Themes in Parallels RAS is a functionality that defines the look and feel of a client. Since version 17.0 clients can use customizable themes:
- HTML5 client. An HTML5 client theme is a combination of colors, title, icons, display language, and some other items that users will experience when they open the Parallels HTML5 client in their web browsers.
- Parallels Client for Windows. A Windows client theme allows you to customize the appearance of Parallels Client for Windows. By doing so, you can provide a Parallels Client for Windows with custom branding to your customers and/or users.
Note that other Parallels clients always use the default theme. This may change in future releases of Parallels RAS.
To manage themes, navigate to Farm / <site> / Themes in the Parallels RAS Console. The Themes view in the right pane displays the available themes. The list contains at least one default theme. This theme cannot be removed but you can customize it as needed. In addition to the default theme, you can create your own themes.
To create a new or modify an existing theme:
- Click Tasks > New Theme (or click the [+] icon) to create a new theme.
- Double-click an existing theme (or right-click it and choose Properties).
Common Theme Settings
The Theme Properties dialog opens. Use the dialog to create a new or modify an existing theme.
The theme settings described below apply to both, HTML5 client and Windows client themes.
Select General in the left pane and specify the following theme properties:
- Enable Theme: Enable or disable the theme (the default theme cannot be disabled).
- Name: Specify a theme name.
- Description: Specify an optional theme description.
- Limit access to this theme to members of these Active Directory groups: If this option is cleared, any Parallels RAS user can access the theme if they know its URL. To limit access to a particular group (or groups), select this option and then click Tasks > Add (or click the [+] icon) and select the desired group(s).
Select Messages in the left pane and specify a post-logon message (up to 500 characters). The post-logon message appears as a message box immediately after the user successfully logs in. The message can be overridden for HTML5 client and Windows client individually (see Messages for each client in the subsequent sections).
HTML5 Client Theme Settings
Panes under the HTML5 client heading allow you to configure theme settings for Parallels HTML5 client. These settings affect how the HTML5 client looks and behaves in a web browser.
On the URLs pane, specify the following properties:
- Theme login page: Specifies a postfix for the theme login page URL. This field is populated automatically with the theme name when you save the theme, but you can specify a name of your choice. The complete URL of the theme login page is comprised of "https://FDQN/" + the name specified in this field. The "FQDN" part must be replaced with the FQDN or IP address of the server hosting the corresponding RAS Secure Client Gateway. For example, if you name the theme "My-Theme" and if the RAS Secure Client Gateway server is named "scg.ras.dom", the complete URL is "https://scg.ras.dom/my-theme". When you save a theme, the URL is displayed on the Themes tab (the HTML5 URL column).
Please note that the URL described above is the short version, which is easier to remember and use. The full version is "https://FQDN/RASHTML5Gateway/?theme=" + the theme login page name, where "RASHTML5Gateway" is typed as is. If you go to the HTML5 tab of the RAS Secure Client Gateway Properties dialog (p. 64), that's the URL (minus the 'theme name' part) you will see. Both the short and the long versions are equally valid.
- Show Parallels Client download URL. If selected, users will see the Download Client link on the HTML5 client page, which can be used to download, install, and configure Parallels Client on users' computers.
- Override download URL for branded Parallels Client (Windows): Specifies a location from which your Windows users will download Parallels Client for Windows. By default, Parallels Client is downloaded from the Parallels web site. If you use a branded version of Parallels Client, you can specify its location in this field.
- Footer URLs. This option allows you to specify custom URLs that will be placed in the HTML5 client footer. To add a URL, click Tasks > Add and specify a URL, a text that will appear on the page footer, and a tooltip text. When entering similar URLs, you can duplicate an existing one by right-clicking it and choosing Duplicate (or select an entry and click the "duplicate" icon next to the [-] icon). If you've added multiple URLs, you can reorder them by clicking the up or down arrow icons or selecting Up or Down items in the Tasks menu. The URLs will appear in the footer in the order listed (you can click the Preview HTML4 Theme button to see how it looks).
The Branding pane allows you to customize the appearance of the HTML5 Client login dialog and the webpage.
The following properties can be customized:
- Webpage title: Specifies the title that appears on the webpage. You can type any title you like.
