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TinyCore Builder for VMware View Demo

The TinyCore Builder for VMware View is a great tool to create a customized boot image to access your virtual desktops. The uses are many, but perhaps its most frequent use is to re-purpose an old machine for use with a VMware View environment.

Your options can basically be broken down into 2 categories - TinyCore options and the VMware View Client options.

Below is a list of options offered, their descriptions, and some example values. The formal documentation that gets into the more fine grain details on the View options can be found at vmware.com/pdf/view-client-linux-document.pdf.

Option Description Value Example
Screen Resolution Screen Resolution should match the native resolution of the LCD monitors that are being used, or the capabilities of the video card in the repurposed systems. ie. 1024x768
Color Bits This is the desired color depth. ie. 32
Background-Image Shows a background image during the boot process. See the example screenshot towards the bottom of the article
Show WBAR? Set to NO to make the View Client appear more seamless. Use the drop-down for options.
Auto-Shutdown Tinycore This can be set to YES to have the closing of the View Client shut down the operating system. Use the drop-down for options.
Welcome Message Display a message after the system boots. ie. Hello world!
view.autoConnectBroker Automatically connects to the last View server used. Specify "TRUE" or "FALSE". Default is "FALSE".
view.autoConnectDesktop Automatically connects to the last View desktop used. Specify "TRUE" or "FALSE". Default is "FALSE".
view.defaultBroker Adds the name that you specify to the Server Name field in View Client. Specify a fully qualified domain name. ie. view.envisionsuccess.net
view.defaultDesktop Specifies which desktop to use when autoConnectDesktop is set to "TRUE" and the user has access to multiple desktops. Specify a desktop name ie. Win7
view.defaultDesktopHeight Specifies the default height of the window for the View desktop, in pixels. ie. 768
view.defaultDesktopSize Sets the default size of the window for the View desktop. To use all monitors, set the property to "1". To use full screen mode on one monitor, set the property to "2". To use a large window, set the property to "3". To use a small window, set the property to "4". To set a custom size, set the property to "5" and then also set the view.defaultDesktopWidth and view.defaultDesktopHeight properties.
view.defaultDesktopWidth Specifies the default width of the window for the View desktop, in pixels. ie. 1024
view.defaultDomain Sets the domain name that View Client uses for all connections. Specify a domain name.  ie. envision.local
view.defaultPassword Sets the password that View Client uses for all connections. For PCoIP and rdesktop connections, always specify "-" to read the password from stdin.
view.defaultUser Sets the user name that View Client uses for all connections and adds the user name that you specify to the User Name field in View Client authentication dialog box. ie. Sean
view.fullScreen Hides the host operating system and opens the View Client user interface in full screen mode on one monitor. Specify "TRUE" or "FALSE". Default is "FALSE".
view.kbdLayout Specifies which locale to use for the keyboard layout, by language code. ie. en-us for United States English or fr for French
view.nonInteractive Hides unnecessary UI steps from end users by skipping the screens that are specified in the command line or configuration properties. Specify "TRUE" or "FALSE". Default is "FALSE".
view.rdesktopOptions (Available if you use the Microsoft RDP display protocol) Specifies command-line options to forward to the rdesktop application. See rdesktop documentation.
view.sslVerificationMode Sets the server certificate verification
mode.
Use the drop-down for options.
view.nomenubar Suppresses the View Client menu bar when View Client is in full screen mode, so that users cannot access menu options to log off of, reset, or disconnect from a View desktop. Specify "TRUE" or "FALSE". Default is "FALSE".

 

In the below example you will see that I filled out some of the fields -

After filling out the page to your liking click "Submit Form" button at the bottom. Your image will be built into ISO format, ready for you to boot via CD/USB. With a small amount of tinkering you can easily use this to boot from PXE too. This has a major benefit in that you can update the boot image in one place easily. However, you will want to make sure that the PXE server is only being used by PCs you actually want to PXE boot, otherwise you will have unintended consequences of other PCs also booting from the PXE server.

I created a VM in VMware Workstation and set the DVD/CDROM to boot the newely downloaded image. Below are screenshots of it booting up with the Envision splash screen, then launching the View Client:

 

This is the typical VMware View client for Linux. Expect limitations like no USB redirection and the inability to save client options since the image is volatile. You do of course gain from the image being volatile since you are going to get a nice clean untampered with image on each reboot.

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