Yesterday I was searching the web in an effort to find a solution to a technical issue I’m attempting to resolve. Among the results was a link to a new site I hadn’t checked out before.
As I started reading the site, I realized I was reading my words; words that I had posted on vmware.com two days earlier to describe my problem.
This other site had just copied my words verbatim. This behavior isn’t uncommon, as I frequently find the same content from one online forum reflected on another online forum. But it is the second time I discovered it happening to my content.
The site in question does not have any contact information or a WhoIs entry of any value, so I reached out to their ISP. I sent their ISP a DMCA take-down notice. They now have 24-hours to remove the content they stole from VMware’s site or will have their site shutdown.
ViewClient_MAC_Address is missing
I am running a VMware View 4.6 desktop pool of Windows 7 x86 with SP1 virtual machines. We rely on the OEM version of ThinPrint that comes bundled with the VMware View Agent to perform location-based printing.
Via a Group Policy, we map physical client MAC addresses physical printer IP addresses so that each virtual desktop has the nearest physical printer mapped as its default. The lookup tables in the Group Policy looks something like this:
TRUE,*,*,00:08:64:98:99:A6,*,SFM 1W SherFM 024206,HP Universal Printing PCL 6!IP_188.8.131.52
TRUE,*,*,1C:6F:65:0C:CD:13,*,NFM 1S NobImg 021214,HP Universal Printing PCL 6!IP_184.108.40.206
TRUE,*,*,00:80:64:94:99:E4,*,NFM 2S NoblFM 021194,HP Universal Printing PCL 5!IP_220.127.116.11
The problem is that 1/3 of the virtual desktops in the desktop pool are not properly mapping their printers.
Here’s what I understand is supposed to happen.
- An administrator maps MAC addresses to IP printers (Group Policy Management Editor > Computer Configuration > Policies > Software Settings > AutoConnect Map Additional Printers for VMware View > Configure AutoConnect Map Additional Printers)
- Group Policy updates the printer MAC to IP lookup table in the virtual desktop’s registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\thinprint\PrinterCreateListEx2) When a user logs onto their virtual desktop, the VMware View Agent reads some environmental variables from the physical client and writes them into the virtual desktop’s registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment), with one of those variables being the physical MAC address (ViewClient_MAC_Address)
- The OEM ThinPrint application in the VMware View Agent then reads the physical MAC address (ViewClient_MAC_Address) and begins mapping printers based on their IP addresses
So if the VMware View Agent fails to either read the physical MAC address or write the value into the virtual desktop’s registry, ThinPrint is unable to map printers. The result is the end user gets a virtual desktop without printers.
All of this happens in the same desktop pool, so the virtual machines are linked-clones and are identical. It also doesn’t matter if the physical device is a WYSE C50LE, a HP desktop, or a Lenovo laptop. So far, I’ve been unable to identify what is preventing the MAC addresses from being mapped or how to make the process more consistent. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you for your time.