Enterprise IT is increasingly turning to virtualized applications to streamline application deployment and management. Microsoft’s App-V technology allows unlimited users to access their applications from any desktop. The applications are delivered on demand but run as if they were installed locally. A single application install radically simplifies IT’s desktop management tasks.
Reader 11.0 introduced support for App-V via an Adobe Reader Deployment Kit for App-V as well as a Package Accelerator for those admins who don’t want to create their own package.
DC products do not immediately support App-V with this base release. Support is expected in the coming months.
The Adobe Reader XI Deployment Kit for App-V requires the following:
msiexec.exe /i <Path to MSI> TRANSFORM=<any name>.mst
Administrators can create their own App-V Reader package from scratch. Alternatively, use the Pkg Accelerator as described in Using the Pkg Accelerator.
The following is available:
Microsoft’s App-V documentation and resources reside at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/appvirtualization/bb508934.
Prepare the sequencing machine following the guidelines provided in Microsoft’s http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd351420.aspx.
Failure to adhere to the best practices and following guidelines can cause errors in functionality. You may find it worthwhile to follow the MS example in Microsoft’s http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/7/8/F784A197-73BE-48FF-83DA-4102C05A6D44/App-V/App-V%204.6%20Service%20Pack%201%20Sequencing%20Guide.docx.
To prepare a reference machine for sequencing:
Install the App-V Sequencer.
Configure the registry:
- Go to
- Create a DWORD
- Set the value to 1.
Start the Microsoft Sequencer.
Select Create a new Virtual Application Package > Create Package.
If there are any warnings on the Prepare Computer screen, take the needed actions to correct them.
On the Type of Application screen, select Standard Application as the default type.
On the Select Installer screen, enter the path to your product installation files.
In the Package Name screen, enter an application name (such as Adobe Reader XI) in the Virtual Application field.
In the Installation screen, change INSTALLDIR to
Q:\<Package Name> (such as Adobe Reader XI), and follow the installation steps.
After the installation completes, check I am finished installing.
After the application collects the system changes, choose Next.
In the Configure screen, run Adobe Reader XI to complete first run tasks such as accepting the EULA.
Review the Installation Report which detects common sequencing issues during sequencing.
On the Customize screen choose Customize:
- Choose Edit Shortcuts.
- On the Edit Shortcuts screen, choose Add.
- Browse to each the following (change the path as needed) and choose Save:
Q:\<Package Name>\Reader\Reader \AcroRd32Info.exe
- Edit the versions of all the four exes from 188.8.131.529 to 11.0.0.
- Choose Next without further customizations.
In the Prepare for Streaming screen, run the application to create the primary feature block. Feature block 1 and Feature block 2 are required:
- Feature Block 1: The minimum necessary block of data required for successful launch
- Feature Block 2: Streamed to the client PC as the user starts using the application
As each application shuts down, choose Next.
On Restrict Operating Systems for this package screen, select the operating systems on which this package should work.
Save the package by clicking on Create button.
Close the package.
Open all of the OSD files in a text editor and do the following:
- For each OSD, change the value of LOCAL_INTERACTION_ALLOWED tag from FALSE to TRUE under the <POLICIES> tag.
- Add the following policies in all of the OSD files under the <POLICIES> tag:
<VIRTUAL_FILE_SYSTEM_PASS_THROUGH>TRUE</VIRTUAL_FILE_SYSTEM_PASS_THROUGH> <VIRTUAL_REGISTRY_PASS_THROUGH>TRUE</VIRTUAL_REGISTRY_PASS_THROUGH> <ENFORCE_ACLS_ON_VREG_MODIFY>TRUE</ENFORCE_ACLS_ON_VREG_MODIFY>
<FILEEXTENSION EXT="pdf" PROGID="AcroExch.Document.11" PERCEIVEDTYPE="" CONTENTTYPE="application/pdf" OVERRIDDEN="FALSE"> <SHELLNEW ENABLED="FALSE"/> </FILEEXTENSION>
Save the OSD files.
Launch the Sequencer and Reopen the package in Edit Mode.
Choose the OSD tab.
From all the OSDs except Adobe Reader XI, remove all the shortcuts under MGMT_SHORTCUTLIST element.
- Go to the Virtual Registry System.
- Navigate to
- Create a new DWORD called
- Set the value to 0.
If you do not use your own package with the Reader MSI, you can use Reader’s Package Accelerator to create a package, install the Reader App-V MSI, and perform the steps below.
To create the App-V Package with the Reader Package Accelerator and the Reader installer:
Start the App-V Sequencer.
Configure the registry:
- Go to
- Create a DWORD
- Set the value to 1.
To specify the product language, use the
VIRTUALIZED_LOCALE property on the command line while installing the App-V MSI provided along with the PA for deployment. For example,
VIRTUALIZED_LOCALE=fr_FR, results in all locale-specific keys to be written in French. In the absence of this property, preferences are written in the OS’s default language.
In case admin installed all the languages at the time of sequencing and user/admin wants to change the application language after the deployment, following are the steps to be followed:
Administrators apply Reader patches on top of the package out of the released package accelerator. The process is known as Active Upgrade. Reader supports the same Active Upgrade Mechanism that Microsoft supports for its Office products.
