PolicyPak: Manage and lockdown a specific VMware Workstation’s VMX file settings

In this video learn how to use the PP DesignStudio to specify a specific VMware VMX file and then deliver settings and lock down the settings so users cannot work around them.

Lockdown VMware workstation

Hello. This is Sal from PolicyPak technical support. In this video, I’m going to show you how you can deliver settings for your VMs in a VMware Workstation.

You must know that when you click on “Edit virtual machine settings,” you are going to see these two tabs: “Hardware” and “Options.” We do have a new Pak to manage these settings, so I’m going to use that and I’m also going to deliver app locks on these options so your end user cannot change that. Click “Cancel” and close the app on the target machine.

Now I’m going into my domain controller from where I’m going to deliver the setting. The thing that you need to look for on the client machine – you need to make sure that you know your data root, where your configuration files are getting stored for your VMs. We manage VMX file, so you need to know the data root of your “Configuration file.” In my case, it’s “C:VMsWindows 7.vmx.” I know that, so now I know what file I need to manage.

You need to download the latest Pak from our custom portal. Once you extract that, you’re going to see these three files in that folder. The one is DLL, which you need to place on your central local store. Then the Read Me file, and the last one is XML file. This is the project file which you can open in the PolicyPak Design Studio and change the data root.

I’ll open that in my PolicyPak Design Studio. In here, the default you are going to see is like that. The default data root, the Pak we ship does have “Virtual Machine” in the “Data root.” For example, in my case, I know that my “Data root” is “VMs,” so I will change that part. If you are targeting any specific file for VMX, like let’s say you are targeting “Windows 8.vmx,” so you need to change the file name as well.

In my case, I know that it’s in a “VMs” folder on my “SystemDrive” and the VMX file name is “Windows 7.vmx,” so I will change that and then I will save those changes. Then I will go into “Compilation” option and click on this button to compile it.

I already have that compiled, and I already have that in my central store. So I will open a GPO in an editor, “VMWare VM Settings.” Here I’m going to see the “Properties.” Let’s say I want it to be set for “1024” as minimum “Memory.” In “Hardware-Processors” tab, I’m going to try to deliver these three checkboxes. In “Options-Shared Folders,” I want to deliver “Disabled.” So I select that. Click “OK.”

Then I will go into my target machine and close the app. I’ll run “GP Update” and we will wait for it to finish on the user side. Once it is finished, you can open that and now I will see the changes. Now “Memory” is like what I have set on the Group Policy. We can further go and verify that. It’s now set to “1024” “MB.” We are delivering these three checkboxes as well. If I go into “Options” tab, the “Shared Folders” are “Disabled.” So the settings are now delivered on your target machine.

The last thing which you might want to do is lock down this setting so your users cannot change that. Right now, they do have ability to change that. Now let me show you how you can do that. Again, I’m going into my domain controller where I have that policy configured. I’ll open it in an editor and open the “Properties” for that Pak.

What you need to do is you just need to right click on it and “Perform ACL Lockdown.” When you select that option, you are actually locking down the whole VMX file on the target machine. You’ll notice that when I select that option, now even if I now go into “Hardware-Processors” tab, for these three checkboxes, right click on it and you will see that option is already checked. Same for the “Options-Shared Folders.” If I right click on it, it is also checked on this option as well. So we are locking down the whole VMX file on the target machine.

Once it’s set, I will click “OK.” I will quickly go into my target machine and run “GP Update” to refresh the policy. Once it’s done, I will open “VMware Workstation” again. Let’s open that, and you will see that now your users cannot change that. If I go into the “Processors” tab, these options are also disabled. If I go into the “Options” tab and look under the “Shared Folders,” that option is also disabled.

If you have any questions, you can email us at [email protected]