Because linked-clone desktop pools share a base image, you can quickly deploy updates and patches by updating the parent virtual machine.

The recompose feature allows you to make changes to the parent virtual machine, take a snapshot of the new state, and push the new version of the image to all, or a subset of, users and desktops. You can use this feature for the following tasks:

  • Applying operating system and software patches and upgrades
  • Applying service packs
  • Adding applications
  • Adding virtual devices
  • Changing other virtual machine settings, such as available memory
Note: Because you can also use View Composer to create farms of linked-clone Microsoft RDS hosts, the recompose feature lets you update the guest operating system and applications on RDS hosts.

You can create a View Composer persistent disk that contains user settings and other user-generated data. This persistent disk is not affected by a recompose operation. When a linked clone is deleted, you can preserve the user data. When an employee leaves the company, another employee can access the departing employee's user data. A user who has multiple desktops can consolidate the user data on a single desktop.

If you want to disallow users from adding or removing software or changing settings, you can use the refresh feature to bring the desktop back to its default values. This feature also reduces the size of linked clones, which tend to grow over time.