Before you can start delivering desktops or RDS-based remote applications to your end users from your deployed pod, you must create at least one assignable desktop image. Creating this assignable image is a multi-step process: a master virtual machine (VM) must be created, then customized according to your organization's needs, and then converted into an assignable desktop image.

An assignable image is an image that has successfully completed the Horizon Cloud sealing process and Horizon Cloud can use it to provision RDS farms (in the case of RDS-enabled server images) or VDI desktops (in the case of non-server images). Other terms sometimes used to describe such images are sealed images and published images. Sealing an image is sometimes referred to as publishing the image or converting the image to a desktop.

To create the image:

  1. First you create a master virtual machine (VM) either using the automated wizard or manually:
    • The recommended and standard way is to use the Import Desktop wizard's option to create the master VM using one of the supported VM configurations from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Using the wizard automates building the master virtual machine (VM) and configuring the VM to conform to the Horizon Cloud environment's requirements, including installing and configuring the appropriate agent-related software. The wizard also provides options for optimizing the VM, which can prevent Microsoft Windows Sysprep errors from occurring. From the Inventory page, start the Import Desktop wizard by clicking Import and then select the From Marketplace option. For steps, see Create a Master Virtual Machine Automatically from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
      Important: If your pod in Microsoft Azure is configured to use a proxy, you must create the base master VM using the alternative manual method, and not the automated Import Desktop method.
    • An alternative to the standard way is to use the Microsoft Azure portal and manually perform all of the steps that the wizard automates. For information about these manual steps see Manually Build the Master Virtual Machine in Microsoft Azure.
      Important: If you use this alternative method, you are responsible for ensuring the resulting master VM conforms to the configuration required by the Horizon Cloud environment. Applying the same configuration that are described for the automated wizard's Optimize Windows Image and Remove Windows Store Apps options is strongly recommended. Use of those configurations helps avoid Microsoft Windows Sysprep issues that might occur when the VM is later published as an image. See Deciding to Optimize the Windows Image When Using the Import Desktop Wizard and Deciding to Remove Windows Store Apps When Using the Import Desktop Wizard.
  2. When the master VM is visible on the Imported VMs page and the page indicates the agent-related status is active, then you customize the master VM's guest Windows operating system (OS) with the third-party applications you want to provide to your end users, as well as configure any OS-level settings such as customized wallpaper, fonts and colors, drivers, and other such items. For steps, see Customize the Master Image VM's Windows Operating System and Install NVIDIA Graphics Drivers in a GPU-Enabled Master Image.
    Important: When you use the automated wizard to create the master VM, the wizard joins the VM to the Active Directory domain that is selected in the wizard and then installs the agent software. Starting with pod manifest versions 1220 and later, domain accounts can log in to domain-joined VMs that have the agent software. However, when your pod has not yet upgraded to manifest version 1220 or later, and if your organization has a policy that prevents use of local administrator accounts on domain-joined VMs, you will not be able to log in to the master image to customize it until you configure the DaaS Direct Connect Users local group with those domain accounts you want used for customizing the image. For details, see When Your Pod is Not Yet Upgraded to Manifest 1230 or Later, How to Configure the Ability for Domain Accounts to Remote Connect to the Imported Image.
  3. Then you use the New Image workflow in the Administration Console to convert that master VM to an assignable desktop image. For steps, see Convert a Configured Master Virtual Machine to an Assignable Image.

After the master VM is converted, the image's Published status on the Images page indicates Horizon Cloud has sealed the image VM for use in the environment. When you see that the image on the Inventory - Images page displays the Published status, you can create:

  • From an RDS-enabled Windows Server image, RDSH farms based on that image. You can create both types of farms from the same published RDS-enabled server image: desktop farms to provide session-based desktops and application farms to provide remote applications. When you have a farm, you can use it to make assignments to users. See Farms in Horizon Cloud.
  • From a Windows client image, VDI desktop assignments based on that image. See Create a Floating VDI Desktop Assignment and Create a Dedicated VDI Desktop Assignment.