vSphere Client Integration fixed without NPAPI!

This has been a hot item with me, personally.  If you use any web-based applications ranging from the browser plugin for Battlefield 4 to the vSphere Client Integration plugin then you’ve probably seen the “This plugin will soon be unsupported” messages.  Chrome and Firefox have been indicating they’re dropping NPAPI support for a while but they didn’t release a version number or date.  This is a minor inconvenience for people who use their computer for leisure but when your job involves web-based plugins it’s kind of important to know when support is dropped officially.  As I found out, Chrome 45 dropped NPAPI support and Chrome by default auto-upgrades – sigh.

So – who do I blame?  Everyone.  I know that sounds silly but I am serious – I am a consumer of the product(s) so I feel that as a paying customer VMware is required to make sure that I can use the product in its fullest.  At the same time I blame Chrome and Firefox for being so vague as to when support is ending.  Anyway, with that out of the way I’ve found out how to install a previous version of Chrome and disable auto-updates but finally there’s an official fix.

I found this fix posted on William Lam’s blog (www.virtuallyghetto.com) – installing this latest vSphere CIP package allows the use of Chrome v45+ since it doesn’t require NPAPI!  Awesome!  The plugin is available from VMware here.  They’ve also posted KB213062 titled “After updating Google Chrome to Version 45 or later the vSphere Web Client Integration Plugin 6.x no longer functions”.  I’ve confirmed the fix works:

Chrome 45

And here you can see that the check box for SSO works in vSphere:

vSphere SSO

 

Additionally, I can finally upload ISO’s/etc. to datastores from the web client which was missing without the plugin.

Thanks to VMware for finally fixing this and William Lam for posting it to his blog!

Author: Jon

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8 Comments

  1. All this mess lies squarely at VMware. Their venture–rather push–into the web management area has been a disaster from Day 1. Stopping all work on a perfectly good and working c# client while your web client is quite frankly a total piece of crap? And this from a company that knows how embedded they are in companies infrastructure. The management software of your infrastructure should be bullet proof. You shouldn’t have to keep various versions of Browsers, etc just to be able to manage your hypervisors. Such a cluster f*** from VMware I am still totally surprised this has been going on so long.

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    • I understand your frustration – one of the problems with the C# client though is that other vendors are not writing plugins that are compliant with it. They’re all going with web based functionality so all of the Equallogic VSM, NetApp management, etc. are all out of the vSphere Web Client. Heck, even VMware is moving the Update Manager to web. I would imagine that in 3 months or so we can expect more development in the Web Client but we’ll see.

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      • I can’t understand the rationale that “…other vendors are not writing plugins that are compliant with it.” This a is a false argument. If you are in charge of a product, you don’t let the direction others choose drive your product’s direction. Further, using any browser-based form of soft integration is a fool’s errand. You put the control of your product in the hands of those you can not control. EMC VNX, Cisco UCS, etc. are all crap management platforms written for the web-based architecture. Have we all not learned from the unmitigated disaster that is Java? Control your own product. Do what is right for the CUSTOMER!
        If a lemming jumps off a cliff, are you going to follow him?

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  2. I started getting this error using Opera, I’ve installed the plugin but still get the error!
    I can’t use Firefox or Chrome for the vCenter web client because when I right click a VM to open console the option is greyed out, it only works in Opera!

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  3. Thanks for the post. It still doesn’t work for me, though… 🙁

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  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome#Plugins

    Chrome announced in September 2013 (two years ago) that it would drop NPAPI. other browser manufactures have followed suit (Microsoft edge for example doesn’t include npapi support either). I believe as of writing this, Firefox does still support npapi, but they have announced they will become a chrome clone in the near future, similar to the path of the Opera browser.

    Unfortunately the blame here lies in the hands of the npapi plugin makers for not getting their products ready sooner.

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    • Thanks Eric – yeah I just tongue-in-cheek blame everyone because it’s such an uncoordinated disaster. I used to use Firefox exclusively and did try going back to it but it too did not work with the vSphere CIP. It’s a really lousy situation – my co-workers and I always talk about how crappy the Java situation is also. We have so many SANs and out-of-band management devices that rely on Java and it’s always a nightmare getting things to work.

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      • Jon, I’m in a similar situation and since I’m not a Firefox fan I’ve landed on the decision of dual wielding chrome with internet explorer. It’s not pleasant, but it’ll have to do for now, until the plugin vendors migrate away from their dependencies. I agree with the move from chrome mainly from a security standpoint.

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