Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

With VDI, instead of a traditional desktop, you have a thin client and a hosted virtual desktop.

A thin client is a typically less costly and less powerful device than a desktop computer. Your organization may even use older, less powerful PCs as thin clients. Your hosted virtual desktop resides in a central server location called a data center. Your hosted virtual desktop includes your

  • Microsoft Windows desktop

  • Applications (such as Webex)

  • Data

Using your thin client, you access your hosted virtual desktop over a secure Citrix or VMware connection.

Webex works with VDI. However, sending the additional data that audio and video calls require, through the hosted virtual desktops, causes communications delays. This limitation is called the "hairpin" effect.

Webex on VDI

Without optimization, Webex app messaging works as-is in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. The full Webex app experience also includes calling and meetings, which require video and audio media processing.

Because of a limitation known as the hairpin effect, calling, meeting, and accompanying video capability are not supported without optimization. The additional bandwidth required for calls and video creates a bottleneck at the data center because the media flows from one user to the data center back to another user. As a result of this unoptimized media path and the lack of easy access to peripherals such as device speakers, microphone, and camera, the user experience is not ideal.

To fix the issue of the hairpin effect, the Webex VDI plugin extends the Cisco collaboration experience to virtual deployments so that users can use the full messaging, meeting, and calling functionality that the Webex app provides.

To reduce latency and to enhance media quality, the VDI plugin optimizes the media workflows by streaming media directly between users on thin client endpoints and leverages the hardware of the thin client machines to handle media processing. This media path does not go through the hosted virtual desktops (HVDs). The result is a stable and full-featured calling and meeting experience for your VDI users.

In this architecture, the Webex app is installed on the HVD in your VDI environment and required VDI plugins are installed on the user's thin client (typically a lightweight system, like a repurposed laptop or desktop).

Using a supported Linux or Windows-based thin client, users access the Webex app on the HVD from a remote virtual desktop environment. With supported versions of Webex, users can use all of the built-in messaging, meetings, and calling on Webex functionality on their thin client. Additionally, you can integrate Webex VDI with a Unified CM or Webex Calling environment, so that users can use supported call features. You can also deploy the full featured meetings experience by installing the Webex Meetings VDI plugin.


You can find the Webex for Windows VDI software downloads from The HVD installer (Webex app) and thin client build (Webex VDI plugin) are released every three months.


Administrators can refer to the Deployment Guide for Cisco Webex for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for more information about what features are supported, how to prepare your environment, and how to deploy the Webex VDI solution.

We support the following VDI infrastructure for the Webex app. (See the documentation for these VDI solutions for more information.)

Connection Broker for the Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)

  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

  • VMware Horizon

  • Citrix Cloud HVD

  • Windows Virtual Desktop (Deployed on Microsoft Azure)

  • VMware Cloud HVD

Thin Client Operating System

  • Windows 8, 10

  • HP ThinPro 7.1, 7.2

  • Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 20.04

  • Unicon eLux 6.9

  • IGEL OS 11.04

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1

  • 10ZiG

Other Supported Features

For new features for each release, see the Releases tab for more information.

  • Multiple monitors

  • Fallback mode for VDI

  • Mobile and Remote Access (MRA)

  • Hardware acceleration and background noise reduction for Windows thin client

If you're using Webex VDI in fallback mode or standalone mode, some peripheral devices may not work. Because the device mapping is handled by Citrix or VMware, you must contact them for further troubleshooting.

Webex app VDI fallback mode offers short-term support for basic audio and video calls when VDI can't establish the virtual channel. Fallback mode supports standard calls and call recording. The full feature set isn't supported. Call quality is lower because of the server or network issues that cause the switch to fallback mode.

Webex VDI supports backward compatibility: the latest Webex VDI release supports the latest Webex VDI plugin as well as three previous plugin releases (N-3).

While backwards compatibility is supported, we recommend that you and your users download the latest HVD installer and VDI thin client plugins from whenever possible.

Webex app version for VDI (installed on HVD)

Compatible VDI plugin versions (installed on user thin clients)













* Indicates backward compatibility mode.

Features in Backward Compatibility Mode

When a release of Webex is working with an earlier VDI plugin, the solution is running in backward compatibility mode. In this mode, Webex for VDI supports all messaging features but only basic calling features. In this mode, Webex VDI also cannot ensure the video quality because some advanced features are still under continuous development and improvement. See the following list of supported features for backward compatibility mode:

  • Phone service registration (on-premises)

  • Phone service registration (MRA)

  • Call forwarding

  • Deskphone Control (On-premises)

  • Audio and video calls

  • Hold

  • Transfer

  • Mute/Unmute audio

  • Mute/Unmute video

  • Desktop sharing

  • Device selection

  • Device volume control

  • In-call device switching

Webex for Windows and Linux VDI supports most of the Webex for Windows features, unless otherwise noted.

Due to a mandatory update to our services, you won't be able to sign in using the following versions of Webex for Windows VDI from the following date:

  • July 31, 2021 for all versions up to (but not including)

You must uninstall the app manually in the Windows Control Panel and optionally you can clear the cache. Download the latest Webex for Windows VDI software from and run the MSI. For further assistance, contact your IT administrator.

See the following sections for each release for a list of new features specific to VDI and limitations for that specific release.

HVD version:

Thin client version:

Before this release, the Webex app for VDI released every three months. From this release onward, the release frequency will change to every two months. We will also support the latest release and the previous three releases (N-3)—see the Version Support section for more information.

This release is rebranded for the New Webex Suite. For more information, see the New Webex Suite and Branding announcement.



