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Author: Stefan Dingemanse

Windows Virtual Desktop Spring 2020 service update [Coming soon]

I decided to write a blog post about the upcoming updates for Windows Virtual Desktop. The last few months a lot has been said and shown by Microsoft regarding new features and updates to the WVD platform.

For this information I am relying on what’s publicly available, what I have seen in screenshots and presentations and what Microsoft MVP’s posted on social media.

IGEL OS now supports Windows Virtual Desktop

I am a big fan of Windows Virtual Desktop, there are pro’s and con’s about this Platform-as-a-Service solution hosted by Microsoft but during one of the WVD Proof of Concept implementations I found out that there was no support yet for Thin Clients running on Linux out of the box. With WVD you cannot simple publish an RDP shortcut to the gateway farm, you need some more integrations to make this working.

In a blog from November 2019, Brad Anderson announced they were working on supporting Linux and Microsoft has chosen IGEL to be their hardware partner. The support for WVD has been developed with the use of the Microsoft RD Core Software Development Kit (SDK) preview.

On the 28th of January during the IGEL Disrupt 2020 event in Nashville IGEL announced the General Availability (GA) of the first Linux client for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop.

As you can see in the video on the right the connection experience for users is Single Sign On, an user needs to provide his/her credentials one time and the resources will be presented. After the user clicks on their resource the connecting will be made!

Part 1: Installing IGEL OS 11 on a VM

In this part I will explain how to install and configure the IGEL OS on a Virtual Machine. The next part about configuring the WVD support on IGEL OS will be online soon.

For testing and demo purposes I wanted to install the new IGEL OS 11 version on a Hyper-V Virtual Machine. For this test setup I used Hyper-V running on Windows 10.

You can download the latest version of the IGEL OS with support for Windows Virtual Desktop from https://www.igel.com/software-downloads/software-downloads-wvd. The ZIP file contains the ISO and all the stuff you need to prepare and create an USB stick to install the OS on a supported Thin Client.

Create a new VM with the minimum specification. My test VM has 4 GB of memory, 2 CPU’s and 16 GB of storage. Mount the ISO (located in the ‘preparestick’ folder) and start the Virtual Machine.

Select your language for the installer and click Next

Accept the End User License Agreement by clicking I agree

To start the installation of IGEL OS 11.03.252 click Install firmware

The installer will now install the IGEL OS

Once the installation has finished you can unmount the ISO file and reboot the VM.

IGEL Setup Assistant

Now it’s time to configure the newly installed OS. After a reboot the device will automatic login and start the setup wizard. Via this wizard you can configure the default settings and acquire and IGEL Demo License.

Select the correct language for the user interface. Default is English, click next to proceed.

Select your Keyboard Layout and click next

Choose the correct timezone and click Next

Make sure the correct time and date is set and click Next to proceed.

Since I don’t have any Management Suite or Cloud Gateway running for this test I have selected the option to register for a demo license.

Read the complete EULA ? and click on I agree.

You will now be redirected to a landing page to acquire an evaluation license for IGEL OS 11.

After you have completed the form the license will be automatically fetched for your device.

For this test you can skip the Cloud Gateway Agent Setup since we don’t have any, click Skip and let’s finish the configuration.

Okay, now we need one reboot to finish the installation, make sure you unmount the ISO and click Restart. The VM should now reboot and the IGEL OS will start.

That’s it! You now have a Virtual IGEL Thin client running and you are now ready to be surprised by the power and the options of the IGEL OS with Windows Virtual Desktop support!

In my next post I will explain how to configure the WVD Session configuration and explain the different options.

Windows Virtual Desktop LAB on Hyper-V (on-premises)

First let me explain what the new hype is all about. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop is an Azure-powered service that lets users access a multi-session Windows 10 experience from anywhere. The service comes with Office 365 ProPlus integration for enterprise customers, as well as support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services. The idea is that businesses can easily deploy and scale their Windows desktops and apps quickly and easily through the power of Azure.

Enabling built-in App-V client in Windows Server 2016

Microsoft has integrated their application virtualization technology named Microsoft App-V within Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. In this post I will explain how to enable the integrated client and how to use it.

To demonstrate the built-in App-V client in Windows Server 2016 I will use a clean installed Virtual Machines running on VMware Workstation 12 Pro.

With the following powershell command you will get the Windows version.

(Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption

Windows version

The binaries

Without enabling the App-v Client in Server 2016 there are already files for App-V present on the system. These binaries are located in “C:\Windows\System32”

App-V files

Also the Microsoft App-V Client Services is by default installed. The service is disabled by default, you cannot start this services without enabling App-V.

App-V service

App-V Powershell commands

The following App-V Powershell commands are available:

App-V commands

There is one new command: Enable-Appv
We will use this command to Enable the App-V client on this Server 2016 OS.

Enable App-V

After enabling App-V you can use the App-V powershell commands like you always do.

You can show the configuration in powershell with the following command:

Get-AppvClientConfiguration

Get-AppVClientconfiguration

Publish App-V package

To demonstrate the function of the App-V client I will publish an App-V package on Server 2016.

For publishing an App-V package you first need to add it to the client, after adding it you can publish it. Here an oneliner to accomplish this.

Add-AppvClientPackage "%AppVShare%\7-Zip_16.04\7-Zip_16.04.appv" | Publish-AppvClientPackage

Import App-V package 7-Zip

After publishing the application you can use it like any other application. In this case I can start 7-Zip manager via menu start.

7-zip App-V

During the publishing of the application the App-V client will create a cache of the files needed to run the App-V package. Default these cached files are located in “C:\ProgramData\AppV”

App-V cache

Updating vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to Update 2

In this post I will go through the proces of updating your VCSA 6.0.0 with update 2.

For all the new Features and Release notes see VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 Release Notes

In my environment I have the VCSA Appliance running with embedded Platform Services Controller [PSC]. If you deployed an external PSC separately from vCenter then this post will still work for you! The upgrade procedure is the exact same on both the vCenter and PSC just upgrade the PSC first before vCenter.