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Recent versions of Chrome broke vmWare's plugin on the user interface

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August 18, 2015

On any given day, VMware system administrators are generally satisfied with the company's products, although the web interface for vSphere 5.x has received its fair share of changes as of late.

VMware recently gave vSphere 6.0 a new web interface, but did so by relying on the NPAPI browser plugin format that's unfortunately on its way out thanks to Google deciding not to support it any more on its Chrome browser.

As a result, recent versions of Chrome have broken the plugin and therefore its web interface. Of course, a little command line action gets around that, but won't do so forever once Chrome banishes NPAPI entirely, and that's the core of the problem.

In an effort to correct that annoying issue, VMware has put out a new browser-based management tool for vmWare system admins to work with in the mean time.

The code name is “Fling”, VMware's new way of naming it, designed by its engineers but which isn't supported or recommended for use on production systems.

But Flings does reflect VMware's development directions, nevertheless. With the web client in NPAPI-related strife, it's therefore interesting to see that one new Fling is the ESXi Embedded Host Client, offering an ESXi management interface that runs in the host.

Overall, 'Fling' was written purely in HTML and JavaScript, vmWare asserts. The description for the new system says “Currently, the client is in its development phase, but we are releasing this Fling to elicit early feedback from our users to help guide the development that we are creating. The client is not fully featured and only implements a hand full of the most important features.”

There's no vCenter support for now, but as the quote above makes certain, VMware has some way to go on this project.

We suspect that this is the beginning of a new web client that moves on from NPAPI. Another new element would be the VNC Server and VNC Client that, as the name suggests, makes it possible to enable remote access into vSphere and VMware Workstation using the VNC protocol.

VMworld's 2015 annual conference is just under two weeks away, but it takes rather longer than that for 'Flings' to turn into products.

We are simply guessing that this code change may be destined for a vSphere 6.1 release soon that should land towards the end of 2015 (November maybe) or early 2016 if VMware keeps up its usual release habits.

Source: vmWare.

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