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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Server 2012 Hyper-v and thin clients in Technical; I have recently ventured in to the world of virtualization, and need a bit of advice. I have installed an ...
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    Server 2012 Hyper-v and thin clients

    I have recently ventured in to the world of virtualization, and need a bit of advice.

    I have installed an configured Hyper-v on server 2012 in a test environment, converted a current pc to vhd and connected to hyper-v.

    My next task is to get our fat clients working as thin clients for connection. Ideally what i want is a simple OS to completely replace windows, something that boots quickly and simply gives a login box for connection to the hyper-v image, RDP for example.

    Does anyone have any idea if this exists, or is possible, i have seen lots of posts about various thin client software, but nothing really seams to be as simple as I want.

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    We use thinKiosk, though it doesn't replace your current windows install, just replaces the explorer shell. It is controllable by group policy though, basically the computers auto login to a local non admin account, and ThinKiosk launches an RDP connection to the virtual computers, and relaunches it if it gets closed.

    The advantage of staying with a windows as the base image? You can install stuff more easily locally and still get it to the virtual machines, e.g printers.
    Last edited by Achandler; 22nd May 2013 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Typos

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    I have taken a look at Thinkiosk, but forgive the question, when it loads it asks for the url to citrix web interface, how do i find the url for hyper-v

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    Fair point, turn off the citrix web URL.

    Then make it auto-launch an RDP file on login, if your using a VDI pool (which you are) then you need to tick a checkbox for that as well. Once it all works, then you can replace the explorer shell with thinkiosk.

    You can also do all this by GPO, we have a GPO that copies the RDP file locally and does all the setup for ThinKiosk except replacing the explorer shell.

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    how do you turn off the citrix web url

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    I think when you enable the process launcher to launch an RDP file instead, it gets rid of the citrix URL, i'll install thinkiosk now on my computer and check.

    Yep when I point the process launcher to my RDP file, the URL box disappears (on an older version you had to stop it manually).

    So install ThinkKiosk, open the Offline Configuration Tool (its on the start menu) and then add your RDP file to the process launcher to start with, remember to tick the Enable Microsoft RDS mode first, as you are using a VDI server, or the RDP file will relaunch continuously.
    Last edited by Achandler; 22nd May 2013 at 03:48 PM.

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    We use a simple set up on our site to convert fat client to thin client, user can then connect to VDI or Remote Desktop server and login (most of this is done in GPO for the client) and a directory on your network with the config files in.

    If your interested I can post details on how this achieved (its not too complicated)

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by DellOughta View Post
    If your interested I can post details on how this achieved (its not too complicated)

    Mike
    I would be interested. Thanks

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    That would be fantastic

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    Three parts to converting a fat client to thin and connect to a Remote Desktop/Terminal Server or VDI
    1) Setup Folder and Files
    2) Set auto logon for workstation
    3) Create GPO to make it all work

    In this example it’s for connecting to VDI (just create an rdp file that suits your environment)

    Obviously I have tried to remove any user account details domain names etc but you should be able to get the gist of what’s required by following this guide.

    Setup Folder and Files

    Ok you’ll need a folder to locate 3 files so that they can be accessed by the auto logon user, we use: \\domain.name\netlogon\backgrounds\
    The above was created historically before my time, but it can be anywhere

    The contents of this folder are 3 files (I’ll keep the names as they are in our environment but you can them what you want):
    VDI-111.htm
    VDI-111.rdp
    VDI-111.jpg

    Contents of: VDI-111.htm
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________





    VDI1.jpg
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________


    Contents of: VDI-111.jpg
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    This is a simple JPEG that is presented as a wallpaper

    VDI2.jpg



    Create an RDP file
    This is the rdp file (its accessed when a user click on the jpg), in this example it connects to our virtual desktop pool for room 111

    Tip: If your using VDI you can get all this information to put in your .rpd file from your connection broker in the server in the registry
    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\T erminal Server\CentralPublishedResources\Published Farms\

    VDI3.jpg

    Just copy the contents of the above line REG_SZ RDPFileContents to a .txt file and rename as a .rdp
    This can be customised further, it’s up to you.
    Contents of: VDI-111.rdp
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    redirectprinters:i:1
    redirectcomports:i:0
    redirectsmartcards:i:0
    devicestoredirect:s:*
    drivestoredirect:s:
    redirectdrives:i:1
    session bpp:i:32
    prompt for credentials on client:i:1
    server port:i:3389
    allow font smoothing:i:1
    promptcredentialonce:i:1
    gatewayusagemethod:i:2
    gatewaycredentialssource:i:0
    use multimon:i:1
    username:s:domain.name\
    full address:s:.domain.name
    gatewayprofileusagemethod:i:1
    videoplaybackmode:i:1
    audiocapturemode:i:1
    gatewayhostname:s:.domain.name
    workspace id:s:.domain.name
    use redirection server name:i:1
    loadbalanceinfo:s:tsv://VMResource.1.W7-111-v1-1
    screen mode id:i:2
    desktopwidth:i:800
    desktopheight:i:600
    winposstr:s:0,3,0,0,800,600
    compression:i:1
    keyboardhook:i:2
    connection type:i:2
    displayconnectionbar:i:0
    disable wallpaper:i:1
    allow desktop composition:i:0
    disable full window drag:i:1
    disable menu anims:i:1
    disable themes:i:0
    disable cursor setting:i:0
    bitmapcachepersistenable:i:1
    audiomode:i:0
    redirectclipboard:i:0
    redirectposdevices:i:0
    redirectdirectx:i:1
    autoreconnection enabled:i:1
    authentication level:i:2
    prompt for credentials:i:0
    negotiate security layer:i:1
    remoteapplicationmode:i:0
    alternate shell:s:
    shell working directory:s:
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________


    VDI4.jpg

    The only things I have change in this screen shot is the server name and domain name domain.name everything else is as it.

    Test: within windows explorer open up the VDI-111.htm and double click the rdp icon, you receive the loon box and be connected to the server/VDI


    Set auto logon for workstation
    The next stage is to set up a user account make it auto login
    This can be applied by group policy or script or manually these are the settings and where they need to go (insert you user account and password and domain name)
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
    "DefaultUserName"="UserAccount"
    "ForceAutoLogon"="1"
    "DefaultPassword"="PASSWORD"
    "DefaultDomainName"="domain.name"
    "AutoAdminLogon"="1"
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________

    Test: reboot your machines and make sure they autologon

    Create GPO to make it all work
    The final stage is to set up group Policy
    1) Create and OU (in this example VDI_TEST)and put your workstations that you want to be thin clients in it, and create a group and the machines into it
    2) Open GP Manager and create a GPO and assign to the group and to the OU

    VDI5.jpg
    3) Add the following entry to
    User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Custom User Interface

    "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -k \\domain.name\netlogon\backgrounds\VDI-111.htm

    VDI6.jpg

    Test: reboot your machines and make sure they receive the desktop, test double clicking on the icon and the user should be presented with the login box.

    VDI7.jpg

    Hope the above is easy enough to understand, msg me and I'll talk you through it if needed

    Mike
    Last edited by DellOughta; 6th June 2013 at 02:06 PM.

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    This is great, but is there anyway to do this so that you wouldnt need a base copy of windows installed on the terminal?
    Do you know of any way that the computer could boot into, e.g. linux or ubuntu based OS?

    so the computer could be turned on, boot up, and all you see would be a window to log on to the server.

    Ive been looking into thinstation, but have know idea on how to set it up.

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    Hi Mike

    Excellent post. Thank you.

    I will try it out tomorrow.
    Last edited by x_faz; 11th June 2013 at 08:41 PM.

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