CTRL Character Passthrough in vSphere Web Client

As you should know, the vSphere fat client (Windows-based) is going away. As such, you should be using the vSphere web client whenever possible. Unfortunately, even in vSphere 5.5, I run into issues with the web client. One recently was passing the CTRL character through a console session.

I primarily use a Mac computer and the Chrome web browser. With this combination, I launched the vSphere web client and opened a console session to a Linux VM. I needed the console as I was experiencing a network issue. On the console, I started a ping to the gateway that the VM was on. After confirming that ping was failing, I attempted to stop the ping by passing CTRL+c. Unfortunately, the key combination did not work.

I often run into keyboard combination issues on a Mac. As an example, see this post. I tried every key combination I could think of and I was unable to get the CTRL key to pass. After some digging, I learned that the Flash RDP component used by the vSphere web client is at fault. Turns out this issue impacts Mac on Safari and Chrome. The workaround is to use Firefox instead. Upon switching to Firefox I confirmed that I could pass the CTRL character as expected.

So why hasn’t VMware fixed this issue? The Flash RDP component is owned and licensed by Oracle and VMware cannot fix it.

© 2014 – 2021, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

11 comments on “CTRL Character Passthrough in vSphere Web Client

lefty.crupps says:

I have this exact issue on KDE+Debian using Chome, but because Adobe no longer supports Flash for Linux, it’s been stunted at 11.2 and the vSphere client requires Flash 11.5, so Firefox isn’t an option (tho it is my main browser).
Chrome has Flash built-in, but I still cannot pass that [Ctrl][C]. I hoped you had a solution 🙂

Ouch… I guess in your case the only option would be installing Workstation on Debian. Here is hoping the vSphere client moves to HTML5!

Pablo Escalope says:

I have exactly the same problem as lefty.crupps, though I’m using Ubuntu/Chrome. As Flash development has stalled, I’m stuck with Chrome.
This is so annoying.

Dion says:

Any solution found to using CTRL-C in HTML5 console in 5.5 vsphere client?

Only solution is to use a different web browser.

Anon says:

VMware say you have to either use Firefox or use their magic browser plugin – https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-vcenter-server-55u1-release-notes.html (“Virtual machine guest OS does not detect Control key sent from HTML 5 console in Chrome”). If only it supported that magic fullscreen mode that allows keyboard capture…

AK says:

If you do this: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1026437
Can you somehow paste in a “Ctrl-C”, if you can find a way to copy the “character” in a terminal window?

Hey AK — thanks for the comment! perhaps. If you find a way, let me know 🙂

zLOST says:

for debian, there is a simple solution – you can use freshplayerplugin from http://main.mepis-deb.org/M12TestPackages.html
This makes sort of a proxy between firefox/iceweasel and pepper-based plugin for Chrome. This means, that if you’ll install&keep updated chrome/chromium and uninstall flashplayer-nonfree (the one at 11.2), you’ll be able to use up to date flash for vSphere, youtube, facebook and everything…

William Hou says:

Hello Steve,
Now I have an issue similar but other than yours:
I am using Windows based vSphere Client, to connect to a Ubuntu VM, but in the VM the Ctrl key is always be sent automatically, this makes me very difficult to use the VM, copy and paste doesn’t work well….. do you know this issue? Thanks in advance!

Hey William — thanks for the comment. Are you saying the CTRL key is always passed? If so, I have not seen that.

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