VMware DEM – Troubleshooting

Release date: April 25th 2021

Welcome to my VMware Dynamic Environment Manager series. In this session I will describe some basic troubleshooting tips and tricks. As most problems arise with the VMware DEM Agent, I will focus on this. At the bottom of this page I have posted some problems/issues with solutions.

When experiencing issues with the VMware DEM Agent and roaming the users settings, the first thing I check is the permissions on the Configuration and Profiles shares. If these aren’t correct, there will be problems with both reading the DEM config and writing the users settings. I cannot stress how important it is to getting these settings correct. I have documented my LAB set up here: VMware DEM – Prepare File Shares and Permissions

The second thing to check is that the GPO settings are set correct. For instance, if the Log Off script isn’t set to run at logoff, getting the users settings to roam, wont happen. The bare minimum of GPO settings needed to get DEM agent working, I have documented here: VMware DEM – Prepare GPO/Scripts

To identify issues and troubleshoot problems, the logs are imperative. Therefore, below, I have documented the most common places the logs are to be found. The DEM agent gets the log-configuration settings from GPO. When I configured the GPO for the DEM Agent, I configured the log file location, which are located under User Configuration as shown below.

The setting, FlexEngine logging, defines the DEM agents log settings

It is recommended to point this log location to the same location as the DEM profile, which I have done here. If I need to debug, I can change the Log Level to Debug. Although, changing this setting to Debug, would result in a debug of all users who are using this GPO with their DEM agent, not always necessary. To debug a single users issues, using the Flexdebug.txt method discussed below, would be preferable.

It is also possible to enable logging to Windows Event Log, which is handy if there are management solutions in the environment that exports the Event logs at log off for the users.

In some environment, auditing the users behavior, is necessary. For this, there are GPO settings that can be configured, but as mentioned above, a solution that exports the Windows Event logs at log off, is necessary.

Flexdebug.txt

With the Log setting configured in GPO, as described above, the users logs are placed in the «..%username%\archives\Logs\” folder. Under this folder there are 3 files, of which the most important is the FlexEngine.log. As we can see below, when the Log Level is set to “Warn”, this file is not very large and not comprehensive enough when it is going to be used for troubleshooting.

If I want to debug this users’ DEM Agent issues, I need to create a txt-file named «FlexDebug.txt» inside the users Logs folder. This is just an empty text file, but it will change the log level for this user to Debug.

When the user logs on and off, the FlexEngine.log file is much bigger and more comprehensive, much more suitable for debugging

Now I can open the FlexEngine.log file and try to identify the problem. Depending of the symptoms reported by the user, I can identify and rectify the problem. VMware have a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for the most common issues here: Troubleshooting Common VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Issues I would recommend checking this source when troubleshooting DEM Agent problems.

Below I have posted som issues and solutions which I have dealt with, which I hope will be helpful to some…

Problem:

Recommended reading: Fabian Lenz’ “Let’s troubleshoot User Environment Manager”

My VMware DEM LAB Set Up

Official VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Documentation

Disclaimer: Every tips/tricks/posting I have published here, is tried and tested in different it-solutions. It is not guaranteed to work everywhere, but is meant as a tip for other users out there. Remember, Google is your friend and don’t be afraid to steal with pride! Feel free to comment below as needed.

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