Monday Aug 23, 2010

Working with RDP settings in Oracle VDI

The display protocol between Sun Ray DTUs (or the software application Oracle Virtual Desktop Client) and the Oracle VDI servers is ALP, the Appliance Link Protocol. ALP is a latency friendly protocol and very efficient in Wide Area Networks. Between the Oracle VDI servers and the Virtual Desktops, hosted on the virtualization infrastructure, the RDP protocol is used and implemented through the Sun Ray Connector for Windows.

The Oracle VDI broker uses standard RDP settings that you may change as an Oracle VDI administrator. This is done per pool configuration and available through the Oracle VDI GUI or via CLI-commands. In the below picture you see how to navigate in the Oracle VDI GUI to the pool settings: select Pools in the left column, select the Pool you want to customize (in my case Windows XP Pool) and select the tab Settings.

If you scroll down on the Pool Settings page you see the section for Sun Ray specific pool settings and the option to customize the settings for RDP. Pay attention to the order of selecting the options:

  1. Select the hyperlink Edit Sun Ray RDP Settings and enable the desired settings in the page that displays, save the changes and go back to the Pool Settings page.
  2. Select the checkbox Use Customized Settings,
  3. Save the changes
I have made multiple times the error to go directly to the Edit Sun Ray RDP Settings after I selected the checkbox. If you don't save the change, and you come back from Edit Sun Ray RDP Settings page, the checkbox is not activated anymore.

In the case you have changed the Sun Ray RDP settings and the result is still different then what you were expecting, you can go to the Oracle VDI server command-line (via SSH or Putty) to do some trouble-shooting. As you may know already, the RDP client for a Sun Ray session is called uttsc in Solaris. The desired RDP settings that you configured in the GUI are passed as arguments through this uttsc process on the server.

A very nice tool in the trouble-shooting process is the Solaris pargs CLI-command, which gives you information about the arguments that are passed to a Solaris process (identified by a Process ID).

In my example (see below) I want to investigate the RDP settings for a Sun Ray user with userid jaapr. I have to find out to which server Jaap's Sun Ray session is connected (press the three audio-keys on a Sun keyboard), I connect to this server with SSH/Putty and with the process ID of the uttsc process (better to use uttsc-bin for this) I investigate the RDP settings:

root@vdiserver:~# ps -ef|grep jaapr|grep uttsc-bin
   utku5 28223 28204   0 17:42:11 ?      0:00 /opt/SUNWuttsc/lib/uttsc-bin -m -u jaapr ...

root@vdiserver:~# pargs 28223
28223:  /opt/SUNWuttsc/lib/uttsc-bin -m -u jaapr -S 5 -d SUNVDI -i -r usb:on -E wallpap
argv[0]: /opt/SUNWuttsc/lib/uttsc-bin
argv[1]: -m
argv[2]: -u
argv[3]: jaapr
argv[4]: -S
argv[5]: 5
argv[6]: -d
argv[7]: SUNVDI
argv[8]: -i
argv[9]: -r
argv[10]: usb
argv[11]: -E
argv[12]: wallpaper
argv[13]: -E
argv[14]: theming
argv[15]: 192.168.4.157
root@vdiserver:~#

And here you have the complete listing of the RDP settings that are used for a specific Desktop session in a selected VDI pool.

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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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