vSphere 5.5 ThinApp for Windows 7

I have had to ThinApp the vSphere client for work recently; mainly due to the constraints of the environment I work in. We are using linked clones and it’s easier to version control the vSphere client using ThinApps and provision them directly from a central repository.

The most recent Fling that was released for this was for version 5.0 and is available here.

I’m not sure if VMware support using the client this way, but it works for us. It might also be useful to a field engineer to carry the ThinApp version(s) on a USB stick to use at clients sites. Here is the process I went through:

1) Install the ThinApp capture package from VMware onto a blank Windows 7 desktop. Shut it down and snapshot it. Then start it back up and run the app.

2) Run the Prescan on the system before proceeding with the VMware vSphere Client installation.
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3) When prompted, install the application and customize it exactly how you want it. For example, I connected to all of our vCenter environments and accepted the certificates. I also disabled the “getting started” tabs.
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4) I also installed extra plugins that we use in our environment. I am packaging the latest vSphere 5.5 u2e client, but we still have older u1d versions. I extracted and installed the SRM and Update Manager Plugins that we use.
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5) Once I was finished, I hit the “PostScan” button on the ThinApp capture.
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6) I then selected only the VMware vSphere Client.exe under the list of entry points (shouldn’t need anything else).
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7) I didn’t set up any Horizon Workspace options, so hit Next.
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8) I enabled Everyone to use the Package, but could have locked it down if it was a requirement.
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9) I left the file system isolation as Full Write Access.
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10) I changed the Sandbox location to “Same Directory as Application (use with USB and portable media)”
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11) I then chose not to send any information to VMware as I am behind many firewalls with no external access.
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12) I gave the Package an Inventory name and left the location as default.
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13) At this stage, I chose to use the entry point of the .exe file. I also enabled compression as it reduces the final size by quite a bit!
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14) Upon hitting save, the system goes through and saves the capture. I saw a warning like this, but continued anyway .
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15) Then finally, I was able to select “Build”. This process churns through and finally the package is then created.
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16) The package ends up in the directory specified within the earlier options, in the “Bin” file. This can then be copied out to a USB stick and run on any Windows 7 and 8 (that I’ve tested) machines!
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I’ve tested this on a USB from a Windows 7 and Windows 8 machine and it worked fine!

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