- Login to: Specifies a name that will appear in the HTML5 Client login dialog. For example, if you type "ABC" here, the login page will say, "Log in to ABC". There are two predefined variables that you can use here: %FARM% (the actual farm name; this is the default value) and %SITE% (the licensing site name).
- Company logo: Displays the image which is displayed on the HTML5 client page header. To change the image, select browse and then specify the image file. Note that changing the logo image also removes the default Remote Application Server part from the page header.
- Favicon icon: Displays the currently set favicon icon. To change the icon, click Browse and select an icon file.
Specify the desired colors for various HTML5 Client elements, such as header, footer, work area, buttons, etc.
On this pane, you can specify pre-logon and post-logon messages:
- A pre-logon message will appear on the Log in page.
- To override the default post-logon message (see Messages in the beginning of this topic), select the Override post-logon message option and enter a message.
The messages must be 500 characters or less.
Select languages that will appear in the language selector on the Parallels HTML5 Client page. The selector appears as a language flag icon on the page header to the right of the user name.
Parallels Client for Windows Theme Settings
Panes under the Windows client heading allow you to configure theme settings for Parallels Client for Windows. By configuring a Windows client theme, you can make the client appear to end users as your organization requires.
On the Branding pane, specify the following:
- Company name: Used to create the Start menu hierarchy: Start \ Company Name \ App Name.
- Application name: Displayed in the app caption and the Start menu entry name.
- Connection banner: Displayed when a connection is being established.
- Application icon: The application icon used for the Start menu and by the main app window.
To override the default post-logon message, select the Override post-logon message option and enter a message.
The Custom Menu pane allows you add a menu item to the Help menu in white-labeled Parallels Client for Windows. For example, if you enter "&Notepad" in the Menu item field and "notepad.exe" in the Command field, a new menu item will appear under the Help menu in every white-labeled Parallels Client for Windows connecting to this farm. The item will be named Notepad (with the "N" being the shortcut) and it will open the Notepad.exe application when clicked. The Command field can contain an executable name, a URL, or any other command that can be properly executed on a Windows machine. For instance, you can add a menu item specifying a URL of your Helpdesk solution, so your users can easily reach it when needed.
After defining a Windows client theme, you can also create a client package for mass distribution. For more information, see Create Branded Windows Client for Mass Distribution.
When you are done customizing a theme, click OK to save it and return to the Parallels RAS console.
You can also perform the following actions on the Themes tab in the Parallels RAS Console:
- Duplicate a theme — right-click a theme and choose Duplicate (or select a theme and click Tasks > Duplicate).
- Preview HTML5 theme — right-click a theme and choose Preview HTML5 Theme (or Tasks > Preview...).
- Delete a theme — right-click a theme and choose Delete (or Tasks > Delete).
When done creating or modifying themes, click Apply in the Parallels RAS Console to commit the changes to Parallels RAS. You can now test the theme by opening its URL in am HTML5-enabled web browser.
Create Branded Windows Client for Mass Distribution
To allow IT administrator to deploy a branded Parallels Client for Windows to end user PCs, Parallels RAS includes the functionality that simplifies the process.
First, you need to create a theme that includes the necessary branding features. After that, you need to create a Parallels Client for Windows installation package that will use the theme. To do so:
- On the Themes tab, click Tasks > Generate Windows Client Package.
- In the dialog that opens, specify the following options:
- Select a theme to use to create the package. The theme must have the Parallels client settings configured.
- Specify the target folder on your local computer (e.g. "c:\temp").
- Select or clear the "Open the folder in Windows Explorer .... " option as needed.
- Click Generate. This will create the ClientDownloader.exe file. When you run the file, it will download the latest version of Parallels Client for Windows installer (MSI) and will apply the custom theme to it.
You can now distribute this installer to end users. When they run the installer, it will install the Parallels Client for Windows with all the customizations (start menu shortcuts, desktop shortcut, images and icons) as specified in the Windows client theme.
In the future, if you need to upgrade an installed copy of Parallels Client for Windows to a newer version, you don't need to repeat the instructions described above. Simply upgrade the older version and the branding features will remain intact.