VMware ThinApp — is a tool for creating portable applications through virtualization, it’s aimed at converting standard applications into applications that do not require any installation for their work. According to the developers, success is provided in nine out of ten cases.
Since 1999, this tool was produced by Jitit, Inc., located in San Francisco, California. Thinstall (former name) trial version was provided exclusively for organizations. On Internet (pirated sites) tool was accessed for public use. Since 2008, ownership rights (via purchase) have moved to VMware, Inc. — is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, which specializing of cloud computing and a virtualization platform located in Palo Alto, California. At the beta-testing stage, the program was named VMware Project North Star. Five months later, last name was announced: VMware ThinApp. Trial version became accessed for all. Legally, it can be downloaded from the developer’s site, having previously registered.
This tool uses virtualization to convert a standard application to a portable application. All program files and data will be packed in a single executable file with exe extension, which contains everything app needs to work: files, virtual registry, directories. A virtualized program will not make any changes to the system. All settings of application will be saved in a special directory (sandbox) which is located either in the location of the exe file, or in another place. Location of sandbox is indicated when portable application creating. An important factor is that the thin-installed software obtained is very easy to distribute, i.e. you will not need any third-party software, additional drivers, or even administrator rights to run, just copy the program to the directory you need, optionally a sandbox, and run it.
There are two variations of the tool: Starter Edition and Enterprise Edition tools. The first is a free version that you get with the licensed version of VMware Workstation. The second one has expanded functions. It’s included bolster for AppSync updating, Active Directory integration and permits use by different users.
Tutorial by SysadminTutorials.com
This tutorial will guide you through how to install Vmware Thinapp Packager, in which after we will package Firefox 4 into a Thinapp Package. This tutorial is performed on a baseline or SOE desktop image of Windows 7. Firstly create a base line snapshot so that you can revert to this snapshot at the end of this tutorial.
Note: Author will be using VMware-ThinApp-Enterprise-4.6.1-361923.exe in this tutorial
12. Go ahead and install Firefox and make any changes that you wish to carry into the Thinapp. For example I would change the default cache size down to 150MB. If you are installing another application that requires a reboot, go ahead and reboot the system and Thinapp Capture will start up automatically once you’re logged back in.
20. Thinapp has detected that we are packaging a browser application and you have the option to redirect user specified web sites from internet explorer to firefox. If you wish to include any redirected websites, type them here and click Next.
25. If we go to the location where we saved the capture we will see the MSI and the Virtual Thinapp Application. Copy this folder to a network share somewhere and revert the Operating System snapshot back to the baseline. Repeat this tutorial to create another Thinapp Application.