Introducing the Horizon Golden Image Deployment Tool


Some of you might have seen previews on the socials but for the last few months I have been working hard on a GUI based tool to deploy golden images to VMware Horizon Instant Clone Desktop Pools and RDS Farms. This because who isn’t sick and tired of having to go into each and every Pod admin interface to o a million clicks to deploy a few new golden images?

The work started mid December and as usual the first 75% was done pretty quickly so mid January I had a first working version. While I expected a first version that would only support Desktop Pools to be available mid February (Vmug Virtual EUC day someone?) this build actually already had most of the parts in place to support both Desktop Pools and RDS Farms. After this first build my regular work for ControlUp started picking up again so I had less time to fix the numerous bugs that I encountered. Well bugs? Most where logic errors on my part but most of them have been ironed out by now. All in all the version that you can use today has cost me ~80hrs in building & testing and many many more hours thinking about solutions.

Is the tool perfect? Definitely not but it works and it’s more than what we’ve had before and I will be looking into impriving it even more.

The Tool

I guess you got bored with the talking and would like to see the tool now. The content of thos blog post might get it’s own page later for documentation purposes. The tool itself can be downloaded from this GitHub repository. Make sure to grab both the xaml and ps1 files, put them in a single folder and you should be good. The tool entirely runs on Powershell and is using the WPF Framework for the GUI.

Quick jumps:


There are only 2 real requirements:

  • Powershell 7.3 or later (for performance reasons I used some PS 7.3 options so the tool WILL break with an older version.)
  • Horizon 8 2206 or later (the reason for this is that otherwise the secondary images wouldn’t be available and that’s a feature I wanted in there for sure.)

Deplying a new golden Image

For normal usage you can just start the ps1 file.

This will bring you to this tab, before the first use though you need to go to the configuration page.

Fill in one of your cconnection servers, credentials and hit the test button. If you have a cloud pod setup the other pods will be automatically detected and make sure to check the Ignore Certificate Errors checkbox in case that’s needed!

If the test was successfull you are good to go to either the Desktop Pools or RDS Farms tabs. Both are almost completely the same so I will only show desktop pools

Hit the connect button and all Instant Clone Pools or Farms from all pods will be auto populated in the first pull down menu.

The second pulldown menu allows you to select a new source VM

And the third pull down the snapshot (I guess you guessed that already, I might need to add labels but they are so ugly in WPF)

To the right you have all kinds of options that you should recognize from the regular gui including add vTPM that was added in Horizon 2206. This checkbox isn’t in the RDS Farms as we currently simply don’t have the option to have Horizon add a vTPM there. If the options are valid ( like more cores that cores/socket and if those numbers will work (can’t do 3 cores and 2 cores per socket!) the Deploy Golden Image becomes available. Hit this to start the deployment, you can check the status by hitting the refresh button. (don’t tell anyone but the functions does exactly the same as a connect)

Handling Secondary Images

By default a secondary image will not be pushed to any machines. Just select the Push As Secondary Image checkbox and hit Deploy Golden Image button.

What you can also do is select one or more of the machines and deploy the Golden Images ot those machines

Once a Secondary Image has been deployed the three other buttons come available.

From top to bottom you can either cancel the secondary image completely, apply the golden image to more desktops (selecting ones that already has it won’t break anything and will just deploy it when possible) and promote the Secondary Image to the Primary golden image for the pool. The latter will cause a rebuild of ALL machines including the ones already running on the image. In the future I will also add a button to configure a machine to run the original image.

Settings and logs location

All settings are stored in an xml file in %appdata%\HGIDTool this includes the password configured in the Settings tab as a regular Encrypted PowerShell Credentials object. If you didn’t hit save on the settings tab this will be automatically done when closing the tool.

In case you want to borrow some of my code the log files contain every API call that I do to get date, push an image or handlke secondary images. This is the same output as you’d get when running in -verbose mode so that’s only needed when you’re troubleshooting the tool.