This stage is where you install the application into the AppStack Template we’ve created. You install all the App Volume applications into this Windows client machine, which acts like your master. Logically, this master should have no applications, so it’s plain vanilla Windows. The VM should be a part of Windows AD domain.
The following applications are required to run when the user logged off, so they should not be installed in App Volume:
- VMware Tools
- VMware Horizon View agent
- VMware Log Insight agent
- Security agents
In general, all agents should be installed directly into Horizon master image.
Let’s proceed to do our AppStack. First, ensure your Provisioning VM is ready. Go to AppStack and ensure you see the status Provisioning, as shown below.
Login to the Provisioning VM. You should see the pop up box. If not, you need to fix that first.
Proceed to install the applications. You can install multiple applications. I’ve installed Java, Flash, FireFox and Chrome. If your application requires OS reboot, you can reboot as many times as you want. It will come back to Provisioning Mode. Once you are done, click on the OK button. You will get a prompt that Windows will reboot to complete the provisioning process.
Once rebooted, login back. You will see the following message, indicating that it’s successful. Do you notice something different to my Windows after the reboot?
Yes, you are right. The applications were uninstalled. Notice the icons are gone.
They have been captured, however. Go back to the App Volumes Manager, and you will now see them.
We are now ready to assign it. Click the Assign button. As you can see from the screen below, you can assign it to a user, group or specific computer. They are given different icons by App Volumes.
Select the object you want to assign, and click the Assign button. Make sure the Windows machine has App Volumes agent. Once you assigned, the result will look like this. In this example, I assign it to a Windows machine, so any user who login will get the applications.
Once you assign, you can see the mapping. Go to Directory tab, and you will see them. In my example below, I login as obi-wan to the computer that has AppStack assigned.
With that, there is only 1 more thing to do, which is to login and see it! And voila, your desktop has the applications! I’ve opened the Control Panel. My App Volumes applications look like natively installed Windows applications. This is one key difference to ThinApp. App Volumes does not virtualise (or containerize) the application. Yes, that means you can use App Volumes to deploy ThinApp-ed package.
How does it work under the hood? App Volumes automatically & dynamically append a vmdk to the selected VM. Notice the VM has 2 hard disks. The second hard disk comes from a different datastore, as that’s where I placed the AppStack.
I used the word dynamic, as when I powered off the VM, the vmdk is removed.
You may think that 2 vmdk files will result in Windows seeing 2 hard drives. This would mean 2 different drive letters. Does it mean the applications are not installed in C:\ drive? No, as you can see below. Windows does see 2 hard drives, but the second drive is not given a drive letter. All the applications are installed on C:\ drive