  • Blur and virtual backgrounds (Windows)—Blurring your background makes your surroundings appear out of focus so people can't see what's going on behind you. Or maybe you just want to make it look like you're on a beach soaking up the sun. You can replace your surroundings with one of the preset backgrounds or an image of your own.

  • Call recording—Your administrator determines how much control you have over recording your calls. Depending on your setup, your incoming and outgoing calls may be recorded automatically or you may be able to decide which calls you want to record. When a call is being recorded, that recording continues whether you move the call to another device, merge the call with another active call, or make a conference call. You're presented with a visual indicator letting you know when a call is being recorded.

  • Move a call into a meeting—When you're in a call with someone who's internal or external to your organization, you can take advantage of advanced meetings features such as transcriptions, real-time translations, notes, action items, recordings, and whiteboarding. Just move that call into a full-featured meeting. Before moving the call into a meeting, you can even invite other people into the discussion.

  • Troubleshooting just got easier—You can now access detailed diagnostic information such as memory and CPU usage, configuration information about meetings, calling, and devices, as well as call statistics. You can share that information with your administrator so they can help resolve any issues you may be experiencing.

  • Preview of shared content—When you share content, you now see a preview of the content. You're able to make sure that you’re sharing only what you want and that everyone can see it. We also enhanced the Share content screen, making it easier for you to find the content that you want to share.

  • Shared content is automatically optimized (Windows)—We’ll automatically optimize your shared content for text, image, or video. Or you can choose to optimize for text and images or motion and video. It’s all up to you.

Added VDI Support

  • 10ZiG thin client

  • Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) certification

  • 32-bit Windows 10 thin clients (Citrix and VMWare)


  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client)

  • FIPS certification (Dell ThinOS and IGEL OS)

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client)

  • Blur and virtual background (Linux thin clients)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair


Built into Webex:

  • Annotate

  • Background noise reduction (Windows thin client)

  • Standard ringback tone for calls on Webex

Webex Calling and Unified CM:

  • Standard call progress tones

Unified CM:

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Windows thin client)

  • Contact Center support (CTI-Servitude)

  • Zip Tone for Call Auto Answer

Added VDI Support

  • BroadWorks

  • Coexistence of Jabber Softphone for VDI and Webex for VDI

  • Notify users when VDI plugin is not installed or a version mismatch is detected

  • Registry Setting to Force Running in VDI Optimized Mode

  • VMWare Horizon client version 8.x (2103) is supported from the Webex VDI plugin version 41.4 onward.


  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client)

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client)

  • Blur and virtual background (Windows and Linux thin clients)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair


From this release onward, "Webex Teams" is rebranded to "Webex."

We now use the same version scheme as Webex Meetings. To avoid issues, please uninstall any previous 3.0.xxxxx.x Webex Teams Thin Client build and then install the latest 41.1.0.xxxxx Webex Thin Client build.

  • Built into Webex:

    • Call controls that are consistent with meetings

    • Music Mode (Windows thin client)

    • Progress indicator while upgrading Cisco Headset firmware

    • Test speaker and microphone

  • Webex Calling:

  • Unified CM:

    • Call Park/Retrieve

    • G.722.1 audio codec support

    • ICE support for media optimization (Windows thin client)

    • Indication in health check if MRA deployment is not available

    • Mobile and Remote Access support for Dual NIC

    • Mobile and Remote Access support for un-NATed

Added VDI Support

  • Mode Selection for Webex VDI Fallback

  • Single-session OS Support for VM Hosted Applications

  • VMware Cloud HVD Deployments

  • Virtual Channel Details in VDI Health Checker

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1


  • Annotate

  • Blur and virtual background (Windows and Linux thin clients)

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair


  • Disable HD video by default for VDI deployments—For VDI deployments, you may want to disable HD video if a computer CPU is running high or you want to save network bandwidth during a call or meeting.

  • Mirror self-video for calls and meetings—During a video call, you can choose whether to mirror your video. Your video will appear just like you're looking in a mirror. If you're sharing something with text, however, the text will be hard for others to read because it will appear backwards. You may want to disable the mirror option in that case.

  • Fallback mode—Users may be in a Citrix environment and not have the thin client installed or the virtual channel is disconnected. We support this scenario with fallback to a non-virtual Webex installation. In this mode, the app shows a warning that the quality of video may be affected. Once the virtual channel is connected, the app can change to VDI mode.

  • Mobile and Remote Access (MRA)—The Mobile and Remote Access solution (MRA) provides a consistent experience inside and outside the enterprise. MRA provides a secure connection for Webex application traffic without having to connect to the corporate network over a VPN.

  • System tray icon for VDI client—The VDI client includes a system tray icon that shows the HVD connection status.

    The user can send logs from this icon screen.

  • Intel hardware acceleration for Windows thin client

  • VMware shared session application support for Windows thin client

  • Citrix XenApp publish application mode for Windows thin client

Added VDI Support

  • Citrix Remote PC

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1

  • Windows Virtual Desktop (deployed on Microsoft Azure) for Windows thin client

  • iGelOS 11.04.100

  • Ubuntu 18.04

  • Ubuntu 20.04

  • Windows server 2019

  • Unicon eLux 6.9


  • Proximity Pair

  • On-premises or Cloud devices

  • Automatic Call Recording through Built-in-Bridge (BiB)

  • Annotate

  • Screen share with audio

  • Application Share

  • Customized virtual background images

  • Blur and virtual background (Windows and Linux thin clients)

  • Hardware acceleration (Linux)

Resolved Caveats

Table 1. Resolved Caveats

Caveat ID Number





On 32bit Windows, the 32bit ThinClient webex plugin