Understanding Zoom VDI Plugin Management


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 Zoom VDI Plugin Management 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 Zoom VDI Plugin Management


How to understand Zoom VDI Plugin Management

Zoom VDI Plugin Management 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 an additional component 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 for Windows and versions 5.12.6 and greater for Mac. Earlier versions of the VDI plugin do not include the plugin management feature, but other options can be used to add the Zoom VDI Plugin Management software.

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

Use other options to manage plugins for the VDI Zoom Meeting client

There are also 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 plugin management functionality.

How Zoom VDI Plugin Management works

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

Windows plugin management

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 plugin management

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 plugin management plugins for the user and creates symbol links to the loading path for Citrix Viewer and VMware Horizon.

Mac VDI Plugin Management follows the same policies as Windows VDI Plugin Management and requires enabling the plugin management 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 plugin management 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 Zoom VDI Plugin Management solution uses a “virtual channel” between the VDI Zoom Meeting client running on the virtual desktop and the Zoom VDI Plugin Management 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 plugin management also uses a virtual channel—but just to manage VDI plugins. While the plugin management software is installed with the VDI plugin, the software can also be installed separately or admins can push the plugin management software on its own.

Understand Zoom VDI Plugin Management 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 plugin management software, plugin requirements, and policies determine what to install on the user’s computer.

When Zoom VDI Plugin Management determines a VDI plugin is needed, the plugin management feature downloads and starts the installation of the required VDI plugin.


VDI Plugin Management Service

Starting with release 5.14.0, the Windows Universal Installer for the VDI Plugin includes a service to allow administrators to push VDI Plugins to users who do not have Admin privileges on the local device. Previously, the VDI Plugin installation package required the current user to confirm installation, even if their account had Admin privileges. If the current user did not have Admin privileges, they would be prompted to enter Admin credentials to install the VDI Plugin.

This new VDI Plugin Management Service runs in the background and transparently provides the required Admin privileges during installation. End-users are only prompted with an update prompt when a VDI Plugin upgrade is needed, asking them to confirm the update installation or delay the installation until the next virtual session.

Note: Initial installation of the VDI Plugin Management Service does require Admin privileges. When VDI Plugin management is enabled, future updates of both the VDI Plugin and the VDI Plugin Management package will be installed without prompting the user during installing. The user is only prompted with a notification when a new VDI plugin is required.

By default, VDI Plugin Management is enabled when using the install wizard, and if installing using MSI command line options, the VDI Plugin Management components and service are also installed by default. Administrators who do not want the VDI Plugin Management package to be installed can use the following command line option: DisableAUS=TRUE

To confirm the new service has been installed, admins can check the device’s local services for Zoom Sharing Service for VDI Plugin Management. The service is installed as a Startup service and set to Automatic by default. If logging is enabled, logging information generated from the VDI Plugin Management service is minimal and administrative credentials used by the service are not logged.

How to manage Zoom VDI Plugin Management

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

After following software requirements and understanding Zoom VDI Plugin Management feature, account admins can manage the Zoom VDI Plugin Management features by taking the following actions: