Tuesday May 10, 2011

Sun Ray Software 5.2 Released

Today, Oracle released a new version of Sun Ray Server software. This new version 5.2 contains some significant changes and is a further step in the integration to a full Oracle product.

The documentation is not anymore on the good old Sun Wikis website, it is migrated to the Oracle documentation system and available as pdf documents. Like the previous version, the software bundle can be downloaded from the Oracle edelivery website, I used this entry point to edelivery.

Things have also changed for System Administrators. The Sun Ray Webadmin GUI is changed to the Oracle look-and-feel (which we already know from the Oracle VDI software).

Sun Ray Server WebAdmin GUI

A second change for the SysAdmin is the single installer (the utsetup command) that installs the entire Sun Ray Software product on the Sun Ray server. It installs the Sun Ray server, the Windows connector, the VMware View connector and the smart card services (based on PC/SC-lite). After installing the packages, the utsetup command steps through the configuration process. A reboot of the Sun Ray server between installation of the packages and configuration of the Sun Ray server is not necessary anymore.

The utsetup command also has a feature to automate the Sun Ray server installation and configuration process. With a response-file created during your first utsetup run, you can clone the Sun Ray server setup on other servers.

Another change important for the SysAdmin is the Firmware provisioning process. In previous versions, there were two versions of the firmware delivered: non-GUI firmware and a GUI firmware. In this release, there is one firmware version and the GUI must be enabled through configuration. 

 Other changes visible for the end-user are (see also the Release Notes):

  • Improved performance for video and audio streams on Windows XP and Windows 2003
  • Audio optimization which helps for reduced bandwidth and increased scalability
  • USB headset support for a specific list of USB headsets.
  • Better multi-monitor support and enhancements for VPN and Networking.

The Sun Ray Server software is supported on the following operating systems platforms:

  • Solaris 10 5/09 or later on SPARC and x86 platforms
  • Solaris 10 5/09 or later on SPARC and x86 platforms with Solaris Trusted Extensions
  • Oracle Linux 5.5 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Oracle Linux 5.6 (32-bit and 64-bit)
See the Installation and Configuration Guide for the support statement for Red Hat servers and additional software requirements. 

Thursday Jul 15, 2010

Updates for Sun Ray Software

A quick note about Sun Ray Software updates already posted in other blogs: my colleague Arjan posted a blog about the Oracle Sun Ray press announcement and on the ThinkThin blog two articles (more technical/functional oriented) about the updates in the Sun Ray Software and a new version of PCSC-lite software.

Wednesday Jun 02, 2010

Opera: a Sun Ray Webkiosk browser

In one of my recent projects I had to install Sun Ray DTU devices in a reception area of an office building. The requirement was to use the Sun Ray as an information stand:

  • Deny access to the Desktop operating system, but provide Web browsing
  • Reset after periods of inactivity

I decided to give it a try with the Opera web browser which runs both on Solaris and Linux systems. My example installation is on Oracle Enterprise Linux, but it is also tested on Solaris x86.

Opera is a web browser with increasing popularity and runs on multiple platforms. Opera has some nice kiosk mode features such as:

  • Start-up dialogs are not shown
  • Full-screen mode is enabled by default, you can't escape from it
  • Toolbars and application bar are disabled
  • URL Filtering

Before I start configuring and customizing Opera for Sun Ray I did the following standard installation steps:

  • Download and install Opera on my Sun Ray server
  • Configure Flash, Java and Acroread plugins (follow the instructions on this webpage)

My next step is to perform some Opera configuration settings. I will do this as a standard Linux user (I did it as the root user) by launching the Opera browser. When launched for the first time Opera will create a $HOME/.opera configuration directory.

Opera has a Preferences Editor which you access via entering the opera:config URL. I used the following two configurations settings to adjust my Kiosk Mode preferences:

  • "Go Home Time Out": which is found under the Special section. This setting is used for resetting the kiosk after a certain period of inactivity in seconds. I used a setting of 600 (which is 10 minutes).
  • "URL Filter File": which is found under the Network section. Here you can choose your file path (or use the default setting $HOME/.opera/urlfilter.ini) where you store your URL filter rules.
  • I also changed the default home page, in my case I changed it to http://www.oracle.com/.

After exiting the Opera web browser, I created the URL filter rules in the default URL Filter File:

# vi $HOME/.opera/urlfilter.ini
[prefs]
   prioritize excludelist=1
[include]
   http://\*/\*
   https://\*/\*
[exclude]
   ftp://\*.bmp
   ftp://\*.gif
   ftp://\*.jpg
   ftp://\*.jpeg
   ftp://\*.png

See the Opera Kiosk Mode webpage for the explanation of the URL Filter File. I used these settings to allow http(s) URLs only. With these URL filters I also disallow the file://localhost/\* URLs to prevent viewing local files from the Sun Ray Software server.

At this time, my Opera configuration is ready for Sun Ray kiosk mode. I copied the configuration files to the default kiosk mode prototypes directory on all my Sun Ray servers in the Server Group. The Sun Ray kiosk mode module takes care of copying the profile to the right place in the server system when a user accesses the Sun Ray and his Opera kiosk session

# cd $HOME
# cp -r .opera /etc/opt/SUNWkio/prototypes/default/
#

The last step in my configuration is to tell the Sun Ray server how to start the Opera browser in kiosk mode. You do this by creating a kiosk descriptor file and a kiosk session executable. The descriptor will be detected in the Sun Ray server Admin GUI where you enable the service. In the below steps you see the kiosk files I used in my server.

1. create the Sun Ray kiosk descriptor 

  # vi /etc/opt/SUNWkio/sessions/webkiosk.conf 
    KIOSK_SESSION_EXEC=$KIOSK_SESSION_DIR/opera-kiosk.sh
    KIOSK_SESSION_LABEL="Webbrowser Kiosk Mode"
    KIOSK_SESSION_DESCRIPTION="Webbrowser (Opera) in limited Kiosk Mode to provide I
    nternet Web services to Sun Ray Kiosk Users"

2. create the session execution script

  # mkdir /etc/opt/SUNWkio/sessions/webkiosk
  # vi /etc/opt/SUNWkio/sessions/webkiosk/opera-kiosk.sh 
    #!/bin/sh

    # Set sleep and blanking timeouts to 0
    # Uncomment if on Solaris
    #/usr/openwin/bin/xset -dpms s off
    #OPERA_EXEC=/usr/local/bin/opera
    # Uncomment if on Linux
    /usr/bin/xset -dpms s off
    OPERA_EXEC=/usr/bin/opera

    $OPERA_EXEC -kioskmode -kioskbuttons -nosave -noprint  \\
            -nochangebuttons -nocontextmenu -nodownload \\
            -nokeys -nomail -nomaillinks -nomenu 

Again, see the Opera Kiosk Mode website for the explanation of the Opera switches. With these switches you still see the main toolbar and address bar. Some of the buttons (such as the print button) are greyed-out. If you want to disable the address bar and toolbar you remove the -kioskbuttons switch, then you only see the viewed web-page.

Friday May 28, 2010

Install Sun Ray Server software in Oracle Enterprise Linux

In this article I continue my installation of Oracle Enterprise Linux from an earlier blog post. The below instructions are based on an internal Wiki article written by a Sun colleague (thanks for the pre-work). 

Prepare Oracle Enterprise Linux for Sun Ray Server software 

I'm now ready to install the Sun Ray Sever software. After you logged in for the first time as the root user in your just installed Oracle Enterprise Linux server, you have to prepare the system for Sun Ray Server software installation: add additional packages and change some Linux configuration files.

In Oracle Enterprise Linux yum is used to install additional packages. Reconfigure yum to run from the DVD repository. This is done by adding the following contents to a new file (Note that the mediaid comes from the file /media/Enterprise Linux dvd 20090908/.discinfo):

    # vi /etc/yum.repos.d/dvd.repo
      [dvd] 
      mediaid=1252451316.580231 
      name=DVD for RHEL5 
      baseurl=file:///media/Enterprise%20Linux%20dvd%2020090908/Server 
      enabled=1 
      gpgcheck=0

Oracle also hosts a yum-server for Oracle Enterprise Linux, this also should work but I have not tested this. 

You are now ready to install additional packages or groups of packages. The package list and versions which must be installed prior to Sun Ray Server installation are:

    # yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
    # yum install glib-1.2.10
    # yum install dhcp-3.0.5
    # yum install openldap-clients-2.3.43
    # yum install libXp-1.0.0
    # yum install openmotif22-2.2.3
Also the /etc/hosts file need some changes: the hostname must be removed from 127.0.0.1 address and the host primary IP address and hostname must be added. The result must be something similar to:
    # vi /etc/hosts
      # Do not remove the following line, or various programs
      # that require network functionality will fail.
      127.0.0.1       localhost.localdomain localhost
      ::1             localhost6.localdomain6 localhost6
      192.168.100.39  host19.sunvdi.local host19

This finished the preparation on Oracle Enterprise Linux, we are now ready to install Sun Ray Server software.

Install Sun Ray Software

For download instructions for the Sun Ray Server software I refer to the Sun Ray Wiki website. After downloading the the Sun Ray Server software for Linux zip-files in my staging directory I start the installation:

    # cd /stage/sunray
    # unzip  srss_4.2_linux.zip

Check Java version

Sun Ray Server software 4.2 requires a 32-bit implementation of a Java(TM) 2 Platform, Standard Edition JRE(TM) of at least 1.6. The latest Java release is available at http://java.sun.com/j2se. To check what JRE version is installed on your system, use the following command:

    #  java -version

JRE version 1.6 is also bundled on the Sun Ray Server software zip-file in the Supplemental directory. For my test installation I used the provided JRE in the Supplemental Directory:

    # cd /stage/sunray/srss_4.2/Supplemental/Java_Runtime_Environment/Linux/
    # sh ./jre-6u13-linux-i586.bin 
      <enter yes when prompted>
    # mv jre1.6.0_13 /opt

Install Tomcat

The Sun Ray Administration Tool (Admin GUI) requires that a Web server be installed and running on each Sun Ray server. The Admin GUI is hosted in a Apache Tomcat 5.5 Web container. For my test installation I used the provided Apache Tomcat in the Supplemental Directory:

     # cd /stage/sunray/srss_4.2/Supplemental/Apache_Tomcat/
     # gunzip apache-tomcat-5.5.20.tar.gz 
     # gtar xvf apache-tomcat-5.5.20.tar 
     # mv apache-tomcat-5.5.20 /opt
     # ln -s /opt/apache-tomcat-5.5.20 /opt/apache-tomcat

Install Sun Ray Server software

Installing Sun Ray Server software is nothing more then an install CLI-command and a reboot of the server: 

    # cd /stage/sunray/srss_4.2
    # ./utinstall 
      - read and accept the license
      - answer Y or N when prompted for French, Japanese, Chinese Admin GUI.
      - enter Java v1.6 (or later) location: /opt/jre1.6.0_13
      - continue installation with the selected packages
    # reboot

Before you reboot make sure you have unmounted the OEL installation DVD, it might be used as the primary boot device during the reboot.

Configure Sun Ray Server software

Sun Ray Server software installed, time to configure the software. This is done by a CLI-command and works straight-forward. Most of the defaults are OK, but here is what I used for my test server:

    # /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utconfig
      - Continue ([y]/n)? Y
      - Enter Sun Ray admin password:
      - Configure Sun Ray Web Administration? ([y]/n)? 
      - Enter Apache Tomcat installation directory [/opt/apache-tomcat]: 
      - Enter HTTP port number [1660]: 
      - Enable secure connections? ([y]/n)? 
      - Enter HTTPS port number [1661]: 
      - Enter Tomcat process username [utwww]:

      - Be sure to enable "remote administration" (non-default)
        Enable remote server administration? (y/[n])? y
 
      - Be sure to configure "Kiosk Mode" (non default)
        Configure Sun Ray Kiosk Mode? (y/[n])? y

      - Enter user prefix [utku]:
      - Enter group [utkiosk]:
      - Enter userID range start [150000]:
      - Enter number of users [25]:
      - Configure this server for a failover group? (y/[n])?
        It lists a summary and if you happy with it choose yes to continue
        the configuration. 
      - Continue ([y]/n)? y

Configuration of Sun Ray Server Software has completed.

Turn on Sun Ray Server services

Sun Ray Server has multiple network configuration options to start the services. I used the easy one which turns on the services on all ethernet-interfaces on the server and does not configure DHCP services:

    # /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utadm -L on
    # /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utrestart -c

At this time, you are ready to connect a Sun Ray to this server.

 Linux Firewall

If you did forget to turn off the Linux Firewall during installation, you can do that afterwards via the following CLI commands as the root user:

    # service iptables save 
    # service iptables stop 
    # chkconfig iptables off 

If the Firewall keeps running on the server, the Sun Ray device will not connect to the servers and you will see a 26B OSD message on your Sun Ray device.

Install Sun Ray Windows Connector on OEL

Installation of the RDP connector is straightforward. I only had one minor issue with a missing library-filename on OEL during the installation, when I found the other version of that library it worked without problems. Here is what I used on my test system:

    # cd /stage/sunray
    # groupadd srwc
    # unzip srwc_2.2_linux.zip
    # cd srwc_2.2
    # ./installer
       Accept (Y/N):
       Enter "srwc" as group name
    # /opt/SUNWuttsc/sbin/uttscadm -c
       Enter complete location for libcrypto.so.0.9.7 [/lib/libcrypto.so.0.9.7a] :
       /lib/libcrypto.so.0.9.8e
    # /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utrestart -c

OK, that's it !! 

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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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