You can create an instant-clone floating desktop pool for Linux virtual machines using the Add Desktop Pool wizard. After creating an instant-clone floating desktop pool, you can use the Linux virtual machines as remote desktops in a Horizon 7 deployment.

Prerequisites

  • Familiarize yourself with the steps for creating virtual machines in vCenter Server and installing Linux operating systems. For more information, see Create a Virtual Machine and Install Linux.

  • Familiarize yourself with steps for AD integration using the PBISO authentication solution. For more information, see the PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO) Authentication section in Integrating Linux with Active Directory.

  • Familiarize yourself with installation steps for Horizon 7 Agent for Linux. For more information, see Install Horizon Agent on a Linux Virtual Machine.

  • Familiarize yourself with steps to take a snapshot of a powered off Linux VM using VMware vSphere® Web Client. See "Take a Snapshot in the VMware Host Client" in vSphere Single Host Management - VMware Host Client.

  • Verify that vCenter Server is added to Horizon Connection Server.

Procedure

  1. Create a Linux virtual machine (VM) with Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 16.04 installed.
    Note:

    This feature is supported only on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 systems.

    For more information, see Create a Virtual Machine and Install Linux.

  2. Manually install Open VMware Tools (OVT) on your Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 16.04 machine using the following command:
    apt-get install open-vm-tools

    See Prepare a Linux Machine for Remote Desktop Deployment for additional information.

  3. Install any dependency packages that are required for the Linux distribution.
  4. Install Horizon Agent for Linux in the Linux VM.
    sudo ./install_viewagent.sh -A yes

    See Install Horizon Agent on a Linux Virtual Machine for details.

  5. Integrate your Linux VM with Active Directory.
    • To use the PBISO authentication solution, perform the following steps:

      1. Download PBIS Open 8.5.6 or later from https://www.beyondtrust.com/products/powerbroker-identity-services-open/ and install it on your Linux VM.

        sudo ./pbis-open-8.5.6.2029.linux.x86_64.deb.sh
      2. Integrate your Linux VM with Active Directory using the information in PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO) Authentication section in Integrating Linux with Active Directory.

    • If you choose not to use PBISO to integrate your Linux VM with Active Directory, you must set the OfflineJoinDomain option to none in the /etc/vmware/viewagent-custom.conf file. Otherwise, the creation of the instant-clone floating desktop pool fails.

  6. If your DHCP server does not broadcast to a DNS server, specify a DNS server for your Linux system.

    A new virtual network adapter is added when a new instant-cloned VM is created. Any setting in the network adapter, such as the DNS server, in the VM template is lost when the new network adapter is added to the instant-cloned VM. PBIS requires a valid DNS server and the FQDN mapping in the /etc/hosts is not acceptable. To avoid losing the DNS Server setting when the new network adapter is added to the cloned VM, you must specify a DNS server in your Linux system. For example, in an Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04 system, specify the DNS server by adding the following lines in the /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head file.

    nameserver 10.10.10.10
    search mydomain.org

  7. (Optional) If you want to add an NFS mount in the /etc/fstab file of the master Linux VDI instant-clone agent, use one of the following methods.
    • Add a 'soft' flag in /etc/fstab, such as:

      10.111.222.333:/share 	/home/nfsmount	nfs	rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,soft,intr,tcp
    • If you do not want to use the 'soft' flag in /etc/fstab, you cannot configure the /etc/fstab in the master Linux VM image. You can write a power-off script to configure the /etc/fstab file, then set this power-off script in the guest customization page of the instant-clone pool in Horizon Administrator.

  8. Shut down the Linux VM and create a master image by creating a snapshot of your powered off Linux VM using VMware vSphere® Web Client.

    See "Take a Snapshot in the VMware Host Client" in vSphere Single Host Management - VMware Host Client for information.

  9. In Horizon Administrator, select Catalog > Desktop Pools > Add.
  10. Define the desktop pool.
    1. On the Type page, select the Automated Desktop Pool and click Next.
    2. On the User Assignment page, select Floating and click Next.
    3. On the vCenter Server page, select Instant clones.
  11. Enter the desktop pool ID on the Desktop Pool Identification page and click Next.
  12. On the Desktop Pool Settings page, accept the default settings and click Next.
  13. On the Provisioning Settings page, set the following Virtual Machine Naming options and click Next.
    • Naming Pattern - For example, specify LinuxVM-{n}

    • Max number of machines

    • Number of spare (powered on) machines

  14. On the Storage Optimization page, select Use VMware Virtual SAN for the storage management policy and click Next.
  15. On the vCenter Settings page, click Browse for each vCenter Server setting, select the appropriate value for each setting, and click Next.
  16. On the Guest Customization page, specify the Domain setting, AD container, and any extra customization scripts that must be run after the VM is cloned. Click Next.
  17. On the Ready to Complete page, select the Entitle users after this wizard finishes and review the details.
  18. Click Finish.

Results

In Horizon Administrator, you can view the desktop VMs as they are added to the pool by selecting Catalog > Desktop Pools.

After you create the pool, do not delete the master image or remove it from the vCenter Server inventory if the pool exists. If you remove the master image VM from the vCenter Server inventory by mistake, you must add it back and then do a push image using the current image.

What to do next

Entitle users to access the pool. See "Add Entitlements to Desktop Pools" in Setting Up Virtual Desktops in Horizon 7.