schotty
Contributor
Contributor

Need advice with where to go with my idea

I would like to have my XP machines at home automatically launch a VM when a specific user is logged into. For example, at the XP user screen, have a "Fedora", "Vista", and "Solaris" user, and when logged into, automatically loads up a specific VM that has been precreated. Any tips or advice on where to begin?

Thanks!

Andrew.

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....
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akutz
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Since the XP machines are at home I will assume they are not joined to an AD. If that is the case then you will want to to simply implement a logon script on each machine that runs for a given user. Simply start up the VM that way.

I apologize if I am simplifying things more than you wanted. If you give product specifics such as VMware Workstation 6, then perhaps I can be of more assistance.

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schotty
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Well, no need to apologize. I never stated my skillset :smileygrin:

Well here is what I had hoped to use, since I have no VMWare license for Windows, just Mac and Linux. I wished to use a XP host (I have both Home and Pro 32bit) and player if possible. As for the scripting, that is where I will need to be pointed to where to start my reading.

I figured that with the logon process that XP uses, I should be able to start the VM and then autologoff after the VMWare session is closed. Am I right?

Thanks!

Andrew.

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....
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akutz
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Hot Shot

Oooo, if that is what you are wanting to do then I can show you a neat

trick. You know how when you log into Windows your desktop comes up

with its icons, toolbar, and etc? That is actually your "shell"

process. Sort of like /bin/bash or /bin/korn in *nix. Well, just like

in *nix, your Windows shell can be replaced. You could replace it

with the VMware Player executable, or a wrapper process that launched

VMware Player with an option to power on (or resume) a certain VM. The

beauty of setting an application to be your shell is that when that

application's process exits, Windows will log out the user: exactly

the scenario you desire.

To change the shell for everyone set:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\shell

For a specific user:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\shell (may

not exist, but you can create as a REG_SZ)

--

-a

"condensing fact from the vapor of nuance"

gpg pubkey: http://www.lostcreations.com/~akutz/akutz.gpg

lostcreations ca: http://www.lostcreations.com/lostcreations.com-ca.crt

schotty
Contributor
Contributor

Excellent idea! I had thought of that, but wasn't sure if XP could do that (did this at an old job with 95/98 boxes).

Now I must ask the Godliest question of them all:

What is the meaning of life ... err no... Where is the documentation on the CLI parameters for VMWare? That would complete my goal (for now at least, I may get cute and try to program a tool to manage these outside of VMWare for the woman and family).

Thanks a bunch!

Andrew.






Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....
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akutz
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

http://www.vmware.com/support/ws55/doc/ws_move_vmware_player.html

"To run VMware Player:

1. Open VMware Player.

Select VMware Player from the Start > Programs menu in Windows, or

from the corresponding program menu in a Linux X session.

or

Open VMware Player from a command line:

In Windows, enter is the appropriate path on your system to the application

file.

2. Open a virtual machine. When you launch the player, it displays a

dialog box in which you can enter or browse for the configuration file

of the virtual machine you want to play. You can use the field Files

of type to filter the files displayed by file extension, so you can

browse to the configuration file more easily.

When you have entered or selected a virtual machine configuration

file, click Open. The player automatically opens the virtual machine

and powers it on."

--

-a

"condensing fact from the vapor of nuance"

gpg pubkey: http://www.lostcreations.com/~akutz/akutz.gpg

lostcreations ca: http://www.lostcreations.com/lostcreations.com-ca.crt

schotty
Contributor
Contributor

Unless I am missing it, what I was moreso looking for was a way to launch the vm directly, such as from within a logon script. For example,

vmwareexe.exe conf-file.config

or something to that effect. This would allow me to have a particular user be a VM in all actuality. The whole purpose of my questioning is to have the XP logon screen have a kids/idiot account that would load Fedora or Ubuntu up with an auto login to the appropriate user account within the linux VM, so that any damage that could be done, could be repaired by replacing the hard disk image with a backup. Considering the family members and a few friends of mine have children that just want to youtube and myspace and load up songs and sync iPods, this seems to be the best fix for not going full bore into a native linux install, and also allow the flexibility of certain games that may not run on linux in any fashion (Hellgate London for me).

Although I am very familiar with the GUI to VMWare's various products, I don't want to show any of the kids that as that is just one more thing to introduce as a point of possible failure. The parent's can be trained on the usage here (I know their skillsets, and recovering a borked VM disk is not beyond their means, although managing systems are).

Thanks for bearing with me on this one. I figure there has to be a way without going thin client for this. I would hate to have to setup a LTSP box to get them to a safe desktop. Although I do have other options, certain things make it less lovely as the VM concept. Doing a limited user failed already due to some borked programming choices of the authors of some proprietary crap that requires admin rights. Notably some of the kidsy games (luckily they do run on Wine, dunno about crossover yet). The other was MS's SteadyState (or whatever it is called, going from memory here), but the admin types are really the ones that this solution is geared to, since it prevents all changes to the system to be nullified, including updates. This would still require my intervention, which I am desparately trying to avoid.

Thanks again,

Andrew

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....

Mmmm beer! The cause to and solution to all of lifes' problems ....
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