Understanding the VDI plugin auto-update feature

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Zoom’s VDI solution can optionally manage updates for both the VDI Zoom Meeting client and the VDI plugin. The VDI Zoom Meeting client can be enabled for software updates using the same policies available for the standard Zoom Meeting client. New software is also available to manage VDI plugins based on policy.

Enabling the option to use VDI plugin auto-update will detect when the user has an older VDI plugin or a missing VDI plugin and prompt the user to confirm the installation of the required plugin. The default configuration will install the latest version that is compatible with the VDI Zoom Meeting client (Zoom desktop client).

This article covers:

Prerequisites for managing the VDI plugin auto-update

  • Account owner or admin privileges
  • Your computer or device meets the software requirements for VDI auto-update
  • Zoom desktop client
    Note: Verify release requirements for each policy as some require a more recent plugin release.
    • Windows: 5.10.0 or higher for basic functionality
    • macOS: 5.12.6 or higher
  • VDI plugin
    Note: Verify release requirements for each policy as some require a more recent plugin release.
    • Windows: 5.10.0, or compatible auto-update package
    • macOS: 5.12.6 or compatible auto-update package
  • Organizations using Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon server published desktop, or Windows Remote Desktop
  • Citrix Workspace, VMWare Horizons, AVD client, or Windows remote desktop client
    Note: Citrix Workspace app from Microsoft store is not supported.

Notes:

  • For the Windows VDI plugin, the VDI plugin auto-update software component .dll is included and is automatically installed with the VDI plugin, starting with version 5.10.0.
  • A VDI plugin auto-update solution is not currently being developed for Linux.

How to understand the VDI auto-update feature

The VDI auto-update feature was developed for users working from home to access Citrix, VMware, and Azure/Windows 365 virtual desktops.

Beginning with release 5.10.0, the Windows VDI plugin installed additional software that can update VDI plugins when the policy EnableVDIPluginAutoUpgrade is added and enabled on the virtual desktop. VDI plugins will not update automatically until the policy has been added. The software that manages VDI plugin updates must also be installed on the device where the VDI plugin is required. This software is installed automatically when installing VDI plugin versions 5.10.0 or higher. Earlier versions of the VDI plugin do not include the auto-update feature, but other options can be used to add the VDI auto-update software.

There are also configuration policies for VDI plugin management that provide more options for administrators.

Use other options to auto-update for the VDI Zoom Meeting client

There are more options for managing updates for the VDI Zoom Meeting client. Users can configure their desktop client’s automatic update frequencies and minimum, prompted, and slow/fast update versions for their auto-update functionality.

How the VDI plugin auto-update works

The software that manages the VDI plugins is separate from the VDI plugin.

Windows Auto-Update

For Windows a file called ZoomPluginAutoUpdateService.dll is registered as an application that can establish a connection with the VDI Zoom Meeting client. This additional connection is used to determine if an update or installation of a VDI plugin is required. However, updates are not downloaded and installed automatically. Additional configuration is required to enable VDI plugin management.

Mac Auto-Update

For Mac, there are two additional files installed with VDI plugin release 5.12.6:

    • libzPluginAutoUpgrade.dylib for VMware
    • zPluginAutoUpgrade.plugin for Citrix

Both files are in the ZoomVDI.app bundle installed under /Applications/ZoomVDI.app/Contents/Frameworks/AutoUpgrade

A post-install script copies the auto-upgrade plugins for the user and creates symbol links to the loading path for Citrix Viewer and VMware Horizon.

Mac VDI Plugin Auto-Update follows the same policies as Windows Auto-Update and requires enabling the auto-update policy on the virtual desktop. Once enabled, VDI Plugins for both Mac and Windows will be updated as needed.

Detect missing, outdated, or incompatible plugins

When the VDI Zoom Meeting client is enabled to connect to the VDI auto-update software, the connection is used to detect missing, out-of-date, or incompatible plugins. The correct VDI plugin to use is downloaded and installed after the user disconnects from their virtual desktop.

Use the virtual channel

The VDI plugin auto-update solution uses a “virtual channel” between the VDI Zoom Meeting client running on the virtual desktop and the VDI auto-update software running on the computer that connects to the virtual desktop. Virtual channels are also used to manage media offloading for audio and video through the VDI plugin. VDI auto-update also uses a virtual channel—but just to manage VDI plugins. While the auto-update software is installed with the VDI plugin, the software can also be installed separately or admins can push the auto-update software on its own.

Understand VDI plugin auto-update functionality

First, the policy for managing VDI plugins must be enabled. When a connection is established using the virtual channel between the VDI Zoom Meeting client, the auto-update software, plugin requirements, and policies determine what to install on the user’s computer.

When the auto-update determines a VDI plugin is needed, the auto-update feature downloads and starts the installation of the required VDI plugin.

Notes:

  • User actions are kept to a minimum, but the installation requires administrator privileges.
  • The virtual desktop cannot be connected during installation.
  • Zoom is working with our partners to provide the VDI plugin management software as a separate package that can be enabled by their users as an add-on component. This will provide a solution where the Zoom VDI plugin auto-update solution can be delivered to employees when they connect to their desktop, avoiding the need for each employee to download and install software themselves.

How to manage the VDI plugin auto-update feature

The VDI auto-update component is updated every time a VDI plugin is installed. While any release of the VDI plugin auto-update component will work with the Zoom Meeting client to support downloading and installing a VDI plugin, each VDI plugin includes the VDI plugin auto-update software. As changes are made to the VDI plugin auto-update software, those changes will be downloaded and installed automatically as part of new VDI plugin releases.

After following software requirements and understanding the VDI auto-update feature, account admins can manage the VDI auto-update features by taking the following actions:

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