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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Edge Client for Windows
Manual Chapter
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About Component Installer

The Component Installer service enables you to install and upgrade client-side Access Policy Manager® (APM®) components on Windows-based clients for all kinds of user accounts, regardless of the rights under which the user is working. This component is especially useful for installing and upgrading client-side components when the user has insufficient rights to install or upgrade the components directly.

After you install the Component Installer, it automatically installs and upgrades client-side APM components. It can also update itself. The Component Installer requires that installation or upgrade packages be signed using the F5® Networks certificate or another trusted certificate. By default, F5 Networks signs all components using the F5 Networks certificate.

Downloading and installing the Component Installer

You can pre-install client components for your users who do not have administrative privileges on Windows -based systems.
  1. On the Main screen, click the F5® logo to display the Welcome page.
  2. Scroll down to the Downloads area.
  3. In the links for BIG-IP® Edge Client® Components, click Component Installer Package for Windows.
    The MSI installer downloads to your local folder.
  4. On Windows-based clients, install the Component Installer with elevated privileges so that it can install, upgrade, and run APM® components that require elevated privileges.
    For information about configuring the MSI installer to run with elevated privileges, see the documentation for your operating system.

Overview: Configuring and installing Edge Client for Windows

Users of BIG-IP® Edge Client®for Windows can connect securely and automatically to your network while roaming using the automatic reconnect, password caching, and location awareness features of Edge Client. You can customize the client package and you must download it and make it available to users as hosted content on the BIG-IP system or through another delivery mechanism. Users must install the package, or Component Installer, if available on the client, can install it for them.

Task summary

About Machine Cert Auth and user privilege

A Machine Cert Auth check requires administrative privilege. The Windows client package associated with a connectivity profile can be configured to include a Machine Certificate Checker Service component. The service can check the machine certificate on a client endpoint even when the user does not have admin privilege. The option to include this component in the package is disabled by default.

About Edge Client location awareness

The BIG-IP® Edge Client® provides a location-awareness feature. Using location awareness, the client connects automatically only when it is not on a specified network. The administrator specifies the networks that are considered in-network, by adding DNS suffixes to the connectivity profile. With a location-aware client enabled, a user with a corporate laptop can go from a corporate office, with a secured wireless or wired network connection, to an offsite location with a public wireless network connection, and maintain a seamless connection to allowed corporate resources.

About Edge Client automatic reconnection

BIG-IP®Edge Client® provides an automatic reconnection feature. This feature attempts to automatically reconnect the client system to corporate network resources whenever the client connection drops or ends prematurely.

Configuring a connectivity profile for Edge Client for Windows

Update the connectivity profile in your Network Access configuration to configure security settings, servers, and location-awareness for BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity .
    A list of connectivity profiles displays.
  2. Select the connectivity profile that you want to update and click Edit Profile.
    The Edit Connectivity Profile popup screen opens and displays General Settings.
  3. From the left pane of the popup screen, select Win/Mac Edge Client.
    Edge Client settings for Mac and Windows-based systems display in the right pane.
  4. Set Edge Client action settings:
    1. Retain the default (selected) or clear the Save Servers Upon Exit check box.
      Specifies whether Edge Client maintains a list of recently used user-entered APM® servers. Edge Client always lists the servers that are defined in the connectivity profile, and sorts them by most recent access, whether this option is selected or not.
    2. To enable the client to try to use the Windows logon session for an APM session also, select the Reuse Windows Logon Session check box.
      This is cleared by default.
    3. To enable the client to try to use the credentials that they typed for Windows logon in an APM session also, select the Reuse Windows Logon Credentials check box.
      This is cleared by default.
      Note: To support this option, you must also include the User Logon Credentials Access Service in the Windows client package for this connectivity profile and you must ensure that the access policy includes an uncustomized Logon Page action.
  5. To support automatic reconnection without the need to provide credentials again, allow password caching.
    1. Select the Allow Password Caching check box.
      This check box is cleared by default.
      The remaining settings on the screen become available.
    2. From the Save Password Method list, select disk or memory.
      If you select disk, Edge Client caches the user's password (in encrypted form) securely on the disk where it is persisted even after the system is restarted or Edge Client is restarted.
      If you select memory,  Edge Client caches the user's password within the BIG-IP Edge Client application for automatic reconnection purposes.
      If you select memory, the Password Cache Expiration (minutes) field displays with a default value of 240.
    3. If the Password Cache Expiration (minutes) field displays, retain the default value or type the number of minutes to save the password in memory.
  6. To enable automatic download and update of client packages, from the Component Update list, select yes (default).
    If you select yes, APM® updates Edge Client software automatically on the client system when newer versions are available. This option applies to updates for theses components only: BIG-IP Edge Client, component installer service, DNS relay proxy service, and user logon credentials access service.
  7. Specify DNS suffixes that are considered to be in the local network.
    Providing a list of DNS suffixes for the download package enables Edge Client to support the autoconnect option. With Auto-Connect selected, Edge Client uses the DNS suffixes to automatically connect when a client is not on the local network (not on the list) and automatically disconnect when the client is on the local network.
    1. From the left pane of the popup screen, select Location DNS List.
      Location DNS list information is displayed in the right pane.
    2. Click Add.
      An update row becomes available.
    3. Type a name and click Update.
      Type a DNS suffix that conforms to the rules specified for the local network.
      The new row displays at the top of the table.
    4. Continue to add DNS names and when you are done, click OK.
  8. Click OK.
    The popup screen closes, and the Connectivity Profile List displays.

