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VD image: pre-install applications
I'd like to pre-install applications during the process of creating a VMware Virtual Desktop image and recomposing Virtual Desktops using that image.
An image has not been joined to to a domain yet,  so I think this stage is to early to deploy applications. During the process of recomposing, the VD becomes a member of the domain and will be provided with a hostname.

What is the best practice?

Kind regards, Paul Kieboom
Hi Paul,

There are 2 workable approaches:

1) Create a 'VDI Golden Images' taskset and assign install actions to Computer Startup
Create a taskset under 'Global Actions' and define a VDI-based scope (based on OU, computer name, …).
Next you create taskset actions and refer to the apps that should be installed in 'Computer Startup Actions'. For example, install Adobe Reader, Office etc whenever a VDI Golden Image starts. Even if you start the machine multiple times, only new applications will be installed.
Keep in mind: application installs assigned to 'All computers are already handled, as VDI machines are also part of all computers Wink

2) Create an application with a deploy-feature
This is the more 'manual' action, which gives more control.
Chreate a generic application and in logon actions create a shortcut (Scense Classic), For example 'VDI App Deploy.lnk', location: '%DESKTOP%\Deployment Helpers'. Scope domain admins or a deployment user...
Next in the Application Start actions create a taskset action with a reference to the install actions for the applications to be installed.

I personally would opt for #2, as it gives more control and also could be used to have multiple deployment scenario's. You could even have deployment helpers that offers an admin quick access to setting up a large group of devices. Login as 'deployment user', click the desired configuration (eg: finance, production, …) and the automatic reboot/shutdown at the end ensures the system is ready for use as soon as the install is done.
Hi Michael,

Thank you for your reply,

I'm a little familiar with the first approach for computers that have allready been joined to the domain.

But does this approach also works for a Golden Image at the moment this image hasn't been joined to the domain yet? We are using linked clones in stead of full clones.
As far as I know this is how linked clones work (correct me if I'm wrong please…):
- Create a Golden Image with some basic applications (no hostname, no join to the domain yet).
- Deploying a VD to users by Sysrep or Quickrep using the Golden Image providing the VD with a hostname and a join to the domain (recompose).

I want to deploy these VD's with pre-installed applications, without the need for users to wait untill Scense has finished all these installations.

Hi Paul,

All depends on the way the system is built, as you stated you use non-domain joined golden images. For VMWare View this is not a requirement. The golden image can be a domain joined system, just put it in a OU with GPO blocking enabled to prevent the annoying lockdown gpo's. Citrix is a bit more picky on this subject, so it would require some testing how it works out (but should work as well...)

The second option works even with your approach. This as the user initiates the install, and the membership in the domain is not required.
However this would be a 'unmanaged client' configuration, with it's own problems like being able to access the installscripts share, permissions to install the software or apply settings on the system.

But even without domain you would be able to identify the golden image (it does have a specific computer name, a local adminuser is logged in, …). You could use this to trigger the installs. Small difference: this would be USER LOGIN actions, not computer startup triggers. An unmanaged system does not have computer startup events. Computer startup actually is the startup of the OSD service, which might be/is not available on unmanaged systems.

Good luck,
Michael Baars
Thanks again for your reply Michael,

I'm not a VMware specialist, but the option of joining the Golden Image to the domain is an option I want to investigate and discuss with my colleagues.
I'm aware of the possibility of using unmanaged Scense Clients, but for this purpose I prefer the use of the Scense Ondemand Service to carry out system related tasks like installing applications. Also the Computer Logon Script can be used to trigger these actions.

Kind regards,
A little bit late, but these are the steps we have been carried out:

- Make a Pre-Install taskset with all the Ondemand Service tasks you want: install applications, settings, etc.
- Join the VMware Golden Image to the domain
- Restart the machine (required)
- No need for logon
- The Scense Ondemand Service will start because of the restart and will perform the Pre-Install tasks
- Use "Computer Information" within a Scense Explorer and check the progress of all the Pre-Install tasks
- Remove the VMware Golden Image from the domain
- Restart (required) and shutdown
- Finally take a snapshot of this Virtual Machine

Now you can recompose the Virtual Desktops for your users to this snapshot of the Golden Image.

Kind regards,

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