ACE 2.5 Beta Portal | ACE Management Server Administrator's Manual | Workstation User's Manual


VMware ACE 2.5 Beta Release Notes

VMware ACE Version 2.5 | 14 AUG 2008 | Build 110068

Last Document Update: 26 AUG 2008

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

These release notes cover the following topics:

What's New

Previously, ACE-specific user interface controls were available only in Workstation ACE Edition. In VMware ACE 2.5, these controls are available to all VMware Workstation customers who use Workstation on a Windows host. The ability to use ACE instances on computers where Workstation is not installed still requires an ACE license, as does the ability to manage ACE instances with ACE Management Server.

With this release of VMware ACE, the following new features and support have been added:

In addition to these ACE-specific features, VMware ACE includes all the new features of Workstation 6.5, including Unity mode, a new hardware version, smart card support, and full screen switching in VMware Player. See the new features listed in the Workstation 6.5 beta release notes.

Security Enhancements  

  • Kiosk mode — When an ACE instance runs in kiosk mode, the user cannot access the host system at all.
  • Built-in keystroke-logging detection — Keystroke logging is a method of recording user keystrokes, including determining user passwords. You can now configure runtime settings so that if certain classes of keyloggers are suspected, the end user is notified or the virtual machine exits immediately. The event is also logged.

Usability Enhancements  

  • ACE instance creation — The process of creating virtual machines for end users is now simpler and more intuitive. The required tasks are clearly ordered and made available on the summary view for an ACE-enabled virtual machine. The concept of an ACE master has been removed in favor of simply enabling ACE features for a virtual machine.
  • Configure which network adapter to use for automatic bridging — If the host has multiple physical network adapters, you can specify, for example, that only the wireless adapter should be used, or that a wireless adapter should be used if available, or that only an adapter with a specific device name should be used.

Pocket ACE Improvements  

  • New Pocket ACE cache and exit behavior settings — You can now configure runtime settings so that Pocket ACE files are always kept on the USB device and never cached on the host computer. This feature is convenient if disk space on the host is very limited or if the files must remain only on the USB device for security reasons. You can also configure exit behavior so that when users power off a virtual machine, changes are automatically synchronized with the host.
  • Improved Pocket ACE performance — The time it takes to synchronize a Pocket ACE with the host during power off has been greatly reduced.

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Known Issues

The known issues are grouped as follows:

Localization and Internationalization

  • For all Windows operating systems except Windows Vista, ACE instance customization parameters — such as user name, organization, computer name, and paths to initialization scripts — must use characters from the local character set only. For example, you can use Japanese characters for the computer name only on a Japanese host. In addition, if you use placeholders for instance customization parameters, the host and guest operating system must use the same locale. These restrictions do not apply to Windows Vista guests because Windows Vista uses a UTF-8 encoded XML file to store the Microsoft sysprep parameters. Earlier versions of Windows use the sysprep.inf file, and the Microsoft Windows mini-setup process reads that file in the local encoding only.
  • When using a hotfix policy, if you select to use email to submit the hotfix request, you can use only characters from the local character set for the administrator email and email subject. For example, you can use Japanese characters for these fields only on a Japanese host.
  • If you use the ACE Management Server with an MS-SQL database, the database must be installed on a host whose locale matches the language being used to create the ACE instances. For example, if you use Workstation on a Japanese host to create ACE packages that you want to deploy to Japanese systems, the database host must also be on a Japanese system.
  • If you install ACE Management Server on a Linux host and use Active Directory integration, you cannot use credentials that include multibyte characters. That is, you cannot log in to Active Directory with a non-English name or password.
  • If you add creator IDs to the aceMaster.dat file, you must use ASCII characters or characters that do not conflict with the encoding tag (.encoding = xxx) in the first line of the file. Creator IDs control which ACE instances run on that host.
  • If you use the zone editor to create a new zone in an ACE network access policy, you cannot use non-ASCII characters in any of the addresses: network, DNS server, gateway server, DHCP, WINS, and domain.
  • If you create a host network access policy that has a rule based on a machine name with Japanese characters in it, the rule is followed only when you deploy the ACE instance on Japanese hosts. For example, if you create a rule to block access to a machine by using the Japanese machine name in the rule and then deploy the ACE instance to an English host, access to that Japanese machine is not blocked.

Instance Customization

  • On some Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 2003 guests, if you use instance customization and set options to enable a join, the guest does not get added to the domain.
    Workaround: Manually add the ACE instance to the domain.

Pocket ACE

  • If you disable Pocket ACE caching and then enable it again but receive an error message that the Pocket ACE cannot find a missing or pending disk, you must delete the stale configuration file (.vmx file) on the host. This file is located in the Pocket ACE cache directory.
    On Windows hosts, the cache directory is C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\VMware\Roaming VM cache\.
    On Linux hosts, it is /home/<user>/.vmware/roamcache.

Miscellaneous Issues

  • If you enable Administrator mode on an ACE instance and attempt to change the Shared Folders preference from Enabled Until Next power off or Suspend to another setting, the change is not saved.
  • On Linux guests, the virtual printer feature does not work. This feature would allow users to print to any printer available to the host computer without installing additional drivers in the virtual machine.
  • If you use the virtual printer feature on 64-bit Windows Vista hosts and you find that you cannot print to some printers listed as available, you might need to install a 32-bit version of the printer driver on the host. For example, if you lose a print job or get the error message "Thunking Spooler APIS from 32 to 64 Process has stopped working," use this workaround.

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Resolved Issues

  • For Pocket ACE instances, do not change the runtime preferences policy to disable Pocket ACE caching if you have already deployed the Pocket ACE. If you change the Pocket ACE caching policy, the Pocket ACE instance will not start. (Bug 288892)
  • Avoid using the ACE instance customization feature when creating a Windows Vista package for deployment. (Bugs 233446 and 283763)
  • If you want to use the ACE instance customization feature with a Windows XP guest, you must create an empty "xpsp3" folder for use during packaging. (Bug 289536)
  • If you use the Preview in Player feature for an ACE-enabled virtual machine that has instance customization enabled, you must delete the snapshot that gets taken after you do the preview if you want to so a second preview. This preview deployment snapshot gets taken automatically during a preview. If you do not delete it, when you attempt to use Preview in Player again and select "Replace with a new instance," the preview fails. (Bug 275596)
  • You cannot create a Pocket ACE instance with ACE 2.5 and use it with a host that has an older version of ACE and ACE Player installed. Although the Pocket ACE can power on, when you power it off and attempt to synchronize, the ACE instance becomes corrupted. (Bug 286283)
  • When creating a Pocket ACE package, you must enter a full path name in the package name field (including drive letter). (Bug 263575)
  • For Windows Server 2003 SP2 guests, if you use the ACE instance customization feature, do not use the "%random_digit()%" macro to generate the computer name. This macro always generates the number 0518. (Bug 280426)

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