Customizing a downloadable client package for Windows

Customize a Windows client package to specify the client components to install, and to customize settings for BIG-IP® Edge Client® and Dialup Settings components if you include them.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity .
    A list of connectivity profiles displays.
  2. Select a connectivity profile.
  3. Click the Customize Package button.
    The Customize Windows Client Package popup screen displays with Available Components displayed.
  4. Make sure that only the components that you want to include in the package are selected.
  5. To include the software service that allows the client to store encrypted Windows logon credentials and use those credentials to log on to APM®, select the User Logon Credentials Access Service check box.
    Note: For clients to use the service, you must also select the Reuse Windows Logon Credentials check box in the connectivity profile.
  6. To include a service that can check the machine certificate on a client endpoint even when the user does not have admin privilege, select the Machine Certificate Checker Service check box.
    Without this service, a user running without admin privilege cannot pass the Machine Cert Auth endpoint security check.
  7. If the BIG-IP Edge Client check box is selected, from the left pane select BIG-IP Edge Client.
    BIG-IP Edge Client settings display in the right pane.
    1. To add the virtual servers that are defined in the Windows/Mac Edge Client settings of the connectivity profile to the Windows Trusted sites list the first time the client starts, retain selection of the Add virtual server to trusted sites list check box. Otherwise, clear it.
      Virtual servers added to the Trusted sites list with this option remain on the trusted sites list indefinitely. This works with the User Logon Credentials Access Service setting (available on the Available Components screen) to provide seamless logon with Edge Client if APM accepts the same credentials that users use to log on to Windows.
    2. To automatically start the Edge Client after the user logs on to Windows, retain selection of the Auto launch after Windows Logon check box. Otherwise, clear it.
    3. To enable the Edge Client to try to connect to VPN right after the user logs on to Windows and to prohibit the user from disconnecting VPN, select the Enable always connected mode check box. This setting is cleared by default.
      The user is prevented from accessing the Internet and the local network until a VPN connection is established.
  8. To customize Dialup Settings (if selected on the Available Components screen), from the left pane select Dialup Settings.
    Dialup Entry / Windows Logon Integration settings display in the right pane.
  9. With Dialup Settings selected, you can specify how you want the user to authenticate to APM.
    Note: Users must always type a user name and password to log on to Windows. Subsequently, clients authenticate to APM.
    • If you want the access policy to run and display a screen where the user must click Logon, select the Enforce Access Policy in Custom Dialer check box and clear the Prompt Username and Password check box. (With these settings, username and password fields are prefilled and the access policy runs.)
    • If you want the user to view a logon prompt and click Connect, clear the Enforce Access Policy in Custom Dialer check box and select the Prompt Username and Password check box. (With these settings, username and password fields are prefilled and the access policy does not run.)
    • If you do not want the user to do anything to authenticate to APM, clear the Enforce Access Policy in Custom Dialer and Prompt Username and Password check boxes. (With these settings, the access policy does not run and the logon prompt is suppressed.)
  10. Click Download.
    The screen closes and the package, BIGIPEdgeClient.exe, downloads.
The customized package, BIGIPEdgeClient.exe, is downloaded to your client. It is available for you to distribute.

