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Webcam support made easy with Nutanix Frame and Stratodesk NoTouch OS

The Nutanix Frame team has invested valuable cycles on developing their Frame App for Linux. In the latest release,  Nutanix has added some great new features including USB and Webcam support for tools like Zoom, Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams and other unified communication applications that rely on the redirection of USB devices including webcams & USB headsets etc. 

Stratodesk was the first company worldwide to achieve the Nutanix Frame Ready status. You can read more about this in the following press release. 

When using DaaS or VDI solutions like Citrix or VMware Horizon and you want to use tools such as Zoom or Cisco Webex Teams it requires the installation of a local plugin that matches the version that is installed on the virtual desktop. 

Stratodesk makes this plug-in deployment easy with the use of the Extension Module feature, but nevertheless extra steps and attention to details are required to make these tools work in VDI and DaaS.  If there’s a version mismatch between the two, then this can cause the virtual channel to break, and the solution may not work correctly.

In contrast, with Frame the installation of a local plugin to support webcam isn’t needed, it just world delivering great user experience in LAN and WAN scenarios. 

It is the new Frame Remoting Protocol version 8 (FRP 8), which at this point of writing is in Early Access which delivers this support. Webcam support with FRP8  creates a media stream using standard web APIs and adds them to the WebRTC connection. The WebRTC transport takes care of delivering it to the server. The server similarly uses a WebRTC API to receive the stream and injects into the Frame DirectShow driver that presents itself as a ‘Frame Virtual Camera’ to the system.

From an endpoint management perspective, this is a much simpler process than those used by Citrix, VMware and others and is unlikely to result in plugin and version mismatch errors caused by using different plugin or VDI client versions. 

Once connected to your virtual desktop you do need to turn on access to your webcam & headset which is part of the Nutanix terminal toolbar as shown in the image below. 

What does this look like in a unified communications tool like Zoom? So unlike with say Citrix or VMware Horizon where you might see the device name, this is in fact represented as a Nutanix Frame Virtual Cam as shown below.

The same applies to USB audio devices. 

You can often use built-in tools to verify that your USB devices work correctly. We carried out similar tests using Microsoft Teams and were provided with a great user experience. 

We recorded a short video showing how well the Frame App handles webcam redirection in Zoom. 

Frame App version 6.10.0 for Linux also brings support for generic USB redirection and is proven to work with USB devices like the 3D Space Mouse, Wacom Tablets, Yubikey, Bloomberg keyboards and other similar devices. 

Stratodesk NoTouch OS now supports Frame App version 6.10.0 and is now available in our EEs images.

Additional Reading

Nutanix and Stratodesk Enabling Hybrid Work

Cutting Costs and Boosting Security: Stratodesk NoTouch Desktop and Nutanix Frame

How to Import Stratodesk Virtual Appliance into Nutanix AHV

DEMO – Nutanix Xi Frame on Stratodesk NoTouch OS

Webcam support made easy with Nutanix Frame and Stratodesk NoTouch OS

The Nutanix Frame team has invested valuable cycles on developing their Frame App for Linux. In the latest release,  Nutanix has added some great new features including USB and Webcam support for tools like Zoom, Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams and other unified communication applications that rely on the redirection of USB devices including webcams & USB headsets etc. 

Stratodesk was the first company worldwide to achieve the Nutanix Frame Ready status. You can read more about this in the following press release. 

When using DaaS or VDI solutions like Citrix or VMware Horizon and you want to use tools such as Zoom or Cisco Webex Teams it requires the installation of a local plugin that matches the version that is installed on the virtual desktop. 

Stratodesk makes this plug-in deployment easy with the use of the Extension Module feature, but nevertheless extra steps and attention to details are required to make these tools work in VDI and DaaS.  If there’s a version mismatch between the two, then this can cause the virtual channel to break, and the solution may not work correctly.

In contrast, with Frame the installation of a local plugin to support webcam isn’t needed, it just world delivering great user experience in LAN and WAN scenarios. 

It is the new Frame Remoting Protocol version 8 (FRP 8), which at this point of writing is in Early Access which delivers this support. Webcam support with FRP8  creates a media stream using standard web APIs and adds them to the WebRTC connection. The WebRTC transport takes care of delivering it to the server. The server similarly uses a WebRTC API to receive the stream and injects into the Frame DirectShow driver that presents itself as a ‘Frame Virtual Camera’ to the system.

From an endpoint management perspective, this is a much simpler process than those used by Citrix, VMware and others and is unlikely to result in plugin and version mismatch errors caused by using different plugin or VDI client versions. 

Once connected to your virtual desktop you do need to turn on access to your webcam & headset which is part of the Nutanix terminal toolbar as shown in the image below. 

What does this look like in a unified communications tool like Zoom? So unlike with say Citrix or VMware Horizon where you might see the device name, this is in fact represented as a Nutanix Frame Virtual Cam as shown below.

The same applies to USB audio devices. 

You can often use built-in tools to verify that your USB devices work correctly. We carried out similar tests using Microsoft Teams and were provided with a great user experience. 

We recorded a short video showing how well the Frame App handles webcam redirection in Zoom. 

Frame App version 6.10.0 for Linux also brings support for generic USB redirection and is proven to work with USB devices like the 3D Space Mouse, Wacom Tablets, Yubikey, Bloomberg keyboards and other similar devices. 

Stratodesk NoTouch OS now supports Frame App version 6.10.0 and is now available in our EEs images.

Additional Reading

Nutanix and Stratodesk Enabling Hybrid Work

Cutting Costs and Boosting Security: Stratodesk NoTouch Desktop and Nutanix Frame

How to Import Stratodesk Virtual Appliance into Nutanix AHV

DEMO – Nutanix Xi Frame on Stratodesk NoTouch OS

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