Intuos Tablets on PCoIP Zero Clients

I never thought my first “real” post about VDI was going to be about using an Intuos tablet on a PCoIP Zero Client, but I came across this issue earlier this week and a quick Google search did not give me an answer. What follows after a bit is the answer I found.

The trouble started with a group wanting to use Intuos3 and 4 tablets on PCoIP Zero Clients, which in and of itself didn’t seem to be that big of an issue, it’s a USB device after all. Unfortunately it worked out a little bit differently.

The Zero client in initial testing gave the impression that it was passing the device to the VM as we expected, after all we’re IT people not graphic designers. When the brush moved in the application from moving the pen on the tablet, celebration took place and we thought we were good to go.

Enter the graphic designer who immediately started testing the more advanced features of the tablet, width of the brush based on angle of the pen and pressure sensitivity. As you can guess by now, our tablet did not perform as the graphic designer expected.

The problem…

The zero client detects the tablet as an HID device and then passes it along as a boring old mouse. The VM has no idea that a tablet has been connected. If you look at the attached devices on the webpage for your ThinClient you will see it listed as locally connected and an HID device, which is not what we want.

The Solution…

The solution was actually pretty simple, but took a little bit to get worked out. There is an option in the zero client firmware to control USB redirection. This is referred to as bridging within the firmware and can be controlled on a wide scale using the PCoIP Management Console profiles.

To setup bridging you need the VID and PID for the device. Add them to the profile that is associated with the zero client on the Management Console or add them directly to the firmware configuration of the zero client. The end result is that the zero client will push the device directly through to the VM and the VM will detect it as the specific hardware instead of as a generic HID device. It will be displayed as connected when the tablet is attached and passed through to the Virtual Machine.

The settings can be added into a profile on the PCoIP Management Console and then deployed to your zero clients.

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You can also configure the settings directly on the zero client using its web interface if you don’t need to deploy to a lot of devices.

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For reference:

Intuos 4 – Vendor ID: 056A  Product ID: 0XB9

Intuos 3 – Vendor ID: 056A  Product ID: 0XB1

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