Initial Configuration Using NoAD Mode

Initial Configuration Using NoAD Mode

Introduction and Prerequisites for Using NoAD Mode

NoAD mode is a way to configure User Environment Manager without requiring Active Directory. For example, you can use NoAD mode if your environment has limited Active Directory access, and administrators are not permitted to set GPOs.

NoAD mode is always recommended for cloud-based implementations. For more information, see Benefits of VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure & VMware User Environment Manager.

Another use case is when you are working with a proof-of-concept environment. You can implement User Environment Manager in NoAD mode quickly because there is no need to change a GPO, configure logon and logoff scripts, or wait for Active Directory replication.

Using NoAD mode is a two-part process:

  1. You configure User Environment Manager by creating an XML-based configuration file. This file contains all the same settings that you would otherwise configure using GPO settings. VMware provides an example file for this purpose. You can copy the file to the correct location on the configuration share and edit the file with a text editor to specify the settings you want to use.
  2. You install the User Environment Manager agent in NoAD mode on the virtual desktops or RDSH servers to be managed. This process involves using a command-line command that tells the agent the path to the XML-based NoAD configuration file. The agent can then read this configuration file to determine which User Environment Manager settings to apply.

Prerequisites

In the examples for the following exercises, we use a virtual desktop VM that is part of a VMware Horizon 7 setup, though this is not required. If you are using a Horizon 7 environment, you will need to have access to a desktop or RDSH server VM, and you will need VMware Horizon® Client™ for logging in to the VM after you install the User Environment Manager agent.

Before you begin the exercises in this chapter, you must complete the Installation exercises.

Create the User Environment Manager NoAD Configuration File

VMware provides a sample XML configuration file to simplify using NoAD mode. You can either copy this file from the User Environment Manager installation package you downloaded, or copy contents of the file from a topic in the product documentation. At a minimum, you must edit only a few required settings in the sample file.

With the NoAD mode configuration file in the correct location on the configuration share, you can install the User Environment Manager agent on managed endpoints. As part of this agent installation, you specify the path to the NoAD configuration file you create in this exercise.

Prerequisites for Creating the NoAD Configuration File

Before you begin this exercise, you must have completed all the Installation exercises, and you must know the paths to the User Environment Manager configuration share and the profile archives share.

1. Create a NoAD Folder on the Configuration Share

  1. Navigate to the \\<configuration-share>\general\FlexRepository\ folder on the configuration share.
  2. Create a new folder called NoAD.

The path to the folder must be \\<configuration-share>\general\FlexRepository\NoAD\ . For the example used in this exercise, the path is \\file\UEM_Config\general\FlexRepository\NoAD\

2. Create a NoAD.xml File in the NoAD Folder on the Configuration Share

You have two options for creating the NoAD.xml file:

  • You can copy and rename the NoAD Sample.xml file, located inside the NoAD Mode folder, from the installation package. If necessary, you can download this package from the VMware Download page.
  • You can manually create an empty text file inside the NoAD folder on the configuration share, rename the file NoAD.xml, and copy and paste the contents from the Sample NoAD.xml topic.

3. Edit the NoAD.xml File to Specify Configuration Settings

The only required settings you must edit are:

  • Path to the profile archives share (ProfileArchivePath) – Replace the text filesrv\UemUsers$ with the name of the file server and share folder you created as part of the exercise Create and Configure the Profiles Share.

The %username%\Archives portion of the path allows a unique subfolder to be created for each user. The personal user settings are read from this share at login or at application start and are written back at application exit or at logout.

  • Path to the log file (LogFileName) – Replace the text filesrv\UemUsers$ with the name of the file server and share folder you created as part of the exercise Create and Configure the Profiles Share.

For the example in this exercise, the settings are:

	ProfileArchivePath="\\File\UEM_Profiles\%username%\Archives"
	LogFileName="\\File\UEM_Profiles\%username%\Logs\FlexEngine.log"

4. Set the Logging Level to Debug

  1. In the line LogLevel="1" change the 1 to 0, which changes the level of logging from Info to Debug.

    For a complete list of the various logging levels and their corresponding settings, see Configuring FlexEngine Logging Settings.
  2. Save and close the NoAD.xml file.

Important: Setting the log level to Debug should only be used for evaluation or troubleshooting purposes. For production implementations of User Environment Manager, consider enabling debug logging for individual users as described in the VMware KB article Enabling debug logging for a single user in VMware User Environment Manager (2113514).

Note: This exercise demonstrates using only a few of the many possible configuration settings. For information about all of the other settings, see Configuring User Environment Manager with NoAD Mode, and see the VMware KB article Configuring advanced UEM settings in NoAD mode (2148324).

Install the User Environment Manager Agent in NoAD Mode

Rather than running the interactive VMware User Environment Manager Setup wizard, as you did in Install the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine) on the Desktop or RDSH Server, for NoAD mode, you run the installer using a command-line command. You also specify command-line options that provide the path to the XML-based NoAD configuration file you created in Create the User Environment Manager NoAD Configuration File.

