Want to Install Horizon on your premises, Here is your 40 Steps to do it

Before i start talking about how to install horizon, I recommend reading my post on what horizon actually is.

Now, If you want to install Horizon, here is the way how.

VMware Horizon Application Manager consist of 2 Virtual Appliance & an Agent.

– Horizon Serviec Application Manager.

– Horizon Connector.

– VMware Horizon Agent for Windows XP or Windows 7.

The Application Service Manager VA is the main interface of horizon that the users will use to access their applications on the LAN or WAN as well as for the administrators and operators to administer the environment . to be able to access the applications, a mean of access has to be created, in the enterprises case it will be the domain active directory. this is where the responsibility of the connector comes in. The connector will be the component responsible for the authentications and user synchronization for horizon application manager.

Before we start with the installation, we need to run through the requirement of the installation in term of environment setup first. so this will be the first steps done.

1- Have the required IP Addresses, Horizon Needs 2 IP Addresses. one is for the Application Manager and the other for The connector.

2- Create Required DNS Entries in your environment DNS.

For the installation to work we need to create the following DNS Entries.

– DNS Entry for the Horizon Application Manager: for the application manager, you will require to create 2 DNS Entries, one for the host name of horizon application manager and the other for the organization name that you will create for your user access.

– DNS Entry for the Horizon Connector.

in my case, I have created the following 3 Entries hznsrvc, myapps for Horizon Application manager and hzncon for horizon connector. here is a snapshot of that.


3- Create a user that will be used as an administrator for horizon Environment:

the user must have all required properties filled out, this includes email address, First Name and Last Name.  i have created a user called hznadmin for that.



Now Here comes the deployment of the Horizon. i will start with deploying the Application Service Manager.

1- Export the Horizon Application Manager OVF to your environment and follow the Wizard. you will be required to assign IP Address, Choose Network Port Group as well as Datastore where you want to store the VM.


2- Once the OVF powered after Deployment, you will be required to monitor the VM while being powered-on so that you can reset the password for the root as well as for the sshuser.

3- After the passwords has  been reset, you will need to run through the wizard to confirm all the information, here is one screenshot for each of the wizard steps.



once applying the settings in the wizard completes, here is the main interface.


4- configure the virtual appliance timezone. NTP time Sync is mandatory for thinapps to work.

5- let us start configuring Horizon, in a browser interface, browse to your horizon URL.

6- After Clicking Begin the Wizard, the first step is to insert the license key you have from your evaluation or the one you have revived after you ordered the product.

7-Create your organization, in my case the organization i want to create myapps organizations. you can create multiple organizations but first you have to start with one. you will be required to put the organization name, description as well as the operator password which will act as an administrator as well with the hznadmin account created in active directory.


8- to connect the application manager with the connector we need to generate an activation code that will be used by the connector for the connectivity between the application manager and the connector. this is what we will do in this step. so you need to select generate activation code.

9- once that is done, you will have the generation code required to connect Horizon Connector to the organization you created.


10- Save the Activation code in a notepad, and click Next. Now, things are really getting hot.

11- Now, we need to start deploying the horizon Connector. same steps as deploying the OVF of the application manager.

12- Create a new Password for the root User for the connector VM.

13- When the connector VM is up, configure Time Zone, Network, Host Name, SSL for the connector.


14- login to the connector using a web browser, first time log-in will take you to the admin console of the connector automatically the URL for the admin console is https://<Connector Hostname orIP Addrress>:8443. also the first time you use the URL you will be  requested to reset the connector password . there is no user name associated for the connector configuration only a password. so we are creating the password the first time for later stages when wanting to reconfigure the connector or do some kind of manual re-sync configuration.

15-after placing the password for the connector, you will be promoted to enter the Application Manager Activation Code.  Make sure you paste the Activation Code we saved in Step #9 and select USE SSL as shown below

16- configure the connector to integrate it with Your enterprise Active Directory if you recall, we added a user in requirement step #3, we called the user hznadmin. once completed, click on verify.

17- Now that the linking between the Application Manager and the connector has completed, as shown below we need to start the Set-up Wizard


18- when clicking on setup wizard, the first step required here is to join the connector to the domain, click on the check box to join to domain and fill the required information as shown below. once you fill all the information click Join Domain.  this is required to enable windows authentication as well as thinapps functionality to work.

19- After Successful joining the connector to the domain proceed to the next step by clicking Next.

20- in the next step highlight the “enable Windows Authentication” Check Box  this will allow the windows authentication for the end users to take place using their own domain user name and password.

21- configure the internal access to Horizon URL, make sure you check the check box “Use SSL for end-user authentication”. as per the internal host text box keep it as the default value which will be the connector host name.

22- Configure External Host, this is required step to allow users to access horizon over WAN. of course a public name has to be configured for the connector as well as for the horizon application manager on ports 80 & 443. after choosing the right host name for the public Access you will need to click on Generate New SSL Certificate in the bottom of the page. as shown Below. once all this is done, keep in mind rebooting the connector is mandatory for this so that connector use the new certificate. also so that we can deploy this certificate for the end user, please copy the SSL Certificate Box and save the content in a notepad, you can save it as <filename>.cer once all done, click Next



23- In this step, enable Windows App Check Box. once enabled, you will need to specify the share location where your thinapps are stored and the scheduling where horizon will need to check every for any new applications added to the share. see the screen shot below.  once you click on save button, the application on the share will be syncd with horizon.  once all that is done click on Next



24- Map the required User Attributes as shown below, some organization change the values for some security reasons which need to be filled here. it is by default filled with the default attributes information you can proceed with Next unless you have to change something for your enterprise.

25- Now it is time to fetch the users information from the active directory to Horizon Connector. we need to fill the required information like the DN for the users as well as put in some filters. for the user to be able to use Horizon, he will need all information in the active directory, this includes first name, last name, email address and telephone number. after filling the required properties, here is what i have in my screeen


26- Now Let us select the Active Directory groups.

27- configure Scheduling where you select the time in which horizon will sync user information from the active directory. i would leave it at the default of one hour.  Click Next

28- Push To horizon, where all users & Groups specified are going to be pushed to Horizon so that they can be used for user authentication as well as for application assignment. click on Save & Continue.

29- Your Setup is now complete.


30- Now that the setup is complete we need to install the Agent on the windows Desktop and Apply the Certificate to all users, this will done via the GPO. let us start with the agent Deployment.

31- start your windows 7 Machine. and click on teh horizon EXE file to start the deployment.  Click Next


32 – Enter the Application Service Manager URL as Shown, You can choose to either stream or deploy your thinapp packages. then Click Next

33- Choose the Name of the Folder where the Horizon Packages will be located at. this folder will be by default on the user desktop. Click on Next


34- Choose the Agent Software Directory and Click Next

35- Confirm the installation by Clicking on Next


36- once the installation copmpleted, click on Close.


37- Deploy the user certificate to the user GPO using Group Policy Editor. we have already saved the certificate now we need to deploy it to the users on the trusted certificate authorities.


38- Now let us configure the IE Settings for local Intranet VIA GPO.


39- Now that everything is ready, reboot the connector Appliance then login to the desktop and then Horizon organization. here is what we get.


40- The user Now is logged into the interface but no applications Assigned so he gets nothing in the interface


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