Thursday Aug 19, 2010

Use a different Kiosk session in Oracle VDI

Today I was preparing a customer project on my test server to run a different application (then the default Oracle VDI desktop) on some special Sun Ray DTUs. In a recent post I wrote about configuring Opera as a Sun Ray Webkiosk browser and this was the application we wanted to run on the special DTUs (for a reception area). In this article I explain how to configure this for the Webkiosk browser, but the scenario is the same for every application you have in mind for a kiosk session.

There are multiple ways to configure different kiosk applications in the Oracle VDI server environment:

  1. Write your own Kiosk Mode scripts. The Think Thin Blog is a very good source to get your inspiration,
  2. Use the Meta Kiosk add-on developed by Daniel Cifuentes,
  3. Use the standard Kiosk Mode interface as described in Jörg's Desktop Blog.

I decided to use method three, it is a less known feature in the Sun Ray Server software (which is embedded in the Oracle VDI software), easy to configure via the CLI (unfortunately it is not yet integrated in the GUI) and you do not need to write a shell-script to control the multiple applications Kiosk Mode logic.

To refresh your mind from the earlier blog post about Opera: you need to install the Opera web-browser on your Oracle VDI servers and you need to store the kiosk description file and launcher in the directory /etc/opt/SUNWkio/sessions.

When this is done you let the Oracle VDI server know that for a pre-determined number of Sun Ray DTUs you do not want to use the default (Oracle VDI) kiosk session, but the alternative Opera Webkiosk session (or any session that you have in mind as alternative). This is a three step process:

1. First you have to store the Opera browser kiosk session configuration in the Sun Ray server data store. You have to create a little configuration file and use this file to store the information in the data store. After this is done you check if it is stored together with the default session

    # I have created the WebkioskSession.conf with an editor.
    root@vdiserver:# cat WebkioskSession.conf
    KIOSK_SESSION=webkiosk
    KIOSK_SESSION_TIMEOUT_DETACHED=12000
    root@vdiserver:# utkiosk -i WebkioskSession -f WebkioskSession.conf
    root@vdiserver:# utkiosk -l
    session
    WebkioskSession
    root@vdiserver:#

2. Then you register the token of the device (e.g. pseudo.00144f5787d1) or the token of a smart-card. Adding a name to the registration is mandatory, I use dummy01 as a not existing username.

    root@vdiserver:# utuser -a "pseudo.00144f5787d1,,,dummy01,"
    root@vdiserver:#

3. In the last step you override the default kiosk configuration by the alternative and restart the session by killing the current session for that token. 

    root@vdiserver:# utkioskoverride -r pseudo.00144f5787d1 -s kiosk -c WebkioskSession
    root@vdiserver:# utsession -k -t pseudo.00144f5787d1
    root@vdiserver:#

If you have multiple tokens (for example 20 Sun Ray DTUs in your reception area), then step two and three are very easy to script in a shell command or shell script. I let this to the user as this is out-of-scope for this article.

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I post here hands-on examples which I have used in my Oracle VDI Desktop Virtualization projects at customers and partners.

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