Horizon RDS Application Pre-launch

This article will walk you through the steps to observe how much faster an RDS application launches with Horizon Pre-launch enabled.

The TestDrive environment has been configured with Pre-launch automatically enabled.  In order to observe the difference without Pre-launch, we will first need to open an application with a pre-launch session and observe how long it takes to open.  We will then reset that application to get to a state with no pre-launch session and you will observe how much longer it takes for the application to launch.


  • Log into Testdrive Landing Page.
  • Launch Horizon Native Client link
  • Enter VMware TestDrive account credentials
  • Launch an RDS application with Pre-launch session established
  • Launch the same RDS application with no Pre-launch session established

Before You Begin

In order to perform the full end-to-end demo make sure you have the following:

  • A valid account in the VMware TestDrive environment, sign up here if you don't
  • Network access from your device and TCP ports 80, 443, 4172, 8443 and UDP ports 443, 4172, 8443 enabled
  • Ensure you have the latest Horizon Client installed on your local machine

Log in to https://testdrive.vidmpreview.com with your Testdrive credentials.

Open all apps and double click on the TD-WINDOWS10 desktop which will be used to access the Horizon Administrator console to monitor the RDS application sessions.  



Launch the Horizon Administrator console using the shortcut on the desktop.


At the login page, enter your own TestDrive credentials for the User name and Password fields.  For Domain, you must choose VMWTD


After login, on the left menu, navigate to Monitoring > Sessions.


Pre-launch is enabled by default on the RDS farm, so you will see that you already have an empty connected pre-launch RDS application session established.

Note:  To conserve RDS resources when applications are not being used, we have configured empty sessions to be logged off after 10 minutes.  If you do not see your applications session and it has been longer than 10 minutes since you logged in to Horizon, you will need to disconnect from your Client and then log back in with the Client.  After login, it may take up to 15 seconds for the pre-launch session to get established.


Now, let's first launch observe the time it takes a launch an application with a pre-launch session.

Toggle back to the Horizon Client window that shows the available desktops and applications, then double click an application to launch it and notice how quickly it opens.  In the example below, Excel 2016 has been launched.


With the application still open, toggle back to the Horizon Client and go to Settings > Applications, then click on Reset in the lower right corner.  Click Continue to confirm you want to perform the reset.  The application will close up on your local client machine.




Return to the Sessions screen in the Horizon Administrator console and hit the Refresh table content icon. 

Confirm that your RDS application session is no longer visible.  It may take several seconds for the session to clear, so click the Refresh icon again as needed to confirm the sessions is gone.


Now that there is no existing pre-launch session, toggle back to the Horizon Client and double click the same application you launched earlier and observe that it takes longer to load, displaying the "Connecting to application.." message for a longer period of time than it did earlier when there was a pre-launch session.


This concludes the Horizon RDS Applications Pre-launch walkthrough.

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