Last year, a standalone Virtual Machine Remote Console (VMRC) was released for Windows as part of vSphere 5.5 Update 2b which provides an alternative way of launching the VM console due to NPAPI deprecation. There was of course a huge request for Mac OS X support and the VMRC team has been working hard and today I am please to announce that standalone VMRC is now available for Apple Mac OS X which you can download using the following URL: www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc

Note: Mac OS X 10.8 or greater is required to use the new Standalone VMRC. The release notes will be updated to reflect this requirement

There are currently two methods of launching a remote console to a Virtual Machine using the vSphere Web Client as seen in the screenshot below:

  1. Using HTML5 VMRC simply by clicking on the thumbnail preview
  2. Using the new Standalone VMRC by clicking on the "Launch Remote Console" link

vmrc-mac-osx-2
When using the Standalone VMRC method, instead of opening the VM console in the browser, it will launch the native VMRC application on your system whether that be Windows or Mac OS X. All basic functionalities of the Standalone VMRC is available as you would expect such as power operations, device management, etc.

Note: There is not a specific version of vSphere that is required to directly launch the Standalone VMRC. However, to launch it within the vSphere Web Client, you will need vSphere 5.5 Update 2b or greater.

vmrc-mac-osx-1
The other great thing about the Standalone VMRC is that it can function without vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client and you can actually use it to connect to VM directly on an ESXi host. To use the VMRC without the vSphere Web Client, you will need to construct the VMRC URI which looks like the following:

vmrc://clone:[TICKET]@[HOST]:[PORT]/?moid=[VM-MOREF]

where TICKET is obtained by calling the AcquireCloneTicket() method using the SessionManager in vCenter Server. The HOST will either be the Hostname/IP Address of vCenter Server and the PORT should be default to 443 and you will need to specify the VM MoRef ID. In the case of a standalone ESXi host, you would just change the HOST property. If you do not wish to use the clone ticket, you can also just provide the following URI which will prompt for your ESXi credentials

vmrc://@[HOST]:[PORT]/?moid=[VM-MOREF]

Once you have generated the VMRC URI, you MUST launch it through a web browser as that is how it is passed directly to the Standalone VMRC application. In my opinion, this is not ideal especially for customers who wish to automatically generate this as part of a VM provisioning workflow to their end users and not having to require a browser to launch the Standalone VMRC application. If you have some feedback on this, please do leave a comment.

In the mean time, a quick workaround is to use the "open" command on Mac OS X along with the VMRC URI which will automatically load it into your default browser and launch the Standalone VMRC application for you.

open 'vmrc://clone:cst-VCT-52e44ad7-712f-9f45-a9ee-13ec6a74acaf--tp-B1-6F-91-F6-B5-8F-80-E5-FD-D6-E1-8B-10-F7-FE-15-C5-2A-75-41@192.168.1.60:443/?moid=vm-18'

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

I am sure there are probably a few of you asking, what about for Linux users? Well, you can probably guess what is being worked on next πŸ˜‰

49 thoughts on “Standalone VMRC now available for Mac OS X

  1. Simply can’t get this to work. The VMRC keeps complaining “a secure connection to the server could not be established”. This comes after a request to accept the vCenter server certificate, so it has IP connectivity to the appliance…

    • When accepting the certificate, did you click on “View” and then check box it? I had that problem since simply clicking on “Continue” will not work

      • William, thanks a lot – that’s got me one step closer. The VMRC console now opens, but beach-balls and displays nothing. I spotted this error also: “Unable to connect to the MKS: Could not locate vmware-authd executable.” I’m running this over a VPN to my vCenter server appliance, so perhaps pushing my luck for a first release.

          • I never resolved this. When on my local LAN the VMRC works fine, but it never connects through the VPN, even though the web session to the vCenter Server, and associated console access in the web session works without problem. I can only assume that some port(s) are blocked by the VPN

          • I had the same issue. It was dns related. Add your vmh servers into your local host file. When you vpn in, you’ll then be able to access them.

  2. I think it is no coincidence that they release it now, shortly before Chrome removes NPAPI completely. I have the impression that they dont treat Mac Users and 2nd class users anymore. I think this change started with 5.5 and will hopefully continue. I like it so far!

  3. Hi William, thanks a bunch for the tip.. however, I was unable to get the AcquireCloneTicket() method working in the version I downloaded today (4/15/15 – Version 7.1.0 (2665729)). It prompts me for my login info no matter what.

    Not a big deal because you are allowed to save your credentials.