Downloading the client package for Windows

You can download a Windows client package and distribute it to clients.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity .
    A list of connectivity profiles displays.
  2. Select a connectivity profile.
  3. Click the Customize Package button.
    The Customize Windows Client Package popup screen displays with Available Components displayed.
  4. Click Download.
    The screen closes and the package, BIGIPEdgeClient.exe, downloads.
The customized package, BIGIPEdgeClient.exe, is downloaded to your client. It is available for you to distribute. Users must install the package, or, if Component Installer is available on the client, it can install the package for the user.

About Network Access features for Windows-based clients

Access Policy Manager® (APM®) supports all Network Access features with BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows. For a complete list of Network Access features, refer to BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager®: Network Access on AskF5™ at http://support.f5.com/. For notes about endpoint security features, refer to BIG-IP® APM® Client Compatibility Matrix on AskF5™ at http://support.f5.com/.

About connection options on Edge Client for Windows

Screenshot Edge Client for Windows

User interface on a Windows-based system

BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows user interface displays these connection options.

Auto-Connect
Starts a secure access connection as it is needed. This option uses the DNS suffix information defined in the connectivity profile to determine when the computer is on a defined local network. When the computer is not on a defined local network, the secure access connection starts. When the computer is on a local network, the client disconnects, but remains active in the system tray. This option does not display if DNS suffixes were not defined.
Connect
Starts and maintains a secure access connection at all times, regardless of the network location.
Disconnect
Stops an active secure access connection, and prevents the client from connecting again until a user clicks Connect or Auto-Connect.

About browser-based connections from Linux, Mac, and Windows clients

For Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows-based systems, the Network Access client component is available for automatic download from the BIG-IP® system.

Note: The client component supports secure remote web-based access to the network. It is not the same as the customizable client package that is associated with the connectivity profile.

The first time a remote user starts Network Access, APM® downloads a client component. This client component is designed to be self-installing and self-configuring. If the browser does not meet certain requirements, APM prompts the user to download the client component and install it manually.

Generating a troubleshooting report from Edge Client for Windows

A troubleshooting report provides numerous details about the client and its functioning, such as log files and their contents, components and versions, and so on.
  1. Open the BIG-IP® Edge Client® user interface.
    On a client with a Start button, you can type BIG-IP in the search field and, in the results, click BIG-IP Edge Client.
  2. Click the View Details button.
    The Details popup screen displays.
  3. Click the Diagnostics Report button.
    A Save As popup screen opens.
  4. Select a location, specify a file name, and click Save.
    A Collecting data popup screen remains open until the report completes.
  5. Navigate to the location with the downloaded file, extract the files to a folder, and click the HTML file in the folder.
    The F5 Report displays in a browser screen.
  6. Open the BIG-IP® Edge Client® user interface.
    On a client with a Start button, you can type BIG-IP in the search field and, in the results, click BIG-IP Edge Client.
  7. Click the View Details button.
    The Details popup screen displays.
  8. Click the Diagnostics Report button.
    A Save As popup screen opens.
  9. Select a location, specify a file name, and click Save.
    A Collecting data popup screen remains open until the report completes.
  10. Navigate to the location with the downloaded file, unzip it to a folder, and click the HTML file in the folder.
    The report displays.

Overview: Installing and using the client troubleshooting utility

Access Policy Manager® provides a client troubleshooting utility for Windows-based systems. Users can access the utility to check the availability and version information for Windows client components, and run Network Access diagnostic tests. The utility is integrated into BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows. To run Network Access diagnostics and troubleshooting reports on clients that have only the browser-based Network Access client component, you can download and install the client troubleshooting utility.

Task summary

Downloading the client troubleshooting utility

To run the client troubleshooting utility from the command line on a Windows-based system, you must first download the utility from the BIG-IP® system.
  1. On the main screen, click the F5® logo to display the Welcome page.
  2. Scroll down to the Downloads area.
  3. In the links for BIG-IP® Edge Client® Components, click Client Troubleshooting Utility for Windows.
The file f5wininfo.exe is saved to your local disk.

