What do I need to know about Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ 2.1?
Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ 2.1
Build number 2.1.2084
Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 SP2 is available, see KB #40553
Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ (SVS™) software is a revolutionary approach to software management. By placing applications and data into managed units called Altiris® Virtual Software Package™ (VSP™) formats, SVS lets you instantly activate, deactivate, or reset applications, thus avoiding conflicts between applications without altering the base Windows installation.
SVS is available in two versions:
- Commercial version that lets you create and distribute Virtual
- Free version for personal use that lets you create and use your own virtual layers on your home or personal computer. For more information, see
This document provides information about installation, upgrade, new features, fixes, known issues, and documentation for Software Virtualization Solution.
Prerequisites for Software Virtualization Solution Agent:
- Access to the application setup files you intend to create layers with.
- One of the following client operating systems:
Microsoft Windows Vista* 32-bit
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional* SP4 or later
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server* SP4 or later when used as a client
Microsoft Windows XP Professional* SP2 or Home Edition SP2 or later
Microsoft Windows Server 2003* or later when used as a client
Prerequisites for Software Virtualization Solution with the Notification Server Platform:
- Altiris® Notification Server™ 6.0 SP3 R4 or later with the Altiris Agent 6.0 or later installed on client computers.
Prerequisites for Software Virtualization Solution with the Deployment Server Platform:
- Altiris® Deployment Solution™ 6.8 or later with the Deployment Agent installed on client computers.
Where to Download
You can download released versions of Altiris products from http://www.altiris.com/Download.aspx.
You can also download released versions of Software Virtualization Solution from http://www.getsvs.com.
For new installation information, please see the installation topics in the Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Reference Guide.
Recommendation: Backup pre-existing layers before upgrading
Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 may be installed over an existing Software Virtualization Solution 2.0 installation. If you do this, before you upgrade, create a backup of pre-existing layers by exporting them. Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 uses a new layer format. Existing layers will automatically be converted to the new layer format. However, there is no facility to revert layers to the 2.0 format should you need to roll back. Therefore, we strongly recommend backing up layers prior to upgrade.
Issue: Upgrading the Software Virtualization Solution Control Panel Applet
Following an upgrade, the Software Virtualization Solution Control Panel Applet feature is not available.
Upgrading Software Virtualization Solution
You can upgrade the solution over an existing 2.0 installation.
Upgrading the Software Virtualization Solution Agent
You need to upgrade the Software Virtualization Solution Agent properly. If you uninstall an older version of the Software Virtualization Solution agent, it will delete existing Virtual Software Packages (layers) on that computer. By upgrading the Agent correctly, the existing layers will be preserved.
In a Notification Server environment
- Use the Software Virtualization Agent Upgrade policy. This requires a client computer restart.
In a network environment not using Notification Server
- Run Software_Virtualization_Agent.exe. This requires a computer restart.
- You can also use the following command line:
msiexec.exe /qb /i Software_Virtualization_Agent.msi REINSTALL=ALL REINSTALLMODE=vomus PRODUCT_KEY='PRODUCTKEY'
This requires a client computer restart.
For Software Virtualization Solution for Personal Use
- Run Software_Virtualization_Agent.exe.
This requires a computer restart.
Improvements for this release include the following new features:
Redesigned registry handling yields significantly higher performance and scalability over Software Virtualization Solution 2.0.
Support for Microsoft Windows Vista
You can run this version of the Software Virtualization Solution Agent on computers using Microsoft Windows Vista 32 bit.
Note: 64-bit operating systems are not supported at this time.
Altiris Task Server Software Virtualization Solution Plug-in
A Software Virtualization Solution Task-Server Plug-in is included in the installation of Software Virtualization Solution. The plug-in lets you leverage the benefits of the Altiris Task Server infrastructure, including automation and task sequencing. For information, see the SVS Task Server Plug-in chapter in the Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ Reference Guide.
