This article explains how to create a Platform layer when there is not a Connector Configuration for your hypervisor.
When completing the Create Platform Layer wizard, you start by selecting the Network File Share (NFS) instead of a Connector Configuration. Then, you manually copy the OS disk for the layer to the hypervisor where you want to create your layers and/or publish your Layered Images. You attach the OS disk to a Packaging Machine and deploy it, then install the software, shut down the Packaging Machine, and copy the disk back to your appliance's Network File Share for importing into the new Platform layer.
When creating a Platform Layer for Packaging Layers, you need the software and settings for the hypervisor where you are creating your layers.
When creating a Platform Layer for publishing Layered Images, you need the hypervisor prerequisites, plus the prerequisites for any provisioning service and/or connection broker that will run in the environment.
Next, you can deploy the Packaging Machine for your Layer.
The Packaging Machine is a temporary VM where you install the platform tools you want to include in the Layer.
Create the Packaging Machine
The Task Description (example shown in the last step above) contains the location in your environment where the disks for this Layer have been created.
Locate the Packaging disks in the following directory on the Network File Share:
Copy the disks to the hypervisor where you will install the software for the Layer.
Note: Even if the Packaging Disks in \Unidesk\Packaging Disks are already in the hypervisor where you will be installing the tools, we recommend copying the disks to another location. This is because when you use the disk to create a new VM, the directory will quickly become crowded with files generated by your hypervisor.
Important: Do not copy the disk to the Finalize folder until it is ready to finalize. A disk in the Finalize folder cannot be attached to the new VM that you are going to create next.
In your hypervisor, create a VM from the Boot disk and name it Layer_NameBoot.xxx.
In your hypervisor, select the VM, and attach the disk called Layer_NamePkg.xxx to the VM.
Create a virtual machine using the Packaging Disk as the boot disk. This is the Packaging Machine where you will install the application(s) to include in the layer.
Install the tools for your hypervisor, provisioning service and connection broker
This section explains how to install the tools your Layered Images will need to run your the target platform onto the Packaging Machine you just created. Keep in mind that the state of the software before you finalize the layer is what the image will use.
To install the tools for the selected platform:
Remote log in to the Packaging Machine you created. Be sure to log in using the User account you used to create the OS.
Install the tools that your Layered Image will need to run on vSphere and in PVS, along with any drivers, boot-level applications, or files needed.
If a software installation requires a system restart, restart it manually. The Packaging Machine does not restart automatically.
Make sure the Packaging Machine is in the state you want it to be in when the image is booted:
Next, you'll need to shut down the Packaging Machine and verify that the Platform Layer is ready to finalize.
Verify the layer and shut down the Packaging Machine
Once the tools are installed on the Packaging Machine, the next step is to verify that the Layer is ready to finalize. At this point, any required post-installation processing needs to be completed. For example, a reboot may be required, or a Microsoft NGen process may need to complete.
To verify that any outstanding processes are complete, you can run the Shutdown For Finalize tool (icon below), which appears on the Packaging Machine's desktop.
To use the Shutdown For Finalize tool:
Copy the Packaging Machine to the Finalize folder on the Network File Share:
Layer Integrity messages you may see during finalization
Layer integrity messages let you know what queued tasks must be completed before a Layer is finalized.
The new Layer or Version can only be finalized when the following conditions have been addressed:
Expediting a Micrisoft NGen operation
NGen is the Microsoft Native Image Generator. It is part of the .NET system, and basically re-compiles .NET byte code into native images and constructs the registry entries to manage them. Windows will decide when to run NGen, based on what is being installed and what Windows detects in the configuration. When NGen is running, you must let it complete. An interrupted NGen operation can leave you with non-functioning .NET assemblies or other problems in the .NET system.
You have the choice of waiting for the NGen to complete in the background, or you can force the NGen to the foreground. You can also check the status of the NGen operation, as described below. However, every time you check the queue status, you are creating foreground activity, which might cause the background processing to temporarily pause.
Forcing the NGen to the foreground will allow you to view the progress and once the output has completed, you should be able to finalize the layer.
Force an NGen operation to the foreground.
Normally, NGen is a background operation and will pause if there is foreground activity. Bringing the task into the foreground can help the task to complete as quickly as possible. To do this:
Open a command prompt as Administrator.
Go to the Microsoft .NET Framework directory for the version currently in use:
Enter the NGen command to execute the queued items:
ngen update /force
This brings the NGen task to the foreground in the command prompt, and lists the assemblies being compiled.
Note: It’s okay if you see several compilation failed messages!
Check the status of an NGen operation
Open a command prompt as Administrator.
Check status by running this command:
ngen queue status
When you receive the following status, the NGen is complete, and you can finalize the Layer.
The .NET Runtime Optimization Service is stopped
Once the platform tools are installed and the Packaging Machine has been verified and shut down, you are ready to finalize the layer.
Note: When you finalize a Layer, the App Layering appliance may delete the Packaging Machine to minimize storage space used.
When a layer is ready to finalize: