March 14, 2014 - Sven Huisman

Update VMware Horizon Workspace to 1.8

Today I updated a Horizon Workspace environment to the latest version: 1.8. A couple of new features in this release, like:

  • Added Citrix Application support
  • Enhanced VMware ThinApp support
  • Enhanced VMware ThinApp package delivery to Windows desktops
  • Horizon Workspace User Portal and App Center
  • Web application links
  • Support for enterprise branding of Horizon Workspace

Read more about these new features here and in the Horizon Workspace 1.8 release notes.

In this post, I describe the steps I took to upgrade my environment.The environment I updated was version Horizon Workspace 1.5. You need to know that upgrading from Horizon Workspace 1.0 to Horizon Workspace 1.8 is not supported. You must upgrade from Horizon Workspace 1.0 to Horizon Workspace 1.5 to Horizon Workspace 1.8. Read the upgrade guide for more information on the upgrade process.

Here are the steps I took to upgrade Horizon Workspace:

Upgrade Horizon Workspace

  • Login to the console of the configurator-va
  • To check for an update run the following command: /usr/local/horizon/lib/menu/ updatemgr.hzn check
  • To install the update run the following command: /usr/local/horizon/lib/menu/ updatemgr.hzn update
  • Now take a cup of coffee (or 2 or 3), because this can take a while (it took 1,5 hour in my environment). Also take into consideration that the Horizon Workspace environment will not be available to the users during the upgrade.
  • When the upgrade is finished, shutdown the vApp.
  • The documentation now tells me to create the vami properties in the vApp. When I checked the properties, I noticed all the required vami properties where already created:

VAMI properties

  • The required vm.ip and vm.vmname properties on each virtual machine where also already configured:


  • When the upgrade is finished, run the script on each data-va virtual machine in your deployment to upgrade from LibreOffice 3.5.6 to LibreOffice 4.0.2. From the console of the data-va, run this command: /opt/zimbra/libexec/


If necessary, you can add a buffer disk, update VMware Tools, and migrate LDAP user entitlements from the data-va Virtual Machine to the service-va Virtual Machine.

Migrate LDAP user entitlements for the data-va to the service-va

For Horizon Workspace 1.8, LDAP user entitlements move from the data-va virtual machine to the service-va virtual machine. Horizon Workspace 1.8 requires that you migrate LDAP user entitlements to the service-va virtual machine to successfully complete the upgrade.

  • Take a snapshot of the vApp to back it up.
  • Turn on maintenance mode for all the data-va virtual machines. Go to https://<configurator-va>/cfg/system
  • Turn on maintenance mode for all service-va virtual machines except the main service-va virtual machine. In my case, I only have one service-va, so I did not put that one in maintenance.

After you turn maintenance mode on, you must wait at least two minutes for the changes to occur on the gateway-va virtual machines.

  • Go to https://<connector-va:8443/
  • Enter the admin password
  • Go to: Directory Sync. Change the scheduling frequency to Manual.


  • Use ssh to connect to the (master) data-va virtual machine running OpenLDAP.
  • Change to the Zimbra user: su – zimbra
  • Run the LDAP migration script: alwayson-ldap-migration
  • The documentation tells me to turn maintenance mode off for the service-va virtual machines and data-va virtual machines, but the maintenance mode was already off after the migration.

The next step is to add or resize a disk to the gateway-va for buffering files. The gateway-va virtual machine buffers client requests before sending them to the data-va virtual machine. Large files that are waiting to upload are temporarily stored on this disk. Depending on the upload size limit set for your environment, the space on the buffer disk can easily exceed the maximum limit. In my environment, I choose not to adjust the disk-size.

Update connector configurator settings

Horizon Workspace creates a default user store for you during the upgrade process. Each user store has a sync client that you select for syncing users and groups to Horizon Workspace. After an upgrade, you must update the sync client and verify the user authentication identity provider.

  • Log in to the Administrator Web interface.
  • Select Settings > User Stores.
  • Click Edit for the user store you want to configure.
  • Edit the user store settings.


During the upgrade, the user authentication identity provider is selected. Verify that the correct identity provider was selected. If you want to use a different identity provider, you can select a different one.

Configure SSO for Desktop Clients

To configure Horizon Workspace to use single sign-on by default from the Desktop clients, you must add a new parameter to the file on the service-va virtual machine. Otherwise, end users must log in to access the user portal first.

  • Log in to the service-va virtual machine as administrator.
  • Open the file:


  • Add the apply.login.ota=true parameter to the file.


  • Run the restart command to restart the service-va virtual machine: /etc/init.d/horizon-frontend restart


End users can now use single sign-on to log in to Horizon Workspace.

Add Desktop Client Installer Files to data-va Virtual Machines

When new versions of the Desktop clients are released, you copy and install a zip file that includes the Desktop client files for Windows and Mac computers from the VMware Downloads page to each data-va virtual machine that is configured. You run the check-client-updates command on each data-va virtual machine to deploy the installer files and restart the data-va virtual machines.

Note: Schedule adding these installer files to the data-va servers to run during a maintenance window since the data-va virtual machine is restarted and this might interrupt user access.



This script automatically unzips the file and copies the Desktop clients installer files for Windows and for Mac computers to the /opt/zimbra/jetty/webapps/zimbra/downloads directory, automatic updates to the /opt/zimbra/jetty/webapps/zimbra//public/cds directory, updates the URL parameter value for the downloads link, and restarts the data-va virtual machine.

  • Repeat these steps on each data-va virtual machine in your environment.

The Horizon Workspace agent will automatically be updated on the clients (users require administrator rights to update):


When users now login to the Horizon Workspace portal, they will be prompted to start a tour of the new features:


When logged in, the users will notice a different look of the Horizon Workspace portal. Applications and desktops are now on one page, and users can move the icons around. The Horizon data is accessible with the Horizon Files app:


So far my update experience.

Workspace Management


  • Trever H says:

    My upgrade went horrible. The app blew up and wouldn’t come up and the connector-va’s config didn’t come over. Vmware’s QA testing of workspace is atrocious and needs to improve.