Thursday, December 3, 2015

vSphere Web client and latest version of Chrome, IE11

Last week one of my friend pinged me to take a look at vSphere Web client as he was not able to open virtual machine console, this option was greyed out,
My first question was to him, have he installed wcb client client integration plugin before trying to open VM console using Chrome Browser and he said yes. On checking I found pop-up blocker was enabled but even after disabling, VM console option was still greyed out.

We re-installed client integration plugin, restarted browser but nothing worked.

Then I suggested it seems a browser issue lets try with ie, he had ie 11 installed when he logged in using IE11 browser, we were amazed to see we had all vm folders but no VM was available when clicking on VM folder.
 Its then when I started looking about this issue.

Lets start with Chrome:- After some digging we found VMware kb# 2114800, As per this kb, after updating Google Chrome to Version 42 or later, vSphere Web Client Integration Plugin 5.x no longer functions.
This issue occurs because the Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) is deprecated(no longer available) in Google Chrome 42 and later. The NPAPI is deprecated by all modern browsers.

Resolution:- This is a known issue affecting VMware vSphere Web Client 5.x, this issue is resolved in vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3a. 

Currently, there is no resolution for 5.0 and 5.1.

To work around this issue:
  • Enabling the NPAPI feature within Google Chrome 42 through 44.

    Note: These steps are not applicable to Google Chrome 45 and later.

    To enable NPAPI in Google Chrome:
  1. Open a new browser tab in Google Chrome
  2. In the address bar, enter this:

  3. Under the Enable NPAPI section, click Enable.
  4. Refresh or launch the vSphere Web Client landing page and attempt to use the CIP features.
  • Use Mozilla Firefox version 39.x or later in to access the CIP-integrated features of the vSphere Web Client.
  • Use the vSphere Client.
Note: For virtual machine control due to the deprecation of NPAPI, the VMware Remote Console (VMRC) is released to take its place. 

IE11:-  I was not able to reproduce the issue for ie11 in my homelab as he had vSphere web client version 5.5.0 build 2414847 and I have a different build.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 is Supported in vSphere 5.5 Update 1 and later versions, for later versions,
Fixing the client integration issue for ie11 is quite simple, After logging to the vSphere web client, hit the Alt key within your IE11 session and select “Tools” followed by “Compatibility view settings”, and add the vSphere url to the approved compatibility view list. Then click OK and its all set.
Now vSphere web client integration for ie should work.

NoteFor virtual machine control due to the deprecation of NPAPI, the VMware Remote Console (VMRC) is released to take its place. To open with VM remote console, go to VM Summary 

It would work for any browser.

Reference: kb# 21148002005083

That's it... :)


  1. I hope this issue has been resolved in ESXI 6 , Did you have chance to check ESXI 6 version.

    1. As i mentioned in the post itself, vSphere Web Client Integration Plugin issue was resolved in vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3a...Thanks

  2. I am a Firefox kinda guy.
    But I must say, after enabling API on Chrome, it does seem to run better on Chrome than in IE 11 Enterprise Mode and better than FireFox.

    I am using Chrome 49.0.2623.110

  3. Hi Jason, we have no option to enable NPAPI in Google Chrome 45 and later as its no longer available ...and yes, i agree we get better exp when use Chrome or firefox to connect to web client than IE.

    The issue was resolved in vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3a however there are still some issue and we have to use a way around, plz take a look at following KB articles for detail