vSphere Web Client – session timeout and navigator animation

While working using vSphere 5.5 Web Client, the session logs you out after a specific time period, in other words, the session timed out and you need to re-login back. This is good from a specific perspective so for users this is good to have but for admins this is surely a irritation. So thought will share quick steps to set a timeout value.
Two ways to prevent the web client session timeout either for specific time period or forever:
1) Un-comment (enable, by default disabled) session.timeout = ??? (To set a value in minutes e.g. 60, 120, OR To set the client to never time out, specify a negative value e.g. -6, 0)
# Session timeout in minutes, default 120
session.timeout = 120
2) Un-comment (enable, by default disabled) refresh.rate = ??? (set a value in seconds e.g. 600 etc.)
# This value configures the refresh rate of the client, in seconds.By default, auto-refresh is disabled.  Enabling it can severely alter the scale characteristics of the client.
# If auto-refresh is enabled, it will prevent the session from automatically logging out.
#refresh.rate = 600
Steps to enable or modify the session timeout value:
1) Login (RDP) to your vCenter Server as administrator and navigate to the below path:  (Windows 2008/2012)
C:\ProgramData\VMware\vSphere Web Client
OR
Start > Run > Type : %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\vSphere Web Client and hit enter
wc1
2) Open (Open with…) the webclient.properties using wordpad or notepad. You may see the below line a hash (#).
wc2
In case not, then simply add the following line to the file: 
session.timeout = value
where value is the timeout value in minutes.
For example, to set the timeout value to 60 minutes, add the line: 
session.timeout = 60
NOTE: By default, you may see the ‘#’ (hash) exists before the start of the line ‘session.timeout = 120). As per KB 2040626 “Note: If the line already exists, verify that the line does not contain a hash (#).” Therefore, ensure the # is deleted and set a value based on your requirement. Either keep the default i.e. 120 or any other value or simple enter 0 (zero) to set the web client to never time out.
3) Restart the VMware vSphere Web Client service.
 
On a side note, just wanted to share that initially you may get confused with vCenter Server timeout settings. This timeout setting is related to any operations and tasks performed by vCenter Server, either initiated by admin or system. Default value for Normal operations is 30 minutes and Long operations is 120 minutes. Below are the screen captures for your reference:
wc3 wc4
 
Other settings/features that you can enable/modify for web client:
Disable sliding animation of the navigator pane:
Navigator pane has an animation feature when enabled will let you change inventory views horizontally instead of browsing through the hierarchy. By default, this feature is disabled in 5.5. Basically with a single click you can view the following views:  History > Home > vCenter 
wc11wc7  wc8
 
When Navigator animation is disabled: (default in 5.5)
# Disable sliding animation of the navigator pane.
#navigator.disableAnimation = true
wc10
 
When Navigator animation is enabled:
# Disable sliding animation of the navigator pane.
navigator.disableAnimation = false
wc9
Just to note, you may get confused with the following views. These are default behavior (unpin/pin) and cannot be modified from web client properties file. Below are the screen captures for your reference:
wc6
 Usability : Use the vSphere Web Client Navigator – documentation center 
Show faceted UI:
# Show faceted UI
#feature.facetedSearch.enabled = true
Smart-card authentication support:
#Enable this setting for smart-card authentication support. An example of an SPN value is: host/{sso-fqdn}
#sspi.spn = value
#Enable this setting to prevent all methods but smart card authentication
#smartcard.only = true
 References:
Configure the vSphere Web Client Timeout Value – documentation center
Increasing the vSphere Web Client session timeout period (2040626)
My top 5 favorite enhancements to the new vSphere Web Client 5.5 – virtuallyGhetto
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About cloudray

Predominantly based around Virtualization, but will include other technology related information and anything else I find interesting and feel the need to share with you. I also use this Blog as both a place to store useful information that I think that will come in handy to me at some point in the future, and also a place to help aid my learning. I find a great way to learn about something is to research about it and then write it up in my own words. I'm Pushpal Ray, from India. As a certified VCP3/4/5 professional, I am currently working as an Independent Consultant. Over 10 years of IT-industry experience, currently focused around the Desktop Virtualization(End-User Computing). I also have extensive experience in Windows Administration, Datacenter Migration, Workload profiling & benchmarking. At my leisure, I enjoy hiking, running, photography, spend hours in my fav coffee shop & spend quality time with my wife. Occasionally, catch up with few friends for a drink!
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