vSphere Web Client on Linux

By now we all know that the vSphere Web Client is destined to be the defacto standard for administration of your vSphere Environment. That is not to say that it does not have some hurdles to overcome, most notably in the rhelm of multi-platform access. This is one of those times.

I was recently attempting to access my vCSA (that’s the vCenter System Appliance not the vCenter Support Assistant, really who’s bright idea was that to give it the same acronym) and upon trying to launch the web client was greeted with the very familiar:


I immediately clicked on the link to install Adobe Flash only to be presented with the following:


Uh oh! Seriously? Adobe is no longer supporting Flash on Linux past version 11.2, but the Web Client requires version 11.5 or greater.¬†What’s an admin to do?

I immediately hit the easy button, you know Twitter, and reached out for help. I received an almost instant reply from fellow vCSA evangelist, William Lam (@lamw), stating that he has run into this and that Chromium is the answer.


I instantly had to test this out, so I logged into my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS box, opened up a terminal command and typed:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser

I let it go through with the install, launched the browser, and guess what….. yup you guessed it, it still didn’t work. Now I have worked with Chrome(ium) in the past and know that sometimes Plugins are disabled by default, so I thought I would try that out.

In the Omnibox I typed:


A list of all installed plugins appears. Hmmm, Flash is not in here. Back to Twitter and Google.

Upon further research Chromium does not have (at least anymore) built-in support for Flash, and I would need to install full blown Chrome to get this to work. Back to the command line.

sudo apt-get install chrome-browser

Nope. Apparently it is not packaged anywhere that you can install with apt-get. I will need to install manually.

sudo apt-get install libxss1 #prerequisite package
wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i google-chrom*.deb

Note in the wget statement you would change the file to _amd64 for 64-bit systems

After installing I opened the browser, typed my vCSA address in the Omnibox and to my amazement, up popped the Web Client. Success!

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