Drivers Microcomputer Applications USB Devices

You can use locally attached USB devices, such as thumb flash drives, cameras, and printers, from a remote desktop. This feature is called USB redirection.

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When you use this feature, most USB devices that are attached to the local client system become available from a menu in Horizon Client. You use the menu to connect and disconnect the devices.

Note: With View Agent 6.1 or later, or Horizon Agent 7.0 or later, you can also redirect locally connected USB thumb flash drives and hard disks for use in published desktops and remote applications. Other types of USB devices, including other types of storage devices, such as security storage drives and USB CD-ROM, are not supported in published desktops and applications. With Horizon Agent 7.0.2 or later, published desktops and applications can support more generic USB devices, including TOPAZ Signature Pad, Olympus Dictation Foot pedal, and Wacom signature pad. Other types of USB devices, including security storage drivers and USB CD-ROM drives, are not supported in published desktops and applications.

Using USB devices with remote desktops has the following limitations:

  • When you access a USB device from a menu in Horizon Client and use the device in a remote desktop, you cannot access the device on the local computer.
  • USB devices that do not appear in the menu, but are available in a remote desktop, include human interface devices such as keyboards and pointing devices. The remote desktop and the local computer use these devices at the same time. Interaction with these devices can sometimes be slow because of network latency.
  • Large USB disk drives can take several minutes to appear in the desktop.
  • Some USB devices require specific drivers. If a required driver is not already installed on a remote desktop, you might be prompted to install it when you connect the USB device to the remote desktop.
  • If you plan to attach USB devices that use MTP drivers, such as Android-based Samsung smart phones and tablets, configure Horizon Client so that it automatically connects USB devices to your remote desktop. Otherwise, if you try to manually redirect the USB device by using a menu item, the device is not redirected unless you unplug the device and then plug it in again.
  • Do not connect to scanners by using the Connect USB Device menu. To use a scanner device, use the scanner redirection feature. This feature is available for Horizon Client when used with View Agent 6.0.2 or later or Horizon Agent 7.0 or later. See Using Scanners.
  • Webcams are not supported for USB redirection using the Connect USB Device menu. To use a webcam or audio input device, you must use the Real-Time Audio-Video feature. See Using the Real-Time Audio-Video Feature for Webcams and Microphones.
  • The redirection of USB audio devices depends on the state of the network and is not reliable. Some devices require a high data throughput even when they are idle. Audio input and output devices work well with the Real-Time Audio-Video feature. You do not need to use USB redirection for those devices.
  • You cannot format a redirected USB drive in a published desktop on an RDS host unless you connect to the remote desktop as an administrator user.

You can connect USB devices to a remote desktop either manually or automatically.

Note: Do not redirect USB devices such as USB Ethernet devices and touch screen devices to the remote desktop. If you redirect a USB Ethernet device, your client system loses network connectivity. If you redirect a touch screen device, the remote desktop receives touch input but not keyboard input. If you have set your virtual desktop to autoconnect USB devices, you can configure a policy to exclude specific devices.
  • To use USB devices with a remote desktop, a Horizon administrator must enable the USB feature for the remote desktop.
  • When Horizon Client was installed, the USB Redirection component must have been installed. If you did not include this component in the installation, uninstall the client and run the installer again to include the USB Redirection component.

Procedure

  • Manually connect the USB device to a remote desktop.
    1. Connect the USB device to your local client system.
    2. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, click Connect USB Device.
    3. Select the USB device.
    The device is manually redirected from the local system to the remote desktop.
  • Connect the USB device to a remote hosted application.
    1. In the desktop and application selector window, open the remote application.
      The name of the application is the name that your administrator has configured for the application.
    2. In the desktop and application selector window, right-click the application icon and select Settings.
    3. In the left pane, select USB Devices.
    4. In the right pane, select the USB device and click Connect.
    5. Select the application, and click OK.
      Note: The name of the application in the list comes from the application itself and might not match the application name that your administrator configured to appear in the desktop and application selector window.
      You can now use the USB device with the remote application. After you close the application, the USB device is not released right away.
    6. When you are finished using the application, to release the USB device so that you can access it from your local system, in the desktop and application selector window, open the Settings window again, select USB Devices, and select Disconnect.
  • Configure Horizon Client to connect USB devices automatically to the remote desktop when you plug them in to the local system.
    Use the autoconnect feature if you plan to connect devices that use MTP drivers, such as Android-based Samsung smart phones and tablets.
    1. Before you plug in the USB device, start Horizon Client and connect to a remote desktop.
    2. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, select Connect USB Device > Autoconnect USB Devices when Inserted.
    3. Plug in the USB device.
    USB devices that you connect to your local system after you start Horizon Client are redirected to the remote desktop.
  • Configure Horizon Client to connect USB devices automatically to the remote desktop when Horizon Client starts.
    1. From the VMware Horizon Client menu bar, select Connect USB Device > Autoconnect USB Devices at Startup.
    2. Plug in the USB device and restart Horizon Client.
    USB devices that are connected to the local system when you start Horizon Client are redirected to the remote desktop.

The USB device appears in the desktop. A USB device might take up to 20 seconds to appear in the desktop. The first time you connect the device to the desktop you might be prompted to install drivers.

