Horizon View App Publishing & Custom Icons - Xtravirt

The Problem…

So, here’s the problem – you’re presenting applications in Horizon View and instead of using a generic icon you want to use your own unique application icons. For example, you’ve got an application that runs from a batch script, or a web application that you want to launch using Internet Explorer via RDS (perhaps some legacy intranet application). If you deploy the application in View using an Application pool, there’s no obvious way of pulling in a custom icon. You end up with a generic icon – for example, for a web application using Internet Explorer, you get the icon for Internet Explorer as per below (Let’s say a MS Certificate Services portal in our example).
Generic Internet Explorer Icon


Functionally, when you set up a pool, Horizon View pulls in the icon image from the application executable described in the Application Pool configuration.

So how, I hear you cry, can we put a custom icon onto the application? Having tried pointing the Application Pool to a link file in Windows with little success, I came up with this. I’m not saying it’s the only method, but it works quite well.

The fix…

Firstly, using our example scenario from above let’s create a batch file to launch the application
create a batch file to launch the application

For our example, this will launch Internet Explorer and point it at our web site URL. It could equally be a batch script with a custom configuration for application X.

Next, we need to use a tool to compile an executable from the batch file (a bat to exe conversion). I used this one (http://www.f2ko.de/en/b2e.php) as it allows you to inject an icon in the form of an ICO file as well as run the application silently. The icon file is up to you, but you can convert images to icons using this conversion tool: http://converticon.com/ ). I chose a particularly timely example, as I’m writing this at Halloween.
Convert Bat to Icon File

This will provide us with our executable version of the batch file. Put this executable in a location with appropriate file permissions to allow a user to read/execute the binary.

Now publish the application in Horizon View as an application pool, as required.
Publish the application in Horizon View as an application pool

And, through the joys of modern technology, we now have our application with the correct icon. Oh, the horror!
Oh the Horror

In our case, as the executable is set to run hidden, the user simply sees the Internet Explorer browser with our website.

So, although a bit of a bind, at least we have a way around this minor aesthetic issue with RDS published applications in VMware Horizon View.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Xtravirt can assist with deploying a VMware Horizon solution, please contact us and we’d be happy to use our wealth of knowledge and experience to assist you


Date Published:
Date Modified: 19th March 2019
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Curtis Brown joined the Xtravirt consulting team in October 2012. His specialist areas include End User Compute solutions and Virtual Infrastructure design and implementation with particular strength in VDI, storage integration, backup and Disaster Recovery design/implementation. He was awarded VMware vExpert 2018.