5.3. Creating Desktop Images

5.3.1. Creating Virtual Machines (Oracle VM VirtualBox)
5.3.2. Creating Virtual Machines (VMware vCenter)
5.3.3. Creating Virtual Machines (Microsoft Hyper-V)

This section describes how to create the virtual machines that are to be used as desktop images.

After creating the virtual machine and installing the desktop operating system, it is best to optimize the desktop operating system for performance in a virtual machine. The guidelines in this section outline the desktop image settings that maximize desktop performance in Oracle VDI. These are not requirements, they are suggestions for better performance.

5.3.1. Creating Virtual Machines (Oracle VM VirtualBox)

Oracle VDI presents users with easy access to their virtual desktops, instances of any desktop operating system executed in a virtual machine. You can manually create virtual machines, or you can configure Oracle VDI to create or clone additional virtual machines automatically from a template.

After installing Oracle VM VirtualBox, you can create your first virtual machine. It is possible to create virtual machines on the server, or on a local installation of VirtualBox. If you choose to use a local installation of VirtualBox to create virtual machines, be sure to use the same release as the version supplied with Oracle VDI.

Steps

  1. Start Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager.

    On Oracle Solaris platforms, run the following command:

    /opt/VirtualBox/VirtualBox

    On Oracle Linux platforms, run the following command:

    /usr/bin/virtualbox
    1. Click New to launch the New Virtual Machine wizard.

    2. The wizard guides you through virtual machine creation.

      Be sure to choose the appropriate hard-disk and RAM space for the desired configuration.

      • For Windows 7 and later, a minimum of 1024 MB RAM and 5723 MB hard disk are recommended.

      • For Windows XP, a minimum of 384 MB RAM and 4 GB hard disk are recommended.

      For more information about virtual machine system requirements, refer to the Oracle VM VirtualBox documentation

  2. Install the operating system.

    At this point you have an empty virtual machine, equivalent to a PC without an OS installed. The next step is to choose the boot medium for the OS and install it.

    1. Select the newly created virtual machine and click Settings.

    2. Open the Advanced tab in the Settings GUI.

    3. Ensure that CD/DVD-ROM is set as the first boot device.

    4. Select the CD/DVD-ROM option in the left panel of the Settings dialog.

    5. Select the Mount CD/DVD Drive option.

    6. Click OK to save the changes and close the Settings GUI.

      At this point the new virtual machine must be started to trigger the OS installation.

    7. Select the new virtual machine and click Start.

    8. Follow the installation prompts, or seek further installation details from the OS manufacturer.

  3. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions.

    The VirtualBox Guest Additions consist of device drivers and system applications that optimize the operating system for better performance and usability. The Guest Additions can be installed with or without support for additional features.

    To install the Guest Additions with support for automated logons for Windows desktops (VRDP connections only), the Guest Additions must be installed from the command line with the /with_autologon option.

    To install the Guest Additions with support for Windows media redirection for Windows 7 desktops (VRDP connections only), the Guest Additions must be installed from the command line with the /with_vboxmmr option.

    • Install Guest Additions without any additional features:

      1. With the virtual machine running and fully booted, select Devices in the virtual machine console.

      2. Select Install Guest Additions. This launches the Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions installer inside the virtual machine.

        If an Autorun notification is displayed, choose Run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe.

    • Install Guest Additions with support for additional features:

      1. In the virtual machine console, load the Guest Additions by selecting Devices, CD/DVD Devices, then VBoxGuestAdditions.iso.

      2. With the virtual machine running and fully booted, go to the Windows Run console.

        • (Windows XP) In the Start menu, choose Run.

        • (Windows 7) Search for 'run' in the Start search bar, and select it from the search results.

        • (Windows 8) Right-click in the bottom area of the Start screen, then click All Apps. Under Windows System, click Run.

      3. Type the following and click OK to launch the Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions installer inside the virtual machine.

        D:\VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe /with_autologon /with_vboxmmr
  4. Install additional software, and optimize the desktop image.

    For more information, see:

5.3.2. Creating Virtual Machines (VMware vCenter)

You can manually create virtual machines, or you can configure Oracle VDI to create or clone additional virtual machines automatically from a template.

For more detailed information about creating virtual machines, creating templates, custom specifications, and installing the VMware Tools, see the VMware Documentation.

Steps

  1. Create a virtual machine with Microsoft Windows.

    Use your standard process for creating virtual machines.

    Follow these recommendations:

    • Use Microsoft Windows XP SP3 as the baseline. The license must be a volume license.

    • Define one disk. It should be as small as possible. The size impacts system performance and overall storage consumption. RAM also should be as small as possible.

      • For Windows 7 and later, a minimum of 1024 MB RAM and 5723 MB hard disk are recommended.

      • For Windows XP, a minimum of 384 MB RAM and 4 GB hard disk are recommended.

    • A single CPU should be enough.

    • One network interface is needed. It should be configured for DHCP. Ensure that the virtual machine obtains a valid IP after powering on.

  2. Install the VMware Tools.

    Once you have created a virtual machine with Microsoft Windows installed on it, install the VMware Tools. VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine's guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine. Installing VMware Tools in the guest operating system is vital.

    From the VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC), right-click the virtual machine and choose Install VMware Tools.

  3. Enable remote desktop access.

    RDP is the main access method to the Microsoft Windows XP desktop. By default, this access method is disabled and rejected through the firewall. To enable remote desktop access, launch VMware's Virtual Infrastructure Client, with your virtual machine still powered on and logged in, then follow these steps:

    1. Open a console for the virtual machine, and click the virtual machine's Start button.

    2. Right-click on My Computer in the start menu, and select Properties.

    3. In the System Properties window, select the Remote tab.

    4. Under Remote Desktop, select the box marked Enable Remote Desktop on This Computer.

    5. Make sure that the desired users have been granted remote access rights.

      Before you try to connect to a virtual desktop remotely, ensure that no firewall blocks the remote access. Make sure that port 3389 is enabled in any firewall that may be active on the system.

