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Nov 7, 2020

Serving a GUI to HyperV Server 2019

This is funny. While I was still working on Hostbridge, I had to test a procedure on Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V Core, which is a interface-less stripped down version of Windows Server acting only as hypervisor. But, after all, it's always Windows and, if you add some 3rd party software, you can still use it like any other Windows release, although many Windows applications will refuse to work, partially or at all. The ugliest part of it, however, is the total lack of a file manager, which limits the only interaction with the system to the command prompt, the poweshell and remote administration tools on clients connected to the local network. So, I had a scary idea: why not using Icaros Desktop as a replacement for Windows Explorer? Magellan and Wanderer provide all it's really needed to manage files, and Icaros also adds many useful applications that can run in Windows-hosted mode. Well, installation went fine and now I have a fully manageable system on my test, Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V Core based virtual machine. Here are some screenshots:

Windows task manager launched by AmiStart after integrating WdC:Windows/system32/TaskMgr.exe

Copying Chrome installer from a network shared directory to a local tmp drawer in Home:

Running the installer from the AROS shell with the command 'hbrun ChromeSetup.exe'

Et-voilĂ , once installed, chrome can be 'imported' through HostBridge and be launched from Icaros GUI

By the way, if you need to do the same thing, please remember that:

  • AROS has issues reading the contents of Windows drive C, but directories work ok. So maybe the following ASSIGN can be useful:
    ASSIGN "Program Files:" "WdC:Program Files"
    ASSIGN "Program Files (x86):" "WdC:Program Files (x86)"
    ASSIGN Windows: WdC:Windows

  • Running Hostbridge with administration rights means having icaros daemon ready to execute your orders: be sure to be the only one giving them

  • Your Microsoft license grants you the right to use the Hyper-V release of Windows Server as an hypervisor only: you can't make it your everyday's operating system.

  • Do NOT try this on a production, corporate machine. Icaros Desktop denies any kind of responsability for what you do with it.

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