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Monthly Archives: May 2009

VMware View – Client Information Variables

Among the many cool things you can do with View 3.1 is the ability to pass information about the client into the VM. You can now pass the client name, IP address and MAC into the VM. A big thank you to Todd D for all the heavy lifting with this post!

This information is sent to the View agent running in the VM and is stored in the registry.

HKCU\Volatile Environment
ViewClient_MachineName:
TC01
ViewClient_IP_Address:
10.10.10.1
ViewClient_MAC_Address:
0a:0a:0a:0a:0a:0a

This information can be gathered every time you log in. So if a user changes location you can see that change in the variables. This can be run with the CommandsToRunOnConnect once the VDM_AGENT.ADM template has been configured in your AD and have assigned the polices for CommandToRunOnConnect and/or CommandToRunOnReconnectoption.

Here is an example of how it can be used. Values on the guest VM should be as follows:

HKLM\Software\Policies\VMware, Inc.\Vmware VDM\Agent\Configuration\CommandsToRunOnConnect
Command1=“wscript.exe  c:\reconnectscript.vbs”

HKLM\Software\Policies\VMware, Inc.\VMware VDM\Agent\Configuration\CommandsToRunOnReconnect
Command1=“wscript.exe  c:\reconnectscript.vbs”

Then write the script to look something like the following. The below will pop the information up in a small window:

————————————————-
Begin Script
————————————————-
Const HKEY_CURRENT_USER  = &H80000001

Set wmiLocator=CreateObject("WbemScripting.SWbemLocator")
Set wmiNameSpace = wmiLocator.ConnectServer(".", "root\default")
Set objRegistry = wmiNameSpace.Get("StdRegProv")

sPath = "Volatile Environment"

lRC = objRegistry.GetStringValue(HKEY_CURRENT_USER, sPath, "ViewClient_Machine_Name", vMachine)
lRC = objRegistry.GetStringValue(HKEY_CURRENT_USER, sPath, "ViewClient_IP_Address", vIP)
lRC = objRegistry.GetStringValue(HKEY_CURRENT_USER, sPath, "ViewClient_MAC_Address", vMAC)

msgbox "The Remote Device Name is " & vMachine & " @ " & vIP & " (" & vMAC & ") "

————————————————-
End Script
————————————————-

The idea is that now I can pass that information to applications that could map things like printers to an actual location that the user in coming in from. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy.

VMware View 3.1 Available Now

VMware View 3.1 Download

Release Notes

View Manager 3.1 includes the following enhancements:

  • Performance Improvements – Login times are significantly improved and server utilization is reduced.
  • Automated LDAP Data and View Composer Database Backup – You can now configure automated backup of LDAP data and View Composer databases in View Administrator, enabling disaster recovery.
  • Client Information – Information about the client device that the end user is connecting from is now provided for the desktop session as registry settings. This enables customers to use third party tools or create custom scripts to map local printers to devices. The information available includes the device name, IP address, and MAC address.
  • Improved Logging – Debug logs are now enabled by default. Logging has been improved to provide more informational messages with minimal performance impact.
  • Edit Desktop Wizard Navigation – Improved wizard navigation enables you to quickly modify existing desktop pools.
  • USB Improvements – View 3.1 offers more reliable and broader device support with reduced bandwidth consumption. A separate TCP/IP stream is used.
  • Multimedia Redirection (MMR) for Windows Vista – MMR is now supported in Windows Vista environments. MMR technology delivers the multimedia stream directly to the client using an RDP virtual channel instead of decoding and rendering it with RDP. This enables full fidelity playback in View Client.
  • Adobe Flash Bandwidth Reduction – The Adobe Flash bandwidth reduction feature improves end-user productivity when browsing Adobe Flash content.
  • Multi-Protocol Support – View Client can now use HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS) as the display protocol when connecting to HP Blade PCs, HP Workstations, and HP Blade Workstations. The connection is brokered by View Manager. HP RGS is a display protocol from HP that allows a user to access the desktop of a remote computer over a standard network. VMware View 3.1 supports HP RGS Version 5.2.5. VMware does not bundle or license HP RGS with View 3.1. Please contact HP to license a copy of HP RGS software version 5.2.5 to use with View 3.1. This release does not support HP RGS connections to virtual machines.

GINA chaining with View

There are several reasons why you might need several GINA's using View. Problem is it's not well documented on how to actually chain them together and make it work. So here is a quick post on how to do that.

Verify the View GINA is the Winlogon GINA.

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\WinlogonGinaDLL:
"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Agent\bin\wsgina.dll"

Note* You will need to create the VdmGinaChainDll string value as it does not exist. Under the following regkey create vdmGinaChainDLL and place the secondary GINA dll name in it.

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\VdmGinaChainDLL:
yourotherGINA.dll

Sometimes the chaining GINA will still call the MSGINA afterwards. Here is an example.

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Novell or Sentillion or whatever\I put my GINA here key\SomethinglikeLoadGinaDLL = msgina

Now you may ignore the no longer used key: HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\WSGINA

There you go, you are now GINA chaining, enjoy. Thank you to Andrew and his customer for the heavy lifting on this one!

Novell and View

Running Novell eDirectory with view is problematic and not supported. However here is how you do it if you feel so inclined. I would like to thank a very good customer of mine, Carl Hooker for helping me solve this riddle in his environment.

There are many customers that currently use Novell’s eDirectory to access their shared drives or other useful features. Unfortunately,  VMWare View Manager only works with Active Directory.  However, with a couple of quick settings, and a mirroring of credentials in Identity Manager, you can log into the Virtual desktop with a single sign-in.  Here are the steps on the actual Agent VM:

Install NW client(currently 4.91 SP5)
- Select Custom installation, click NEXT
- “Novell Distributed Print Services" should be UNCHECKED, click NEXT
- NMAS and NICI should be the only things CHECKED, Net Identity Agent should be UNCHECKED
- On next page, The only things that should be selected are:
- "REMOVE IPX if present" should be CHECKED and put a dot next to "IP ONLY"… then click NEXT
- On next page, "NDS" should have a dot next to it, click NEXT
- Click FINISH

Then,

Install VMWare Agent with the Typical Install (options to turn off Virtual Printing on install)
- Then open up the registry editor
- Go to Run –> Regedit
HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Novell\Login and create the following String Values:
“TSCLientAutoAdminLogon”=”1”
“DefaultLocationProfile”=”Default”

That’s it!   Now, assuming you have the eDirectory users mirrored in the AD, their credentials will work for either or and you’ll be able to log into the VDI.

Note:  Don’t forget to manage the remote users group on the VM to include the group or groups you have mirrored in AD, otherwise you will be blocked when trying to access the VM remotely.

So there you go. One thing to keep in mind, if this does not work please don't bother to call VMware tech support on this. They will probably politely hang up on you. Instead post here and we will work on it together and see if we can get it resolved.