If you get error 1321 while patching, it means that the registry preference
EnableVFSPassthrough is still present on the machine. Delete it and redo all the steps.
Use these recommended steps to create Feature Blocks after patching:
Start the sequencer machine.
Copy the already patched virtual package to the sequencer machine.
Re-create the following registry setting:
- Go to
- Create a DWORD
- Set the value to 1.
Failure to do so will result in crashes if preferences are modified.
To unpublish-uninstall the Virtual Reader:
The above sequence assures that PDF ownership by the appropriate application is maintained during the uninstall.
Many of the following known issues are scheduled for fixes in future releases.
Updating OSD policies must be followed up with opening and saving the package again.
While manually sequencing Reader, after the OSD files have been edited to incorporate the three new policies (and to set LOCAL_INTERACTION_ALLOWED to true), the package must be reopened in the sequencer, and saved. Otherwise, the policy change is not reflected in the published package.
Workaround: None needed. The act of saving is a workaround in itself.
Dictionary-related functions do not work.
In a manually sequenced instance of Reader, dictionary-related functions do not work because of the way side-by-side loading works. Specifically, Hunspell provides two manifests in order to facilitate dynamic loading. The first manifest, loaded by Reader itself, contains a reference to the second manifest, which is loaded by csrss.exe. Since the second manifest resides on the virtualized filesystem, it is not accessible by csrss.exe, and this immediately triggers a STATUS_SXS_CANT_GEN_ACTCTX fault. The minimal solution to this would be to provide a copy of the second manifest in the expected location on the local filesystem.
C:\Program Files (C:\Program Files (x86) for 64-bit computers):
Q:\ReaderInstDir\VFS\CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON\Adobe\Reader\11.0\Linguistics\Providers\Plugins2\AdobeHunspellPlugin\comdll.X.manifestto this location.
Any form of editing causes all OSDs to be published to the desktop.
Whenever any editing is made to the package sequenced using the PA, publishing the edited package causes all OSDs to publish shortcuts to the desktop. This includes both implicit edits such as FB2 creation, and more explicit ones such as Active Updates or package customization. This is because editing causes the App-V manifest to be regenerated, and this regenerated manifest includes shortcuts for all the OSDs.
Workaround: Manually edit the package and delete the shortcuts from the OSDs after any edits have been made.
Changing launch language preferences in Protected Mode Reader doesn’t work.
If Protected Mode is on and the launch language preferences (Preferences, Language section) are modified, no changes are saved.
ReadOutLoud functionality doesn’t work when Protected Mode is enabled.
Enabling and using ReadOutLoud functionality does not work if Protected Mode is enabled by default.
App-V Reader fails to open PDF files in browser if Reader Protected Mode is disabled.
If Reader Protected Mode has been disabled, App-V Reader fails to open PDF files in browser. An error message is displayed, and the PDF download is not initiated.
Workaround: Disabling the Reader plug-in causes the PDF download option to become available.
Online help can’t be displayed in Windows XP 64-bit when Protected Mode is on.
Workaround: Disable Protected Mode.
When Protected Mode is enabled, FB2 creation without the EnableVFSPassthrough key will result in incorrect functionality and crashes.
If Feature Block 2 is being created through the “Prepare for Streaming” step in sequencing, and the EnableVFSPassthrough key under
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SoftGrid\4.5\SystemGuard\Overrides hasn’t been created and set to 1, crashes may result if Reader Protected Mode is turned on.
Workaround: Ensure that the EnableVFSPassthrough key is on when FB2 creation needs to be performed.
EULA temporarily appears if a PDF is on the desktop when installing Reader Deployment Kit.
If a PDF file is on the desktop when the Reader Deployment Kit is being installed, once the installation finishes, the EULA appears and lasts for 30 seconds, after which it vanishes.
Workaround: None needed. The EULA may be accepted in the brief 30-second window, or later.
Virtual Reader sequenced through the PA has interoperability issues with Acrobat.
Virtual Reader installed sequenced through the package accelerator has not been optimized for Acrobat interoperability, and there are issues related to ownership at install/uninstall time.
Workaround: Sequence the Virtual Reader package using the Acrobat interoperability guidelines. This is the options step having to do with FILEEXTENSION in Sequencing Adobe Reader XI.
Preview view doesn’t work with PDF files; displays error.
Preview pane will not display the preview for PDF files because the necessary technology (preview handler) doesn’t work with App-V. An error displays an “access denied” error. This is a limitation of the App-V platform, since an App-V package cannot launch processes in the low-rights sandbox that is used by the PDF preview handler.
Workaround: Disable the preview view.
Patching with EnableVFSPassthrough key doesn’t work.
If patching is done while the EnableVFSPassthrough key is enabled, files residing on the VFS will not get updated (presenting an Abort/Retry/Ignore box).
Workaround: Just before the sequencer is launched for patching, ensure that EnableVFSPassthrough is deleted or set to 0. If FB2 creation needs to be done on the patched package, save the package first, close the sequencer, re-enable the key, and proceed with FB2 creation.