App Layering

Machine Creation for Nutanix AHV (Acropolis)

A Machine Creation for Nutanix AHV connector configuration* contains the credentials and storage location that the App Layering appliance needs to publish layered images to machine creation in your Nutanix AHV environment. This connector does not support layer creation.

Before you start

You can use Machine Creation for Nutanix AHV to publish layered images. Each connector configuration accesses a specific storage location in your Nutanix AHV environment to which you can publish layered images.

It is possible that you need more than one Nutanix AHV connector configuration to access the correct location for each purpose. Further, it is important to publish each layered image to a location convenient to the systems you plan to provision using the published image. For more about connectors and connector configurations, see Connector configurations.

If this is your first time using App Layering

When publishing layered images to Nutanix AHV, you need at least one connector configuration for each storage location you plan to publish to. You can add connector configurations when creating an Image Template from which you publish layered images. If you don’t yet have the right connector configuration for the task, you can create one by clicking New on the Connector wizard tab.

Required information for Nutanix AHV connector configuration settings

The Nutanix AHV connector configuration wizard lets you browse for the Nutanix AHV server, Data Store, and Host to use for a new configuration.


The fields are case-sensitive. Any values that you enter manually must match the case of the object in Nutanix AHV. Otherwise, the validation fails.

  • Connector Name - A useful name to help identify and keep track of the Nutanix AHV connector configuration.

  • User Name/Password - Credentials that are used when interacting with the Nutanix system. The specified user must have sufficient privileges for the following operations:

    • VM operations:
      • clone
      • delete
      • power on/off
      • attach virtual disks
    • Image operations:
      • create
      • update (aka upload)
      • delete
    • Virtual disks:
      • create
      • attach to VMs
  • Allow Certificate Errors - Lets you use SSL encryption for the API connection traffic between the App Layering Connector and Nutanix AHV. This field is cleared by default.

  • Virtual Machine (VM) Template (required) - The template used to clone a VM with the hardware settings for machine creation, including memory, CPUs, and video settings. Use the VM template to specify the host, datastore, and network for configuring the resulting VMs. Since there is no concept of a “template” in Nutanix, these “templates” are actual VMs. The OS version used by the selected “template” must match the OS version that you are using in your layered images. The template must not have any disks attached, and must have at least one network card attached. If it does not, you see an error when trying to validate or save the configuration.

  • Storage Container - Lets you select the storage container for the images (virtual disks, VHDs) that are uploaded and the resulting virtual disks that are created from those images. When creating App Layers and OS layer versions, we are required to mount the storage container as an NFS mount point. The selected storage container MUST have the appliance included in an allow list of clients that are allowed to mount the storage container via NFS. The allow list configuration must be done through the Nutanix product (either their web console or through their CLI tools). If the appliance is not properly allow-listed for the selected storage container, then the validation phase fails, and the error is indicated with the storage container selection.

  • Offload Compositing: Enables the layer packaging or image publishing process to run on the specified Nutanix server. This feature increases performance and it allows you to use a native disk format and either BIOS or UEFI virtual machines. Enabled by default.

How Virtual Machines are Organized

Nutanix does not provide a mechanism for organizing virtual machines. Because of this, it may be difficult to find the virtual machines created by your App Layering appliance when the total number of virtual machines is large. To help you find these VMs, the following naming conventions are used:

  • Packaging Machines (virtual machines created during the process of creating an App Layer or OS Version)
    • The virtual machine name starts with the layer name that is being created/modified
    • The virtual machine names end with the following text: (Packaging Machine)
  • Layered Image Virtual Machines (virtual machines created as a result of publishing a layered image)
    • The virtual machine name starts with the image name that was published
    • The virtual machine name ends with the following text: (Published Image)

When viewing virtual machines through the Nutanix web console, you can search for virtual machines by filtering on:

  • “Citrix App Layering” to find all virtual machines created by the App Layering software.
  • “Citrix App Layering” to find all virtual machines created for layer management jobs.
  • “Citrix App Layering” to find all virtual machines created to publish a layered image.
  • Image name or layer name to find virtual machines related to a specific layered image publishing job or App or OS creation.

Virtual Machine Network Connectivity

The virtual network settings of the source template specified in the Nutanix AHV connector configuration is carried over when creating any VMs through the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) Connector. There is no option in the connector configuration UI to override the network settings.

Create a connector configuration

To enter values:

  • The first three Connector fields must be entered manually. Once the credentials in those fields are validated, you can select values for the remaining fields from the drop-down menus.
  • To enter values manually, click to put the cursor in the field and type the value, making sure that the case matches the value in the Nutanix AHV hypervisor.
  • To select a value from a drop-down list, click once to put the cursor in the field, and a second time to display the list of possible values.

To add a connector configuration:

  1. On the wizard for creating a layer or for adding a layer version, click the Connector tab.
  2. Below the list of connector configurations, click the New button. This opens a small dialog box.
  3. Select the Connector Type for the platform and location where you are creating the layer or publishing the image. Then click New to open the connector configuration page.
  4. Enter the configuration Name, and the Nutanix AHV Address, User Name, and Password. For guidance, see the above field definitions.
  5. Click the Connect button below the Nutanix AHV Configuration fields. The Virtual Machine Clone Settings field is then enabled if the connection is successful. Any connection problems are reported on the connector configuration blade. If there were server certificate errors found, you see an Ignore Certificate Errors and Continue button.
  6. Select the Virtual Machine Template.
  7. Select the Storage Repository.
  8. Click Confirm and Complete. If there are no errors, a summary page is displayed.
  9. Click Save. Verify that the new connector configuration is listed on the Connector page.
Machine Creation for Nutanix AHV (Acropolis)