Software Virtualization Solution Control Panel Applet
An Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Control Panel Applet is included as an optional component installed with the Altiris Software Virtualization Agent. It is available from the Windows Control Panel.
Depending on the installation of either Software Virtualization Solution Admin or Virtual Package Editor (installed with Wise Package Studio) you can use the applet to create, import, export, and manage virtual layers, as well as configure local software virtualization options. The ability to import multiple archive files has been added. You can also add, edit, and delete Global Exclude entries. For more information, see the Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Applet chapter in the Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ Reference Guide.
Note: The Software Virtualization Solution Admin utility is still included and supported in this release.
Global Exclude Entries
Global Exclude entry support lets Software Virtualization Solution administrators specify, on a global level, certain file type extensions and directory locations that you do not want to be captured into application layers. This feature includes an additional API, and menu items in Software Virtualization Solution Admin and the Software Virtualization Solution Control Panel Applet for managing the Global Exclude entries. The Software Virtualization Solution installer has also been updated to provide the ability to select or deselect two default global exclude entries: Desktop and My Documents. For information, see the Global Excludes Entries topic in the Altiris® Software™ Virtualization Solution Reference Guide.
Single Screen Refresh
There is now a single screen refresh when activating or deactivating layers from Software Virtualization Solution Admin.
Delete Entry Visibility Enhancements
An additional user interface component has been added to the Software Virtualization Solution Admin utility. Now, in addition to file delete entries, registry delete entries are also visible.
Layer Data is Retained on Uninstallation
To eliminate risk of data loss, uninstalling Software Virtualization Solution Agent 2.1 does not automatically delete all layers on the computer. However, an MSIexec command-line option may be used to force the deletion of layers at uninstallation time. For information, see the Uninstalling the Software Virtualization Agent topic in the Altiris® Software™ Virtualization Solution Reference Guide.
Virtualization of System Path Variable
Software Virtualization Solution now fully virtualizes the system path variable. Operation works as expected when layers are activated and deactivated. No manual steps or scripting are required.
A New WMI Provider
There is a new WMI provider with improved functionality. This is an additional provider, and the legacy provider will still function with this release.
Note: The previous legacy provider will be replaced with this WMI provider in a future release.
Alternate Import Locations through Software Virtualization Solution APIs
The Software Virtualization Solution APIs support importing a layer to a location other than the default redirect area.
Additional Language Support
The Software Virtualization Solution Agent interface has added support for the following additional languages:
The Software Virtualization Solution Solution interface on a Notification Server Environment has added support for the following additional languages:
The following issues were resolved in this release. For additional information regarding a fixed issue click the Article ID link.
|SVS 2.1 Hotfix 36647 is available.||36647|
|SVS 2.1 Hotfix 35879 is available.||35879|
|Multiple API fixes are included in this release (an updated Software Virtualization Solution SDK will be made available following this release).|
|Office 2007 components were failing to install under certain circumstances. This is resolved.||32661|
|Multiple blue screens reported through Microsoft Online Crash Reporting have been fixed.||35348|
|A workstation with the Software Virtualization Solution Agent installed, and a few layers active, makes the explorer.exe CPU utilization go to 100 percent.||21944|
|When setting up a task for a .vsa file, users are unable to specify Package Servers to which the .vsa should go to.||24370|
|Virtualized Visio takes up 100 percent CPU for 20-30 seconds during application start up.||24607|
|'Immediately notify each computer of task' in the Virtual Software Tasks does not work.||24945|
|Error 1019 occurs if layer name provided in capture wizard it too long.||25409|
|When a user double-clicks on the "Altiris Software Virtualization Admin" desktop icon, the admin console shows that it's running in the taskbar, but no console is visible on the desktop.||26774|
|Path environment variable included in an Application layer is not displayed during layer activation.||27466|
|Software Virtualization Solution Layers that need to run Processes and Services and have Start Layer Automatically enabled are not working. Some of the Processes and Services are not starting after the client computers are restarted.||28144|
|Folder permissions disappear when layer is activated by a limited user.||29344|
|Unable to create a Virtual Software Package using HTTP as distribution method.||31328|
|DB2 service fails to start when virtualized.||33105|
|Files and folders contained in virtual software layers are remaining after the layers are deactivated or deleted.||34450|
|A blue screen appears during capture when writing into an excluded folder.||25951|
The following are unresolved issues in this release. For additional information regarding a known issue, click the Article ID link.
