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Deploying and licensing VNC Connect using Windows MSIs

VNC Server and VNC Viewer are available as separate MSIs, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

You can remotely deploy to target Windows computers using any suitable tool, for example SCCM or Group Policy.

Note

You can only license VNC Server as part of the deployment process if you have an Enterprise subscription.

To get started:

  1. Download the MSI installers for VNC Server and/or VNC Viewer.
  2. Extract appropriate MSI(s).

Installing at the command line

You can use msiexec to install in the standard way. For example, running the following command at an Administrator Command Prompt:

msiexec /i "<VNC Server>.msi" transforms="vnc.mst" /qn

...installs VNC Server silently and without restarting, and simultaneously applies a transform to configure VNC Server, perhaps by applying a license key or disabling automatic update checks.

Creating a Group Policy Object (GPO)

You can choose to deploy VNC Server and VNC Viewer to computers, to users, or to both in the standard way for a GPO.

If you choose to deploy to users, then once VNC Server is installed on a particular computer:

  • VNC Server in User Mode is available just to those users. VNC Server in Service Mode, however, is available to any user on the computer, since it is a system-wide service.
  • The VNC Mirror Driver and VNC Printer Driver components must always be deployed to computers (that is, using the Computer Configuration section of Group Policy Management Editor), since these too are system-wide services. See below for more information.

Deploying VNC Server

The instructions in this section are valid for Windows Server 2008 R2.

To deploy VNC Server, create a new GPO in the standard way. In Group Policy Management Editor, create a new package for either users or computers and assign the appropriate versions of the VNC Server MSI to it. When you have created the package in accordance with the instructions below, add users or computers to the GPO and link it to an appropriate Organizational Unit.

Note

If you need to create a transform, do so on the Modifications tab of the Properties dialog before creating the package. It is not possible to add a transform once the package has been created.

Deploying VNC Mirror Driver

VNC Mirror Driver is an optional component that enhances the performance of VNC Server, recommended for all target platforms except NT 4 and Windows 8 or later. To deploy it:

  1. In Group Policy Management Editor, expand Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.
  2. Edit the Allow installation of devices using drivers that match these device setup classes policy setting.
  3. Choose Enabled, and click Show to add the VNC Mirror Driver GUID: 4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318

Note

If you choose not to deploy VNC Miror Driver, you must explicitly exclude it from the installation process using a transform.

Deploying VNC Printer Driver

VNC Printer Driver is a required component for VNC Server if connected users will print to local printers. To deploy it:

  1. In Group Policy Management Editor, expand Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Driver Installation.
  2. Edit the Allow non-administrators to install drivers for these device setup classes policy setting.
  3. Choose Enabled, and click Show to add the VNC Printer Driver GUID: 4658ee7e-f050-11d1-b6bd-00c04fa372a7
  4. Expand Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.
  5. Edit the Devices: Prevent users from installing printer drivers policy to Define this policy setting as Disabled.
  6. Edit the User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation policy to Define this policy setting as Disabled.

Note

If you choose not to deploy VNC Printer Driver, you must explicitly exclude it from the installation process using a transform.

Deploying VNC Viewer

To deploy VNC Viewer, create a GPO in the standard way. In Group Policy Management Editor, create a new package for either users or computers and assign the appropriate versions of the VNC Viewer MSI to it. When you have created the package (there are no custom instructions), add users or computers to the GPO and link it to an Organizational Unit.

Creating a transform

You must create a transform for VNC Server if you want to:

  • License VNC Server as part of the installation process. You can only do this if you have an Enterprise subscription. VNC Server can be licensed post-installation, but user interaction and elevated privileges are required.
  • Omit one or both of the VNC Mirror Driver or VNC Printer Driver components.
  • Disable or enable automatic update checks. By default, the user is prompted to decide when the user interface first starts.

To create a transform:

  1. In Orca, open the appropriate VNC Server MSI.
  2. Select Transform > New Transform.
  3. Open the Property table.
  4. Add, or edit existing, properties for the actions you wish to perform:
To Property Action Value
License VNC Server LICENSEKEY Add <license-key>
Exclude VNC Mirror Driver ADDLOCAL Add FeatureServer,FeaturePrinterDriver
Exclude VNC Printer Driver ADDLOCAL Add FeatureServer,FeatureMirrorDriver
Exclude VNC Mirror Driver and VNC Printer Driver ADDLOCAL Add FeatureServer
Control automatic update checks ENABLEAUTOUPDATECHECKS Edit 0 to disable
1 to enable
  1. Select Transform > Generate Transform, and save the file in a suitable location.

Note

For a GPO, you should save the transform in the network share containing the VNC Server MSIs, and add it to the GPO before creating the package.

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