5.3. About Templates and Revisions

5.3.1. Available Actions for Templates
5.3.2. Available Actions for Revisions

Desktops that are designed to be used as master copies from which clones can be propagated are called templates. A template consists of a guest operating system profile, a hardware profile, and one or more virtual hard disks. The use of templates makes it easier to perform and control administrative tasks such as filling a pool with available desktops and propagating updates to them. For more about desktops, refer to Section 5.2, “About Desktops” .

Each platform has slightly different requirements for selecting and managing templates. Oracle VDI offers template management for Oracle VM VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V desktop pools. VMware Infrastructure, however, has its own template management conventions, so for this purpose, Oracle VDI offers access to the list of available templates in VMware vCenter.

For Oracle VM VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V desktop pools, Oracle VDI also offers template revisions. Template revisions facilitate the proliferation of software updates and other changes to pools of cloned desktops. Oracle VDI saves a revision history of your templates. You can use template revisions to add software applications, to correct errors, and to provide fresh instances of a given desktop. You can also test revisions before cloning on a large scale and revert to earlier revisions if needed.

Note

It is always a good idea to perform virus scanning on templates and/or storage rather than on individual virtual desktops, whose performance can be adversely affected by local scanning, which can consume both CPU and memory resources.

When a template is upgraded and declared as the new master revision, Oracle VDI deletes and replaces desktops that are not assigned to a user and those desktops that are in an idle state (see Section 5.4.2, “Desktop States” with a new version based on the new master template.

However, desktops that are in use at the time are not affected by the template revision mechanism until the user logs out. When the user logs out, the desktop reverts to an idle state. At that point, the desktop is deleted and replaced with a new version.

Figure 5.1. Templates and Revisions

Diagram showing templates and revisions, and desktops in pools created from the designated master.

5.3.1. Available Actions for Templates

There are a number of available actions for templates and revisions.

Action

Details

Location in Oracle VDI Manager

vda Subcommand

Desktop Provider

Import Template

Imports a virtual machine into Oracle VDI, and creates a first revision. The revision can be used for cloning in any pool that uses the same desktop provider.

Template Tab → Import Template (button)

pool-vb-import

pool-vb-import-unmanaged

pool-vc-import

pool-hv-import

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Open Console

Opens a new window to access the template directly from the browser.

Template Tab → Open Console (button)

 
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

Create Revision

Saves the current state of the template as a new revision.

Template Tab → Create Revision (button)

revision-create

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Rename

Renames the template or revision.

Template Tab → Rename (in Menu)

template-setprops

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Copy Template to Desktop

Copies the template to a usable desktop. Formerly called "Convert to Desktop".

Template Tab → Copy to Desktop (in Menu)

template-desktop

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Export Template

Exports the selected template to disk, consisting of an XML file for the properties of the virtual machine and a .vdi file for the content of the template's hard drive. The exported desktop can then be stored and used outside Oracle VDI.

Template Tab → Export (in Menu)

template-export

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

Start Template

Starts the desktop in order to apply changes to the template.

Template Tab → Start (in Menu)

template-start

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Restart Template

Restarts the template on the same host. Equivalent to pressing the reset button on your PC and can cause data loss if files are open.

Template Tab → Restart (in Menu)

template-restart

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Shut Down Template

Sends an ACPI shutdown signal to the template.

Template Tab → Shut Down (in Menu)

template-stop

(without '-p' option)

 

Power Off Template

Immediately powers-off the template and unregisters it from the virtualization host.

Template Tab → Power Off (in Menu)

template-stop -p

(with '-p' option)

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Mount or Unmount ISO

Mounts or unmounts an ISO image on the virtual machine.

Template Tab → Mount ISO Image, or Unmount ISO Image (in Menu)

template-mount-iso

template-unmount-iso

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Apply for Cloning

If automatic cloning is selected as a pool setting, any fresh desktops for the pool will be cloned from the template that has been applied for cloning.

Template Tab → Apply for Cloning in Pool (in Menu)

pool-setprops

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Revert Template

Reverts the template to the most recent revision.

Template Tab → Revert (in Menu)

template-revert

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Delete Template

Delete the template and all the corresponding revisions of the template.

Template Tab → Delete (in Menu)

template-delete

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

5.3.2. Available Actions for Revisions

Action

Details

Location in Oracle VDI Manager

vda Subcommand

Virtualization Platform

Make Revision Master

Marks the revision for cloning in pools that have selected the template for cloning.

Template Tab → Make Master (button)

revision-setprops

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Rename Revision

Renames the revision.

Template Tab → Rename (in Menu)

revision-setprops

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Copy Revision to Template

Creates a new template based on this revision. Use this action to create an independent branch of any existing revision.

Template Tab → Copy to Template (in Menu)

template-create

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Copy Revision to Desktop

Creates a new independent desktop in the same pool.

Template Tab → Copy to Desktop (in Menu)

revision-desktop

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Clone Revision

Creates a desktop based on the selected revision in the same pool.

Template Tab → Clone Desktop (in Menu)

revision-clone

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Export Revision

Exports the selected revision to disk, consisting of an XML file for the properties of the virtual machine and a .vdi file for the content of the desktop's hard drive. The exported desktop can then be stored and used outside Oracle VDI.

Template Tab → Export (in Menu)

revision-export

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

Apply System Preparation to Revision

Internally a clone is created and started to call the Windows Sysprep command. After that a new snapshot is taken that will be used for cloning the desktops in the pools.

Template Tab → System Preparation (in Menu)

revision-sysprep

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Apply for Cloning

Selects a pool that should use a specific revision for cloning. Otherwise the master revision will be used.

Template Tab → Apply for Cloning (in Menu)

pool-setprops

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V

Delete Revision

For Oracle VDI and Hyper-V the iSCSI disk is deleted from the storage. For VMware you have the option to keep the virtual machine available on vCenter. All references to the revision are removed from the Oracle VDI database.

Template Tab → Delete (in Menu)

revision-delete

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Hyper-V