|Known issues specific to Software Virtualization Solution and Microsoft Vista Compatibility||Article ID|
Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 does not support applications using transactions during the installation on Vista. We have noticed that Office 2007 and Adobe 8 both run transactions during capture.
The workaround for this issue is to:
Capture applications, that use transactions during install, on Windows XP or previous operating systems and then import the layer on Vista computers.
Renaming a Key
There is a known issue on Vista when using Regedit to rename a key that resides in a layer. (This includes creating a key and giving it a new name.)
Elevation issue with Dragging and Dropping files into the Advanced Layer Editor
There is an issue with Vista rights. When logged onto a Vista computer, as a limited user or a regular admin, dragging and dropping files into the advanced layer editor fails.
SVSCMD requiring Administrative token
SVSCMD must be run as Administrator. This is required whether running with Administrator or System rights.
Office Launches Repair
When launching Microsoft Office* 2003 or 2007 (for the first time) as a limited user, Microsoft Word* is know to perform a repair. This will not effect operation.
User Account Control Warning with Software Virtualization Solution Install
When installing the Software Virtualization Solution agent on Vista computers, you will receive a User Account Control warning dialog which informs you that "An unidentified program wants access to your computer." To install Software Virtualization Solution, select Allow. I trust this program. I know where it's from or I've used it before.
Variables not Valid on Vista
The Variables COMMONFAVORITES and LOCALSETTINGS no longer resolve with Microsoft Vista computers.
|Additional Known Issues||Article ID|
Layers Created with 2.1 Not Backward Compatible
Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 may be installed over an existing Software Virtualization Solution 2.0 installation. If you upgrade from 2.0, before you upgrade, create a backup of pre-existing layers by exporting them. Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 uses a new layer format. Existing layers will automatically be converted to the new layer format. However, there is no facility to revert layers to the 2.0 format should you need to roll back. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you back up layers prior to upgrade.
Installation Path Conflict Issues
During layer creation there is a known problem where a conflict in shortname resolution with the installation path of some applications exists. To resolve this issue we recommend that you change the default installation folder location so that the first six characters of the name are unique.
For example, instead of installing to:
Use a different path like:
Drive letters for non-system drives are not variablized
File changes made to drives other than the system drive show up under their drive letter.
Fonts in a layer are not available to the system
A utility has being developed to move fonts from the layer to the system. See http://juice.altiris.com/tech-tip/270/problems-with-svs-and-fonts-try-this.
Recovery Agent Conflict
A conflict with the Altiris® Recovery Solution™ agent requires an entry to ProgramIgnoreList registry key.
To resolve this, on a separate line, add [_B_]PROGRAMFILES[_E_]\Altiris\Express\Client Recovery
Registry Permissions not checked in priority order
When Software Virtualization Solution checks registry permissions, it is not doing it in priority order. It will check the base first.
Intermittent crashes in Wininet.dll
In some instances, there may be a computer crash on wininet.dll.
Acrobat Reader 7.x update may not install correctly
Acrobat Reader 8 does not have this problem.
Shortcuts not saved in layers
Shortcuts are not saved in a layer if they are newly created or copied after a layer is created and if they reference an application in a layer. The shortcut will still appear when the layer is deactivated.
Delete Layer from Software Virtualization Solution does not report the event to Notification Server
This issue will be addressed before the final release for Software Virtualization Solution 2.1.
Important: This means that it in this release of Software Virtualization Solution 2.1, an Altiris administrator can unknowingly attempt to perform actions on layers that have actually been deleted but have not been reported to the Notification Server. Special care should be taken.
Modifying an Agent install from Add or Remove Programs removes the Software Virtualization Solution Agent's product key
The product key is removed when modifying the Software Virtualization Solution agent installation from Windows Add or Remove Programs. To workaround this, after modifying and installing from Windows Add or Remove Programs, re-enter the product key by opening Software Virtualization Solution Admin and selecting Help > About Software Virtualization Solution Admin.
|Things To Know|
Fortress filter driver and running Windows in Safe Mode
The SVS Fortress filter driver is not loaded when a computer is booted into Windows Safe Mode. Any diagnostic or recovery utilities that could be usable in safe mode to diagnose and recover a system should not be included in a layer. These utilities will not be available if they have been added to the system through a layer, thus possibly making it too late to recover after they become necessary.
Reboot required after agent installation
After the Agent is deployed and installed, the computer must be restarted for it to become active. This can be accomplished by either editing the Agent rollout task to prompt the user for reboot or by scheduling a reboot.
Clean machine captures
We recommend that you build your Virtual Software Archive files on a clean machine. This ensures that all required files and registry settings are captured in the package. For information, see the Configuring a Base Computer topic in the Altiris® Software™ Virtualization Solution Reference Guide.
Things to know using Recovery Solution with Software Virtualization Solution
Because of the way that Software Virtualization Solution redirects files in Virtual Software Packages, program and data files that are in Software Virtualization Solution layers are not backed up in the regular file system. As a result, they are not available for view in the Recovery utilities. However, the redirect files in layers are backed up as part of the Software Virtualization Solution files under the C:\fslrdr folder.
For example, if you have Microsoft Office in a Software Virtualization Solution layer, and the layer is active, in Windows explorer, you see a folder called C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office. These are actually files that are redirected to C:\fslrdr. When you do a snapshot or recovery, the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office folder is not recognized.
Altiris product documentation is available in Microsoft* HTML Help (.chm) and Adobe Acrobat* (.pdf) formats. To view Altiris product documentation in .pdf format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
Documentation files are installed in the following directory on the Altiris® Notification Server™ computer:
C:\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Help.
The following documentation is provided:
Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ Reference Guide (PDF Format)—softwarevirtualization.pdf
Altiris® Software Virtualization Solution™ Reference Guide (CHM Format)—softwarevirtualization.chm
The following United States Patents have been issued for Software Virtualization Solution technology. Additional patents pending. Patent documentation may be found at http://www.USPTO.gov.
Altiris Information Resources
|Source||What Information it Includes||Location|
|Altiris Documentation||Information about new features, update instructions, and known issues for each release. Includes Altiris formal documentation such as release notes, help, reference guides, best practice articles, and technical reference articles.||http://www.altiris.com/support/documentation|
|Altiris Knowledgebase||Comprehensive collection of articles, incidents, and issues for Altiris solutions.||http://kb.altiris.com/|
an online magazine for Altiris users
|Best practices, tips and tricks, and articles for users of Altiris solutions.||http://juice.altiris.com|
|Online Forums||Forums for Altiris solutions and suites.||http://forums.altiris.com/|
|2008/08/14||Added link to 2.1 SP2 release notes.|
|2008/06/17||Clarified supported platforms list to indicate that server operating systems are supported only when used as a client.|
|2008/04/02||Corrected html formatting problems. Updated the 'Changes' section to disambiguate the date fields using the 'yyyy/mm/dd' format. Remove the Article ID column from the 'Things To Know' table.|
|2007/08/22||A link to Hotfix 36647 was added to the Fixes section.|
|2007/07/20||A link to Hotfix 35879 was added to the Fixes section.|
|2007/06/07||Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 final release version of this document published.|
|2007/06/06||Technical edit completed.|
|2007/04/04||Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 Beta 2.0 version of this document released.|
|2007/01/11||Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 Beta 1.6 version of this document released.|
|2006/12/07||Software Virtualization Solution 2.1 Beta 1.5 version of this document released.|