Prerequisites for Installing the Agent in NoAD Mode

The prerequisites for installing FlexEngine in NoAD mode are the same as for installing the agent without using NoAD mode.

To perform this exercise, you need the following:

  • User account – When you log in to the OS to run the installer, the account you use must have administrative privileges.
  • Installer – If necessary, you can download the installer from the Product Evaluation Center or  the VMware Downloads page. The installer is an architecture-specific (x86 or x64) MSI file.
  • Windows OS – The machine must be running a supported Windows version. See Software Requirements.

Note: For the purposes of this exercise, you can install the agent on a physical or a virtual machine that you want to manage. For details about how to create a VM used for virtual desktops for RDSH hosts in a VMware Horizon 7 setup, see Preparing Virtual Machines for Desktop Pools, part of the Reviewer’s Guide for View in Horizon 7 series.

  • License – The installation wizard prompts for the path to a valid license file unless VMware Horizon Agent is already installed in the VM. (User Environment Manager is included with Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition.) See Licensing Requirements.
  • Windows Registry – The Windows Registry on the VM must be accessible to User Environment Manager so that new entries can be written. See Registry Access Requirements.
  • Internet access – The installation process includes a certificate revocation check to verify the digital signature of the MSI file. This check requires Internet access.

In addition, you must know the path to the NoAD.xml configuration file you created in the exercise Create the User Environment Manager NoAD Configuration File.

Important: The VM you use for this exercise must not already have FlexEngine installed. If you plan to use the same VM that you used in the earlier exercise Install the User Environment Manager Agent (FlexEngine) on the Desktop or RDSH Server, you first must uninstall the agent before you re-install the agent in NoAD mode.

1. Place the Installer in a Suitable Location

For this example, we downloaded the installer to a template VM hosted on an ESXi server. To connect to this VM, called Win10-template_JMP, you would select the VM in the inventory list and select Launch Remote Console.

If you are performing this exercise in your own lab, you can download and extract the User Environment Manager installer file, and copy the file to the system where it will run or to a location accessible to the system.

2. Open a Command Prompt in Administrative Mode

Log in to the virtual desktop or RDSH server VM, right-click the cmd application and select Run as administrator.

3. Enter the Command to Install the Agent

  1. Change directories to the directory where the msiexec.exe file is located.
  2. Enter the command to run the file. The syntax of the command is:
msiexec.exe /i "<installer-file>" /qn /l* InstallUEM.log NOADCONFIGFILEPATH=\\<config-share>\General

In this example,

  • <installer-file> is the path to the agent installer located on a file share, and because there are spaces in the installer file name, the path is enclosed in quotation marks:

"\\file\software\infra\UEM\VMware User Environment Manager 9.3 x64.msi"

  • <config-share>\General is the path to the configuration share:

\\file\UEM_Config\General

The NoAD.xml file you created in Create the User Environment Manager NoAD Configuration File resides in the subfolder FlexRepository\NoAD\ inside the General folder.

Important: In this example, the LICENSEFILE command-line option is not included because the VMware Horizon Agent is already installed in the VM. (User Environment Manager is included with Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition.) If the Horizon Agent is not already installed in your VM, be sure to add the LICENSEFILE command-line option to specify the path to your license file. The syntax is:

LICENSEFILE="\\<file-server>\<share>\VMware UEM.lic"

In this example, <\\file-server>\<share> is the file share where the license file is located. You can place this command-line option after the /qn option. You can copy the complete syntax of the command from Install User Environment Manager in NoAD Mode.

4. Verify Installation

  1. Navigate to the Programs and Features control panel.
  2. Verify the VMware User Environment Manager agent was successfully installed.

If you plan to use this VM as a master, or template, VM for creating a desktop pool or RDSH server farm, you can shut the VM down and take a VM snapshot.

5. Log in to the VM Where the Agent Is Installed

To verify that User Environment Manager is working correctly in NoAD mode, you must log in to the machine so that profile-specific files can be created on the file share.

If you are using a Horizon 7 virtual desktop, use Horizon Client to log in to the desktop pool that contains the VM with NoAD enabled.

If you are using an RDSH server, you must create an application or desktop pool and use Horizon Client to launch an application or session-based desktop.

6. Verify That User-Specific Profile Archives Are Created

  1. Navigate to the profile archives share and verify that a user-specific folder has been created.
  2. Verify that inside this folder, the Archives and Logs folders have been created.

7. Examine the Logs

  1. After login is complete, open the FlexEngine.log file in the Logs folder, and verify that you see the line Running from service (NoAD).

    For the example in this exercise, the path to this folder is \\<file-share>\UEM_Profiles\<username>\Archives\Logs.
  2. Also look for DEBUG lines, which verify that the agent is running using the Debug level of logging, which you set when running the installer.

The following NoAD video provides a detailed demonstration of the steps outlined in this exercise. If you need additional detail, you can find it here. If you already completed the NoAD Mode configuration, feel free to skip the video. This video is 4 minutes.