VDI Image Tips & Tricks

I’ve recently worked on creating some new master\golden images and thought I’d make some tips & tricks for anyone creating a new image:


TIP 1: – Use Multiuser\VDI Installations For Applications

 Research each application that you are adding before hand to see if there is either a multiuser or VDI installation method. Most vendors will have some documentation on this. For example Teams can be installed using the installation switch ALLUSERS=1 for a VDI environment using the standalone installer (see tip 2 below). I.e. msiexec /I Teamsx64.msi ALLUSERS=1.


Here are some links to some of the more common application instructions:


Teams: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-for-vdi

OneDrive: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/onedrive-in-citrix-virtual-apps-deployment-guide

Adobe Readerhttps://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/VirtualizationGuide/index.html

Zoom: https://support.zoom.com/hc/en/article?id=zm_kb&sysparm_article=KB0060407

Webex: https://help.webex.com/en-us/article/nw5p67g/Webex-App-|-Installation-and-automatic-upgrade?_gl=1*aiaj0r*_gcl_au*MTE3ODE0OTA1NS4xNzEzMTg0OTgz*_ga*MTU3NjEzMzM3Ni4xNzEzMTg0OTg0*_ga_KP8QEFW4ML*MTcxMzE4NDk4My4xLjEuMTcxMzE4NTA5OC41MS4wLjA.#Cisco_Reference.dita_7f297b3d-e764-4f24-af5b-4cd41da90668

Google Chrome for Enterprise: https://chromeenterprise.google/intl/en_uk/browser/download/#windows-tab

Firefox: https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/?_gl=1*hqpf14*_ga*MjA0MzExMTQ5NC4xNjk2MjMwMzc0*_ga_2VC139B3XV*MTcxMzE4NTYzOC4xLjEuMTcxMzE4NTY2Ny4wLjAuMA



TIP 2: – Use Standalone\Full Installers

Most application vendors provide some form of standalone or full installer for their applications. These normally have some kind of installation switch (like the Teams example above) to allow installation to a VDI\Multiuser environment.


Here are some links to common application installers:


Teams: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/msi-deployment

OneDrive: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/onedrive/download

Adobe Readerhttps://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/enterprise/

Zoom: https://support.zoom.com/hc/en/article?id=zm_kb&sysparm_article=KB0060901


Google Chrome for Enterprise: (This is for Citrix but applies to all VDI) https://community.citrix.com/tech-zone/build/deployment-guides/google-chrome/

Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/deploy-firefox-msi-installers



TIP 3: Install Teams And One Drive Separately

 Although you can install Teams and OneDrive as part of the Office installation it is better to install them separately as there are install switches that allow them to be used in a VDI environment (See Tip 1). Once installed with the correct switches, they will show under apps as machine wide installers in the installed Apps section. 



TIP 4: Office Installation

 Office needs to be installed in a specific way using an offline installer and an XML file that allows for any customisations that you want to make. You first download the Office Deployment Tool (link below) and extract the files to a folder for the installation. Inside you’ll find a customization.xml file. This can also be generated using the Office Customization Tool (link below). Inside this XML you need to amend the following lines (you can also amend the installation to miss off certain products i.e. Teams and OneDrive for Business, (See TIP 3) as well as other customisations:


<Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”True” />
<Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”1″ />


This will auto accept the EULA agreement and set the licensing model to a shared computing license. Once completed, you run the setup.exe with the customisation file that you created to download the installation files:


setup.exe /download configuration.xml


Once you have the installation files you can copy them and the customization file across and set the installation running using the command:


setup.exe /configure configuration.xml


Download Links:


Office Customisation Tool: https://config.office.com/deploymentsettings

Office Deployment Tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49117



Tip 5: Use Vendor Installation Files

 I recommend that you make sure that you are using files from the vendor. Downloading from third party websites can present a security risk with infected files.



TIP 6: Use The Windows Media Creation Tool

The initial OS deployment ISO should be created using the latest Windows Media creation tool (link below). This will have the latest updates and save you time when downloading updates once the OS has been installed.


Windows 10 Media Creation Tool: https://www.microsoft.com/eb-gb/software-download/windows10

Windows 11 Media Creation Tool: https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11



TIP 7: AntiVirus Installation

Antivirus solutions should also be followed as per the vendors instructions. Failure to do so can lead to multiple issues especially duplication of machines in the antivirus software.


Here’s a few links for some of the more common antivirus solutions:


Sophos: https://docs.sophos.com/central/customer/help/en-us/PeopleAndDevices/ProtectDevices/VDIGoldImage/index.html

Symantec: https://knowledge.broadcom.com/external/article/155835/deploy-endpoint-protection-clients-in-no.html 

Trend Micro: https://docs.trendmicro.com/en-us/documentation/article/trend-vision-one-preparing-virtual-te