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Imager

version 2.1.0 — January 04, 2023

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Summary

What is Imager?

Imager is a script-free alternative to complicated imaging tooling such as Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) or HashiCorp Packer, by making imaging of Windows desktop VMs child’s play. Supply a Windows 10 or Windows 11 installation media ISO and Imager does the hard work of producing a working VM or golden image. Use the image for your personal use, Horizon desktop pools, Managed VMs (*new), or other any desktop infrastructure needs.

The Imager build process involves creating the VM, installing and updating the OS, provisioning software, optimizing, sysprepping and finalizing the image to be ready for distribution. Any VMware or third-party software is downloaded automatically when required. Your only requirement is to install VMware Workstation Pro or Player and have a Windows installation media ISO available.

The process is simple and repeatable. A quick example in pictures:

  1. Select your Windows installation media ISO, edition and review the build plan:
  2. Specify the VM properties and administrator credentials:
  3. Optionally, select provisioning packages for base software you want installed and whether to optimize the image (using the VMware Optimization Tool):
  4. Setup unattend settings to control the OOBE flow, including the option to enrol with Workspace ONE UEM, and hit “Build Image”:

 

  1. Wait for the image to build:

 

  1. Done, your image is ready!

Requirements

  • Windows 10 version 1909 or newer, or Windows 11
  • VMware Workstation Pro 16.2/17.0 or Windows Player 16.2/17.0

Imager will automatically download and use the following third-party applications. The terms of these applications will need to be acknowledged during the installation of Imager.

Instructions

Please get the instructions .PDF in the Download box.

Video

Changelog

Version 2.1.0 Features

With focus on better supporting vSphere and Horizon deployments, and in response to customer feedback, several important new features have been added to Imager 2.1:

  • Paravirtualized Drivers: VMs can now be built with the paravirtualized drivers for storage (PVSCSI) and network (VMXNET3). Use of these drivers offers greater performance, throughput, and CPU utilization.
  • OVF Export: VMs can be exported from any stage in the build plan to OVF or OVA formats.
  • Workstation/Player 17: Imager 2.1 and Managed VM Agent 2.1 have been updated to support the recent major release of VMware Workstation Pro 17.0 and Workstation Player 17.0.

Version 2.0 Major Feature Announcement:  Managed VMs

Our headline feature is a new way of delivering secure desktop VMs, built with Imager, as “Offline VDI” desktops that run containerized on your users’ laptops. This new feature is the evolution of the “Managed VM” beta that we ran in 2021, now greatly improved and fully integrated into Imager since version 2.0.

In a nutshell, Managed VMs are isolated workspace containers, managed by Workspace ONE, that run virtualized on user personal devices. This is an ultra-low-cost VDI solution for running secure work VMs on BYOD devices, managed by existing Workspace ONE UEM infrastructure. Advantages include:

  • Cheaper than supplying corporate laptops or provisioning a hosted or cloud VDI instance.
  • More secure than direct access to corporate apps and data on their personal devices.
  • Managed VM desktops are accessible even when Internet connectivity is unavailable or poor quality.

This works with all supported releases of Workspace ONE UEM and requires no server-side configuration changes.

For those of you who supported the beta, thank you! We listened and have worked diligently to drive this forward. Overall, the Imager-integrated release of Managed VM is a significant step-up from the beta. The end-to-end workflow is now fully UI-driven for both the admin and user, the process is much more automated, and managed VM desktops more secure.

Version 2.0.0

New features:
- Managed VMs (Major new feature)
- Unattend file customizer
- Full command-line support
- Verification of in-guest state during image build
- Added USB device type restrictions to VM template
- Faster image build time
- Capture of in-guest logs for each build image stage
- Updated to latest Windows ADK

Bug fixes:
- Overall image build reliability improvements
- Fixed intermittent Windows PE ISO creation failures
- Fixed intermittent update OS stage failures
- Fixed intermittent sysprep failures, including improved AppX package handling
- Disabled Windows boot sounds during image build
- Various user interface fixes and enhancements

Version 1.1.0

New features:
- Windows 11 VM creation
- Optimize images with new VMware OS Optimization Tool integration
- Automated WinPE creation
- Encrypted Windows image file (.esd) support
Bug fixes:
- Imager now runs on Windows Server 2022
- Sysprep stage fixes to prevent failures on sysprep validation errors
- Improved provisioning stage error handling
- Improved build image cancellation handling
- Improved intra-stage image validation
- Capture of in-guest logs into Imager logs
- Removed Workspace ONE UEM agent download
- Various UI and CLI fixes

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