If you have experienced a problem with the vSphere Client Integration Plug-In not working even though it’s installed in Google Chrome, you’re not alone. Seems like Google decided to disable NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) from version 42 of Chrome onwards. The vSphere Client Integration Plug-In (henceforth known as the plug-in) utilizes the NPAPI to interact with Chrome, and Google is currently trying to phase out that particular API. The name should give you an idea of the age of that particular API (youngsters, go google Netscape and prepare to be amazed), and Google’s reasons for retiring it are quite understandable. VMware, on the other hand, are as usual quite tardy when it comes to supporting changes to Chrome, so it might be a while before we will see a new plug-in supporting a newer API.
Update: Chrome 45 has rolled around and removed NPAPI altogether, VMware has finally done something about it, see my latest post on the issue here.
In the meantime, you have two options. You can stop reading here and go about your merry way. The plug-in doesn’t do much, it speeds up the vSphere Web Client a tiny bit, makes the console to VMs work a bit better, and allows you to upload files from your desktop to a datastore. So technically, you don’t really need it, and half of you lot are probably still using the old vSphere Client anyhow.
The second option is to just reverse the change Google pushed on us all, by enabling NPAPI. This is done through a flick of a switch inside an options page deep inside Chrome. The favico for that page is a cheery radiation symbol, which Google probably uses to indicate what happens when you touch things there. We, on the other hand, are not mere mortals, but vSphere administrators, so we’ll zoom past Google’s here-be-dragons imagery and make our beloved plug-in work again.
Type chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into your URL bar in Chrome, and the following window will open.
All you’ll have to do is to click the Enable link under Enable NPAPI and restart Chrome. After that, everything will work just fine and dandy again.
Do note the little line of text under Enable NPAPI. “This flag will be removed in Chrome 45, along with NPAPI support.” This probably means that all vSphere administrators running Chrome will do well to verify that the VMware plug-in has been migrated to a more modern API before upgrading to Chrome 45, whenever that’s being released.
VMware’s article on the issue: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2114800
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