Create the OS layer

An OS layer includes the software and settings for the operating system that you deploy as part of your layered images. The OS layer is used to create your Platform and App layers, and is used to build your layered images.


Before you create your OS layer, you must:


  • To deploy patches and updates, you can add versions to the OS layer.
  • You can select any version of the layer for an image template, and any and all versions can be in use in published images.
  • You can update the operating system using Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), or offline standalone update packages. Do not use tools like SCCM.
  • Platform and App layers are tied to the OS layer that you use to create them, but they are not dependent upon a specific version of the layer. When you add new versions to the OS layer, the App and Platform layers dependent on the OS layer continue to work.
  • Be sure to apply updates to the OS layer before updating the Platform layer or MS Office App layer.

Create the OS Layer by importing the prepared image

To create your OS layer, use the management console to import the image you’ve prepared into the layer:

  1. In the management console, select Layers > OS Layers and click Create OS Layer in the Action bar. This opens the Create OS Layer wizard.
  2. In the Layer Details tab, specify a Layer Name and Version, both required values. Optionally, you can enter Descriptions of the Layer and Version, and change the Max Layer Size to accommodate the OS you are going to import.
  3. In the Connector tab, select a Connector Configuration that specifies the location of your clean OS image. If the configuration you need is not listed, add a New one, and then select it from this list. For details about adding a new connector configuration, see Add a connector configuration.
  4. In the OS Disk Details tab, click the Select Virtual Machine button.

    • Citrix Hypervisor, VMware, Nutanix: A new browser tab opens.
    • Azure: An Azure panel opens where you can type the Resource Group and the virtual machine name.
  5. Click the Virtual Machine field to reveal a list of all virtual machines.

    • Hyper-V: Gen 2 virtual machines are not listed, because they are not currently supported when createing an OS layer. Once you have an OS layer you can convert it to a Gen 2 OS layer by adding a revision to it and selecting a Gen 2 connector configuration.
    • VMware: UEFI virtual machines are listed, but not supported when creating an OS layer. First create a BIOS OS layer and then convert it to a UEFI OS layer by adding a revision to it and selecting a UEFI VM template in the connector configuration page.
  6. Select a machine from the list, or start by typing the name to filter the list to virtual machines that contain the search text, and then select the machine.

    • Azure: Type the Resource Group and the virtual machine name.
  7. Click OK. The selected machine is validated:

    • Citrix Hypervisor, VMware, Nutanix: Ensures that the machine has a single OS disk attached as a SCSI disk. IDE is not supported.
    • Hyper-V: Ensures that the machine has a single disk attached to the IDE controller for Gen 1 virtual machines. The virtual machine that the disk is attached to must be shut down.

    If there are problems with the virtual machine or OS Disk, an error is displayed. Otherwise, you are returned to the wizard where the machine’s name and the size of the OS disk are listed.

  8. In the Icon Assignment tab, select an icon image to assign to this layer.

  9. In the Confirm and Complete tab, review the details of the OS layer, enter a comment if required, and click Create Layer. If you enter comments, they appear in the Information view Audit History.

When the task completes, the new OS layer in the management console displays a Deployable status.