February 3

Tripple Boot – Windows, Linux and ChromeOS

My shortest most succinct blog post ever.

Don’t bother. Life is too short.

That was easy.

🙂

Joking apart what I decided to do with my Lenovo IdeaPad 530S was put Neverware CloudReady on to internal NVMe drive, and I bought 128GB MicroSD card for £20 and put Ubuntu on that. I have separate box that runs Windows 10 on physical that I can Microsoft RDP into at home and remotely. That way, along with Apple Mac I have all my OSes covered….

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January 20

Boot to USB with ChromeBook and Neverware CloudReady

I’ve been doing some experimenting with Droplet Computing, and I had a need to trash a cheap Chromebook I have (XMA Vigilen 360c) , to boot from Neverware’s CloudReady Home Edition of ChromeOS. It’s a long story – why I wanted to do that – but this article is about how got that far.

As you probably know Chromebook’s represent one of the most hardened, restricted and secured OSes to be found on a laptop out of the box. So unlike a generic Windows PC where a couple of keystrokes and you’re away with Chromebook it’s not straight forward

What’s meant to happen is you press and hold [ESC]+Refresh/F3 on the keyboard whilst holding the power

This allow you to enter a Recovery Mode and then use [Ctrl+L] to get into a boot menu. The trouble is my Chromebook didn’t ship with the now legacy firmware/BIOS to allow booting from a memory stick. So when I pressed [Ctrl+L] all I got is nasty BIOS-style beeps…

So to USB Boot to work, I had basically change the Firmware/BIOS to make it boot from USB… There involved three main steps

  1. Make the CloudReady USB Installer/Boot Drive – https://guide.neverware.com/build-installer/working-mac-os/#install-and-launch-the-chromebook-recovery-utility
  2. Get into Developer Mode – https://medium.com/@dihuta/turn-on-developer-mode-on-chromebook-bd8a05c31bf9[Ctrl+D] at the prompt to go into developer mode, and once developer mode is enabled, you always have to press [Ctrl+D] at the prompt
  3. Use MrChromebook.tech Firmware Script –  https://mrchromebox.tech/#fwscript

I had some trouble running MrChromebook’s script – I had to run it as two separate commands, rather than as one single string like so:

curl -LO https://mrchromebox.tech/firmware-util.sh

sudo bash firmware-util.sh

Once the script runs I was able to run choose 1 to install the older RW_Legacy Firmware to allow USB booting

After applying the Firmware Utility Script, [Ctrl+L] allowed me to boot to my USB stick holding Neverware CloudReady.

 

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January 15

Happy New Integration Guide: VMware Horizon, App Volues and UEM/DEM

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Integration Guide!

Late last year I spent time showing how Droplet Computing can run in the context of VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop as well as VMware Horizon Application Pools. I went on to show how you can leverage VMwareApp Volumes to deploy our software to a virtualized environment and use VMware  User/Dynamic Environment Management. It was nice to refresh my knowledge of VMware EUC offering as its been some time since I wrote my book about VMware VIew (that was back in version 4/5!). I was suitably impressed by the Instant Clones option which is a marked improvement on Linked Clones of old….

You can read our integration guide here:

https://www.dropletcomputing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/VMware-Horizon-Integration-Guide.pdf

 

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December 10

Bizzy Little Bee…

I’ve been a bizzy little bee of late, in fact, everyone has at Droplet Computing – and I’ve been neglectful in reflecting that here on my personal blog. So this blog is a really a big summary of what’s been going down at Chez Droplet.

As you probably guess I’ve been bizzy on the documentation front – writing a number of integration guides that explain how we work in harmony with common strategic application delivery technologies. So we have integration guides on:

Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon AppStream

Citrix Virtual Applications and Desktops

Other integration guides are due – today I submitted by guide to VMware Horizon View, VMware App Volumes and VMware User Environment Manager (aka Dynamic Environment Manager) for “peer review” before being thoroughly proof-read (thanks Janine!). A sneak preview of that was recently released in this blogpost wot I wrote:

https://www.dropletcomputing.com/2019/11/18/integrating-droplet-computing-containers-with-vmware-app-volumes-uem-and-jmp/

On the cards in the New Year there will be guides on Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, FSLogix, and Liquidware’s FlexApp and Profile Unity and I think my CTO will probably write up his experiences of integrating with iGEL sometime soon.

My CTO, Peter has been busy refreshing all our admin guides to be OS-specific – rather than one admin guide to rule them all – as this was getting a tad unwieldy. These Droplet Computing Application getting started admin guides can all be found here:

https://www.dropletcomputing.com/product-guides-documentation/ along with their respective videos authored by yours truly – https://www.dropletcomputing.com/videos/

And Finally… to round off an eventful 5 months since I joined Droplet Computing as their Chief Technologist… we have a new release which we have imaginatively called 1.2 – packed with a whole host of lovely enterprise features:

Droplet Computing launches DCA v1.2 with new features designed for the enterprise

So that’s about it from me for now. All that remains is to wish you all a very merry xmas and peaceful new year…. 🙂

 

 

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November 12

Delivering Droplet Computing containers with Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly XenApp)

It’s been a long, long while since I looked at anything Citrix based. It feels really odd saying that because, before VMware came along, I was a Citrix Certified Instructor (CCI) and a Citrix Certified Enterprise Admin (CCEA). I first got into Citrix on the tail end of NT4 Terminal Services Edition (available from Q4 1999 to the end of 2003) and MetaFrame 1.8 (1998 to 2001 when it because MetaFrame XP) and stuck with it until around the Presentation Server 4.5 days (launched in 2007). At the time I wanted to keep both Citrix and VMware on my resume, but once agencies and other sources of my freelance work knew I was VMware certified, it seemed like no one wanted to punt me out for Citrix-based courses. The market kind of dictated my career direction to some extent. So, it was nice to hit citrix.com this week and download the binaries to check out what they now call “Citrix Virtual Apps and Virtual Desktops”, or the products formally known as “XenApp and XenDesktop”.

Read On….

 

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November 1

Droplet Computing Videos

Some handy video links!

Installing Droplet Computing to Windows 10:

Installing Droplet Computing to Apple Mac:

Installing Droplet Computing to Ubuntu Linux:

Installing Droplet Computing to Redhat Enterprise8 Desktop:

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October 11

Droplet Computing containers on Amazon AppStream

Amazon WorkSpaces was a doddle to get up and running as I am very familiar with VDI and workspace concepts. I’d not touched AppStream before, so I needed a bit of primer. I found this video by Thorr Giddings to be excellent. To the point and, for someone with quite a bit of experience, I was able to pause the video at the various steps and get the process down. The best 8 mins of my time this week!

In case you don’t know, Amazon AppStream is a fully managed application streaming service. You centrally manage your desktop applications on AppStream and securely deliver them to any computer. You can easily scale to any number of users across the globe without acquiring, provisioning, and operating hardware or infrastructure. AppStream is built on AWS, so you benefit from a data center and network architecture designed for the most security-sensitive organizations. Each user has a fluid and responsive experience with your applications, including GPU-intensive 3D design and engineering ones, because your applications run on virtual machines (VMs) optimized for specific use cases and each streaming session automatically adjusts to network conditions.

Read on…

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October 2

Droplet Computing containers on Amazon WorkSpaces

This week I spent time working with Amazon WorkSpaces. In case you don’t know, Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure cloud desktop service. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe. You can pay either monthly or hourly, just for the WorkSpaces you launch, which helps you save money when compared to traditional desktops and on-premises VDI solutions. Amazon WorkSpaces helps you eliminate the complexity in managing hardware inventory, OS versions and patches, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which helps simplify your desktop delivery strategy. With Amazon WorkSpaces, your users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device.

Read on…

 

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September 17

Droplet Computing Inception

Well, it’s just gone past a month since I joined Droplet Computing, and I’ve been busy, busy, busy, as well as you would expect when you start with a new company. As you might suspect, I’ve been quite “internally focused” (which sounds like some sort of medical examination!). But I’ve been trying to hold true to my goal of making Friday my geek-out day where I just get some technical playtime. I’ve been considering renaming Geek-Out Day as Michelle’s Mad Half Hour. You never know, it might catch on.

Read On…. 

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August 17

Unbuntu, Android Studio and Emulated Google ChromeOS

Note: Before you go down this particular rabbit hole. Three words of advice.

Firstly, even with all the CPU accelerators in place and as many of the performance barriers removed, this emulation is not very horribly quick. It’s useable, but you could just go out and buy a cheap Chromebook, and get fantastic performance.

Secondly, the version of ChromeOS currently available on Android Studio is quite old its version 6.7.

Finally, although this performed better than the nested Windows version I had running on my ESXi host, I found it crashed more frequently on Ubuntu than it did on Windows10. I’d be tempted to try this on physical Windows.

For me, the deal-breaker is the ancient release of Google ChromeOS available through the ChromeOS Repo. Its something I might come back to using a Windows build in a few months time. The setup here works for ALL operating systems including Windows, just skip the Linux bits if you setup on Windows.

Continue reading

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