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Citrix App Layering 1911 Offline Compositing Observations


LEVI PINGEL

Question

I have recently updated to Citrix App Layering 1911 and enabled offline composite on all connectors.  

 

1. I noticed that browsing VMware through Connector has display issues that shows the word chevron overlapping other words.  I can work around the issue by highlighting the text.  Is anyone else seeing this?

 image.thumb.png.410073b574b72b845365b44193923fa6.png 

 

2a. I noticed that 2 iso files are mounted to every layer that is created with the new connector.  This causes my persistent drive for PVS to use the wrong drive letter so the image is not how I intended.  I can work around the issue by creating a separate connector for the platform layer that does not have offline composite enabled.  Does anyone else see this issue and have a suggestion?

 

2b. The mounted iso files seem to leave behind ghost devices in device manager that my shutdown script purges.  Does un-mounting the ISO files affect offline composite in any way?

 

2c. The platform layer also has the GPU and persistent drive mounted, but the finalization does not allow time to remove the GPU or attached HDD.  Does this affect the layer similar to not using offline compositing where the finalization would fail?

 

3. The 1911 feature release suggested that vhdx files can now be used so I removed the custom script from my PVS connector that converts vhd to vhdx.  The image I generated is still a vhd.  Can anyone point me to documentation on how to take advantage of vhdx files when using version 1911?

 

Thank you,

 

Levi 

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Hi Levi,

 

I tested number 1 in my environment and folders look normal

image.thumb.png.b1c1908ba59f1fc4dc49a3f50f0b759c.png

 

I tried in chrome with ietab and ie 11 but i suppose it could also be size of the screen or something

 

The two iso files are used to boot into the compositing engine VM, then the vm is rebooted into the packaging machine after its built and at the end when finalizing it goes back.  So yes I think you do need the isos.  i use the xendesktop setup wizard rather than the streaming wizard in POVS so i dont not need to nother setting up the cache disk in windows in the platform layer at all.

 

Good point on the finalizing,  I would try shutting down the vm and removing the GPU and Disk then starting up and finalizing but I am not sure if that will mess up your layer or not.  I think you should open a ticket to pass on that info to the support team and i will as well.

 

There is no composting engine for the PVS connector so you cant publish to pVS directly as a VHDx.  

 

Rob

 

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On 12/16/2019 at 11:04 AM, Rob Zylowski1709158051 said:

I tried in chrome with ietab and ie 11 but i suppose it could also be size of the screen or something


I have the issue with IE11 on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, but not Windows 2008R2.  So I will look into the differences between the configurations in our environment.

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:04 AM, Rob Zylowski1709158051 said:

Good point on the finalizing,  I would try shutting down the vm and removing the GPU and Disk then starting up and finalizing but I am not sure if that will mess up your layer or not.  I think you should open a ticket to pass on that info to the support team and i will as well.

 

I will open a ticket.  I think the safest approach for the Platform Layer is to use a connector with offline compositing disabled.

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:04 AM, Rob Zylowski1709158051 said:

There is no composting engine for the PVS connector so you cant publish to pVS directly as a VHDx.  

 

Understood and noted.  I have re-enabled the post script on the PVS connector to create the VHDX.

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On 12/16/2019 at 9:33 AM, LEVI PINGEL said:

I have recently updated to Citrix App Layering 1911 and enabled offline composite on all connectors.  

 

1. I noticed that browsing VMware through Connector has display issues that shows the word chevron overlapping other words.  I can work around the issue by highlighting the text.  Is anyone else seeing this?

 image.thumb.png.410073b574b72b845365b44193923fa6.png 

 

2a. I noticed that 2 iso files are mounted to every layer that is created with the new connector.  This causes my persistent drive for PVS to use the wrong drive letter so the image is not how I intended.  I can work around the issue by creating a separate connector for the platform layer that does not have offline composite enabled.  Does anyone else see this issue and have a suggestion?

 

2b. The mounted iso files seem to leave behind ghost devices in device manager that my shutdown script purges.  Does un-mounting the ISO files affect offline composite in any way?

 

2c. The platform layer also has the GPU and persistent drive mounted, but the finalization does not allow time to remove the GPU or attached HDD.  Does this affect the layer similar to not using offline compositing where the finalization would fail?

 

3. The 1911 feature release suggested that vhdx files can now be used so I removed the custom script from my PVS connector that converts vhd to vhdx.  The image I generated is still a vhd.  Can anyone point me to documentation on how to take advantage of vhdx files when using version 1911?

 

Thank you,

 

Levi 

 

As far as 2a: I assume you are using the BDM partition method for booting??  We use that and we have noticed the same thing as we use offload compositing with our platform layer which is where we attach the cache drive.  The iso appears to use the next available drive letter (D:) which is also our cache drive.  If you manually change the drive letter after the layer boots from D: to something else, and then attach your cache drive and set it to D: (assuming D is your write cache drive) it resolved the issue for us and still allows us to use offload compositing for the platform layer... obviously the other workaround is to just disable offload compositing on your platform layer connector.

 

2c: You no longer have to un-attach GPU's or added drives if you are using offload compositing (from what I've noticed anyways, the layers appear to work fine without needing to do so)

 

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All I have been doing some work today learning about the compositing engines.  I tested removing the dvd disk once the composting engine boots into the packaging machine and it works fine.  So i asked the engineers and found out that the iso's are only used when creating the disks for the packaging machine and any required files for the finalization process are copied to the boot disk.  So it is safe to shut down the packaging machine and remove the dvd drives if you need to.

 

Rob

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Just curious on your process how you removed the cd/dvd rom drives added for the compositing engine use.  When I tried, you can't remove them while the VM is powered on.   When you reseal the packaging VM, it doesn't give you an option to just shutdown.  It restarts automatically and does its stuff to get the image finalized and uploaded to the ELM (unless you disable offline compositing).   If you have to shutdown the packaging machine and remove the dvd drives and then turn back on the packaging VM, the two drives get readded.  Are you removing those added drives for the compositing image during resealing the packaging once it restarts but before it boots back up?

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