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The new VMware Horizon Agent are now available

Horizon Agent for Windows 1.5.1 was released this week. This is a complete rewrite of the agent and from a ThinApp point of view a big release.

Horizon Workspace allows for central management of ThinApp packages. Horizon Workspace allows you to manage ThinApp packages entitlements, deploy ThinApp packages using both local and streaming deployment method and deploy updated packages. All from an easy to use central web console.

The new Horizon Agent have a couple new features which is greatly enhancing the ThinApp support in Horizon Workspace.

Command line support

Using the command HorizonThinAppCtrl.exe recheck forces a new sync of entitlements. This is great for getting new entitlements immediately, without having to wait for the sync interval.

Full self-service support

In older version of the agent new entitlements self-serviced (added by the user using the self-service app catalog) or added by a administrator was only synced during the sync interval. The new agent will now force a sync if you click on a ThinApp package icon in the web user portal if no entitlements are available locally. This allows for a user to self-service a ThinApp packaged application and immediately be able to use the application. Not having to wait for the sync interval.

When a user hides a ThinApp package in the web user portal the packages is now actually being unentitled on the users machine. This means the package is deleted from the machine, file type registrations and shortcuts are deleted as well. Unentitlements happens when the agent syncs the next time after the user has hidden the ThinApp package.

Updates are now handled properly when package is in use

As noted in this KB article (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2030248) previous version had an issue updating a locally deployed ThinApp package when in use. The new 1.5.1 agent fixes this. Now both streamed and locally deployed packages are successfully updated no matter if in use or not.

Been on a diet

The new agent is much more light weight than the previous one. The Horizon Agent 1.5.1 is no longer a service. The entitlement database is no more. Entitlements are now stored in a much easier to digest ini file.

Enhanced Kerberos Single-Sign In

Previous version allowed for SSO using Kerberos but you had to poke the Agent. You had to actually click the sign-in dialog box. The new agent tries to use Kerberos SSO without you having to poke it. If the agent cannot login using Kerberos it will still offer you the form based login. This simplifies using Horizon Agent in a Horizon View implementation using floating, non-persistent desktops.

Changed locations for files

New default locations for the entitlement ini file and the ThinApp packages local cache. Both locations are now individually configurable.

 

Horizon Agent 1.5.1 is fully backwards compatible and offers all these new functionality with Horizon Workspace 1.5 back-end.

Download the new Horizon Agent 1.5.1 here: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_horizon_workspace/1_5

Some more details..

Installation

The installer for the Horizon Agent supports some properties which can be changed at the command line. When installing the Horizon Workspace Agent, use the /v option to define name/value pairs for passing to the installer. For example,

VMware-Horizon-Workspace-X.X.X.xxxx.exe /v POLLINGINTERVAL=60

The supported properties are:

POLLINGINTERVAL=<n>
Set the interval with which the client polls for entitlement updates. The value is in seconds. The default is 300 (5 minutes).

DOWNLOAD=0|1
Provided for backwards compatibility only! When possible, use INSTALL_MODE described below. Possible values for DOWNLOAD are 0 (same as INSTALL_MODE=RUN_FROM_SHARE) and 1 (same as INSTALL_MODE=COPY_TO_LOCAL)

INSTALL_MODE=<mode>
Set the install mode for ThinApp packages. This corresponds to the InstallMode registry entry described in “Configuration” above. Possible values are RUN_FROM_SHARE and COPY_TO_LOCAL.

Configuration reference

Configuration for the Horizon Agent exists in the registry, either under HKEY_CURRENT_USER (for user-specific settings) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (for system-wide settings). In either case, the same registry path is used:

[HKCU or HKLM] \SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\Horizon ThinApp

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE configuration entries

EntitlementCheckPeriod
How often to check for entitlement changes, in seconds. Type: REG_DWORD. Default: 300

InstallMode
How package files should be installed: “RunFromShare”, “CopyToLocal”. Type: REG_SZ. Default: “CopyToLocal”

DesktopRefresh
When to force a Windows “shell refresh”, reassociating file extensions and refreshing shortcut icons. Normally, thinreg does this, but since we might run thinreg a lot, the client has more control over it. Possible values are 0 (refresh once per entitlement check, if changes were made), 1 (refresh once per package install/uninstall) and 2 (refresh once per file install/uninstall). Type: REG_DWORD. Default: 0

ThinregOptions
Command line arguments to thinreg. This are used for registration and unregistration (the /unregister flag is added automatically for unregistration). Type: REG_SZ. Default: “/quiet /noarp /nodesktoprefresh”. Note: /nodesktoprefresh is used by default since the client performs refreshes, see “DesktopRefresh” above

HKEY_CURRENT_USER configuration entries

InstallDbDir
Folder where the installation database should be kept. The “database” is a simple INI file called “InstallDb.ini”. Type: REG_SZ. Defaultis%LOCALAPPDATA%\VMware\Horizon ThinApp.

PackageCacheDir
Folder where ThinApp files should be saved when the installation mode to CopyToLocal. Type: REG_SZ. Default is %LOCALAPPDATA%\VMware\Horizon ThinApp\PackageCache.

Logs & Debugging

Installation problems:

Problems during installation can usually be investigated using the installer log files. To create installer log files, follow these steps:

1. cd to %TEMP% and delete all vmsetup*.log files from there (if any). These are installer log files.

2. Download Horizon Agent but do not double-click it! Instead run it from the command line with “/d /V”. For example:

VMware-Horizon-Workspace-X.X.X.xxxxx.exe /d /V

3. After installation there should be a few vmsetup*.log files created again.

Agent log files:

Log files for all agent components (client, launcher, etc) are created under %LOCALAPPDATA%\VMware\HorizonThinApp (Windows Vista or later) or %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\VMware\Horizon ThinApp (Windows XP). Any .log file in that folder is created by the ThinApp agent components; each component will create its own file.

There are seven levels of log message: TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, ERROR and FATAL. By default, debug builds are set to DEBUG and higher, while other builds are set to INFO and higher.

You can change the debug level by creating a LogLevel registry value under HKCU/SOFTWARE/VMware, Inc./HorizonThinApp. The value must be a DWORD and have a value from 0 (FATAL) to 5 (TRACE).

Control

The ThinApp agent contains a “control” application that you can use from the command line to perform one-off operations, configuration changes, and other useful stuff. The control application is called HorizonThinAppCtrl.exe and can be found in the install folder %PROGRAMFILES%\VMware, Inc.\Horizon ThinApp

To use the control application, the command to be issues should be the first argument to HorizonThinAppCtrl.exe, and subsequent arguments should be name=value pairs.

Some of the supported commands are:

HorizonThinAppCtrl.exe quit (Quit Agent)

HorizonThinAppCtrl.exe recheck (Force a new policy check)

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “The new VMware Horizon Agent are now available

  1. Pingback: The new VMware Horizon Agent are now available - VMware ThinApp - BrianMadden.com

  2. Pingback: The new VMware Horizon Agent is now available | Bring Your Own Brain

  3. Rory

    Is there any plans to bring a true streaming capability to ThinApp outside of Horizon? In which we could also provision applications and have the users stream on demand rather than deploying with an MSI or hosting on a share?

    1. Peter Bjork

      VMware Horizon Workspace is the management platform for ThinApp. What may or may not happen in the future is not something we can reveal without a NDA in place and in person.

      One thing is for sure though.. Any new cool features, this is the place to keep your eyes on for the latest news..

  4. ricdgr

    Does it support Horizon Application Manager?

    1. Peter Bjork

      Sorry it does not. Not even agent 1.5 was backwards compatible with App Manager or Horizon Workspace 1.0.

      Agent 1.5.1 supports Horizon Workspace 1.5 back-end.

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