If the USB device does not appear in the desktop after several minutes, disconnect and reconnect the device to the client computer.

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Summary

  • Guidelines for choosing the right programming model
  • UWP app and desktop app developer experience

Important APIs

This topic provides guidelines for deciding whether you should write a UWP app or a Windows desktop app to communicate with a USB device.

Windows provides API sets that you can use to write apps that talk to a custom USB devices. The API performs common USB-related tasks such as, finding the device, data transfers.

Drivers Microcomputer Applications USB Devices

'Custom device' in this context means, a device for which Microsoft does not provide an in-box class driver. Instead, you can install WinUSB (Winusb.sys) as the device driver.

Choosing a programming model

If you install Winusb.sys, here are the programming model options:

  • Windows 8.1 provides a new namespace: Windows.Devices.Usb. The namespace cannot be used in earlier version of Windows. Other Microsoft Store resources are here: UWP app.

  • Before Windows 8.1, apps that were communicating through Winusb.sys, were desktop apps written by using WinUSB Functions. In Windows 8.1, the API set has been extended. Other Windows desktop app resources are here: Windows desktop app.

The strategy for choosing the best programming model depends on various factors.

  • Will your app communicate with an internal USB device?

    The APIs are primarily designed for accessing peripheral devices. The API can also access PC internal USB devices. However access to PC internal USB devices from a UWP app is limited to a privileged app that is explicitly declared in device metadata by the OEM for that PC.

  • Will your app communicate with USB isochronous endpoints?

    If your app transmits data to or from isochronous endpoints of the device, you must write a Windows desktop app. In Windows 8.1, new WinUSB Functions have been added to the API set that allow a desktop app to send data to and receive data from isochronous endpoints.

  • Is your app a 'control panel' type of app?

    UWP apps are per-user apps and do not have the ability to make changes outside the scope of each app. For these types of apps, you must write a Windows desktop app.

  • Is the USB device class supported classes by UWP apps?

    Write a UWP app if your device belongs to one these device classes.

    • name:cdcControl, classId:02 * *
    • name:physical, classId:05 * *
    • name:personalHealthcare, classId:0f 00 00
    • name:activeSync, classId:ef 01 01
    • name:palmSync, classId:ef 01 02
    • name:deviceFirmwareUpdate, classId:fe 01 01
    • name:irda, classId:fe 02 00
    • name:measurement, classId:fe 03 *
    • name:vendorSpecific, classId:ff * *

    Note If your device belongs to DeviceFirmwareUpdate class, your app must be a privileged app.

If your device does not belong to one the preceding device classes, write a Windows desktop app.

Driver requirement

Drivers Microcomputer Applications Usb Devices Pc Camera

Driver requirementUWP appWindows desktop app
Function driverMicrosoft-provided Winusb.sys (kernel-mode driver).Microsoft-provided Winusb.sys (kernel-mode driver).
Filter driverIf filter drivers are present, access is limited to privileged apps. The app is declared as privileged apps in device metadata by the OEM.Filter driver can be present in the kernel mode device stack as long as it doesn't block access to Winusb.sys.

Code samples

SampleUWP appWindows desktop app
Get started with these samples
  • Start with the WinUsb Application template included with Microsoft Visual Studio (Ultimate or Professional)
  • Extend the template by using code examples shown in How to Access a USB Device by Using WinUSB Functions.

Development tools

Drivers Microcomputer Applications Usb Devices Download

Development toolsUWP appWindows desktop app
Developer environment

Microsoft Visual Studio 2013

Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 8.1

Use WinUSB Application template included with Visual Studio (Ultimate or Professional) and Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 8

Note For isochronous transfers, Visual Studio 2013 with Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 8.1
Programming languagesC#, VB.NET, C++, JavaScriptC/C++

Drivers Microcomputer Applications Usb Devices Windows 10

Feature implementation

Drivers Microcomputer Applications Usb Devices Windows 7

Key scenarioUWP appWindows desktop app
Device discoveryUse Windows.Devices.Enumeration](/uwp/api/Windows.Devices.Enumeration)'>Windows.Devices.Enumeration namespace to get a UsbDevice](/uwp/api/Windows.Devices.Usb.UsbDevice)'>UsbDevice.Use SetupAPI functions and WinUsb_Initialize](/windows/win32/api/winusb/nf-winusb-winusb_initialize)'>WinUsb_Initialize to get a WINUSB_INTERFACE_HANDLE.
USB control transfer
Getting USB descriptorsWinUsb_GetDescriptor](/windows/win32/api/winusb/nf-winusb-winusb_getdescriptor)'>WinUsb_GetDescriptor
Sending USB bulk transfer
Sending USB interrupt transfer
Sending USB isochronous transferNot supported.
Closing the deviceUsbDevice.Close](/uwp/api/Windows.Devices.Usb.UsbDevice#Windows_Devices_Usb_UsbDevice_Close)'>UsbDevice.CloseWinUsb_Free](/windows/win32/api/winusb/nf-winusb-winusb_free)'>WinUsb_Free

Drivers Microcomputer Applications USB Devices

Documentation

DocumentationUWP appWindows desktop app
Programming guideTalking to USB devices, start to finishHow to Access a USB Device by Using WinUSB Functions
API referenceWindows.Devices.UsbWinUSB Functions

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