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Understanding the configuration file order for Wyse Thin Clients

Problem

In an earlier article, I went over how you can configure your system to use a FTP server with DHCP option tags to automatically configure the device. Today, I am going to go over these configuration files, plus the processing hierarchy. My hope is that you will end up with the same conclusion that you should avoid using multiple configuration methods. Using more than one method will get trickier to understand why a configuration is taking place or is being ignored.

Types of Configuration Files

We have a few methods in which you can pass configuration files that will help you configure your devices automatically, plus we can allow some specific settings to be applied at either the user or device level.

  • WNOS.ini
  • USER.ini
  • MAC.ini

Important: The INI file processing hierarchy is as follows:

  • Scenario 1 — WNOS.ini exists. The WNOS.ini file is processed and if the statement Include=$MAC.ini (or Include={username}.ini) is included, then the relative file is processed.
  • Scenario 2 — WNOS.ini exists and {username}.ini exists. The WNOS.ini file is processed and if the Include=$MAC.ini statement is included, then the MAC.ini file is processed. Once the credentials are provided, the {username}.ini file is processed.
  • Scenario 3 — WNOS.ini exists and MAC.ini exists. The WNOS.ini file is processed and if the statement Include={username}.ini is included, then the {username}.ini file is processed. Once the credentials are provided, the MAC.ini file is processed.
  • Scenario 4 — No ini files exist. Local (manual) configuration is applied

To create a MAC.ini file, you will need to know the MAC address of the Wyse Thin Client. You can normally get this information from the System Information, then click on the General tab. (Note: That is if no one has changed the system name)


In this example, the MAC.ini file will be named 008064cfc609.ini. (Note: 008064 is the Wyse ID that will be used on all devices)

To create a user.ini file, you will need to know the username that is being used, such as “demouser.” In this example, the MAC.ini file will be named demouser.ini

These files will require additional steps to perform on your FTP file server:

  1. If you going to use the MAC.ini file, then you will need to place the file into this folder location:
    1. /wyse/wnos/inc (Optional) The folder where you can place the mac.ini files.
      1. NOTE: The use of parameter Include=$mac.ini will load /wnos/inc/mac-address.ini so that you can use inc in the folder structure and use $MAC.ini.
  2. If you going to use the user.ini file, then you will need to place the file into this folder location:
    1. /wyse/wnos/ini (Optional) The folder where you can place the {username}.ini files and {group} folder.

Configuration Files behavior

The advantage of using more than one configuration file is that will allow you to test different configurations with systems in production, where you are unable to have a test environment or if you want to target a specific user. The disadvantage is that it adds much more complexity to how your environment is setup and it might lead you to have a false impression on what was actually configured. Which in turn will lead to a loss of man hours (productivity) that lead to a longer day at the office trying to determine what in the world is going on.

Let’s review the scenarios where multiple files are used and the effect of these files as they are being processed by the Thin Client.

In the simplest scenario, we are using a wnos.ini file with a user ini file.


In this scenario, it starts out that the system will review the wnos.ini file and process it entirely. (Top to bottom) If there is not a line that mentions SignOn=Yes, then it will proceed with only that configuration file. It will ignore the user.ini file.

However, if there is a SignOn=Yes, then it will proceed with the wnos.ini file settings and either add more settings or overwrite those settings with the ones in the user.ini file. So if you are telling the wnos.ini file to enable VNC, but the user.ini disables it, then the last setting gets applied.

Please note that the user.ini file gets applied after a user logins, whereas the wnos.ini file gets applied before a user logs into a system. As you will recall from the first video, the background was Red when just the wnos.ini file was used, but now that we added the user.ini file, it loads a Dell background.

Now we will take a look at using a WNOS.ini File with a MAC.ini file


This method also starts out where the system will review the wnos.ini file, but if there is a line that mentions Include=$MAC.ini, then it will proceed with only that configuration file up to that line. At this point, it will jump out of the wnos.ini file and go straight to the MAC.ini. It will ignore any other settings below the line. For example, my configuration file has 86 lines and we place the Include=$MAC.ini at line 54 but there is a statement for RDP connection at line 61, which will get ignored at this point. After it processes the MAC.ini, then it will proceed back to the wnos.ini file and get the remaining settings.


However, if there is a line with Exit=All, then it will ignore the rest of the wnos.ini file settings.


In the example above, the RDP settings will not be loaded when the system boots up. We normally recommend this approach as it will avoid the settings from your MAC.ini from being overwritten with the wnos.ini file. With this approach, I want a main configuration for the bulk of my users/devices, but for a specific (or subset of) device/user they have a different requirement in their configurations.

This configuration all takes place before any user actually logs into the system.

Then we look at the most confusing scenario, where you are using a wnos.ini, user.ini and mac.ini file


This scenario is the most complex and can lead to the most confusing process to configuring your device. It will require the most thought out challenge and can lead to more troubleshooting to determine why a device is loading in the manner. This type of configuration if not understood properly can lead to a serious loss of productivity and is normally not recommended. However, if you must use all three configuration files, this is the order explained as simply as possible in this diagram.

It starts out that the system will review the wnos.ini file, but if there is a line that mentions Include=$MAC.ini, then it will proceed with only that configuration file up to that line. (Just like we saw up above) Again, it will jump out of the wnos.ini file and go straight to the MAC.ini. It will ignore any other settings below the line. For example, my configuration file has 86 lines and it has the Include=$MAC.ini at line 54 but there is a statement for RDP connection at line 61, which will get ignored at this point. After it processes the MAC.ini, then it will proceed back to the wnos.ini file and get the remaining settings.

However, if there is a line with Exit=All, then it will ignore the rest of the wnos.ini file settings. If there is not a line that mentions SignOn=Yes, then it will proceed with only that configuration file.

Now we add another layer of confusion, if there is a SignOn=Yes, then it will proceed with the wnos.ini file settings and either add more settings or overwrite those settings with the ones in the user.ini file. So if you are telling the wnos.ini file to enable VNC, but the user.ini disables it, then the last setting gets applied with the user.ini file.

Again, please note that the user.ini file gets applied after a user logins, whereas the wnos.ini and MAC.ini file gets applied before a user logs into a system.

I plan to do a few videos on these topics to help clarify these topics, but for now I hope this helps!

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