Issues with non-English US keyboard layouts with WebMKS Consoles in VMware vCloud Director
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Issues with non-English US keyboard layouts with WebMKS Consoles in VMware vCloud Director

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Article ID: 344585

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Updated On:

Products

VMware Cloud Director

Issue/Introduction

Symptoms:
When using certain non English US keyboard layouts connected to WebMKS Consoles in VMware vCloud Director, you see one of these symptoms:
  • Key pass-through is not working correctly for international keyboard mapping.
  • Unexpected characters shown in Virtual Machines Guest Operating System on key presses.


Environment

VMware Cloud Director 5.5.x
VMware Cloud Director for Service Provider 5.6.x
VMware Cloud Director for Service Provider 8.10.x
VMware Cloud Director for Service Provider 8.0.x

Cause

This issue occurs because WebMKS Consoles do not currently support some non-English keyboard layouts for input and no native international keyboard mapping is supported in WebMKS Consoles.

Note: One of the reasons for implementing WebMKS Consoles in VMware vCloud Director is because it is HTML5 based and browsers are dropping support for NPAPI plugins which affects the Client Integration Plugin.

Resolution

This is a known issue in WebMKS consoles affecting VMware vCloud Director.

Japanese keyboard support has been added in vCloud Director 8.10

Support for keyboards with the languages below has been added in vCloud Director 8.0.2, 8.10.1.
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
Support for keyboards with the languages below has been added in vCloud Director 8.20.
  • Swiss French
  • Swiss German

Note: Some keys may still not mapping correctly, for a detailed list, see Some non-English keyboard layout keys do not work as expected in the VMware HTML Console 2.0 (2148037).

This solution requires VMware Tools to be installed on the VM. Also, if the user doesn't own a keyboard of the language they want, they can use a mapping of their local keyboard to the target language. For example, if the user has an English US keyboard but they want to type in Spanish, they should make sure their local keyboard is set to the Spanish layout as well as select Spanish from the dropdown menu in the remote console.

To workaround the issue for other languages, use one of these options:

  • Enabling NPAPI in Google Chrome 44 or earlier versions.

    Note
    : NPAPI is by default disabled in Google Chrome version 42 onwards and the option to enable NPAPI is no longer available from Google Chrome version 45.

    To re-enable NPAPI in Google Chrome:
  1. In the location bar of Google Chrome browser enter: chrome://flags
  2. Locate the Enable NPAPI section.
  3. Click Enable NPAPI.
  4. Relaunch Chrome.

    Note: Pay attention to the WARNING section that Google has placed at the top of the Flags page. You are enabling this flag at your own risk. Enabling this feature is not guaranteed to function as expected.
  • Enabling NPAPI in Mozilla Firefox 52 and later versions
Note: NPAPI is by default disabled in Mozilla Firefox version 52 onwards.

To re-enable NPAPI in Mozilla Firefox:
  1. In the location bar of the Mozilla Firefox browser enter: about:config
  2. Create a new boolean string "plugin.loaf_flash_only" and set it to "false".
  3. Relaunch Firefox
Note: Pay attention to the WARNING page that load on navigating to the about:config page. You are creating this flag at your own risk. Enabling this feature is not guaranteed to function as expected.
  • As WebMKS Consoles are used in Google Chrome in vCloud Director 5.5.x, use Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or enable the VMRC plugin that comes with vCloud Director by using the Client Integration Plugin for Google Chrome.
  • As WebMKS Consoles are used in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in vCloud Director 5.6.x/8.x, use Internet Explorer or enable the VMRC plugin that comes with vCloud Director by using the Client Integration Plugin for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

    Note: This procedure modifies the database. Ensure to take a backup of the database before proceeding.

  • Enable the VMRC plugin.

    To enable the VMRC plugin:

    1. Insert values into the config table of the vCloud Director database, by running the SQL queries for the desired Client OS and browser combinations:

      MSSQL:

      INSERT INTO config (cat, name, value) VALUES ('vcloud', 'console.webmks.firefox.windows', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (cat, name, value) VALUES ('vcloud', 'console.webmks.firefox.linux', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (cat, name, value) VALUES ('vcloud', 'console.webmks.chrome.windows', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (cat, name, value) VALUES ('vcloud', 'console.webmks.chrome.linux', 'false');


      Oracle:

      INSERT INTO config (config_id,cat, name, value) VALUES (seq_config.NextVal,'vcloud', 'console.webmks.firefox.windows', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (config_id,cat, name, value) VALUES (seq_config.NextVal,'vcloud', 'console.webmks.firefox.linux', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (config_id,cat, name, value) VALUES (seq_config.NextVal,'vcloud', 'console.webmks.chrome.windows', 'false');
      INSERT INTO config (config_id,cat, name, value) VALUES (seq_config.NextVal,'vcloud', 'console.webmks.chrome.linux', 'false');
      COMMIT;

    2. If these values are already present in the database, run this UPDATE query to change the value column to false where required:

      UPDATE config SET value = 'false' WHERE name = 'console.webmks.firefox.windows';
      UPDATE config SET value = 'false' WHERE name = 'console.webmks.firefox.linux';
      UPDATE config SET value = 'false' WHERE name = 'console.webmks.chrome.windows';
      UPDATE config SET value = 'false' WHERE name = 'console.webmks.chrome.linux';

    3. Log in to the vCloud Director UI.
    4. Unblock the plugin.
    5. Refresh the vCloud Director UI.
    6. Open the console.


Additional Information

The affected keyboard mappings include:
  • Japanese
  • English UK
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Swiss
  • Belgian
  • Turkish
  • Danish
VMware vCloud Director 中 WebMKS 控制台非美式英文键盘布局存在问题
Some non-English keyboard layout keys do not work as expected in the VMware HTML Console 2.0