Windows 11 Insider Preview: download and will it work on VMware Horizon

/ August 25, 2021/ Uncategorised, VMware Horizon

A few months ago Microsoft announced the new Windows 11 version to the public in a live session on the internet. As a consultant I’m always interested in new features and new versions of Windows.

This blog will cover the steps to download a iso file of Windows 11. At this moment you cannot download  a standalone iso on the Microsoft page. Also this blog includes the roll out on Horizon with the technology of Instant clone.

The VMware Dynamic environment manager is also included within this test.

Site note:

  • Based on Windows 11 Insider Preview
  • Be aware that Windows 11 isn’t supported on VMware Horizon at this moment
  • The test I’m doing is only based on interest of technology ( no production )
  • Things can be changed over time

My environment

  • VMware vSphere 6.7.0
  • VMware vCenter 7.0.2
  • Nested virtualization
  • VMware Horizon 2012 (8.1.0)
  • VMware DEM 2009
  • VMware tools 10.3.10

Machine configuration:

  • VM Version 14
  • 2 CPU
  • 8 GB Ram
  • 60 GB disk
  • No DGPU

Download the Windows 11 iso

At this moment you cannot download a Standalone iso file for Windows 11. In place of downloading the iso file you can consider an in-place upgrade of Windows 10.

Thanks to the website you can download the necessary files by using a script that will convert these files to a single iso.

Follow the below steps and download the package

  • Select the latest W11 release
  • Check only the pro edition
  • Check the box “Download and convert to iso” Optional (include Updates)

  • Extract the folder on a location with a minimum of 10 Gb free storage
  • Run the “uup_download_windows” batch file

    Files will be downloaded and converted to a single Iso file

  • Press “0” this will exit the cmd prompt
  • The iso can be found in the root of the folder

Machine creation for Horizon

Additional you can deploy Windows with SCCM or MDT. In my case I will install Windows 10 by hand using the console at vCenter. Because I don’t know if W11 will deploy with instant clone on Horizon, doing the installation manually was the best choice.

Installing Windows 11 has almost the same wizards until Windows has been installed and asking for some more configuration.

Because we are using this machine for Horizon, I need to join it to the domain with a local user instead of business accounts (to prevent intune deploys) Within the gui select Microsoft Business and click on the option “Sign-in Options” and “Domain Join Instead”

After giving the machine a name, name of the user account and doing some diagnostic settings it is time to launch the desktop for the first time.

What a beauty and clean desktop, it takes some time to find the common functions. Of course you can use the cmd or type the program in the search bar. It is a fresh interface, My opinion 😉

Lets go on to install the required drivers and agents for Horizon and DEM. Going to my check list

  • Install VMware Tools
  • Install VMware Horizon Agent
  • Install DEM
  • Run the optimize script (You can find it in the upcoming blogs)

Didn’t see any errors during the installation of the drivers and software….. Great!

Final steps

  • Make a snapshot of the machine
  • Deploy the machine within Horizon (instant clone)

After waiting some time (Test environment is nested so it isn’t fast) the desktops are created and available. Nice Lets doing the first test.

Looks great for the first time. VMware DEM needs some troubleshooting but the end result is great 😉


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