Installed Apps Management via FSLogix

Installed Apps Management via FSLogix

Nerdio Manager leverages FSLogix App Masking technology to automatically discover applications installed on a host pool and configure rules to manage users' access to these applications. User access can be controlled at the individual app level and can be assigned by user account or security group. Multiple apps can be grouped together for consolidated access management. All you need to do is simply install the required apps on your desktop image, update the session hosts, and define users access for installed apps.

Note: This process does not work by simply hiding shortcuts. It actually hides all the components of the application. For example, if you create a rule to hide Chrome from all users:

  • The Chrome folder in Program Files appears to the user to be empty. In fact, the folder is not empty, it is just hidden from the user.

  • Chrome is unpinned from the taskbar, if necessary.

  • The Chrome desktop shortcut is removed, if necessary.

  • The user does not find Chrome when performing a Cortana search.

The following steps must be performed in order to manage the installed apps:

  • Discover and edit installed applications: The discovery is automatically performed whenever a host pool is created or re-imaged. In addition, it is also runs every few hours in order to find applications that may have been added (not through a re-image process). Alternatively, the discovery can be run manually.

  • Create rule sets: Create rule sets to determine which users have access to which applications.

  • Apply the rule sets to the session hosts VMs: Apply the selected rule sets to all the session host VMs. You can wait to perform this when a session host is created or re-imaged. Alternatively, you can manually apply the selected rule sets immediately.

These steps are discussed in detail below.

Discover and Edit Installed Applications

The first step to managing the installed applications is to discover the applications that are installed. In addition, Nerdio Manager allows you to edit and manually add applications.

To discover and edit the installed applications:

  1. At the Account level, locate the host pool you wish to work with.

  2. From the action menu, select Manage > Installed apps.

  3. Note the date and time the discovery was last performed.

    Note: If the host pool was created recently, you may not see any discovered applications because a discovery has not yet been performed yet. You may need to wait up to 48 hours or initiate a manual discovery.

  4. If desired, select (nn apps) to see a list of discovered applications and additional details.

  5. If desired, select Discover apps to perform a manual discovery.

    • From the drop-down list, select the session host VM you want to use to perform the discovery and then select Run now.

    • Watch the discovery process's progress in the tasks pane. Be sure to wait for the task to finish before continuing.

      Note: If the session host VM is powered off, the system powers on the VM to perform the discovery.

Note: If FSLogix profile is disabled on a particular host pool, you are not able to install apps on your host pools. In that case, you see the following error message:

Tip: By default, app discovery runs every 3 hours and after a bulk re-image. The schedule can be overwritten by changing the AppsDiscovery:RepeatIntervalInMinutes in the AppService configuration.

Create Rule Sets

The next step to managing the installed applications is to create rule sets. In essence, you determine which users have access to which applications.

To create rule sets:

  1. Locate the host pool you wish to work with.

  2. From the action menu, select Manage > Installed apps.

  3. Select Add rule set.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Rule Set Name: Type the name of the rule set.

    • Enabled: Select this option to enable the rule set.

      Note: Only rule sets that are enabled are applied to hosts.

    • Applications: From the drop-down list, select the discovered applications to add to the rule set.

      • If desired, expand the application to see its details.

      • Edit, add, or delete the application's components, as desired.

    • Available to Everyone: Select this option to make these applications available to all users (Whitelist), except for the ones entered below. When this option is unselected, these applications are hidden from all users (Blacklist), except for the ones entered below.

    • Exclude users and groups -or- Allow only the following users and groups: Select the users to exclude from the Whitelist or the Blacklist.

  5. Select Save & apply to save the rule and apply it immediately to all session host VMs. Select Save & close to save the rule.

    Note: When you select Save & close, the rule is applied when a session hosts are created or re-imaged. Alternatively, you can manually apply the rule later on when desired.

Manage and Apply Rule Sets

Nerdio Manager allows you to manage rule sets. This includes applying rule sets, deleting, editing, etc.

To manage rule sets:

  1. Locate the host pool you wish to work with.

  2. From the action menu, select Manage > Installed apps.

  3. You may select multiple rules and then Select bulk action to perform a bulk action on the selected rules.

  4. From the action menu next to each rule set, you can:

    • Select Edit to edit the rule set.

    • Select Apply to hosts to immediately apply the rule set to all session hosts. (see below)

    • Select Disable to disable the rule set.

    • Select Delete to delete the rule set.

  5. In addition, you can:

    • Select Discover apps to immediately start the applications discovery process. (see above)

    • Select Add rule set to add a new rule set. (see above)

    • Select Apply all rule sets to immediately apply all the rule sets to all the session hosts. (see below)

To apply rule sets:

  1. Select Apply to hosts (for a single rule or selected rules) or Apply all rule sets (for all rules).

  2. Enter the following information:

    • How to apply: From the drop-down list, select how the rule set should be applied.
      • Clear all existing FSLogix rule sets on hosts: Select this option to clear all the FSLogix rule sets on the hosts before applying this rule set.
      • Clear only Nerdio Manager created rule sets on hosts: Select this option to clear all the rule sets that were created by Nerdio Manager on the hosts before applying this rule set.
      • Do not clear any rule sets, overwrite rule sets being applied only: Select this option to leave all the existing rule sets alone and only overwrite the rule set that is being applied.
    • Process hosts in groups of: Type the number of concurrent actions to execute during this bulk operation.
    • Number of failures before aborting: Type the number of failures that causes the process to stop.
    • Messaging: Toggle on the Messaging to send messages to active users.
      • Delay: From the drop-down list, select the number of minutes to wait after sending the message before starting the process.

      • Message: Type the message you want to send to the users.

  3. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

    The rule set application process starts.

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