Archive for the ‘View’ Category

Tip: How to optimize the Adobe Acrobat Reader for Terminal Server / VDI use

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Hi Folks,

do you get performance issues if using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Terminal Server / VDI?

Here are some tweaks to improve it.. ūüôā

First of all you should be aware that the Adobe Acrobat Reader works with User based settings, this is very important to know because you need to make sure that all configurations “must” be applied to the User hive in the Windows Registry. This can be done thru a Windows Login Script to apply the registry settings and so on but never forget to do it!

You also can provide the User a settings guide, but this mostly is not usable if you are working with a bunch of users and not only a small group.

So where to start? First of all you should install the Adobe Acrobat Reader you want to use, all settings provided in this guide are pure Acrobat Reader Settings so it can be used with VMWare View, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop or whatever.

Now you should start the Acrobat Reader with you administration account and open any PDF document… Try how it looks and feel during you work with the pdf file, if it not run smooth or it feels very laggy open the menu Edit->Preferences and browse to the Page Display settings. Configure the settings like shown below:

AdobeReader1

The screenshot is from Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 11, if you are using an older Version you will also have an Option “2D Graphic Acceleration”. This setting should be also disabled, disable also the “Auto Update” Feature in the Updater configuration.

Now close the Acrobat Reader and open it again and try the same test as done before, the result should be much better now.

I’ve also prepared a small registry file that contains already the needed modifications (without the disabled updates), you can download the .reg file from here: Download

Please note: The registry file is configured to be used with the Acrobat Reader 11, if used with an other Acrobat Reader Version¬†open the .reg file with notepad and replace “11.0” with your Version like “10.0” and so on.

Have fun!

Michael

Info: Will Microsoft’s licensing change boost VDI installations?

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Hi Folks,

some important change has been done by Microsoft to the volume Licensing, this can boost the VDI business in the future…

What was done exactly:

peruserlic

 

What does it mean? Microsoft changes the Licensing for Desktop OS’s from per Device to Per Device and Per User for Enterprise customers and allows also a installation at the same time on any device incl. Tablets. This can be a big driver for Enterprises to roll out or validate Desktop VDI Installation in the upcoming months now, it makes VDI licening much more simpler and flexible for Enterprise customers. It also includes Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise incl. Windows 7 and 8, so it’s not only limited to devices running Windows 8.1 Enterprise and this point could be important too.

For VDI also important is the Remote Access Right and here the Per User option comes with “Any device” access, the device licensing only offer support for “noncorporate” devices. Means the User licensing supports now also corporate owned Linux based Thin Clients or IOS/Android based devices.

One big step in the right direction from Microsoft, really nice! You can also read the full article here: VL Licensing Windows 8.1

Cheers

Michael

Tip: Configure hidden VMWare View settings that are not available in the IGEL Linux Setup incl. registry

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Hello Folks,

you want configure a few more settings for the VMWare View client like mentioned in the following links:
Setting Frames for Real-Time Audio-Video
VMWare View Client Release Notes

…and maybe other Sources.

A couple of these settings are currently not available in the Setup/Registry provided with the IGEL Setup / UMS Profile, but how can you apply it if you need it?

Quite simple, open the IGEL Setup or the UMS Profile and browse to System->Firmware Customization -> Custom Commands -> Desktop Commands.

In the “Custom Command Desktop Final” add the following lines, this sample is for Real-Time Audio-Video Frames configuration.

echo ‘rtav.srcWCamFrameWidth=”320″‘>>/etc/vmware/config
echo ‘rtav.srcWCamFrameHeight=”240″‘>>/etc/vmware/config

Repeat this for all settings you want to deploy, the text between the ‘….’ is the parameter, the configuration will be added to the /etc/vmware/config file after a reboot. If you finished the configuration apply the settings and reboot the device. The settings should be applied now. ūüôā

Attention: If you change something else via a profile or the IGEL Setup you must reboot the device to take over the configuration!

Maybe IGEL will include these configuration’s in later Firmware releases but until now (Firmware 5.04.100 / 4.13.180) they are not.

Cheers

Michael

P.S.: All configuration’s are done at your own risk!

Tip: How to avoid Adobe Flash in Terminal Server/VDI environments with the IGEL LX/OS

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Hi Folks,

maybe you also agree that Adobe Flash content is one of the biggest crap that can be used in a Terminal Server/VDI environment. For example youtube or similar site’s mostly waste expensive Server CPU resources only for watching a “funny” video..

flashtaskbar
Yeah… One User with one HD Flash Movie use 41% of ¬†Server CPU resources!

HTML5 is still not a big deal for most site’s, so how can you handle it?

1) Ban it… Block unwanted traffic with a firewall or proxy. This is highly efficient but will upset the user base and maybe you need it (schools/education), so mostly this option is no deal.

2) Buy more Server.. More or less efficient and very expensive (Hardware, licensing, setup and cooling). No deal!

3) Use solutions like Citrix HDX Flash Redirection… More or less efficient, hard to setup and not 100% compatible, it could be a option but it’s not a real solution.

4) Ban it from the servers… I just setup this for a PoC and it seams to be the most efficient way which is also acceptable for most users. So how is the setup?

a) You need IGEL Linux based devices (LX or OS) based on the x86 architecture to do this.

b) Setup a local Firefox browser session and deploy any Version of the Adobe Flash Player for Linux to it (Browser Plugins in the IGEL Setup).

c) Assign a Hotkey to the Firefox Browser Session like ALT+CTRL+i.

d) Setup a IIS/Webserver on any System that is not already running a IIS/Webserver

e) On the Terminal Server/VDI (i recommend to use the golden Image) site open the hosts file which is located in the Windows/System32/drivers/etc folder and edit it. Now add any Website you want to outsource, point it to the “new” Webserver. Example:

192.168.1.150 youtube.com
192.168.1.150 youtube.de
192.168.1.150 anyotheruselessflashsite.com

Do not perform this for any Website which is used for “business” uploads/work! Don’t use a DNS Server to apply the configuration, this might also point the Thin Clients to a “wrong” site… Of course you can also add Webradio Website’s, browser based games or what ever you don’t want to see¬†in a Webbrowser on the server backend. But at all.. It’s not a security solution at all, it’s to save resources only!

f) Create a small HTML Website with a short Text like “This site can not be used on a Server/VDI! Please press ALT+CTRL+i to open the local Browser and use ALT+CTRL+TAB to switch between the Browser/Session.” or similar. Make it simple and easy to understand… Now set this HTML Page as default and 404 error page for the new Webserver (d).

g) Let the user test it… If the User enter www.youtube.com the “new” Website will open and point the user how to work with the local Browser.. For the User it looks “very” embedded into the session, not 100% but it will be good enough to watch movies for most of them.

I know this solution is also not a 100% one and it can be bypassed if the User is using the IP. ūüėČ ..but it’s not a security solution, the User can watch Movies and you have minimized the wasted CPU resource on your backend. It’s easy to control, high compatible and everyone is happy. From my point it’s currently the best way to handle Flash until it will be fully replaced by HTML5 or any other “better” working solution. The performance depends on the User device, a UD5 will better perform than a UD2 but still: A slow client is better than a slow server for most company environments.

Also some more¬†benefit’s.. You can seperate client traffic from your server traffic quite simple, the customer where i suggest this mentioned that they have 10GB or more “flash” streaming traffic (only youtube) per day in the server infrastructure with a little bit more than 300 user’s. You can use it with any Terminal Server/VDI solution but please note: If using VMWare View, Microsoft RemoteFX, Citrix XenDesktop x.x / XenApp 7.5 or any other solution that support real USB redirection don’t setup USB Redirection for Human Interface Devices (HID) because in this case the Mouse and Keyboard can not be used outside the Session (…and with the local Browser).

You can also add other description’s to the created “manual” website, for example for Android press the home button and open the local Browser or similar.

If you have suggestions to improve this solution feel free to give me a mail or add a comment.

Cheers

Michael

Tip: Fixing Keyboard Layout Issues with VMWare Horizon View Client 2.0 for Linux and Mac OS X

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Hello Folks,

it looks that the current VMWare Horizon View Client for Linux and Mac OS X have an issue with Keyboard mappings, for example you are using Scandinavien or Swiss Layouts on the PC / Thin Client and in the VM the Keyboard Layout changes to English(US). It also looks that it doesn’t matter what Keyboard Layout’s are available in the VM, so as sample also a pure German VM without any US Settings/Layout available(!) switch to English(US).

This behavior is also only related to the current Horizon View Client (IGEL Firmware = 4.12.100), older Clients from VMWare are working fine in my known cases (IGEL Firmware < 4.12.100) incl. the current Client for Mac OS X which shows the same "wrong" behavior like the current Linux Client (old OS X Clients are working fine too). A Workaround to fix this issue is the following registry tweak for the VM's which can be applied thru a Group Policy or set in the local RegEdit if needed. Open the Registry and browse to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout Create a new Registry Setting: Value name: IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout Data type: REG_DWORD Value data: 1 Apply the setting/policy to the affected VM's only, the issue should be fixed now and the language settings in the VM will be used for the session. As said and in general, the issue can happen but it don't have to be... Only use it if required, i will not provide any warranty at all and you do this on your own risk. Cheers Michael P.S.: This will also fix issues with other Windows based Remote Sessions like RDP, ICA or whatever if you run in a similar issue. Please note: After done this setting the local client keyboard layout will always be ignored.

Using IGEL Linux based Thin Clients with VMWare Horizon View 5.2

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Hello Folks,

today i’ve tested the IGEL Linux together with VMWare’s Horizon View 5.2.

One new Feature coming with Horizon View 5.2 is the Horizon View HTML Access based connection (aka VMWare Blast).
To use this feature you need to install an add-on component to your View Connection Server and also an extra Agent to the VM. In my Demo Setup i’ve used a Windows 8 based Desktop running on a VMWare Server to have PCOIP (thru Software) available, i’ve also installed the VMWare Tools, VMWare View Agent and the new Horizon View 5.2 Remote Experience Agent (HTML/VMWare Blast). For my tests i’ve used a trial license but it should not make any difference regarding the results.

On my Client Side i got a nice Message that the Firefox Version coming with my IGEL Firmware 4.11.100 is not supported for HTML Access. I ignored this message ūüôā and the result looks like¬† this…

fusion1

So it worked fine with the current IGEL Linux Version 4.11.100 but do not aspect a high multimedia performance at all, this is not related to the IGEL Linux! I’ve tested it also with my I7 Laptop and also here the results for multimedia content are not the best too, this is a similar result like for Web based Clients from other vendors.

 

For my next test i’ve used the native VMWare Client coming with the 4.11.100 Firmware, this is the Version 1.6.0 but Horizon View 5.2 comes with a new client version 1.7.0. I’ve not noticed any disadvantage¬†related to this¬†but it could be that some new features are not working or maybe some issues are fixed with the 1.7 Version from VMWare. I hope that IGEL has included the new 1.7.0 Client in the upcoming 4.12.100 Firmwares.

fusion3

 

After i’ve configured the IGEL Client thru the¬†local setup i was able to start a connection without any issues, also i was able to connect thru PCOIP to my Windows 8 based virtual Horizon View 5.2 desktop.

fusion2

The multimedia results are looking much better compared to the VMWare Blast (HTML Access) connection but this was what i assumed when starting the test. I was also able to connect my USB devices to the VM and for me it worked without any issue; of course i did not test it 24/7 or all possible device types.

In general it looks that VMWare Horizon View 5.2 works good together with the IGEL Linux based Thin Clients, maybe the results will be better with the new Client 1.7.0 but here IGEL has to deliver it thru a Firmware update.

Cheers
Michael

 

Update: I got the confirmation that the upcoming 4.12.100 will also contain the new VMWare Client for Horizon View. The firmware should be available in the upcoming weeks.

Tip: Configure USB HID device redirection with IGEL Universal Desktop LX/OS and VMWare View (PCOIP)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Hello,

sometimes a user want to redirect a Human Interface (keyboard, dictation device or similar) via PCOIP USB redirection, if you configure this only in the VMWare View USB redirection configuration it will not work!

On top of the USB redirection you need also to enable two settings in registry, open the IGEL Setup or the UMS Profile and browse to vmware.view.usb and enable here allowhid and allowlasthid.

After this is done¬†apply the configuration and fully restart the VMWare View session, now it should work but note: The USB HID devices can’t be used locally¬†at the Client or in other sessions¬†as long the VMware View session¬†using/redirecting the¬†HID device¬†is running. Try to use only¬†the needed¬†Product and Vendor ID to enable/configure the USB¬†redirection and not the class rule, so only “required” HID devices are redirected.

No written guarantee, you need to test it before rolling out the configuration! It might happen that the device is not supported for redirection by the software running in the session incl. the VMWare View software in general.

Cheers
Michael

Configuring VMWare View Display settings

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

If you want to setup the monitor configuration for VMWare View sessions, you need to configure this thru the RDP Global configuration in the IGEL Setup or UMS Profile. It’s not really clear and i noticed this today in a workshop, so a good reason to post it here.

Cheers
Michael