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Roaming Profiles used virtual but not local

with 2 comments

Yesterday a customer asked me how to use Windows roaming profiles just on the virtual desktops and not on the local desktops from which the user is connecting. Those local desktops are also a member of the Active Directory and the connecting user has a profile path configured in his user setting within the Active Directory.

First my thought was to use the Terminal Server profile setting but after some googleling and testing in my test environment I found that it is not possible to use the option on a Windows XP desktop operating system.

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The only way it works is using the default setting for a roaming profile which can be found in the tab Profile. For testing purposes I’ve just created a folder C:\test on my View broker and shared it as an invisible folder test$. Then I’ve used this path for the user profile setting.

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If you go for this setting the user profile will be created in the configured path but the profile is used on each desktop the user logs on as seen in the screen-shot above. But this is an issue for the customer because the Windows user profile would be loaded on each desktop, so on the local desktop which is just used to connect to View and as well on the virtual desktop. There is a rule in profile management which says: Last save wins! That means that the profile will always be overwritten from the desktop session which will be logged off at the last. In this special case the customer wants to use roaming profiles on the virtual desktops and just local profiles on the connecting devices.

After some searching in the Active Directory Group Policies I’ve found the correct Policy to configure the option. I had to apply a new policy on the organizational unit where the local desktops resist in. In the new Group Policy I configured the object: Only allow local user profiles, which can be found in Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / User Profiles and configured that this setting cannot be overwritten by any other policy.

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After restarting the client (connecting device) where the View Client is installed this PC did not longer use roaming profiles even if the option was set in the Active Directory users and groups management tool.

It would also be possible to add a Loopback policy to the virtual desktops overwriting the settings.

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  • Rick Westrate

    You could also use Group Policy Loopback processing to set a different profile path for when the user logs onto that specific set of virutal desktops (In that OU).

  • http://www.thatsmyview.net Christoph Dommermuth

    Thanks Rick, I will add this to the article.