairing vmrc via reinstall but I cannot get f2 / f11 to pass from my desktop to the vm.

Thanks for the comment!