  4. Install the Oracle VDI Tools. Oracle VDI has a tools component that notifies the Oracle VDI service when a desktop is in use and handles RDP connections when the guest OS initiates standby. The Oracle VDI Tools must be installed on the guest operating system for recycling to work correctly and so that the RDP connection is correctly closed when the virtual machine goes into standby or suspend mode. There are two versions of the Oracle VDI Tools: vda-tools-x86.msi for 32-bit platforms and vda-tools-x64.msi for 64-bit platforms.

    1. Locate the correct installer file in the directory where you unzipped Oracle VDI archive.

      The vda-tools-x86.msi and vda-tools-x64.msi are located in the ./image/vda_Oracle-VDI-release>/Windows/Packages/ subdirectory. Copy the installer to the desired virtual machine.

    2. Within the virtual machine's console, double-click the installer and follow the prompts to complete installation.

      The default target location for the Oracle VDI Tools on Windows is C:\Program Files\Oracle\Virtual Desktop Access\Tools.

    3. The VM Services list should now contain a new service named Oracle VDI Tools, running and set to start automatically.

  5. Install additional software, and optimize the desktop image.

    For more information, see:

  6. Convert a virtual machine into a template.

    You can clone additional virtual machines manually, or Oracle VDI clone them automatically from a template. Any existing virtual machine can be converted into a template.

    1. Open the Virtual Infrastructure Client.

    2. Right-click the desired virtual machine and power down the machine.

    3. From the commands area or the pop-up menu, click Convert to Template.

  7. Create a Customization Specification.

    It is necessary to customize the identity and network settings of Windows desktop after a clone has been created from a template. This can be achieved using a Customization Specification.

    1. Open the Virtual Infrastructure Client.

    2. Click Edit from the menu above the tool bar and select Customization Specifications.

    3. Click the New icon in the Customization Specification Manager to start the wizard.

    4. On the first wizard step, choose Windows as the target virtual machine OS, and give the specification a name and description.

    5. The following steps ask the standard Windows installation questions and should be completed to correspond with your requirements, with the exception of the following.

      • Computer Name: Make sure that the Use the Virtual Machine Name item is selected. If not, you may end up with duplicate host names.

      • Windows License: Enter your Windows serial number. The Include Server License Information item should be left unchecked.

      • Networking: Make sure the interface is configured for DHCP. If not, your cloned virtual machines cannot have unique IP addresses and will not work with Oracle VDI.

    6. After completing the wizard and saving your customization specification, close the Customization Specification Manager.

5.3.3. Creating Virtual Machines (Microsoft Hyper-V)

You can manually create virtual machines, or you can configure Oracle VDI to create or clone additional virtual machines automatically from a template.

Steps

  1. Create a virtual machine with Microsoft Windows.

    Use your standard process for creating virtual machines. For information on how to create a virtual machine in Microsoft Hyper-V, see Hyper-V Getting Started Guide.

    Follow these recommendations:

    • The license must be a volume license.

    • Define one disk. It should be as small as possible. The size impacts system performance and overall storage consumption. RAM also should be as small as possible.

      1. For Windows 7 and later, a minimum of 1024 MB RAM and 5723 MB hard disk are recommended.

      2. For Windows XP, a minimum of 384 MB RAM and 4 GB hard disk are recommended.

  2. Install the Microsoft Hyper-V Integration Components.

    Once you have created a virtual machine with Microsoft Windows XP installed on it, install the Hyper-V Integration Components. The Integration Components allow Microsoft Hyper-V and Oracle VDI to interoperate with the virtual machine. Installing the Integration Components in the guest operating system is vital.

    In the Hyper-V Management Console, connect to the virtual machine from the console and select the Insert Integration Services Setup Disk option from the Action menu.

  3. Enable remote desktop access.

    RDP is the access method to the Microsoft Windows desktop. By default, this access method is disabled and rejected through the firewall. To enable remote desktop access, connect to the virtual machine from the Hyper-V Management Console and follow these steps:

    1. In the console, click the virtual machine's Start button.

    2. Right-click on My Computer in the start menu, and select Properties.

    3. In the System Properties window, select the Remote tab.

    4. Under Remote Desktop, check the box marked Enable Remote Desktop on this computer so that this item is selected.

    5. Make sure that the desired users have been granted remote access rights.

    6. Click OK to save the settings and close the dialog.

      Before you try to connect to a virtual desktop remotely, ensure that no firewall blocks the remote access:

      Make sure that port 3389 is enabled in any firewall that may be active on the system.

  4. Install the Oracle VDI Tools. Oracle VDI has a tools component that notifies the Oracle VDI service when a desktop is in use and handles RDP connections when the guest OS initiates Standby. The Oracle VDI Tools must be installed on the guest operating system for recycling to work correctly and so that the RDP connection is correctly closed when the virtual machine goes into Standby or Suspend mode.

    1. Locate the installer file, vda-tools-x86.msi for 32bit platforms or vda-tools-x64.msi for 64bit platforms, in the directory where you unzipped the Oracle VDI archive.

      The installer is located in the vda_Oracle-VDI-release>/Windows/Packages subdirectory. Copy the installer to the desired VM.

    2. Within the VM's console double-click the installer and follow the prompts to complete installation.

      The default target location for the Oracle VDI Tools on Windows is C:\Program Files\Oracle\Virtual Desktop Access\Tools.

    3. The VM services list should now contain a new service named Oracle VDI Tools, running and set to start automatically.

  5. Install additional software, and optimize the desktop image.

    For more information, see: