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New AppDeploy's Free Repackager tool tutorial

Hi guys I have been hovering around the site for years dropping in when I need help on a package or script, I did have an account back way when it was appdeploy can’t remember it now …lol anyway I’ve decided to “attempt” some tutorials, and I thought seeing as how I have taken so much from the site I’d try and give something back. I’d like your opinions on the tutorials and constructive any feedback will be welcome, they are not set in stone so if you think I made some almighty cock up somewhere let me know and I can change it or at least edited it out.

Tutorial Part 1: http://appvpro.com?p=28

Tutorial Part 2: http://appvpro.com?p=35

 

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Profiling Firefox in Citrix XenApp 6.5

Hello,

In the next few steps I will share with you, as to how you should profile Firefox(ver. 13) in citrix xenapp 6.5

Intro:

Firefox, as you all know is a web browser by Mozilla. Most of us have often struggled with the first few screens that come when you launch firefox for the first time after installation. Its really painful to repeat all those steps if you are planning to deploy this application over a network.

Solution:

Firefox creates a profile under %Appdata% (roaming in case of windows 7). Now if you open this folder you will find a folder named mozilla. under this folder you will find the folder Firefox, under this folder you will find a folder named crash reports, profiles and a profiles.ini file. If you open this profiles.ini, you will find the following content in it

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=Profiles/n9i7r825.default

Now the most important thing in this ini file is the last line highlighted in bold in the above line. open the profile folder in the firectory where the profiles.ini file is present, you will find a folder by exactly similar name as in the above ini file. If you delete this folder firefox will again ask you to configure it, in the same manner it asked you , when you launched the application for the first. So to avoid this make sure you never delete this folder. Now  coming to the suppression of updates in the firefox. All the options related to pop up that surface after configuring firefox, updates, sending crash reports, etc.. are stored in prefs.js file. And this is the file that we are looking for.  This file is located in following location %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\n9i7r825.default\prefs.js. Always keep a backup of this file , incase some of you dont wish to configure firefox over and again after installation. Just copy this file in the above mentioned location as soon as the installation is over, and the Firefox would bother you ever for the configuration

How to Profile:

Now what I am about to cover here is pertaining to XenApp 6.5.

1. Open the profiler in the profiling machine

2. Select New profile in the above step

3. Click next

4. name the profile as per your requirement.

5. Click next

6.Click next

7. Select the platform for which you wish to deploy the application and its language

8. now if your installation has just a single installer select the default option else select advanced option and  continue with the default option already present on the next screen and click next

9. Pass the exe and command line arguments if any on this screen and click next

10. Click launch installer. At this stage the installation of firefox would start. Proceed as if you were installing the firefox on your machine. Once done with installation, the next button will get highlighted by itself, click next it will take you to the next screen

Click next if you dont wish to install other applications alongside firefox and wish to profile those alongwith firefox, in which case you should select the second option. Rest i presume should be easy for all those reading this.

on the next screen the profiler will detect the installed applications by default. if it doesnt it means something went wrong and you need to start profiling again.

click next once you have run the application.

click next on this screen

follow the default settings on the next screen until you reach the final screen where the profiler asks you to build the profile as shown below

click finish and the profiler will build your profile. Exclusions related to files and folders can be done by opening the .profile file for upgrade. I will cover that later on, right now , dont wish to confuse the audience.

Finishing the application
Now if you'll remember i discussed something about the prefs.js file in the beginning. Yes, now that file comes into file. Now what i didnt tell you was, the xenapp 6.5 doesnt capture user related files , so how do we handle it? At this stage , we need to write a prelaunch vbscript which will copy this file everytime this application is launched

but first let me share with you the contents of prefs.js file

# Mozilla User Preferences

/* Do not edit this file.
 *
 * If you make changes to this file while the application is running,
 * the changes will be overwritten when the application exits.
 *
 * To make a manual change to preferences, you can visit the URL about:config
 */

user_pref("app.update.auto", false);
user_pref("app.update.enabled", false);
user_pref("app.update.mode", 0);
user_pref("app.update.service.enabled", false);
user_pref("browser.bookmarks.restore_default_bookmarks", false);
user_pref("browser.cache.disk.capacity", 1048576);
user_pref("browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run", false);
user_pref("browser.migration.version", 6);
user_pref("browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion", 3);
user_pref("browser.preferences.advanced.selectedTabIndex", 2);
user_pref("browser.rights.3.shown", true);
user_pref("browser.search.update", false);
user_pref("browser.shell.checkDefaultBrowser", false);
user_pref("browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID", "20120614114901");
user_pref("browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone", "13.0.1");
user_pref("browser.taskbar.lastgroupid", "E7CF176E110C211B");
user_pref("extensions.blocklist.pingCountVersion", 0);
user_pref("extensions.bootstrappedAddons", "{}");
user_pref("extensions.databaseSchema", 12);
user_pref("extensions.enabledAddons", "{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}:13.0.1");
user_pref("extensions.installCache", "[{\"name\":\"app-global\",\"addons\":{\"{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}\":{\"descriptor\":\"C:\\\\Program Files (x86)\\\\Mozilla Firefox\\\\extensions\\\\{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}\",\"mtime\":1341981846073}}}]");
user_pref("extensions.lastAppVersion", "13.0.1");
user_pref("extensions.lastPlatformVersion", "13.0.1");
user_pref("extensions.pendingOperations", false);
user_pref("extensions.shownSelectionUI", true);
user_pref("intl.charsetmenu.browser.cache", "UTF-8");
user_pref("network.cookie.prefsMigrated", true);
user_pref("places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages", 104858);
user_pref("privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs", true);
user_pref("services.sync.clients.lastSync", "0");
user_pref("services.sync.clients.lastSyncLocal", "0");
user_pref("services.sync.globalScore", 0);
user_pref("services.sync.migrated", true);
user_pref("services.sync.nextSync", 0);
user_pref("services.sync.tabs.lastSync", "0");
user_pref("services.sync.tabs.lastSyncLocal", "0");
user_pref("toolkit.startup.last_success", 1341982165);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.prompted", 2);
user_pref("toolkit.telemetry.rejected", true);
user_pref("urlclassifier.keyupdatetime.https://sb-ssl.google.com/safebrowsing/newkey", 1344569870);
user_pref("xpinstall.whitelist.add", "");
user_pref("xpinstall.whitelist.add.36", "");
 

the highlighted sections matter the most. If you observe closely, the highlighted lines are self explanatory, if not, let me tell you that those lines , will suppress automatic updates and automatic search engine updates.

now comes the the prelaunch vbscript file, but before that, did i tell you where you should keep this file , so that prelaunch.vbs copies this file everytime it runs in user. For that , open the .profile file generated in the above profiling steps. 

refer the image below

click update/install application , so that we can add file. click next on the screen that appears

on the next screen , select  advanced install, and click next. On the next screen , select "select files and folders radio button" and click next. it will take you to the following screen

the left hand section designates the files on the machine and the right hand section designates the file in the profiled application. Now in the left hand section, navigate to the desktop folder(i presume that should not be difficult ) Once on desktop folder, add that folder to the captured installation directory of firefox(u can keep the file anywhere in the captured directories, but i prefer INSTALLDIR). once the file is added , click next. On the next screen, select finish application and click next. again you will be presented with the screen asking you to run the application. Run the application and follow on screen instruction.When done , follow the default options on the screen untill you get the screen which asks you to build the profile and Voila!! you are done adding the file

Now lets write our vbscript file. Use the following content. I dont own any of the following content. Nor am i a very good scripter, but can write everyday scripts that can get the work done.

======================================================================

Option Explicit

On Error Resume Next
Const OVERWRITE_EXISTING = True

Dim objShell, objFso, struserpath, filepath, strCD, cmd, strAppdata, strSource1, strSource2, strDest, strDest1, strDest2, strDest3, strMicro, strFile

Set objShell=wscript.CreateObject ("wscript.Shell")
Set objFso=CreateObject ("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

strAppdata = objshell.expandenvironmentstrings("%appdata%")
strCD = objshell.expandenvironmentstrings("%ProgramFiles(x86)%")

strSource1 = strCD & "\Mozilla Firefox\profiles.ini"
strSource2 = strCD & "\Mozilla Firefox\prefs.js"
strMicro = strAppdata & "\Mozilla\"
strDest1 = strAppdata & "\Mozilla\Firefox\"
strDest2 = strAppData & "\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\"
strDest3 = strAppData & "\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\382pmpjp.default\"
strFile = strAppdata & "\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\382pmpjp.default\prefs.js"


If Not objFSO.FolderExists( strMicro ) Then
            objFSO.CreateFolder strMicro
End if

If Not objFSO.FolderExists( strDest1 ) Then
            objFSO.CreateFolder strDest1
End if

If Not objFSO.FolderExists( strDest2 ) Then
            objFSO.CreateFolder strDest2
End if

If Not objFSO.FolderExists( strDest3 ) Then
            objFSO.CreateFolder strDest3
End if

If Not objFSO.FileExists( strFile ) Then
         
         objFso.CopyFile strSource1 , strDest1
                 objFso.CopyFile strSource2 , strDest3, OVERWRITE_EXISTING
        
        
                
End if



Set objShell= nothing
Set objFso= nothing

======================================================================

Save this file by anyname.vbs
Now how to add this script to our profile?

again refer the following options

This time click properties and you will get the following screen

select the highlighted section. Uncheck the use profile settings. this will open up the prelaunch & Post exit scripts section.

Click Add. browse to the directory where you have kept your vbs file. Do not change any other option on the window unless you are sure about it. Once done adding the file, click apply and ok and save the profile on desktop. and you are done. Now when  you publish this application you will no longer get the same configuration windows and also the auto update will be disabled.

 

Do let me know if in case, someone finds any difficulty in the above mentioned steps

 

 

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Test Driving Windows 8

While the procedure here is for a Mac, it is virtually the same for a PC. Do Mac users really want to play with Windows 8? This one does. If you are curious, I think you’ll find the process of getting Windows 8 up and running in a virtual environment very simple even if you have no experience with virtualization. 

Getting Set Up

Follow these simple steps:

1. Download VirtualBox from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads 

2. Download the Windows 8 Preview ISO file from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso/ 

3. Install Virtual Box by running its installation package (simple wizard)

4. Create a new Virtual Machine in VirtulaBox by clicking the “New” button at the top left of the screen

5. When prompted for the VM name and OS Type, you can actually just type “Windows 8” as a name and VirtualBox is smart enough to automatically select Windows 8 as an OS. You can certainly tweak the settings as you go through the “Create New Virtual Machine” wizard, but accepting all defaults works just fine.

6. With the Virtual Machine created, click “Start” from the top menu and you’ll see a friendly “Frist Run Wizard” that lets you specify your start up media. Instead of selecting the host drive (as we have no DVD to provide here), click the folder icon to browse for the ISO file you downloaded from Microsoft. 

7. At this point you’ll be taken through the simple Windows 8 interactive installation process where you will enter the product key (found on the same page you downloaded your Windows ISO file). When you are prompted for what type of installation, choose “Custom: Install Windows only” and accept all default selections. 

8. You do need a Windows Live account to log into Windows 8. If you don’t have one already (which you might use for things like Xbox Live, Messenger or Hotmail) you can easily do so at https://signup.live.com  

For a video of the above steps, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIztOJZKGNY 

 

Tips for Using Windows 8 in a VM

Clearly the experience would be better with a touch interface, but seeing as how that is not possible here, below are some navigation tips to help you get around this virtual instance of Windows 8. 

There is a scrollbar across the bottom of the screen that appears when you move your mouse around the metro desktop. Scroll to the right to see those items off the screen by default.

To exit an application you may want to press the Escape key, but that won’t do it. Instead, just press the Command button. Other combinations work too, like Command-Esc or Control-Esc.

In VirtualBox Control-Esc is easiest by default because it conflicts with the default VirtualBox “host key”. The “host key” is used to explicitly release control from the VM and back to the host machine and is by default the left Command key, which happens to be the key I’d prefer to use when I want to exit an application. To change the VirtualBox default to something else, click on the VirtualBox application (not the running VM, but the main VirtualBox application window) and choose “Settings” from the “VirtualBox” menu at the top right of your Mac display. Click “Input” and press another key  (or combination of keys) that you’d like to have as the host key and click “OK” to enforce the change. Once you’ve done this you can use the left Command key to exit applications in Windows 8.

Press Option-Tab to quickly move between active applications or use Command-Tab for a more visual way to do the same

The “Desktop” tile will take you to the familiar Windows Desktop view. Only the start menu is missing and the only icons in the task bar are Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer (for browsing files).

You can rearrange tiles by clicking and holding down while you drag the tile to its preferred location

If you right-click on a tile, you’ll see an edit menu appear at the bottom of the screen that will let you unpin (remove) it from the Start Menu, make a larger or smaller sized tile or uninstall the application from the computer. You’ll also notice a small “All Apps” button on the right that takes you to a view of smaller icons for every installed application (as opposed to just those pinned to the start menu).

When you are in an application, you can use the Mac two-finger scroll gesture to scroll vertically but not horizontally. I sure wish horizontal worked for scrolling the Metro Start menu but oh well. 

The default resolution is pretty tiny.  To change it you need to do so within Windows 8.  In the last Windows 8 release, there was a “settings” tile Click the “Settings” tile, scroll to the bottom and choose “More Settings” to access the traditional Windows control panel. Here you can choose “Adjust screen resolution” under “Appearance and Personalization”. As a virtual screen you can choose what you like and it will only affect the size of the virtual machine window on your Mac. 

In the previous release, if you are working in the Windows Desktop view a lot, it was frustrating that the “Start” menu you are so used to clicking on took you out of the desktop mode and back in to Metro instead of letting you choose applications. In this latest release that has been remedied by removing the start menu so that now you exit the desktop like any other application.   

The built in applications provide a good experience, but be sure to go to the Windows Store and download some free applications like Cut The Rope, Music Maker Jam and Tweetro. The download/install process is as easy as you’d expect.  The Music Maker Jam app was a fun one, but Cut the Rope is not much fun without a touch screen (though it does work fine). 

This release of Windows 8 shows considerable progress over the previous public release, but you do need to keep in mind that this is a Preview and is not final. That said, it was surprisingly stable and I saw very few problems. The Windows 8 Preview succeeds in doing what it was designed to, showing you a promising view of what is on the way. I think you’ll find it well worth the short amount of time it takes to get it up and running so you can get your own hands on it.

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K1000 Express Video Tutorials

This post contains a series of tutorial videos that walk through the installation, configuration and usage of the K1000 Express Management Appliance.

The Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance Express (K1000 Express) is a free, introductory version of the award winning Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance. The K1000 Express is an inventory-focused software solution designed for systems that run Microsoft Windows®, including laptops, desktops, servers and tablets.

Installing K1000 Express: VMware ESX Installation

This training video explains how to install the K1000 Express virtual appliance on a VMware ESX or ESXi Server.



Installing K1000 Express: Microsoft Hyper-V Installation

This training video explains how to install the K1000 Express virtual appliance on a Microsoft Hyper-V Server.



Installing K1000 Express: Initial Configuration

This training video explains how to perform the initial configuration of the K1000 Express virtual appliance including the initial login to the web interface, applying the license key, and configuration of network settings.  




K1000 Express: Agent Provisioning

This training video explains the various options for provisioning agents with the K1000 Express including some best practice recommendations.



K1000 Express: Inventory

This training video provides an overview of the hardware and software inventory features of the K1000 Express.



K1000 Express: Dell System Updates

This training video explains how to configure the Dell Update subscription settings and provides an overview of the Dell System Update features of the K1000 Express.




K1000 Express: Dashboard

This training video provides an overview of the Dashboard features of the K1000 Express.



K1000 Express: Reporting

This training video provides an overview of the Reporting features of the K1000 Express.




K1000 Express: Support Options

This training video provides an overview of the support options available for the K1000 Express. 


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