Posts tagged: Registry

Things Workspace Manager does per default

defaultAnimated, Gears, boxFrom the I-Wonder-What-Happens-When-I-Press-This-Button Dept. An existing article has been moved to the Technote Library. This one covers some interesting behavior of the RES Workspace Manager, which you as an integrator need to be aware of. Out of the box the Workspace Manager does not change anything on the target environment, when you roll the software out. However, when you enable the Workspace Composer, several changes are in fact applied to the target computer, which you would do well to familiarize yourself with.

doc-icon2<<< Click here to read the article.

 

Detecting other types of hardware with WM

From the Community Hero Dept. A new article has been posted on Iain Brighton‘s Virtual Engine blog. This time Iain tackles a problem which could help others get way more flexibility out of the RES Workspace Manager, than originally designed for – I love when that happens! :) Anyway, Iain has been digging around in the hardware related parts of the registry to find out how to detect the presence of other hardware than just USB removable drives. Go check out his article here.

Cleaning out the Wisdom agent completely

Here’s a bit of info which may come in handy for those of you who spend a lot of time cloning machines and contemplating using Wisdom to manage the clones. As you may know, there are 3 methods in RES Wisdom for identifying the agent:

  1. Using the WUID option
  2. The MAC address of the first NIC and
  3. 3) a combo of the computername and domain name.

In an environment where cloning is performed, using option 1 is not recommended as it may lead you to agents disapearing from the Wisdom console. This is due to the fact that the WUID is written into the HKLM portion of the registry, hence it will be part of the image. This is why we usually recommend either using MAC address or domain+computername as the Agent identification method here

When you uninstall the Wisdom Agent, it’s a quite clean operation. However the WUID value will remain on the target machine when you uninstall it. Although this is per design, it may have some unforseen consequences if you are in the middle of building your clone template. Hence it would be nice to know what to clean out in order to forget the Wisdom agent has ever touched a machine.

The registry keys you are looking for are:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\RES\Wisdom\Preferences\WUID
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WUID\Default

If you need to clean out the Wisdom agent completely, make sure you delete both the WUID keys.

Update: August 24th 2010 – This topic has been integrated into Technote RG028.


Preconfigured voluntary settings in a mandatory profile

By Max Ranzau

 

This little blurb was inspired by an email to a partner, explaining the differences between the old PoweFuse products PowerLaunch section and the User Preferences (these are now known as User Settings from Powerfuse 2010 and up. This lead to an example on how you can combine these two parts of PowerFuse. The goal is to be able to provide the user with preconfigured, voluntary settings – in a mandatory profile environment. Let’s take a real-world example on this:

We have some users which share a mandatory profile, where the default webpage for IE has been set to about:blank or something else long ago. This setting coded into the .man profile and we don’t want to bother hacking into it since our goal would be to have it changed dynamically, according to group membership.

For example: We want to have users in group1 initially having www.batman.com as their homepage and group2 should have www.superman.com as their homepage. To make the entire thing a bit more interesting, we want to provide the user with the option to change their homepage to something else if they prefer to do so.

To summarize we are talking about creating a dynamic, group assigned voulentary user registry setting on top of a mandatory profile. Sounds iffy? Not at all. This example is easy to follow, but you can of course just download the PowerFuse buildingblock at the end of the article. The registry key we use for this example is HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainStart Page (REG_SZ)

  1. If you haven’t already done so, create a PowerFuse application for Internet Explorer (other browsers can be used, but you’ll have to figure out the registrysettings then for yourself)
  2. Edit the IE app and go to the Configuration | PowerLaunch tab, click Add.
  3. run-onceCreate a powerlaunch user registry setting for the IE startup page www.batman.com. using the HKCU registry path above. Make sure to mark the reghack with the Run-Once checkmark.
  4. group1Go to the Access Control tab of the reghack, assign it to group1.
  5. Export the newly created reghack to a temporary file. This done in the “Registry|Export registry file…” menu inside the PowerFuse export-regregistry buffer editor. We are going to use this export one steap further ahead.
  6. Save the reghack and return to the PowerLaunch tab of the application
  7. Repeat step 2 above, then go to the Registry|Import registry file… and pull the temporary regfile in again (it can safely be deleted after this btw).  In the new reghack, change the startup page to www.superman.com and assign this one to group2. Notice that the name and any comments you added before was preserved in the regfile. Once you’ve configured the reghacks for both groups it should look like this: app-registry
  8. Let’s setup the User Preferences. Go to Properties|User Preferences, while still editing the app. Here we can specify one or more seperate items which should be saved before the logoff destroys the mandatory profle. Using the Add button, you can choose to add:
    1. A single registry value (like we are using here)
    2. A registry key (containing multiple values)
    3. A registry tree (a branch containing multiple registry keys)
    4. A single file in the profile (such as normal.dot for office)
    5. A folder in the profile (such as cookies or favorites)
  9. Fashion the user preference so it looks something like this (remember, you can download the buildingblock below if you want to make sure you build it right). Click on the image to zoom.userpref-ie

When the app has been saved and the user sessions refreshed, PowerFuse will write the correct IE startup page to the registry uppon first time user launch of IE. During the session, the user may perhaps change the homepage of IE to something completely different. Regardless of this, User Preferences will capture the current value of the IE startpage key at logoff and save it, just before the mandatory profile is tossed into Mount Doom. To try all this out for yourself, download the BuildingBlock:

Rightclick and save-target-as here: legobrick_red

Configure global PowerFuse settings via registry

Animated, Gears, boxHere’s an interesting item which was shared a while back. This is a policy template for controlling the global settings of RES PowerFuse. It is believed to have been created by Sander over at the RES Inside blog. This template adresses an important need, since several options in the management console are still only globally configurable through the console GUI and may not apply to all users.

Scr, PowerFuse Policy templateUsing this policy template, it’s not the intention for you to start managing PowerFuse through AD. While possible it would be crossing the bridge for water, as PowerFuse in it self is perfectly capable of applying the user-specific parts of any policy template file. So, what we’re dealing with here is a way for PowerFuse to configure itself, using registry settings, while remaining inside the RES console. Sounds iffy? Don’t worry, it’s not – just do the following:

  • Download the .ADM file from the link below
  • Dump it somewhere  you can browse to it with a PowerFuse console
  • Go to the configuration management | powerlaunch | user registry node
  • Click the Add Policy button at the bottom
  • Hit the Add button in the new dialog to browse for the .ADM file. It will now be uploaded to the PowerFuse SQL database, so you needn’t worry about distributing it anymore.
  • Add some descriptive text in the name and description fields. You’ll thank yourself for this some months later down the road.
  • Set to whom this applies on the Access Control tab.
  • Start clicking away in the policy template, enabeling the desired settings.

There is a nice description of the entire thing in this PDF:  Icon, PDF file

Download the ADM file here (rightclick, save as):  icon-txt

Important note: The PowerFuse policy template available above does not include the latest registy settings in the PowerFuse update pack 8.0.4.5.  Also, there may be some additional registry settings in this article about the PowerFuse registry, which are not included at the moment. If someone would be kind enough to update the policy template and share it with RESguru, we’ll post it.

PowerFuse 2008 SR4 update 8.0.4.5

By Max Ranzau

 

Febuary 19th 2009,  RES Software released an update of the Service Release 4 for PowerFuse 2008. It is now version 8.0.4.5. This update contains many important fixes. At the bottom of this posting, there is a link to download the releasenotes. There are also several cool enhancements to this update. These are mainly some interesting registry keys which you can use to tweak PowerFuse with. Here is an overview of these new settings, quoting from the releasenotes:

Configure cache timer interval. It is now possible to configure the cache timer interval. This interval determines how often the cache checks for changes in the database or for new transactions. The default for this interval is 5 seconds. This interval can be changed by setting the following registry key:

Key   : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareRESPowerFuse
Value : CacheTimerInterval (REG_SZ)
Data  : A value between 5 and 60 (seconds)

warning, yellowWarning: Changing the default of 5 seconds should only be done in special cases, such as a heavy load on the database server. 

Disable screensaver when RES PowerFuse Workspace Extender is active: When a RES PowerFuse session is started from a workstation with the RES PowerFuse Workspace Extender or the RES Subscriber Agent, the RES PowerFuse session will enable a Screensaver by default. It is now possible to change this behavior, by setting the following registry string value in either HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Key   : SOFTWARERESPowerFuse
Value : NoAgentScreensaver (REG_SZ)
Data  : Yes

Force LogOff of disconnected sessions after timeout: It is now possible to force a logoff of disconnected sessions after a specified timeout expires. This can be enabled by setting the following registry keys in either HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Key   : SoftwareRESPowerFuse
Value : ForceLogoffEnabled (REG_SZ)
  Data  : Yes or No (to enable/disable the mechanism)
Value : ForceLogoffTimeout or ForceLogoffTimeoutOnDisconnect (REG_SZ)
  Data: value in minutes
Value : ForceLogoffOnDisconnect
  Data  : Yes or No

If you are already using the ForceLogoffOnIdle mechanism, the timeout in ForceLogoffTimeout can be used to use the same timeout for both mechanisms, or you can use a different timeout to disconnect by setting a value in ForceLogoffTimeoutOnDisconnect.

Silent refresh of RES PowerFuse sessions: A silent refresh of RES PowerFuse will not show a splash screen during a refresh of the Workspace Manager, which in some cases is less intrusive for the user. A silent refresh will only be used when the refresh is a result of a display change, a USB device change or a reconnect of a disconnected session. “Silent refresh” can be enabled by setting the following registry key in either HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_CURRENT_USER:

Key   : SOFTWARERESPowerFuse
Value : SilentRefresh (REG_SZ)
Data  : Yes or No 

The release notes for the 8.0.4.5 update can be downloaded here: Icon, PDF file