LANDesk Application Virtualization

LANDesk Application Virtualization is a LANDesk Management Suite add-on product that is sold separately by LANDesk Software, Inc.. LANDesk Application Virtualization uses Thinstall technology to virtualize an application, storing it in a single self-contained executable with the application and DLL/device driver dependencies.

When run, virtualized applications run in an isolated environment without making changes to the Windows installation they're run on. Virtualized applications even run on locked-down devices without requiring additional privileges.

For more information, see the documentation that accompanies LANDesk Application Virtualization. When you use LANDesk Application Virtualization with Management Suite, you can deploy and manage virtualized applications.

Read this chapter to learn more about:

Distributing virtualized applications

Virtualized applications generally consist of one or more executable files. You can use software distribution to deploy these virtualized application executables to managed devices. You can use any of the software distribution delivery methods with virtualized application packages, including run from source. When you deploy a run from source virtualized application package, managed devices use an application shortcut icon to run the virtualized application executable over the network.

To create a virtualized application package
  1. Use LANDesk Application Virtualization to create your virtualized application executable.
  2. Click Tools > Distribution > Distribution Packages.
  3. Right-click the package group you want, then click New distribution package > New virtualized application package.
  4. In the Distribution package dialog box, enter the package information and change the options you want. Note that you must enter the package name, description, and primary file. For more information on each page, click Help.
  5. The Shortcut page is the only page specific to virtualized applications. Enter the shortcut icon Name. You can also specify if you want the icon on the Desktop and/or in the Start menu. If you select Start menu, you also can enter the Programs folder name that will contain the shortcut. The folder path you enter appears under All programs.
  6. Click OK when you're done. Your script appears under the tree item for the package type and owner you selected.

When you deploy a virtualized application, software distribution copies the executables to this folder on managed devices:

The full virtualized application path includes the software distribution source path to help prevent problems with duplicate filenames. For example, if your distribution source path was vapps\myapp.exe, the path on managed devices would be %programfiles%\LANDesk\VirtualApplications\vapps\myapp.exe.

You can change the default virtualized application path if necessary in the Agent configuration dialog box's Software distribution page.

Some virtualized applications require multiple executables. If that's the case, you can create a separate distribution package for these additional virtualized application executables. Then, when you create a distribution package for the main virtualized application executable, you can include any additional dependent executables packages as dependencies. That way, if the dependent executables aren't already there, they'll be installed automatically.

Dependent executables need to be in the same shared folder when the distribution packages are created. This ensures that the dependent packages are distributed to the same folder on the managed device. If the dependent executables aren't in the same folder on the managed device they won't run.

The first time someone runs a virtualized application on a device, the "Thinstall runtime license agreement" dialog appears. Users need to click Continue to run the virtualized application. Users should only need to do this once.

Using inventory and software license monitoring with virtualized applications

Virtualized application executables created with LANDesk Application Virtualization have additional property information that helps Management Suite inventory and software license monitoring. In Windows Explorer, if you right-click a virtualized application executable and click Properties, there is additional version information:

You can use this information in your inventory queries to find virtualized applications that were scanned by the inventory scanner. Generally, virtualized application executable properties mirror those of the main executable inside the virtualized application. In the inventory view for a device, virtualized applications appear in the Software > Package list. Virtualized applications in this list have a "Virtual Application" attribute with a value of "Yes".

However, some applications don't provide version information before they are virtualized. In this case, they won't show up as virtualized applications in inventory even though they are virtualized.

Virtualized application executables will be scanned by the inventory scanner automatically only if you're using MODE=ALL inventory scanning. If you aren't using MODE=ALL and you want virtualized application inventory information in the database, you'll need to manually add the virtualized application executable information to software license monitoring's Inventory > Files > To be scanned list. The inventory scanner only sees the virtualized application executable. It doesn't scan within the executable.

Software license monitoring will automatically discover virtualized applications and include them in the Product definitions > Autodiscovered list. Software license monitoring's automatic application discovery doesn't use the inventory scanner. Software license monitoring does this by detecting the Start menu or desktop shortcut to the application.

A discovered virtualized application in the Automatically discovered list will only have the single virtualized application executable in its files list, but the product definition will still be based on the product within the virtualized application executable. Software license monitoring doesn't look inside the virtualized application executable and so it can't include other files that might normally be assigned to a product when it is installed without virtualization.

More information on virtualized applications

Virtual application sandbox

By default, virtualized applications create temporary files necessary for them to run under this folder:

The inventory scanner doesn't scan this folder to prevent false reports of applications on the system.

Using non-LANDesk versions of Thinstall

The LANDesk Application Virtualization version of Thinstall has customizations that are specific to Management Suite. Other versions of Thinstall virtualized applications may not work correctly with software license monitoring or the inventory scanner.