VMware Horizon

What’s New with USB Redirection in VMware View 5.1?

By Tina de Benedictis, Technical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Desktop, End-User Computing, VMware

Who would have thought that configuring USB devices for redirection to VMware View desktops could be fun? VMware View 5.1 provides a new group policies administrative interface for configuring USB device splitting and filtering. Now it is as satisfying as solving a simple logic puzzle when you configure a USB device for redirection.

Why is it fun? Who doesn’t enjoy learning a few logic rules and then solving a puzzle?


Your logic rules

For example, here are your logic rules for this puzzle:

  • When you install the View Agent on a View desktop, you can install or not install USB redirection. The default is USB redirection is installed.
  • In View Administrator, you can restrict which users and desktop pools have USB redirection enabled. The default is everyone has USB redirection enabled.
  • The View Agent and the View Client determine which USB devices are to be redirected from the endpoint device to the View desktop. The View administrator indicates which USB devices to redirect to the View desktop by configuring USB split and filter settings, and by configuring or not changing default USB settings.
  • If the View Agent and the View Client have determined that a USB device is to be redirected to the View desktop, the user at the endpoint must also take action to confirm redirection, or the device is not redirected. From the View Client top menu bar, the user must choose either Connect USB Device > Autoconnect USB Devices, or else connect individual devices from the Connect USB Device list.


  • Most USB devices are by default redirected to the View desktop (if the above conditions are met)
  • Some USB devices, such as mice, are blocked from redirection by default. Composite USB devices that include mouse functions are blocked from redirection by default. A trackball is generally considered to be a type of mouse.
  • Composite USB devices with multiple functions by default are not split into their components for separate consideration for redirection. You can split composite USB devices; then each function, or component, is treated as a separate device.
  • Device splitting settings are processed first, and then device filtering settings are processed, in a particular order.
  • If you split a composite USB device into its components, you must also explicitly filter in components for redirection to the View desktop, or filter out components for local connection to the client. View institutes default redirection settings if you do not explicitly set filtering settings for components.

The problem to solve

Here is your problem to solve:

  • Your USB device is a composite device called the Philips SpeechMike dictation device, which includes a trackball
  • Allow the audio components of the SpeechMike to be redirected to the View desktop
  • Keep the trackball component of the SpeechMike local to the client

The solution

Here are the USB settings to solve the problem:

  • Split the composite device and configure the mouse to be local (use Split Vid/Pid Device, with the exintf:<mouse component> flag to keep the mouse local)



  • Filter the whole device to be redirected to the View desktop (use Include Vid/Pid Device)



Why is this the solution?

This solution is a logical outcome of the rules because:

  • The composite device includes a trackball (also considered a mouse), so the whole composite device is automatically blocked from redirection to the desktop
  • You must split the device to differentially redirect its components. You keep the trackball local by splitting the device and specifying that the mouse remains local with the exintf flag.
  • To redirect the other components that would be kept local by default (such as audio output), you must use the Include Vid/Pid Device setting, which redirects the composite USB device, except the trackball, which has already been excluded from redirection with the split setting
  • Splitting the USB device and excluding a component from redirection is not enough to include the other components in redirection. You must explicitly use an Include setting for these other components of the composite device.

Try it!

Walk through this puzzle solution and two other USB redirection puzzles in the VMware View 5.1 Evaluator’s Guide (search for Evaluation Tasks for View 5.1 New Features and then for USB Redirection Enhancements).