Skip to main content

Nutanix AHV

This document will provide you with instructions on how to prepare and register your own template image in AHV for use with Frame. Before moving forward with the preparation procedure, please ensure you have read through the general requirements on the BYO image and considerations on the Windows BYO image pages. We will outline additional details specific to Nutanix AHV below.


You must create and register at least one template or "gold" image when registering your AHV cluster to have an AHV Cloud Account in Frame. This template image will be used to create the Frame Sandbox and Utility Server(s) (optional) when you create a Frame account.

Additional template images can be created and registered after the AHV Cloud Account is created.


  • Do not install Nutanix Guest Tools in your template image. Nutanix Guest Tools can cause communication issues between the workload instances and the Frame control plane.

  • If your image already has Nutanix Guest Tools installed, you must install VirtIO drivers before uninstalling Nutanix Guest Tools. If you attempt to remove Nutanix Guest Tools without first installing VirtIO drivers, your virtual machine will not boot.

  • Use SCSI as the bus type when creating a new template image or adding an existing disk to a VM in Prism Central or Prism Element. Do not use volume groups disks.

  • Use IDE as the bus type for the CD-ROM.

  • Set your template image timezone to UTC. When users start a Frame session, the workload VM will be set, by default, to the correct timezone based on the user's browser locale.

  • When setting up the template image, it can be useful to have the Windows Firewall disabled. Firewall can be customized and re-enabled later in the Sandbox for a Frame account. To do so, run the following command in Powershell.

    Set-NetFirewallProfile -Profile Domain, Public, Private -Enabled False

    If you do not wish to disable Windows Firewall but still want to enable RDP, run the following command in PowerShell.

    Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Remote Desktop"
  • Enable Microsoft RDP in your template image before installing the Frame Guest Agent to access the template image VM. Verify you can access your template image using RDP with your local Windows administrator user. Ensure RDP is allowed in the Windows Firewall for your template image. Once the Frame Guest Agent is successfully installed, the VM will no longer be accessed via the built-in AHV VNC console.


  1. First, starting with a Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019 image, create a VM in the AHV cluster you are going to use for Frame. When configuring your image, you must use a Windows OS user account with local Windows administrator privileges.

  2. Access the VM via RDP and download the Windows Frame Guest Agent (FGA) Installer from the Nutanix Portal. Alternatively, you can download the FGA Installer ISO, upload the ISO to Prism, and mount the ISO as a virtual CD-ROM on your template image VM before powering on your template image VM.

Nutanix Portal - Frame Downloads

Nutanix Portal - Frame Downloads
  1. Install the FGA using either the standalone executable or ISO image.

FGA Installer

Frame Installer

For customers using Frame Government Services (FedRAMP), execute the Frame Guest Agent Installer with the command line argument REGISTRATIONMETADATA:

.\FrameGuestAgentInstaller- REGISTRATIONMETADATA=""
  1. Once the FGA Installer has completed successfully its installation, reboot the VM to complete the installation of the Frame Guest Agent.

For additional FGA installation scenarios (e.g., proxy server configuration, command line arguments, review our Frame Guest Agent Installer documentation.

FGA Installer - Successful Installation

Frame Installer - Successful Installation
  1. (Optional): If a proxy server is required for all outbound traffic to the Internet from your private network, you will need to configure Frame Guest Agent to use your proxy server. Refer to our Frame Proxy Server Support documentation page for further details.

  2. (Optional): If you plan to use NVIDIA GPU-based instance types on your AHV cluster, make sure you install the appropriate NVIDIA GPU drivers in your template image VM. Refer to the requirements in our BYO AHV Infrastructure guide.

  3. (Optional): Install your applications and finish image customization.

  4. Once you have configured the image as desired, launch Powershell as an administrator.

Windows - PowerShell

Windows - PowerShell
  1. Run the following PowerShell command to generalize your image using Microsoft Sysprep:
Start-Process -FilePath "$env:windir\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe" -ArgumentList "/oobe /shutdown /generalize /unattend:$env:programdata\Nutanix\Frame\Sysprep\Unattend.xml" -Wait -NoNewWindow
  1. If the VM does not shutdown, then there was a problem with sysprep. Review the sysprep logs in %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep\Panther to determine the source of the error.

Windows - Sysprep Log Path

Windows - Sysprep Log Path
  1. When sysprep is successful, the VM will automatically power off. Verify that the VM has stopped in Prism. If you mounted the Frame Guest Agent ISO file as a CD-ROM, be sure to eject the CD-ROM device on the VM.

Tag VM

  1. Navigate to the list of VMs in Prism. Click on the VM you created in the previous step, open the "More" drop-down menu, and select "Manage Categories".

  2. Put the VM in the FrameRole category with the value MasterTemplate

  3. Add the category FrameGuestAgentKind with the value fga.


Ensure the MasterTemplate VM does not get deleted. Otherwise, you will not be able to create Frame accounts using that template image.

Voilà! You have successfully created a template image to be registered in Frame for use to create your Frame workloads. You may prepare additional template images (e.g., different Windows OS versions, template images with different sets of applications) by simply repeating the procedure with a new image.


Now it's time to register your template image in Frame. See how to do this in our Cloud Accounts > Template Images guide.