Viewing client components in the client troubleshooting utility

You can use the client troubleshooting utility to view client components on Windows-based systems.
  1. Double-click f5wininfo.exe to start the client troubleshooting utility.
    The F5® BIG-IP® Edge Components Troubleshooting screen opens.
  2. Use the navigation panel on the left to explore the component categories.

Generating a client troubleshooting report

You can generate a client troubleshooting report on Windows-based systems and include several types of data, a Network Access diagnostic test and so on, in the report.
  1. Double-click f5wininfo.exe to start the client troubleshooting utility.
    The F5 BIG-IP® Edge Components Troubleshooting screen opens.
  2. Click File > Generate Report .
    The Report screen opens.
  3. Under Type, select the types of reports that you want to run.
  4. Under Format, select html or text for the type of report.
  5. To generate a compressed report, select the compressed option.
  6. To view the report without saving the report, click View.
    While the report runs, a Collecting Data popup screen opens and a System Information popup screen opens if the system information report type runs; the popup screens close. If you selected html format, the report opens in a browser screen.

Running a Network Access diagnostic test

You can use the client troubleshooting utility to run a Network Access diagnostic test on Windows-based systems.
Note: If BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows is installed, you can run a Network Diagnostics test from the user interface.
  1. Double-click f5wininfo.exe to start the client troubleshooting utility.
    The F5® BIG-IP® Edge Components Troubleshooting screen opens.
  2. Click Tools > Network Access Diagnostic .
    The Network Access Diagnostic popup screen opens.

Overview: Reusing Windows logon credentials for Edge Client

If you want users of BIG-IP® Edge Client® for Windows to start a Network Access session with the credentials that they typed to log on to a Windows-based system, you must configure the connectivity profile, the client download package, and the access policy to support this.

Task summary

Configuring a connectivity profile to reuse Windows logon credentials

For users to reuse Windows credentials to start a Network Access session, you must select the Reuse Windows Logon Credentials check box in the connectivity profile.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity .
    A list of connectivity profiles displays.
  2. Select the connectivity profile that you want to update and click Edit Profile.
    The Edit Connectivity Profile popup screen opens and displays General Settings.
  3. From the left pane of the popup screen, select Win/Mac Edge Client.
    Edge Client settings for Mac and Windows-based systems display in the right pane.
  4. Select the Reuse Windows Logon Credentials check box.
  5. Click OK.
    The popup screen closes, and the Connectivity Profile List displays.

Customizing the Edge Client package for Windows logon credentials reuse

For users to reuse their Windows credentials to start a Network Access session, the Edge Client® package must contain the user logon credentials access service.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity .
    A list of connectivity profiles displays.
  2. Select the connectivity profile for which you want to customize the client package.
  3. Click the Customize Package button.
    The Customize Windows Client Package popup screen displays with Available Components displayed.
  4. Select the User Logon Credentials Access Service check box.
    This software service allows the client to store encrypted Windows logon credentials and use those credentials to log on to Access Policy Manager®.
  5. Click Download.
    The screen closes and the package, BIGIPEdgeClient.exe, downloads.
You must make the downloaded package available to your users, as hosted content or through some other delivery mechanism. Users must install the package or, Component Installer, if present on user systems, can install it for them.

Configuring an access policy for Windows logon credentials reuse

For users to reuse Windows credentials to start a Network Access session, you must ensure that the access policy includes a Logon Page action that has not been customized.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Access Profiles .
    The Access Profiles List screen opens.
  2. In the Access Policy column, click the Edit link for the access profile you want to configure.
    The visual policy editor opens the access policy in a separate screen.
  3. Make any adjustments needed to the access policy to ensure that it includes a Logon Page action that has not been customized. (Other logon page actions do not support the reuse Windows logon credentials option.)
    Note: The Logon Page action must contain only the default fields and the JavaScript cannot be removed or otherwise changed as can be done through Access Policy Manager® Customization. If necessary, you can delete a Logon Page action and add it to the policy again to ensure that it is not customized.
  4. Click Finished.
    The popup screen closes.
  5. Click the Apply Access Policy link to apply and activate the changes to the access policy.
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