Configuration of smart cards with PCoIP Zero Clients and VMWare Horizon

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This article is provided to help administrators in setting up smart card authentication in zero clients connecting to VMWare Horizon.

This article has been reviewed against the following supported hardware and software versions:

  • VMware Horizon 7.2
  • PCoIP Zero Client firmware 5.5

Supported smart cards, smart card middleware and readers are listed in PCoIP Zero Client requirements to support pre-session smart card authentication when connecting to VMware Horizon plus supported card readers and smart cards

Smart card single sign-on (pre-session authentication)

For supported smart cards, the user is authenticated by the View Connection Server via the smart card and PIN. After the user selects the desktop, the session is connected, and via single sign-on, the smart card user is logged into the desktop.

The required installed options for this to work correctly are:

  • Horizon Agent USB redirection
  • Horizon Agent smart card redirection
  • Smart card mini-driver/middleware

There are smart cards that support both CAC and PIV endpoint interfaces. If such a smart card is being used as a PIV card, the user may be presented with the user name/password login dialog instead of the smart card PIN dialog. To fix this issue, the 'Prefer GSC-IS' option needs to be deselected in the zero client View Connection Server Advanced Session Connection configuration. Refer to Why doesn't PIN dialog appear when using a PIV smartcard?

Unsupported smart cards

It is possible to use unsupported smart cards while in session. However, authentication using those smart cards in pre-session will likely not work. The following options required for this are:

  • Horizon Agent USB redirection installed
  • Horizon Agent smart card redirection NOT installed
  • Smart card mini-driver/middleware installed
  • Smart card reader is bridged (configured in PCoIP Zero Client USB table)

Other Resources

See the following for more information: