How do I manage or image a thin client?
A prerequisite to imaging thin clients is that PXE server needs to be installed and configured. For information on how to image Thin clients with USB drives, click here.
However, if you are using the Linux Boot, you need to add to the rc.local /mnt/ds/linux/rdeployt also add to call the image.
./rdeployt –md –f[imagename.img]
This is the command line to Deploy the image to the client.
./rdeployt –mu –f[imagename.img]
This is the command line to Create the image from the client.
From the client computer, at the # prompt
./rdeployt -md -f/mnt/images/image.img
Verify the services are not already installed. View Windows Services and check for:
If they are there then execute PXE Configuration Utility: Deployment Server Console > Tools > PXE Configuration. The Boot menu will show Next Device (Deployment Solution 6.8 build) or Local Boot (Deployment Solution 6.5 build) as the First Boot Option. If there are no jobs assigned to the client to boot into an automation (Imaging), then the client needs to have the first boot option as production. Following the production boot menu should be the automation boot menu.
Note: Within the PXE configuration, and select the DS tab. Default Boot option needs to be an automation boot instead of a local boot/Next Device. If there is a automation job assigned to the client (Imaging) then the client needs to know which automation boot to use. If this is set to Local boot or Next Device then the client will repeatedly reboot into production and never picks up the image job.
If PXE server is not installed, but Deployment Solution is, then locate the axinstall.exe. This is located in the C:\DSSetup\axinstall.exe. (Skip to install the PXE server.) It may be in a different location depending on the extraction of the components during the Deployment Server install.
The Components can be re-downloaded from ftp.altiris.com/Product/DeploymentServer > Altiris_DeploymentSolutionWin_6_5.exe or Altiris_DeploymentSolutionWin_6_8.exe. After the download is complete, only extract the file but do not execute.
Installing the PXE Server
Note: The client's BIOS needs to be set as Network Boot as First Boot Order inorder to be managed by PXE Server.
Managing HP Thin Clients Running CE.net
When managing a thin client running the CE.net 4.2 operating system, the deployment agent known as the Deployment Agent for CE.net will already be pre-installed. This agent is very similar in function to the Deployment Agent for Windows used with the standard Windows operating systems, but is slightly different to accommodate the unique environment of the CE.net operating system.
The Deployment Agent performs the following limited tasks on the Windows CE.NET platform:
Additional features included with other Deployment Agents are not supported in the Deployment Agent for CE.NET. The Deployment Agent for CE.net is configured to use the multicast method of locating the Deployment Server. This works well when the Deployment server and client are on the same network segment or when any connecting routers and switches connecting these two devices are configured to forward multicast packets. If your environment does not support either of these configurations, then you will need to reconfigure the Deployment Agent for CE.net settings.
Changing the Deployment Agent for CE.net Settings
The Deployment Agent for CE.net properties can be remotely changed from a Deployment Console when the thin client has a current connection to the Deployment Server. If this connection is not possible, then the changes must be made from the thin client itself.
Deployment Agent for CE.net Properties
The Deployment Agent for CE.net properties or options (although similar to the Deployment Agent for Windows properties) are limited to the settings shown below and can be changed from ether the Deployment Console or from the thin client using the following locations.
Making changes from a Deployment Console
To remotely change the agent settings from a Deployment Console, complete the following steps:
To automatically change all new clients, connecting to your Deployment Server, you can use the following steps:
Making Changes from a CE.net Thin Client
To change the agent settings from a thin client, complete the following steps:
Installing the Deployment Agent for CE.net
The Deployment Agent for CE.net is pre-installed on all HP Thin Clients running the CE.net operating system. If you remove the agent and need to reinstall it, this can be accomplished from the Thin Client only. The Deployment Console cannot push the Deployment Agent for CE.net to the clients running Windows CE.net.
To install the Deployment Agent for CE.net from the client computer, use the following general steps. For detailed information on how the AClient.inp file works see the Deployment Solution product guide.
For the above command to work, the AClient.inp file must be located in the CEAgent folder and the AClient.inp file must be configured with the proper installation path of InstallDir=\Hard Disk\Program Files.
Removing the Deployment Agent for CE.net
If the Deployment Agent for CE.net needs to be removed for any reason, it can be uninstalled using the Deployment Console or from the CE.net thin client using the following general steps.
Using the Deployment Console to Remove the Agent
This method will only work if the agent is currently installed and connected to the Deployment Server.
