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 base virtual machine (VM) must be created and paired with the cloud plane, 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-based images) or VDI desktops (in the case of client-based 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.

Creating the image involves this high-level sequence.

Important: Tech Preview: Use of App Volumes with Microsoft 10 Enterprise multi-session is currently in tech preview. During the tech preview, when you are creating a desktop image using Microsoft 10 Enterprise multi-session for the purpose of using App Volumes with that image, you must follow a slightly different sequence of steps to get to a published image than the steps below. See Tech Preview - How To Configure a Microsoft Windows 10 Multi-Session Image for Use with App Volumes Features in this Horizon Cloud Release.

First, Create a Base Virtual Machine (VM)

You create a base VM either using the automated wizard or manually.

Second, Pair the Image VM with Horizon Cloud

Note: For a pod that has a manifest version lower than 1600 and you run the automated wizard to create an image in that pod, the resulting VM is automatically paired with the cloud. In this case, the Imported VMs page will indicate the agent is in an active state. For this situation, you proceed with the third high-level step, customize the VM.

The following table describes what the Imported VMs page's Agent Status column will display for the listed cases where the resulting VM is not yet paired, even though it has the agent software installed on it.

Pod Manifest Creation Method Displayed Status
1600 or higher (created after the September 2019 service release) Automated wizard Not Paired (Import Successful)
1600 or higher (created after the September 2019 service release) Manual Not Paired
Prior to 1600 Manual Not Paired

The following screenshot illustrates a VM that is successfully created using the automated wizard, but which is not yet paired with the cloud, .


Screenshot of the Imported VMs page listing the VM with Not Paired in the Agent Status column

In either of the above cases, you must explicitly pair the VM with Horizon Cloud. The specific steps to explicitly pair the VM depend on the manifest version of the pod in which the VM is located.

For a pod of manifest version 1600 or higher
On the Imported VMs page, you use the Reset Agent Pairing action on the VM to explicitly pair the VM with Horizon Cloud. This process can take several minutes. During the pairing process, the VM is restarted and its agent status changes to Unknown to Active. You have to refresh the page using the circular arrow icon to see the status changes.
For a pod of manifest versions lower than 1600
When the VM was created manually, you explicitly pair the VM by following the steps in Manually Pair the Configured Virtual Machine with Horizon Cloud For Pods with Manifests Lower Than 1600.

The pairing process is completed when the Agent Status column displays Active and an agent version, such as 19.4.0. The following screenshot illustrates a VM after the pairing process is completed.


Screenshot of an imported VM with its Agent Status column displaying Active (19.3.0)

Third, Customize the VM

When the pairing process completes and after refreshing the page, the VM's agent status shows as active, then you customize the image 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 Imported VM's Windows Operating System and Install NVIDIA Graphics Drivers in a GPU-Enabled VM Imported in Horizon Cloud.

Important: Starting with the December 2019 service release, the Import Virtual Machine wizard provides the option of either having the wizard-created VM joined to a specified Active Directory domain or not having the VM joined to the domain. Prior to the December 2019 service release, the wizard-created VM was always automatically joined to the domain. Your organization might also choose to join manually created VMs to a domain, to allow for domain admin accounts to log in and customize those VMs prior to sealing them.

If the base VM was joined to the domain in the creation process, then domain admin accounts can log in to the VM to customize it. However, when your pod has not yet updated to manifest version 1230 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 image VM to customize it until you configure the DaaS Direct Connect Users local group with those domain accounts you want used for customizing the image. Prior to pod manifest 1230, the agent software installed in a domain-joined VM prevented domain accounts from directly connecting to that VM. For details, see When Your Pod is Not Yet Updated to Manifest 1230 or Later, How to Configure the Ability for Domain Accounts to Remote Connect to the Imported Image.

Configure the VM for Optimal Remote Experience Performance

After you have customized the VM for your specific organizational needs, follow the steps in Five Key Steps to Take with Your Golden Images to Get Optimal Remote Experience Performance from Horizon Cloud Farms and Desktops to ensure your end users will receive optimal remote experience performance from their assigned desktops and applications.

Finally, Convert that Image VM to a Published Image

You use the New Image workflow to convert that VM to an assignable desktop image. For steps, see Convert a Configured Image VM to an Assignable Image in Horizon Cloud.

After the 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:

About the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Agent Software and Creating Desktop Images in a Horizon Cloud Pod in Microsoft Azure

Starting with the July 2019 Horizon Cloud release, installation of the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager agent is incorporated into both the Horizon Agents Installer and the automated Import Desktop workflow. The VMware Dynamic Environment Manager agent component is also called the FlexEngine client component. The Horizon Agents Installer is the software package that installs the agent-related software in a new image VM, when you run the Import Desktop workflow or manually create an image VM. When you run the Import Desktop workflow, the Horizon Agents Installer runs behind the scenes to install the agents. When you follow the steps to manually create an image VM, you download and run the Horizon Agents Installer as part of those steps.

The July 2019 Horizon Cloud release corresponds with the 19.2 version of Horizon Agents Installer. The VMware Dynamic Environment Manager files are installed into the resulting image VM into file paths as described below.

For a pod with manifest version 1493 and later, when the base image VM is created in that pod using the automated Import Desktop workflow
This pod version is the first one in which the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager components are installed automatically into these base images by default. The resulting install file path is C:\Program Files\VMware\Horizon Agents\User Environment.
For a pod with manifest version 1493 and later, when the base image VM is created using the manual method
This pod version is the first one in which the Horizon Agents Installer has the option to install the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager components. If you choose to install that option when you run the Horizon Agents Installer in that manually created base VM, the resulting install file path is C:\Program Files\VMware\Horizon Agents\User Environment.
For a pod with manifest version earlier than 1493, when the base image VM is created in that pod using the automated Import Desktop workflow or using the manual creation method
In this case, the automated workflow does not install the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager components by default into the resulting VM. For base images in those older pods, you have to manually run the standalone VMware Dynamic Environment Manager installer that you download from the Horizon Cloud Downloads page in https://my.vmware.com. In this case, the resulting install file path is C:\Program Files\Immidio\Flex Profiles.