VMware ACE 2.5 Release Notes

VMware ACE Version 2.5 | 23 SEPT 2008 | Build 118166

Last Document Update: 23 SEPT 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, experimental smart card support, and full screen switching in VMware Player. See the new features listed in the Workstation 6.5 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:

In addition to these ACE-specific known issues, VMware ACE includes the known issues listed in the Workstation 6.5 release notes.

Localization and Internationalization

  • The host name for the machine on which ACE Management Server is installed must contain only ASCII characters.
  • If you want to use ACE Management Server in an Active Directory multi-domain setup of Japanese systems and use groups and users of the parent domain, you must specify the parent domain when configuring ACE Management Server, as follows: On the Access Control tab of the ACE Management Server Configuration Setup application, enter the parent domain host name in the LDAP Server Host Name field. Enter the parent domain name in the Query User Domain field. If you instead use the child domain name, you get a "Domain Not Found" error.
  • On Japanese and simplified Chinese Windows Vista hosts, you cannot install an ACE package that contains a Japanese Windows Vista guest operating system if the virtual machine name contains Japanese characters.
  • If you connect a USB device that contains a Pocket ACE to a Japanese Windows Vista host, you cannot auto-play the USB device.
    Workarounds: Right-click the device and choose Run Pocket ACE or double-click run.exe on the device.
  • 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.
  • On Japanese systems, if you use instance customization and the path to the virtual machine contains a Japanese character that has an 0x5c byte as part of the codepoint, instance customization fails. For a list of such characters, go to http://wakaba-web.hp.infoseek.co.jp/table/sjis-0208-1997-std.txt.
  • 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

  • Instance Customization on Windows Vista fails for standalone Vista virtual machines when domain join is enabled and the Windows Login setting for the user name is not an administrator.
    Workarounds: Disable Windows Vista UAC or set the Windows Login user name to administrator. Any other local administrator account does not work.
  • You are unable to add users from a child domain when a managed ACE instance is configured with Windows 2000 ACE Management Server.

Pocket ACE

  • You receive an error while running a Pocket ACE on a Windows Vista host that does not have VMware Player installed. When you install an ACE package as an administrator, VMware Player is installed. However, when you install an ACE package as a non-administrator, VMware Player must have already been installed for the Pocket ACE to work properly.

Miscellaneous Issues

  • If you upgrade ACE Management Server and it was installed in a non-default directory, be sure to choose the same directory during the upgrade that you used for the previous installation. This ensures that your previous settings are used.
  • A managed ACE instance using Active Directory or user password authentication cannot be powered on or cloned after the recovery key has been enabled dynamically on the server.
    Workarounds: To power on the virtual machine, disable the recovery key and publish the policies. After the recovery key is disabled, the user can power on the ACE instance again. To clone the virtual machine, if you are using password authentication, first disable the user password and then clone the ACE instance to a virtual machine. There is no workaround if the ACE instance is using Active Directory.
  • If you are not using Active Directory for authentication, before you clone an ACE-enabled virtual machine that uses a password or activation keys, set the access controls to None. Re-enter the password or keys for both virtual machines after the clone is created. If you do not do this, the cloned virtual machine returns an error message that the credentials are invalid.
  • 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.
  • IP addresses in Instance View and Help Desk are sorted alphabetically, not numerically. (KB 1000166)

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Resolved Issues

The following items were listed as known issues in the VMware ACE 2.0.x release notes. They were fixed in VMware ACE 2.5:

  • You are unable to authenticate to your LDAP server after configuring your ACE Management Server appliance until you restart the ACE Management Server. (Bug 185010)
  • Some USB devices might not work well with Linux 2.4.x kernel host systems. (Bug 138779)
  • You are unable to change the password of a user if the user is not in the primary domain. (Bug 185003)

In addition to these ACE-specific resolved issues, VMware ACE includes the resolved issues listed in the Workstation 6.5 release notes.

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