Removing the Agent at the Thin Client
The Deployment Agent for CE.net can be removed while working at a thin client using the following general steps:
Creating and Deploying Images for CE.net Thin Clients
With the Deployment Agent for CE.net installed and connected the to Deployment Server, creating and deploying images of this device is no different than creating and deploying images for standard Windows operating systems such as Windows 2000 or XP.
The steps are listed below:
Changing the Memory
If desired, you may want to add an additional Deployment Task that will change the Storage Memory back to the original size. This can be accomplished using the same basic steps used to change the memory as listed above, but changing the size back to the default of 1024 KB.
Removing Embedded BootWorks from CE.net
To remove embedded BootWorks from a CE.net thin client, complete the following steps:
Non-Supported Deployment Functions
When managing thin clients running the CE.net operating system, the following Deployment Solution features cannot be used:
Managing HP Thin Clients Running Windows XP Embedded
Running the Microsoft Windows XP Embedded operating system including the following topics:
Windows XP Embedded
Windows XP Embedded is Microsoft’s embedded operating system that delivers the power of the Windows operating system in componentized form, enabling embedded developers to rapidly build reliable and advanced embedded devices. Based on the same binaries as Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Embedded enables embedded developers to choose from over 10,000 individual feature components to achieve optimum functionality in a reduced footprint. To take advantage of this powerful embedded operating system, HP has provided the ability to install and use Windows XP Embedded (commonly referred to as XPe) on several of its Thin Client devices such as the T5700. Managing these devices using Deployment Solution is easy and quick; however, because of a few unique features of XPe, it is important to understand what additional steps need to be taken to manage these devices. Windows XP Embedded:
To enable autologon:
To disable autologon:
Deployment Agent for Windows (AClient)
If the clients do not show up in the Deployment Solution console it is very likely the AClient build is not the same build as the Deployment Solution server or the HP thin client, access the Registry and enable "ShowTrayIcon" under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Altiris/Client Service by changing the value from 0 to 1. Use the Remote agent installer to install a new AClient within the Deployment Solution console. Deployment Solution console > Tools > Remote agent installer. Use the Admin credentials, click Next, and change the agent settings. Verify that the AClient has direct connection and has IP address of the Deployment Solution server.
Installing the ADLagent for Linux
As is the case when managing the other Windows platforms such as Windows* 2000 and XP (and more), it is important to install the applicable Deployment Agent. When working with XPe, the same agent used for the standard Windows operating systems is used. This agent is called the Deployment Agent for Windows. HP ships its thin clients with this agent pre-installed. By default, the Deployment Agent for Windows is configured to use the multicast method of locating the Deployment Server. This works well when the Deployment server and client are on the same network segment or when any connecting routers and switches connecting these two devices are configured to forward multicast packets. If your environment does not support either of these configurations, then you will need to reconfigure the Deployment Agent for Windows settings. This is accomplished using the same techniques used for computers running the standard Windows operating system.
For example, from a Deployment Console, you can right-click on a computer or group of computers and select Change Agent Settings > Windows/Linux Agent.
Deployment Agent for Windows Preinstalled on all XPe HP Thin Clients
The agent settings are then displayed and can be changed as needed. Clicking OK from this screen will send the desired changes to the computers selected.
The agent settings can also be changed by double-clicking on the Agent icon displayed in the taskbar. For detailed information on the meaning of each agent property, see the Deployment System Agent chapter or the Deployment Solution Product Guide.
Understanding the Enhanced Write Filter
The major factor that makes managing XPe different from a standard Windows computer is the unique Enhanced Write Filter used to protect the contents of the files and operating system installed on a thin client. The Enhanced Write Filter allows the operating system to boot from a disk volume residing on any read-only media such as flash media, CD-ROM, or a write-protected hard drive while maintaining the appearance of read/ write access to the operating system. Enhanced Write Filter protects the contents of a volume on the target media by redirecting all writes to another storage location, called an overlay. Used in this context, an overlay is similar to a transparency overlay on an overhead projector. Any change made to the overlay affects the picture as seen in the aggregate, but if the overlay is removed, the underlying picture remains unchanged. Enhanced Write Filter can protect one or more bootable and non-bootable disk volumes, including such things as a thin clients flash
To successful install the Deployment Agent for Windows or to successfully reconfigure a thin client after it has been imaged, you simply need to make sure your Deployment Jobs include a Task to disable the Enhanced Write Filter before the attempting to do the regular Tasks and then to have another Task at the end of the Deployment Job that will enable the Enhanced Write Filter. This module has been written for Deployment Solution 6.0. With Deployment Solution 6.1 or higher the need to disable the Enhanced.
Write Filter will not be needed for imaging or installing the Deployment Agent. Using the EWFMGR Utility Enabling or disabling the Enhanced Write Filter is done using a XPe utility named ewfmgr.exe and is stored in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Although there are many switches that can be used with this utility, you typically will only use the following three or four: Switch Description -all Performs a specified command (such as disable or enable) on all protected volumes. The default command is to display protected volume information. -disable Disables the overlay on the specified protected volume. -enable Enables the write filter so that data written to the protected media is cached in the overlays. The current overlay level becomes 1 as soon as EWF is started, and a new overlay is created at level 1. -commit and -disable Commits all current level data in the overlay to the protected volume and disables the overlay.
The following are a few examples of how to use the ewfmgr.exe program: Although the enhanced Write Filter manager can be run from a thin client, it is more efficient to include it as part of your Deployment Job. To give you an idea of how this is accomplished, you will be shown how to create a Deployment Job that will allow you to install the Deployment Agent for Windows and how to create a Deployment Job that will allow you to re-image a thin client running XPe.
This will display the current Enhanced Write
ewfmgr c: -disable This will disable the Enhanced Write Filter on the C: volume.
ewfmgr c: -enable This will enable the Enhanced Write Filter on the C: volume.
Installing the Deployment Agent for Windows
Installing the Deployment Agent for Windows to an XPe system requires two steps:
To install the agent using the Remote Agent Installer, use the following steps:
Committing the Changes
The final step is to commit the installation of the Deployment Agent for Windows to the thin clients. This step can also be accomplished remotely from the Deployment Console using a Deployment Job. To commit the change of adding the Deployment Agent for Windows to the thin clients, complete the following steps:
Creating and Deploying Images to XPe Thin Clients
The basics of creating or deploying an image for thin clients running XPe is the same as creating or deploying an image of a standard Windows operating system such as Windows 2000 or XP. The one exception, however, is that the Enhanced Write Filter must be turned off before a Deployment Job can configure a thin client after it has received an Altiris image. When Deployment Solutions is installed, several sample Deployment Jobs are included. Among these sample Jobs are several XPe Jobs that can be copied and then edited saving you the time of creating these Jobs from scratch. The sample Jobs can be found in the Deployment Console’s Job pane under the Samples > XP Embedded folder or HP Thin Clients
For example, to create a new Deployment Job that will create an image of an XPe thin client, complete the following steps. These steps assume that you have configured and are using PXE to help in the creation of the images. If needed see the First section of this article. If you are not using PXE, then it is assumed that Embedded BootWorks has been installed on the thin clients.
Deploying XPe Images
With an XPe image created, you can now deploy this image to other thin clients. The Enhanced Write Filter included with the thin client image is built into a very small RAW formatted flash partition on the client. Due to current limitations of the Enhanced Write Filter, this partition cannot be restored unless the flash is the same size as the flash from which the image was created. For example, an image that was created from a 192 MB flash should only be restored to systems with a 192 MB flash. With Deployment Solution 6.1 or higher, you will be able to image to clients with different size flash partitions.
Additionally, any new updated images released by HP will need to be restored using the Hewlett Packard Imaging Utility (IBR).
To deploy an Altiris image of an XPe device, use the sample Jobs as described below:
As you look closely at this Job to deploy the image, that there is no Task to disable the Enhanced Write Filter. This is not needed because the image was created after the Enhanced Write Filter was disabled.
Installing New Thin Client images from HP
From time to time HP may release a newer images of the XPe operating system to upgrade your thin clients to a newer version. These images are not Altiris images and therefore cannot be deployed using Altiris’ RapiDeploy imaging software. However, a Deployment Solution Job can be created that can deploy the HP image. This Job will utilize Hewlett Packard’s imaging utility (commonly referred to as the IBR utility) to install the image. To customize and deploy a new thin client image from HP, the following general steps need to be completed:
Deploying Images released by HP Deployment Solution 6.1 builds and below. Deployment Solution 6.5 and 6.8 Jobs are included.
To unpack the image and tools for deployment, complete the following steps: