Video Screencast Help
Symantec to Separate Into Two Focused, Industry-Leading Technology Companies. Learn more.

Chapter 7: Altiris SVS Applet

Created: 07 Jun 2007 • Updated: 12 Feb 2013
Language Translations
Admin's picture
+1 1 Vote
Login to vote

The Altiris® SVS applet is installed when you install the Altiris® Software Virtualization Agent. It is available from the Control Panel and lets you create, import, export, and manage SVS layers.

You can also use the SVS Admin to create, import, export, and manage SVS layers.

Topics include:

Creating a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet

You can use the Altiris SVS applet to create an application or data layer. When you place applications and data into layers, you can instantly activate, deactivate or reset the layers. By placing applications in a layer you completely avoid conflicts between applications without altering the base Windows installation.

If you have Wise Package Studio® Professional Edition 7.0 or later or Wise Installation Studio 7.0 or later installed, the applet uses Virtual Package Editor to create a layer. Otherwise, the applet uses an SVS capture tool to create a layer.

Note In runtime mode, the applet cannot create a layer.

To create a layer using the applet's capture tool

This procedure captures a single application to a layer.

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

  2. On the Layers tab, click New.

    The Create New Layer dialog appears.

  3. Select Install application and click Next.
  4. Enter a name for the layer and click Next.
  5. Select Single program capture, specify the setup .EXE to capture, and click Next.
  6. Click Finish.

    The application's installation dialogs appear.

  7. To capture the installation, work through the installation dialogs.

    After the application is captured, its layer appears in the list box on the Layers tab of the Altiris SVS applet.

To create a layer using Virtual Package Editor

For details on using Virtual Package Editor or SetupCapture®, see the Wise Virtual Package Editor Reference.

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

  2. Deactivate all layers.
  3. On the Layers tab, click New.

    Either the New Virtual Package dialog appears or the Virtual Package Editor opens.

  4. If the Virtual Package Editor opens, select File > New to display the New Virtual Package dialog.
  5. Complete the dialog:
    1. In the Templates/Tools list, select a template or the SetupCapture tool. The Application and Data templates let you create a new application layer or data layer. The SetupCapture tool lets you capture an existing application and create an application layer for that application.
    2. In the Output type section, specify the type of output to create. The output of a layer can be a virtual software project file (.WVP) or a virtual software layer.
    3. Click OK.
  6. If you selected a template, the Virtual Package Editor opens. Use the editor to manually create a new application or data layer.
  7. If you selected SetupCapture, SetupCapture opens. Use SetupCapture to walk through the process of capturing the application as a layer.
  8. After the layer is created, do one of the following to import it as a layer.
    • If the output type is a virtual software project file (.WVP), save and compile the layer and then import its .VSA file in the Altiris SVS applet. See Importing a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet
    • If the output type is a virtual layer, the layer appears in the Altiris SVS applet after you save it in the Virtual Package Editor or create it with SetupCapture.

Importing a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet

You can use the Altiris SVS applet to import an existing .VSA or .VRA to install a layer. After you import an application layer, you simply activate the layer to complete the installation of the application.

Note In runtime mode, the applet can import only .VRA files.

To import .VSA or .VRA files

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

  2. On the Layers tab, click Import.
  3. On the Open dialog, specify the file type and select one or more .VSA or .VRA files.
  4. After the import completes, click OK.

    The imported layers appear in the Altiris SVS applet list box.

To access sample .VSA files

The Altiris Juice Web page contains sample .VSA files that you can download and import.

  1. Access Altiris Juice at http://www.symantec.com/connect/svs.
  2. Under Software Virtualization, click sample applications.
  3. Download sample .VSA files.

Exporting a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet

You can use the Altiris SVS applet to export a standard layer as a virtual software archive file (.VSA) and a runtime layer as a virtual runtime archive file (.VRA). You export layers so that you can share them.

If you are a system administrator, a .VSA or .VRA file can be stored on a network share, e-mailed, or deployed to client computers on your network using Altiris Software Virtualization Solution or Deployment Solution. If you are a developer, you can use Wise Installation Studio 7.0 SP1 or later to create .VRA files that your end users can install even if they do not have the Altiris® Software Virtualization Agent installed on their computers.

Note In runtime mode, the applet cannot export a layer.

To export a layer to a .VSA or .VRA file

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

    A layer appears in the list box on the Layers tab when you create a virtual software layer or import a .VSA or .VRA file.

  2. If the layer is activated, right-click the layer and click Deactivate.
  3. If the layer contains user-specific information that you want to remove, from the layer's right-click menu, select Reset.
    Caution

    When you reset a layer, all data generated by the layer is lost unless it has been explicitly excluded from the layer or redirected to a data layer.

  4. Select the layer and click Export.
  5. Specify a path and a file name.

A standard layer is exported to a .VSA file and a runtime layer is exported to a .VRA file.

Managing a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet

You can use the Altiris SVS applet to manage layers that you have created or imported (see Creating a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet on page 83 or Importing a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet on page 84). You can activate, deactivate, delete, export, rename, reset, and make other changes to a layer. In runtime mode, some of the management functionality is not available. ()

To manage a layer

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

  2. On the Layers tab, you can do the following:
    • Delete, rename, or export a layer

      To delete, rename, or export a layer, select the layer and use the buttons on the right. For details on exporting, see Exporting a Layer with Altiris SVS Applet on page 85.

    • Activate, deactivate, or reset a layer

      To activate, deactivate, or reset a layer, select the appropriate option from the layer's right-click menu.

      When a layer is activated, the layer name is displayed in bold type in the SVS Altiris applet and all the contents of the layer are visible on the computer. When a layer is deactivated, the contents of the layer are hidden. When a layer is created, it is activated by default.

      If you try to deactivate a layer that has a process running, you are prompted to stop the process.

      Resetting a layer is useful if an application becomes damaged. The layer can be reset without having to uninstall or re-install the application. Another advantage to resetting a layer is that is does not damage other applications that are installed on the computer.

      Note You cannot reset data layers.
    • Edit a layer

      To edit a layer, deactivate it and select Edit Content from the layer's right-click menu. If you have Wise Package Studio Professional Edition 7.0 or later or Wise Installation Studio 7.0 or later installed, the layer opens in the Virtual Package Editor (for details, see the Wise Virtual Package Editor Reference). Otherwise, the layer opens in the Edit Layer dialog ().

    • View a layer's properties

      To view a layer's properties, double-click the layer or select the layer and click Details.

      The Layer Properties dialog appears. This dialog displays information about the layer's contents and history as well as its type. You can also activate, edit, export, and reset a layer from this dialog.

    • Set a layer to be activated on startup To set a layer so that it activates automatically when a computer restarts, double-click the layer and mark Start automatically on the Layer Properties dialog.

Runtime Mode Limitations

In runtime mode, you cannot:

  • Import a standard layer
  • Create or export a layer
  • Activate, edit, or reset standard layers
  • Set a standard layer to start automatically

Creating and Editing Global Exclude Entries with Altiris SVS Applet

Global exclude entries are used to specify certain file extensions or directories that you want to exclude from all application layers. When any layer saves data with these extensions or to these directories, the data is excluded from the layer and is not lost when the layer is reset. (Example: You could create a global exclude for .DOC files. If any layer creates .DOC files, the files are excluded from the layer. When the layer is reset, the .DOC files are not lost.)

By default, predefined global exclude entries are created for the Desktop and the My Documents directories. You can edit these predefined global exclude entries and create your own.

Global exclude entries apply only to application layers. Specifications in data layers override global exclude entries. (Example: If you have a global exclude entry for My Documents and you have a data layer that requires files in My Documents, the files will be saved in the data layer.)

To create and edit global exclude entries

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel > Altiris SVS.

    The Altiris SVS applet appears.

  2. Click the Options tab.
  3. To add an entry:
    1. In the Edit Global Exclude Entries window, right-click and select New Exclude Entry.
    2. Select either File Extension or Directory.

      If you select Directory, you can also select to exclude its subdirectories.

    3. Specify the file extension or directory.
    4. Click OK.
  4. To modify a global exclude entry:
    1. In the Edit Global Exclude Entries window, double-click an exclude entry.
    2. Edit the entry.
    3. Click OK.
  5. To delete a global exclude entry:
    1. In the Edit Global Exclude Entries window, select an entry.
    2. From the right-click menu, select Delete Exclude Entry.
    3. Click Yes.

Altiris SVS Applet Configuration Options

To set options on how software virtualization works on your computer, select Control Panel > Altiris SVS and click the Options tab.

  • Hide Software Virtualization files and registry keys

    Select this to hide the fslrdr directory on the computer (typically c:\fslrdr) and the fslrdr registry keys (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\fslrdr). This requires a reboot to take effect. This directory and registry key is displayed by default, but you might want to hide it. If you are an administrator, use this option to protect layers from malicious or accidental tampering. (Example: A user with rights might see the fslrdr directory and, not knowing what it is, delete it. Then all layers would be lost.)

  • Display Sublayer information in the layer list

    Select this to display a Sublayer Info column on the Layers tab. This column displays the hexadecimal number for the read-only (RO) and the writeable (RW) sublayers. Use this information to identify sublayers in the fslrdr directory or registry key.

Chapter 6: Advanced Virtual Software Layer Topics

Chapter 8: Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Logon Hook