How to: Windows Server 2012 RDS with Horizon View

Horizon View Connection Server authenticates users through Windows Active Directory and directs the request to the appropriate virtual machine, physical or blade PC, or Windows Terminal Services server. You can use Microsoft Terminal Servers to provide Terminal Services sessions as desktops to View clients.

Horizon View manages Terminal Services sessions in the same way that it manages other View desktops and provides load balancing for each pool by directing connection requests to the terminal server that has the least number of active sessions.

As of Horizon View 5.2 only 2008 Windows Server Terminal Services is supported. The recipe below will allow administrator to install Horizon View agent on Windows 2012 RDS and enable connectivity to 2012 RDS deployments.


Please be mindful this is TOTALLY UNSUPPORTED BY VMWARE.


You will have to make few changes to the standard Horizon View Agent 64-bit before you install it on your Windows 2012 server. Horizon View Agent uses Microsoft Installer to run a series of validations to understand what components should or should not be installed and what conditions should follow. First we need to open and hack the View Agent.

You will need to download Orca. Orca MSI Editor allows you to edit the properties of any MSI file. With this tool, you can change the title and text within the installer and look at how and where the files are delivered. Once installed you can right-click any MSI and select Open with Orca. This tool used to be a part of Microsoft Developer Tools but is now retired and no longer supported.

Download Orca from here.

The steps outlined below are not supported by VMware. I recommend testing in development environment. If you decide to test or implement you are doing it on your own risk.


Install View Agent and Hack it

  1. On a Windows 2K8 R2 Server with latest VMware Tools installed execute the installation VMware View 5.1 Agent package (VMware-viewagent-x86_64-5.1.2-928164). Do not click Install or Next.
  2. Go to %temp% folder, typing %temp% at the Run prompt.
  3. Find the folder containing the unpacked installation files and copy them to a temporary folder on your desktop.
  4. Using the Orca utility open ‘VMware View Agent64.msi’ file existing in the temp folder.
  5. Navigate to ‘Condition’ table.
  6. Under ‘Tables’ find and open ‘LaunchCondition and delete first four lines and click save.
  7. Only ‘Not Version9X’ and ‘Privileged’ conditions should remain.
  8. Close editor
  9. Install View Agent from the ‘1-copy’ folder
  10. Register the agent with View Connection Server (view.domain.local)
  11. Reboot VM


Fake Out – Make the VM believe that it is part of an LDAP server

  1. Log in to Horizon View Server as: domain\administrator
  2. Connect to one of your Horizon View connection servers via RDP and execute the ADSI Edit tool or adsiedit.msc
  3. Use the connection settings below to connect to the internal ADLDS (DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int). Click OK.clip_image001.png
  4. Navigate to Servers OU and select and open the latest CN added to the list. At this point you should be able to see a property ‘Display Name’ containing the name of the server. If this is not the server you are adding you will need to find the correct CN.If you have problems finding your VM because your ADAM has too many entries, read VMware View Pool Membership Management using PowerCLI. The PowerShell object View-Get-Objects will help you to retrieve elements from the ADAM database.
  5. Because VMware View is not ready to understand Windows 8 kernel version the pae-OSVersion property is not populated during the View Agent registration process.Navigate to the ‘pae-OSVersion’ property and change it to ‘4’. Click OK.image
  6. Now go to View Manager and log in
  7. If done correctly, RDSx-x will appear and you can now make a pool out of it.
  8. Pools -> Terminal Services Pool
  9. Select RDS_x-x etc.


I would like to acknowledge the help from my VMware colleague Fred Schimscheimer to write up this post. Thanks!


This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at


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    • Aie Di on 12/16/2013 at 1:39 am

    May I know how can I do these? “Run a query against OU=Servers, DC=vdi, DC=vmware, DC=int with this string:


    I am really having a hard time doing that because I cannot find the pae-MOID being stated there on the filter options under OU-Server , here’s the link for an Idea of what I’m doing.

    Thank you so much! and looking forward for your prompt response!


    • martinez on 02/27/2014 at 2:19 pm

    Good afternoon Andre,
    Have 2 quick questions. Does this work in View 5.3 with Server 2012 R2 ?

    And is there any instruction missing in step 5 (of modifying the agent MSI), you give the instruction to go to “Navigate to ‘Condition’ table” But then there is nothing else.

    Looking forward to your response. Thank you,

    • Ian Forbes on 04/10/2014 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Andre. Does View 5.3 now fully support running Windows 2008R2 RDS as a virtual machine? I’d love to be able to broker a RDSH server – but as a virtual machine.

  1. @Ian Forbes View 6.0 just announced will support RDS applications, but I don’t think it will support full desktop session. Will be interesting to see the capabilities available.

    • Jeff on 05/21/2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Andre
    Very usefull and interesting post. I have a RDS 2012 server that I was able to add into the Vmware horizon view as terminal services pool. The problem I have is that I use Samsung Thinclients model no NC214 which lets me connect to the view server however I don’t see the RDS in the available desktop for me to log into although i have assigned myself to it.
    It i download the horizon view client however into a VM & open it, then I can see it.
    Any idea how to fix that?

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