User Layers let you persist user profile settings, data, and user-installed applications in non-persistent VDI environments.
User Layers are created when:
Currently, User Layers are supported for the following platforms:
When a user logs on to their desktop for the first time, a User Layer is created for them.
The default size of a User Layer is 10 GB.
User Layers are created in the Users folder on the appliance's network file share, for example:
Each user will have his/her own directory within the Users directory, and it will be named as follows:
Once you upgrade the appliance to Release 4.2.0, if you want to continue using existing User Layers, you'll need to move them to new locations as described below in Upgrade User Layers created using a previous release.
Before deploying User Layers, please consider the following guidelines and limitations.
View must be configured for non-persistent desktops, and the desktop must be set to Refresh at log off. Delete or refresh the machine on log off. Example:
When you enable User Layers on a Layered Image, the data and settings for each user are persisted between sessions.
When deploying with User Layers enabled, you must add storage locations for those Layers, rather than allowing user data to be saved on the appliance's main file share.
The main file share is used to:
When configuring storage locations:
To add a storage location:
Log into the management console.
Select System > Storage Locations.
Select Add Storage Location. A list is displayed of file shares, except for the appliance's main file share.
Select Add Storage Location, and enter a Name and Network Path for the new location.
On the User Layer Assignments tab, expand the directory tree and select the check box(es) for one or more groups to add to the new storage location.
On the Confirm and Complete tab, click Add Storage Location.
Once the Storage Locations are added, you must set security on the User Layer Folders.
Storage locations allow you to have more than one location specified for your User Layers. For each Storage Location (including the default location) you need to create a /Users subfolder and secure that location.
The security on each User Layer folder must be set to the following values by a domain administrator:
|Setting name||Value||Apply to|
|Creator Owner||Modify||Subfolders and Files only|
|Owner Rights||Modify||Subfolders and Files only|
Users or group:
||Selected Folder Only|
Selected Folder, Subfolders and Files
|Domain Admins, and selected Admin group||Full Control||Selected Folder, Subfolders and Files|
Log into the management console.
Select System > Storage Locations. The file shares displayed are the storage locations defined for User Layers. For example, say you've defined three Storage Locations so that you can more easily manage storage for Group1 and Group2 separate from everyone else in the organization:
Note: The appliance's main file share, which is used for storing OS, App, and Platform Layers, is not listed as a User Layer Storage Location.
Create a \Users subdirectory under each file share:
Apply the security settings listed above to each /Users subdirectory.
You can customize notification messages sent to users when their User Layer is not available. The message is displayed to the user upon login.
The App Layering software displays messages for end users when the software is unable to:
The messages are displayed as needed in the App Layering Management Console when you add a new storage location or modify an existing one.
User Layer In Use (customizable message)
We were unable to attach your User Layer because it is in use. Any changes you make to application settings or data will not be saved. Be sure to save any work to a shared network location.
User Layer Unavailable (customizable message)
We were unable to attach your User Layer. Any changes you make to application settings or data will not be saved. Be sure to save any work to a shared network location.
Review Permissions on Users folder, all subfolders and files
Unable to read json files from the config share
We were unable to load the required configuration files. You may not be able to access some of your applications. And, any changes you make to application settings or data will not be saved. Be sure to save any work to a shared network location.
When logged into the appliance as Administrator, you can customize the first two of the above messages. To do so:
On Windows 10 Enterprise editions (not Windows Professional), you can disable the Windows Store by creating an OS Version specifically for that purpose. A script is provided that uninstalls all Store Apps for all users. Once complete, users will have access to Edge and Cortana only.
To disable Store Apps, add a new OS Version, and:
From an administrator prompt, run this command:
Finalize and deploy the image based on this new version of the OS Layer. For new users, the Start menu will look like this:
Once you upgrade the appliance to Release 4.2.0, if you want to continue using existing User Layers, you'll need to move them to new locations as described below.
In this release, the User Layer directory structure has been collapsed by one level, as shown below:
For example, move the following User Layer VHD file.
If you want to continue using the current User Layers, you must move each Storage Location and the main file share to the new location.
Important: All of these steps must be completed while all users are logged out. Although no data will be lost if a user logs in during this procedure, failure to finish all steps will result in existing users not being able to access their previously created user layers. No data will be lost, but users will be confused.
To upgrade the User Layers:
Copy each User Layer Storage Location to its new location:
Make sure the User Layer is not in use.
If a user logs in before you move his/her User Layer, a new User Layer will be created. No data will be lost, but you will need to delete the newly created User Layer, and copy it to the new directory, ensuring that the user's ACLs are preserved.
Browse to the directory containing the User Layer VHD file.
Using the following command, copy each of the User Layer VHD files from the previous location to the new one
xcopy Domain1\User1 Domain1_User1\ /O /X /E /H /K
Verify that all permissions are correct on the following directories, and files within them:
If you choose to let users create new User Layers, you must manually clean up the original directories and files from your share.