Unidesk Enterprise Layer Manager

Last Modified: Jan 28, 2017 @ 3:48 pm


These articles focus on VMware vSphere. For Hyper-V, see Installing and configuring Unidesk 4.x by George Spiers.

Import Enterprise Layer Manager Appliance

  1. In vSphere Web Client, right-click a cluster, and click Deploy OVF Template.
  2. In the Select template page, browse to the vmware_4.0.8.52.ova file, and click Next. This file is downloaded from unidesk.com

  3. In the Select name and location page, give the machine a name, and click Next.
  4. In the Select a resource page, select a cluster, and click Next.
  5. In the Review details page, click Next.
  6. In the Accept license agreements page, click Accept, and then click Next.
  7. In the Select storage page, select a datastore. The ELM appliance stores all master layers inside the appliance, so ensure there’s sufficient disk space (typically 300-500 GB) for the virtual appliance.
    1. You can view the appliance’s consumed disk space inside the Unidesk ELM Management Console at System > Manage Appliance.
    2. To expand the storage, either increase the existing disk size, or add a disk to the VM. Then on the right is a link to Expand Storage.
  8. Select thin provision, or not. Then Click Next
  9. In the Select networks page, change the IP Allocation to Static – Manual, and then click Next.
  10. In the Ready to complete page, click Finish.
  11. See Open firewall ports for Unidesk, as needed at Unidesk.com.

Configure ELM IP Address

  1. Once imported, power on the ELM appliance.
  2. After the RUN_ONCE commands are complete, login to the console as administrator with a password of Unidesk1. You might have to press enter before the logon prompt appears.
  3. Enter c to configure networking.
  4. Enter s to assign a static network.
  5. Enter a new IP address for this appliance. Then enter y to save settings and restart networking.


  1. Use Internet Explorer to connect to the ELM IP address. Silverlight does not work in Chrome.
  2. If Silverlight is not installed, click the button to install it.
  3. Uncheck the two boxes, and then click Install now.
  4. Click Close.
  5. You can login as administrator and Unidesk1 again.


  1. The first time you logon you are prompted with the End User License Agreement. Check the box next to I accept the Terms and Conditions, and then click Close.
  2. When prompted for a license, click Manage License.
  3. You can either upload a license file, or enter your unidesk.com credentials to retrieve a license. Click Finish when done.
  4. The Welcome to... screen appears at every logon until you finish all three steps. Feel free to review the steps, or just click Close.

Appliance Certificate

  1. In the Unidesk ELM Management Console, go to System > Settings and Configuration.
  2. Scroll down until you see the HTTP Certificate Settings section. Click the Edit button.
  3. Scroll down and click Upload.
  4. Browse to a PEM file that contains an unencrypted RSA key, and one certificate. You can use OpenSSL to convert a .pfx file to a PEM file.
  5. If you scroll up, it should show you the Common Name of the certificate you uploaded.
  6. Scroll down and click Save.
  7. Click Yes to restart the web server.

  8. Now you can point your browser to the https URL and not see any certificate errors.
  9. At System > Settings and Configuration, you can scroll down to the Security Settings section to edit the Management Console idle timeout.

Administrator Password

  1. Go to Users > Users.
  2. Click the Administrator account to highlight it. On the right, click Edit Properties
  3. On the General page, enter a new password, and click the down arrow (Next).
  4. In the Contact Information page, click Next.
  5. In the Roles page, click Next.
  6. In the Confirm and Complete page, click Update User.
  7. You can logoff and logon again to test your new password.

