Ulteo Open Virtual Desktop V4.0 Sneak Peek

Published on 02/11/2014

Welcome to the Open Virtual Desktop V4.0 pre-release overview. OVD 4.0 is the next major update to the platform, we have just announced availability of Release Candidate 1 and wanted to share a first look at the features and updates we will be delivering with the final release in a couple of months time.

The focus for development V4.0 has been around the key areas of cloud computing enablement, user experience, performance, administration and security. And with OVD being is the only platform available in the market today that unifies delivery of both Windows and Linux environments we've also focused on tighter cross platform integration.

The V4.0 release also streamlines the product family with the free-to-use Community and subscription based Premium Editions of the platform. OVD 4.0 Premium Edition is our commercial distribution that offers the advanced delivery, security and platform features required for more demanding environments. Available through the new Ulteo Subscription Program it provides software maintenance and expert support services from Ulteo and our partners. You can find out more about the new subscription program or contact Ulteo for more details.

If you are interested in testing release candidate 1 the Ulteo development team would welcome feedback on key new features of the platform, specifically for functionality, performance and stability. There are two ways in which you can test RC1, either by a fully installed implementation or by using the RC1 virtual appliance. For further details please read on.

Features Overview

Following is a description of the main updates within the V4.0 release.

HTML5 client

This new client is HTML5 compliant and provides support for new and older devices alike including iOS (iPAD) and Android. Delivering zero install connectivity to an Ulteo server farm and being fully integrated into Web Portal which recognizes whether Java is supported on the client means unmanaged devices can connect without user or administrator intervention. Ideal for providing secure access from public kiosks or user owned devices.

Session Recovery and Roaming

This feature improves usability when unreliable network connections are encountered, for example, in mobile WAN environments perhaps where reception is patchy. Session recovery ensures that if a network connection to a session is lost the user may initiate recovery of the original session.

Extending the session recovery capability to also provide session recovery for seamless applications (Portal Mode), RC1 introduces session roaming. This is where a user can disconnect from an active session and then reconnect at a later time using a different device. Session roaming automatically connects them to their session as they left it and if the device has a different resolution the session will automatically be resized to suit the new display.

Key features

  • Portal Mode now supported
  • Session state maintained
  • Auto resize for client device roaming

Performance (Clients, Gateway and LDAP)

Native Client

The Native OVD Client image management has been redeveloped from ground up to improve the graphic handling performance of the client. The image management engine in the client has been switched from Java to C when supported on the client. The Ulteo development team are interested in feedback on measured performance improvements.


There is no expected degradation of the Gateway performance compared to OVD 3, however the Ulteo development team are keen to see performance and scalability results from testing OVD 4 sessions hosted through the Gateway.

LDAP (Active Directory, eDirectory) 

There have been significant improvements with LDAP integration, the entire LDAP management code has been rewritten to significantly reduce the number of LDAP requests. We are expecting a reduction in requests by a factor of 100 in some cases. This is designed to improve user log on times, The Ulteo development team are looking for validation with measured testing of log on times compared to previous releases.

OVD 4.0 now supports recursive user groups (AD >=2008r2) groups may contain both users and user groups. Additionally OpenLDAP user groups are also supported.

User profile management extended support

A number of key improvements have been made in user profile management, performance and synchronization features. The development team are interested in the testing of large profiles (thunderbird/outlook, many user files PDF/DOCX) and file persistence between application servers and between session logoff and logon. The web file explorer for the Web Portal should also display the same files as on the application server.

Key features

  • Quota management: disk space quota by user profile / shared folder
  • Not only desktop & document folder but any folder in the user profile
  • Configuration synchronization is now handled by the Group Policy Object on Windows application server side, previously hard-coded in OVD3

Smart Card: local device redirection

OVD introduces support for PC/SC compliant smart cards and devices based on the Microsoft RDP specification. Support is provided in the Windows and Linux native clients and the Java Web Client. In this release application server support is for Windows servers only.

The team are looking for validation testing of a wide range of devices, cards and applications.

OVD integration

OVD 4.0 RC1 has added a number of integration and extensibility features for application integration and automation of management tasks. For web application integration there's a new Javascript framework, for example this might be used with Sharepoint as a portal serving documents. When a user requests a document, for example a .docx file, Sharepoint can be extended to have OVD launch a server hosted MSWord session in a seamless window within the browser. This removes the requirement to have every application installed on each desktop. The feature also works with tablets.

If the client connections are to use HTML5, the installation of an OVD HTML5 Proxy will be required on a server.

Key features

  • Javascript framework for portal integration that provides additional capabilities compared to the existing REST API
  • SOAP OVD administration API - for example can be used to create a script to create a set of users.

Performance (RDP protocol speed optimization)

In OVD 4.0 RC1 we are releasing a prototype for RDP speed optimization. At this point in time the early release delivers RDP protocol improvements for Linux Application Servers only, particularly network bandwidth detection, adaptation and optimization. We are looking for early feedback on the functionality and any perceived improvement in user experience. Please contact Ulteo Beta Support for information on how to install and configure this feature.

Key features

  • Optimization of available bandwidth
  • Bandwidth detection and display adaptation


  • Only available for Linux hosted applications, Windows under consideration for future release
  • Currently not recommended for large numbers of users due to server processing requirements

Web Application Delivery

The RC1 build includes an early release to support the delivery of native web applications alongside Windows and Linux. It is intended to provide a single sign on (SSO) capability for web applications. For RC1 we would be interested to see if there are any clients interested in helping us test this feature. If so please contact Ulteo Beta Support via email for further details.

Platform Download and Activation

To download the RC1 build and an activation certificate please use the following link where you will find download and activation instructions for both full and pre-built virtual appliance installations:


All RC1 testers can generate a free certificate and will receive it instantly by mail. NOTE: This certificate will not work with the final version.

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Last edited on 05/20/2014 16:24:00
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