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AngelD | 19 Sep 2006 | 5 comments

Many users on the "Software Virtualization Solution Support Forum have stated (and you may also have noticed) that the path environment variable included in an Application layer is not displayed during layer activation.

Cause
The system Path environment variable which is stored in the registry key "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment" is included
in the Base (layer) by default. When an application search for an executable explorer.exe is called to resolve the Path variable (which specifies the search path for executable files). The explorer.exe resides in the Base and the Path variable in the Base will therefore be used due to SVS default priority order.

Resolution
By default there is no User Path environment variable (stored in the registry key "HKCU\Environment") defined in the Base which...

Jeremy_Hurren | 10 Mar 2006 | 0 comments

For security reasons, layers don't store passwords. So, how do you create a layer that starts a service on activation that requires a password? Jeremy Hurren takes us under the hood for this workaround.

Because of the way that SVS virtualizes services, it does not store the password information necessary to log on as a service. So if you are installing software that has such a service into a layer, it will work the first time you run it, but after deactivating it and activating it again the service won't be able to start. The underlying technical reason is that SVS has to delete and create the service repsectively during the deactivation and activation. Because SVS doesn't want to expose any password information, it doesn't store that information in the layer, and therefore cannot use it to recreate the service during activation.

There are two different solutions that can work here. First would be to change the service you are installing to log on as one of the built-...

Jeremy_Hurren | 21 Feb 2006 | 1 comment

Here's a power tip from the tip master, Jeremy Hurren. In this gem, Jeremy shows you a quick way to make it easier to view sublayer information.

If you're a power user who needs to manipulate the information in your layers directly, you may find this useful.

Currently you may be using regedit to look at all the keys under HKLM\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL to find which two areas match your layer.

Instead, set the following flag in the regsitry key to make SVSAdmin display this for you.

Modify This Key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\SVS
Flags (DWORD) = 0x00000001

In the details view, you'll get an extra column of data showing "...

Randy Cook | 14 Feb 2006 | 3 comments

If you want to change the location of the fslrdr folder to something besides the c:\ default, you'll need to dig out your registry tools. Randy Cook shows us which wire to cut.

Like all things in the Juice, this is not strictly supported, but appears to work fine.

After installation and before you create/import any packages, modify the setting: HKLM\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL\DefaultFileRedirect.

Editor's note: Read this article for a cautionary note about moving the fslrdr location.

Jeremy_Hurren | 31 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

You can adjust the level of compression that SVS applies when it creates a Virtual Software Archive (VSA). By adjusting this level, you can find a balance between performance and size. Jeremy Hurren shows us how to find the perfect balance.

If you have data that needs a different level of compression, you'll be happy to know there's a way you can change that (either per-layer or machine-wide). A perfect candidate would be my MP3 data layer which holds many gigabytes of data. Since the compression on MP3 files is infinitesimal, I choose to have them simply stored and not compressed at all to speed up the process.

The following setting will set the compression level machine-wide:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL

CompressionLevel (DWORD) = 0-19 (5 is the default)

To set this for an individual layer, place the value under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL\1

(replace 1 with the...

Jeremy_Hurren | 17 Jan 2006 | 16 comments

SVS CodeMaster Jeremy Hurren just threw another gem over the wall. If you want an SVS action (activate, deactivate, delete ...) to trigger an application, or send a message, or play a sound, here's the recipe.

Have you ever needed to run an external process when a layer gets activated, or deactivated, or deleted? You might, for example, have a third-party inventory system and want to re-evaluate the computer's inventory when layers activate and deactivate. (Send us your examples*).

Or maybe, like me, you just want to play a sound when layers activate. The following example plays the ding.wav file when a layer is activated and the chord.wav file when a layer is deactivated.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL
OnPostActivate (MULTI_SZ) = "PlaySound.exe "C:\Windows\Media\ding.wav""
OnPostDeactivate (MULTI_SZ) = "PlaySound.exe "C:\Windows\Media\chord.wav""

In addition to a global setting like the one above, you can also change settings...

riva11 | 17 Jan 2006 | 0 comments

SVS CodeMaster Jeremy Hurren ha gettato un'altra perla oltre il muro. Se avete avuto la necessità di eseguire una azione di SVS (attivare, disattivare, cancellare ...) per dare il via ad una applicazione, per spedire un messaggio oppure per eseguire un suono, allora qui è possibile trovare la ricetta.

Avete mai avuto la necessità di eseguire un processo esterno quando un layer viene attivato o disattivato, oppure cancellato? Potresti, per esempio, avere un tool di terze parti per l'inventario e voler rieseguire la raccolta dei dati dei computer quando i layer sono attivati e disattivati. (Mandate i vostri esempi*).

O forse volete semplicemente, come mi succede, fare eseguire dal computer un suono quando un layer viene attivato. Nel seguente esempio viene suonato il file ding.wav file quando il layer è attivato e chord.wav quando il layer viene disattivato.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Altiris\FSL
OnPostActivate (MULTI_SZ) = "...

Jeremy_Hurren | 09 Jan 2006 | 5 comments

SVS developer Jeremy Hurren tells us how to tune a few settings to help applications shut down gracefully -- especially useful in a virtualized world where "deactivate" does more than simply close an app.

It's possible with SVS to deactivate a layer that is home to an application that is currently running. When you do this (deactivate the layer) the running application, by default, displays an error message that informs you that an application is running and asks if you want to (forcefully) shut it down. If you say "yes", the application process is terminated. This can leave undesirable results such as unsaved documents and icons remaining in the system tray.

You can specify a registry key that will cause the Software Virtualization Agent to automatically (and gracefully) shut down an application when a layer is deactivated. If, for example, you are running Microsoft Word and have made the registry changes noted below, when you attempt to deactivate the Word layer you...

Randy Cook | 14 Nov 2005 | 0 comments

Randy Cook gives us some vital info about how SVS interacts with the Windows Registry. If you're faced with editing the registry of a virtualized app (shudder) this tip could be a life saver.

If you come to a point in life when you need to tweak the Registry of a virtualized application, you'll want to keep this explanation of how SVS works with registry keys within reach.

The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key is a virtual key that Windows creates by combining the data from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes. When there is a conflict in this data, preference is given to the data contained in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes.

SVS does not store data in the virtual HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key. Instead it stores it in its real location under either HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes. At runtime, Windows reads the SVS data for active layers from these locations and properly renders HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT....