Installing Microsoft Teams on Horizon virtual desktop

Recently I’ve been in many conversations about Teams and running them on top of Horizon virtual desktop. I’ve seen a couple of implementation where Teams are installed during user logon every single time (because of the nature of non-persistent instant clones).

This is not the way how to run Teams on Horizon. This post will be a “quick tip” how to speed up your logon time for your user, because we will install Teams properly to the master/golden image.

Will Teams run on Horizon?

I get this question a lot. Looks like the marketing department of Citrix invested a lot of effort to spread the word that VMware Horizon is not certified by Microsoft to run Teams.

Creating the impression that running Teams on Horizon virtual desktop (VDI) is impossible. Is that really so?

First of all what is this certification about – it’s about optimizing the audio/video traffic. Something we did for a long time for Skype for Business. As companies are shifting to Teams we are shifting as well. We launched a beta of Teams optimization in October 2019 (https://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2019/10/audio-optimization-microsoft-teams.html).

The truth is VMware solution is not yet certified but does it really matter? Teams is application as any other – it will run on Horizon virtual desktop.

Install Teams properly to your master image

When installing Teams you cannot use the defaults, because it will run the user installation and Teams will be installed into the user’s %appdata% folder, which won’t fly for a master image.

What you need to do is run a machine-wide installer, which will install Teams normally to Program Files folder. How to do it is fairly simple (described in Microsoft documentation). Download the MSI installer and run this silent installation command:

msiexec /i <path_to_msi> /l*v <install_logfile_name> ALLUSER=1 ALLUSERS=1

That’s it. Give it a minute, it may seems it’s stuck, but it’s not…

What about that optimization?

Since the Horizon client 5.3 (https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Horizon-Client-for-Windows/5.3/horizon-client-windows-installation/GUID-AFB637E0-9395-4A71-8103-7D6DF0103295.html) you can enjoy optimized audio if you use the installation parameter INSTALL_TEAMS_REDIRECTION.

Also check this GPO (https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Horizon-7/7.12/horizon-remote-desktop-features/GUID-8557C3D7-4B08-4C98-B474-97B795300A6E.html)

You are right if you say that it’s audio-only, but stay tuned for more and for the official Microsoft certification to come.

And don’t forget that you can use real-time audio-video (RTAV) with Teams too: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Horizon-7/7.12/horizon-remote-desktop-features/GUID-E64B3E85-BA1E-4FB7-9DB4-FF9B7B7A892C.html (in this case we recommend min. 4 vCPU and 4 GB RAM).