vSphere HTML5 Web Client (Fling): installation tips

VMware has officially introduced vSphere Client (HTML5) in the release 6.5 of the platform. The company is working hard to make it a real replacement for vSphere Web Client (Flash/Flex client) and to deliver seamless functionality to the former one.

The vSphere Client released in vSphere 6.5 GA is using vSphere HTML5 Web Client (Fling) v2.7. Although it lacks many features of the old brother, the whole HTML5 experience should be a real benefit for many of us.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to test features available in the new versions of the Fling. Even if it is unsupported, some people are ready to go further and use it in the production environment with vSphere 6.0.

I doubt VMware has any plans to include this functionality in vSphere 6.0. However, for those who delay upgrading to version 6.5, playing with the Fling helps to get a better understanding of the new interface.

vsphere-client-fling-01

Current documentation for the Fling is a bit clunky. So I would like to clarify some steps that are required to setup this software correctly.

According to the documentation, the Fling setup has been tested with the following configurations:

  • GUI and CLI setup
    • vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller
    • vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller
  • CLI setup only
    • vCenter Server for Windows with an embedded Platform Services Controller
    • vCenter Server for Windows with an external Platform Services Controller.

In the paragraphs below, I describe the configuration process for the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

After you downloaded the OVA file and provisioned the VM, a few steps below help to pair it with the vCenter Server.

Firstly, we need to enable SSH login (if disabled) and bash shell on the Platform Services Controller (PSC). The easiest way to do it is to use the Appliance Management User Interface at https://<PSC-FQDN-or-IP>:5480. Both options can be found in the Access settings window.

amui-access-settings

The next step is to change the default shell for PSC. You should create the SSH session to the virtual appliance and run the following command to complete this task:

/usr/bin/chsh -s “/bin/bash” root

Using the default username root and the password demova, log in to the Fling Appliance Management Interface (FAMI) at https://<Fling-FQDN-or-IP>:5490.

vsphere-client-fling-02

Starting from here, the configuration process is straightforward:

  1. Add PSC FQDN or IP address, username, and the password.
  2. Optionally, you can add NTP servers.
  3. Click on Configure to initiate the configuration process.

vsphere-client-fling-03

After approximately one and a half minute the setup finishes and the application will be up and running.

vsphere-client-fling-04

For those who prefer SSH connection and a command line interface (CLI), the following command does the magic:

/usr/local/bin/vsphere-client-config-ui configure –vc <PSC-FQDN-or-IP> –user root –ntp <NTP-FQDN-or-IP>

In this case, you need to start the Web Server manually after it is all done:

/usr/local/bin/vsphere-client start

Open the web browser on https://<Fling-FQDN-or-IP>/ui. It is time to explore a true HTML5 client, yay!

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