File Share

  1. On a Windows file server, create a new share that will store the Elastic Layers. Only SMB shares are supported with Elastic Layers. NFS shares will not work with Elastic Layers.
  2. For High Availability, you can use any file server High Availability technology like DFS, File Server Clustering, etc.
  3. Give Everyone (or equivalent) Full Control to the share.
  4. On the Security tab, make sure the Users groups only have Read access (no Modify/Write).
  5. Add a service account to the share, and give it Modify access. Unidesk uses this service account to upload elastic layers to the share.
  6. Back in the ELM, go to System > Settings and Configuration.
  7. Scroll down until you get to the Network File Shares section. Click Edit.
  8. Make sure Windows share is selected. Elastic Layers don’t work on NFS.
  9. Enter the file share path, the service account credentials, and click Test Network File Share.
  10. Click Save.
  1. Go to Users > Directory Service.
  2. On the right, click Create Directory Junction.
  3. Give the “junction” a friendly name (e.g. domain name).
  4. Enter one domain controller address. LDAP Load balancing is recommended.
  5. Change the port to 636 (assuming you have certificates on your domain controllers).
  6. Click Test Connection.
  7. When prompted with a certificate error, click OK.
  8. Check the box next to Ignore Certificate Errors, and then click Next.
  9. You’ll need a bind account. Get the full Distinguished Name (look in Active Directory Users & Computers > user > Attribute Editor) and enter it here in the Authentication Details page with the password. Click Test Authentication.
  10. After successful authentication, click Next.
  11. In the Distinguished Name (DN) Details page, click the drop down to select the Base DN. Click Test Base DN. And then click Next.
  12. In the Attribute Mapping page, leave them set to the defaults, and click Next.
  13. In the Confirm and Complete page, click Create Directory Junction.

Role Based Access

  1. Go to Users > Directory.
  2. Search through the tree and find your Unidesk Admins group. Select it. On the right, click Edit Properties.
  3. In the Machine Association page, click Next.
  4. In the Roles page, change it to Administrator, and click Next.
  5. In the Confirm and Complete page, click Update Group.
  6. Logout of Unidesk.
  7. Log back in using an AD account that’s in your Unidesk admins group.

Citrix Provisioning Services Publishing Agent

To publish to PvS, you install the Unidesk Agent on the PvS Servers. It’s only needed on one PvS server.

  1. From Install the Unidesk Agent (required for PVS and Connector Scripts) at Unidesk.com.
  2. Ensure the PvS services are running as a domain account. Network Service won’t work.
  3. Run the following command on the PvS 7.7 or newer Server:
    "C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\InstallUtil.exe" "c:\program files\citrix\provisioning services console\Citrix.PVS.snapin.dll"

    1. If PvS 7.6, then run the following command instead:
      "C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\InstallUtil.exe" "c:\program files\citrix\provisioning services console\MCliPSSnapIn.dll"
  4. Go to the downloaded Unidesk files and run unidesk_agent_install.exe as administrator.
  5. In the Welcome to the InstallShield Wizard for Unidesk Agent page, click Next.
  6. In the License Agreement page, select I accept the terms, and click Next.
  7. In the Agent Port page, click Next. The installer automatically opens this port in the Windows Firewall.
  8. In the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install.
  9. In the Register the agent with a Enterprise Layer Manager page, enter the ELM address, and ELM credentials. Click Register.
  10. Registration logs can be found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Unidesk\Agent\Logs.
  11. In the InstallShield Wizard Completed page, click Finish.

Next Steps

3 thoughts on “Unidesk Enterprise Layer Manager”

  1. Hi Carl,

    With the Unidesk acquisition by Citrix, what is the future for AppDisk ?
    I suppose I shouldn’t waste my time implementing Appdisk and focus myself on Unidesk.
    I read several blogs talking about “physical workstations support in a near-future”.
    Mounting VHDs on Windows OS is feasible since years now, why Unidesk could not be used with physical computers ? Maybe because of the necessary bandwidth between a workstation and the servers holding the VHDs repository ? Or maybe because the mount has to be carried out in the very early steps of the Windows boot ?

    Kind regards


    1. Unidesk will replace AppDisk.

      Physical is on the roadmap. But I suspect that Cloud is the primary reason for the Unidesk acquisition.

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