This article explains how NetSupport School can be used within a VDI environment such as Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon View, and how the software is best configured for this type of environment.
Installation and configuration
When installing NetSupport School within your VDI environment, the installation process is no different than if you are installing on a physical desktop machine. You run the NetSupport School installer file and install the required components, i.e. Student/Tutor on your master image.
One of the main considerations when using NetSupport School within a VDI environment is how to configure the NetSupport School installation, so the Tutor Console only connects to Students within their classroom. The method used to perform this depends on how the image is pooled and streamed to the thin clients.
In environments where there is a master image for each classroom, the configuration is very simple as the NetSupport School Student is installed on the master image. Then the Student is configured with a static room name that relates to the classroom that this master image will be assigned to.
However, in an environment where there is only one master image used across multiple classrooms, it’s not possible to assign the room name to the NetSupport School Student installed on the image, as this may not relate to the room that the thin client device accessing the VDI session is located in.
There are two ways to ensure you connect to the correct Classrooms:
1 – Applying the room name at logon/startup of the image
It is possible to incorporate the NetSupport Setroom.exe utility into a Logon Script or Startup Script for the environment.
The Setroom utility is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\NetSupport\NetSupport School and can be used to apply a room name by specifying a parameter such as:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\NetSupport\NetSupport School\Setroom.exe” ICTSuite1
Running this command applies a room name of ICTSuite1 to the Student dynamically at logon or startup.
To include this within a Logon/Startup Script, you need to review a method to identify the thin client device that the VDI image has been streamed to using your script.
This normally means a method to either detect the thin client device name or MAC address to determine its physical location. Then, depending on the device name or MAC address detected by the script, this will run a command to execute the Setroom utility to apply the correct room name for the device’s location.
The script can be configured to check the local machine name and then depending on the one found, apply the correct room name for the Client.
As there are multiple VDI solutions available, the script used will vary depending on the VDI solution being used. To see a copy of an example script, please contact our Support team confirming what VDI solution you are using.
The Tutor Console configuration is the same as within a normal desktop environment. Where the Tutor Console is configured to use the Room mode method of Student selection and the Tutor will connect to Students with a matching room name.
2 – Configuring the Tutor Console to connect to a list of users
It is also possible to configure the Tutor Console to connect to the students based on their user names.
Using this method, the Tutor Console will only connect to the required users for their lesson. For more information on configuring User mode within the Tutor, please click here.