      • pretty sure the url is correct, since it does launch the vmrc agent and prompts me to login. here is an example:

        vmrc://clone:cst-VCT-5292bc19-ceb5-877f-2447-fd21efcbd097–tp-BD-CD-CC-DB-80-40-9E-E5-DB-5A-6B-24-49-C2-73-9E-5D-70-7E-12@[VCENTER_HOST]/?moid=vm-742414

        but maybe I don’t understand the life-span of the ticket or something… it just says “Cannot complete login due to an incorrect user name or password”. Then I say OK and hit “Connect” and I’m in.

        We’re running 5.5.0 vcenter. I’m hoping we can upgrade the vcenter web client to 5.5 U2b without updating the entire installation.

  4. Also, crashes in snow leopard 10.6.8, not sure what the minimum system requirement is. Worked okay in Mt Lion (10.8.5).

    • Does it crash immediately or after some use? You can also go to “Help” menu to collect the logs and if you can submit an SR w/crash report that would be great.

      • no, doesn’t launch. There is a console message:
        4/15/15 2:46:21 PM ReportCrash[79111] Failed to create CSSymbolicatorRef for launchd

        here is the crash dump:

        Process: launchd [79137]
        Path: /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/MacOS/VMware Remote Console
        Identifier: com.vmware.vmrc
        Version: ??? (???)
        Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
        Parent Process: launchd [170]

        Date/Time: 2015-04-15 14:47:14.842 -0700
        OS Version: Mac OS X 10.6.8 (10K549)
        Report Version: 6

        Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)
        Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0xfffffffffffffff8
        Crashed Thread: Unknown

        Backtrace not available

        Unknown thread crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
        rax: 0x0000000000000055 rbx: 0x0000000000000000 rcx: 0x0000000000000000 rdx: 0x0000000000000000
        rdi: 0x0000000000000000 rsi: 0x0000000000000000 rbp: 0x0000000000000000 rsp: 0x0000000000000000
        r8: 0x0000000000000000 r9: 0x0000000000000000 r10: 0x0000000000000000 r11: 0x0000000000000000
        r12: 0x0000000000000000 r13: 0x0000000000000000 r14: 0x0000000000000000 r15: 0x0000000000000000
        rip: 0x00007fff5fc01028 rfl: 0x0000000000010203 cr2: 0xfffffffffffffff8

        Binary images description not available

      • also get a similar crash on mt lion 10.7.5:

        Process: launchd [590]
        Path: /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/MacOS/VMware Remote Console
        Identifier: com.vmware.vmrc
        Version: ??? (???)
        Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
        Parent Process: launchd [119]

        Date/Time: 2015-04-15 16:38:20.396 -0700
        OS Version: Mac OS X 10.7.5 (11G63)
        Report Version: 9

        Interval Since Last Report: 969655 sec
        Crashes Since Last Report: 2
        Per-App Crashes Since Last Report: 1
        Anonymous UUID: 77902B1E-DF06-4D18-A9A7-F10AFE189831

        Crashed Thread: Unknown

        Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)
        Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00007fff5fc01028

        Backtrace not available

        Unknown thread crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
        rax: 0x0000000000000055 rbx: 0x0000000000000000 rcx: 0x0000000000000000 rdx: 0x0000000000000000
        rdi: 0x0000000000000000 rsi: 0x0000000000000000 rbp: 0x0000000000000000 rsp: 0x0000000000000000
        r8: 0x0000000000000000 r9: 0x0000000000000000 r10: 0x0000000000000000 r11: 0x0000000000000000
        r12: 0x0000000000000000 r13: 0x0000000000000000 r14: 0x0000000000000000 r15: 0x0000000000000000
        rip: 0x00007fff5fc01028 rfl: 0x0000000000010203 cr2: 0x00007fff5fc01028
        Logical CPU: 0

        Binary images description not available

    • Also tested in a vm running 10.9.5 from within another vmrc session. Mouse got a little wonky, but it worked well enough to verify the installer.

      I was unable to install vmware tools from vmrc (running on 10.8.5). menu just grayed out and stayed that way.

      All & all, very excited about this product, as we just recently set up a mac vm farm on 4 heavily armed mac pro 5,1 class machines. I’m hoping vmrc will be good enough to allow for UI testing on the different versions of OS X running on this farm. So far, so good!

  5. Hi all,
    does anyone have an idea how pre-authenticated URL can be exposed in front of load balancer?

  6. I must be missing something, but I can’t get this to do anything. I don’t see any new link in the web client, and clicking on either the thumbnail or “launch console” just brings up the HTML5 interface. I tried Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

    • Matt, which version of the vSphere web client are you using? The links to launch standalone VMware Remote Console are only in vSphere 5.5u2b and above. You can also set up a URL the way William described in this post, which will launch the VMRC Mac application once it’s downloaded.

      • That must be it, the web client build is 1945276. What’s throwing me off is that the vCenter build number is 2312842. I think the problem is we’re running a vCenter version with a hotpatch on it for a bug we were having. So the vCenter build is higher than 5.5u2b, but the web client wasn’t updated with the hotpatch.

  7. How can I determine moid/[VM-MOREF] without vCenter on ESXi 5.1? Is there a cli command? “esxcli vm process list” does not seem to list it…

    Cheers,
    Daniel.

  8. Never mind, I worked it out myself:

    On ESXi host:
    ~ # vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms
    Vmid Name File Guest OS Version Annotation
    47 winny [Synology iSCSI LUN-1] winny/winny.vmx windows8_64Guest vmx-08

    On client laptop:
    open ‘vmrc://@192.168.0.85:443/?moid=47’

    Works great. Cheers.

  9. Application doesn’t even load. Any thoughts?

    crash report:
    Date/Time: 2015-04-17 08:30:29 -0700
    OS Version: 10.10.3 (Build 14D131)
    Architecture: x86_64
    Report Version: 21

    Command: VMware Remote Console
    Path: /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/MacOS/VMware Remote Console
    Version: 7.1.0 (2665729)
    PID: 1505

    Event: spin-lite
    Duration: 3.50s (process was unresponsive for 5 seconds before sampling)
    Steps: 36 (100ms sampling interval)

    Hardware model: iMac11,3
    Active cpus: 4

    Fan speed: 1001 rpm

    Heaviest stack for the main thread of the target process:
    36 start + 1 (libdyld.dylib + 13769) [0x7fff8e79d5c9]
    36 ??? (VMware Remote Console + 8924) [0x10400b2dc]
    36 NSApplicationMain + 1832 (AppKit + 13140) [0x7fff9009c354]
    36 -[NSApplication run] + 128 (AppKit + 551457) [0x7fff9011fa21]
    36 -[NSApplication finishLaunching] + 440 (AppKit + 552791) [0x7fff9011ff57]
    36 -[NSNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:userInfo:] + 66 (Foundation + 31185) [0x7fff8fd229d1]
    36 _CFXNotificationPost + 3140 (CoreFoundation + 67124) [0x7fff91a73634]
    36 __CFNOTIFICATIONCENTER_IS_CALLING_OUT_TO_AN_OBSERVER__ + 12 (CoreFoundation + 1180764) [0x7fff91b8345c]
    36 ??? (VMware Remote Console + 9677) [0x10400b5cd]
    35 ??? (VMware Remote Console + 81349) [0x10401cdc5]
    35 ??? (VMware Remote Console + 12944) [0x10400c290]
    35 ??? (VMware Remote Console + 781463) [0x1040c7c97]
    35 cui::DataCollection::InitPlatformInfo(utf::string const&, utf::string const&, utf::string const&, utf::string const&) + 702 (libvmwareui.dylib + 640062) [0x1058de43e]
    35 cui::CustomerDataController::CustomerDataController(utf::string const&, utf::string const&, utf::string const&) + 234 (libvmwareui.dylib + 598794) [0x1058d430a]
    35 Cds_CreateClient + 1414 (libcds.dylib + 50902) [0x1062ab6d6]
    35 CdsUtil_InitializeInstallCache + 357 (libcds.dylib + 113029) [0x1062ba985]
    35 CdsUtil_CallProgram + 114 (libcds.dylib + 107442) [0x1062b93b2]
    35 __select + 10 (libsystem_kernel.dylib + 91130) [0x7fff975013fa]
    *35 ??? (kernel + 6143696) [0xffffff80007dbed0]

    Binary Images:
    0x104009000 – 0x10447efff com.vmware.vmrc 7.1.0 (2665729) /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/MacOS/VMware Remote Console
    0x105842000 – 0x1060b1fff libvmwareui.dylib (0) /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/Frameworks/libvmwareui.dylib
    0x10629f000 – 0x1062cefff libcds.dylib (1) /Applications/VMware Remote Console.app/Contents/Frameworks/libcds.dylib
    0x7fff8e79a000 – 0x7fff8e79dfff libdyld.dylib (353.2.1) /usr/lib/system/libdyld.dylib
    0x7fff8fd1b000 – 0x7fff9004cfff com.apple.Foundation 6.9 (1153.20) /System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework/Versions/C/Foundation
    0x7fff90099000 – 0x7fff90c1afff com.apple.AppKit 6.9 (1347.57) /System/Library/Frameworks/AppKit.framework/Versions/C/AppKit
    0x7fff91a63000 – 0x7fff91dfbfff com.apple.CoreFoundation 6.9 (1153.18) /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreFoundation.framework/Versions/A/CoreFoundation
    0x7fff974eb000 – 0x7fff97508fff libsystem_kernel.dylib (2782.20.48) /usr/lib/system/libsystem_kernel.dylib
    *0xffffff8000200000 – 0xffffff80009fffff kernel (2782.20.48) /System/Library/Kernels/kernel

  10. Re: “… you MUST launch it through a web browser”

    Not strictly true–it can be launched from the Finder via .webloc files. You can make your own by hand to see how it works:

    1. Create a desktop shortcut from Firefox or Chrome by dragging the icon left of the URL in the address bar. Don’t use Safari–it creates different shortcuts.

    2. Drag the resulting .webloc file onto the TextEdit icon (using Finder’s Open With won’t work here).

    3. Change the http address to the vmrc address of your choice.

    4. Double-click the file in Finder and VMRC is launched directly.

  11. Angela,

    If you double-click VMRC in the Applications folder will it launch successfully? If so, please click on the Help menu and choose Collect Support Information. You can upload this to VMware via http://ftpsite.vmware.com. Log in using “inbound” for username and password. Create a folder, say Angela-vmrc, change into it, and upload the support file.

    Also try this from the Terminal:

    defaults delete com.vmware.vmrc collectOptionalUserData

  12. Is it just me or does the OS X version only support mass storage usb devices at the moment? Tried to pass a medical usb device from my Macbook through the VMRC to a guest running Windows 7, the device is listed but i cannot mark the checkbox in front. Also not possible for usb webcams or the built-in Apple FaceTime HD Cam or IR Receiver.
    The only thing I could connect were different usb memory sticks.
    I use an usb 2.0 controller within the guest and it works with Fusion on the same Macbook.

    Otherwise it looks good so far. The only another annoying thing is that after every reboot of the guest I have to connect a virtual floppy drive manually (the settings for “connect at power on” and “connect floppy drive” always getting unchecked somehow) and I also need to select the virtual image every time again.

    • Yes, only mass storage USB devices are supported in this release. More devices will be supported in remote virtual machines in a future release, but they will not include audio, video, and wireless.

  13. Thanks for the great article. Having an issue with VMRC on OSX after updating to 6.0 vcsa and Esxi6. When trying to launch from the VMRC link it opens the App on OSX and then fails with “Failed to initialize SSL session to remote host.”

    Have you seen this error before? Is there a known work around? Not finding much on this.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      • Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah I just looked and our VMware support ran out on 4/16/2015. Looking at the process to get it renewed. I have the generated logs from the VMRC application for submittable.

        Do you have this working on OSX 10.10.x and VCSA6?

        I have tried this on two different Macs and have the same issue. I guess I could try a Windows VM. Just curios if there are any success stories with V6 and VMRC on Macintosh.

      • I can see it hitting 902 on the firewall and its allowed. I dont have 443 blocked because I am accessing it this way from the Browser and clicking the VMRC link.

        My guess would be a certificate issue. This worked fine until the in place upgrade of 5.5 to 6.0. The VCSA6 is built from scratch.

        I have imported all the certificates to the local Mac Keychain Access.

        Weird.

        Thanks again for the reply.

        • So after troubleshooting again. I just ended up rebooting the firewall and it started working. I thing the combination of rebooting the firewall and importing the certificates to the Keychain took care of it. Thanks again for all the assistance.

          Working great now!

    • I get just a black console screen, I can shutdown the vm etc from the menu.
      Tried reinstalling VMRC without success.

      • That is odd. Did you reboot after reinstalling? After quitting VMRC and Fusion (if installed) check if there are any stray processes named “vmware-remotemks”. If you see any of these, kill them and try connecting again.

      • Will it run if you open Finder and launch VMRC from Applications folder? There will be no console window if you launch it this way but you should see the application name in the OS X menu bar and an icon in the dock. Also, what browser(s) have you used with the vSphere Web Client? We have thoroughly tested Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

        If it’s still not working, please launch Console.app (in Applications/Utilities) and see if there’s anything telling in vmware-vmrc.log under FILES>~/Library/Logs/VMware Remote Console. Alternately, if you can launch it without a browser, choose Help>Collect Support Information and send the resulting file to me at VMware to investigate (I’ll give you more information on a dropbox if you choose this route).

  14. I was a beta tester a while back testing vSphere 6 & back in those days VMware were testing a fully functional Mac client. I loved it!!!! Why in the world did they decide to not release it?

  15. I am trying to follow your instructions but I am stuck trying to retrieve the (moid). When I enter the command to retrieve this in my terminal it returns:

    [root@localhost:~] vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms
    Vmid Name File Guest OS Version Annotation
    [root@localhost:~]

    Can you please tell me what step I might be missing?

    Thanks.

Thanks for the comment!