Turbo Studio 17 Now Available

Turbo Studio is an easy-to-use graphical editing tool for creating and editing Turbo container environments.

The latest version of Turbo Studio includes direct integration with the Turbo.net Hub, an installer based wizard alternative to snapshots, the ability to create portable container (single EXE) outputs, new subscription-based licensing, as well as support for the latest Windows operating systems.

Turbo Studio 17 is available now at: turbo.net/studio/download.

New and Improved

This update includes the following new features and improvements:

  • New! Studio 17 directly integrates with the Turbo.net Hub. Templates and import wizards are automatically updated with continuously updated Hub content.
  • New! New Portable Applications (.exe) output mode generates portable containers with Turbo Client embedded, all in a single EXE.
  • New! Create applications by installing the application (MSI or EXE) into a container console. This alternative to the snapshot process does not require a clean operating system and does not dirty up the host filesystem or registry.
  • New! Support added for Windows 10 “Redstone 2” pre-release versions.
  • Studio available in MSI format and scriptable legacy XStudio command-line tool.
  • Ability to configure the Minimum OS Requirement for images.
  • Internal Turbo VM version has been updated to 11.8.1060.

Bug Fixes

This update includes fixes for the following issues:

  • Projects containing dependencies on the Turbo.hub Hub fail to build.
  • Containerized ProgIds are not fully isolated.
  • Renaming a folder incorrectly fails with a message that the resource is used by another process.
  • Failure to deinitialize and flush streams may cause missing file writes in specific scenarios.
  • Virtualized applications can crash if started from multiple paths.
  • Product version is not set correctly when the metadata field is set to inherit from the startup file.
  • Trailing spaces are trimmed incorrectly for file paths with arguments.
  • The command-line XStudio.exe tool does not recognize some encodings for the license file.
  • An error may occur pushing a XAPPL configuration with a service to the local repository or the Turbo.net Hub.
  • Many user interface fixes and improvements.

Version Numbers

The component version numbers for this release are:

  • Turbo Studio: 17.0.794.0
  • Turbo VM: 11.8.1060

Getting Turbo Studio 17

Turbo Studio 17 is available for download at turbo.net/studio/download.

Any Turbo.net user with a Pro subscription can use Turbo Studio 17 by signing in with their account. Studio may be used in a limited fashion by Free users for evaluation purposes.

The ISV upgrade to Turbo Studio 17 is available for free to all licensed users of previous versions of Studio on active maintenance. For commercial users of previous versions, a new license key is available from the account management page of your Turbo.net account.

We hope you enjoy Turbo Studio 17!

Turbo extension for Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the latest browser for the Windows 10 platform. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (build 1607), a browser extension feature was added to allow custom functionality to be built by third parties.

Edge support for third party extensions is very new and limited. Therefore, multiple manual steps are required to enable the Turbo Edge extension. This process should be simplified as Edge extension support matures.

Follow the steps below to enable the Turbo.net extension.

Enabling the Turbo Edge Browser Extension

Step 1: Ensure that you have the latest Turbo.net Client installed.

Step 2: Enable Edge communications to localhost via the command below:

# Run this command in an elevated, administrator command prompt
> CheckNetIsolation LoopbackExempt -a -n=Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

All applications which are built with Windows 10 “Modern UI” architecture have disabled access to the local machine network. The Edge browser is built on this architecture so access to localhost is disabled. The Turbo.net browser extension requires communication with local services provided by the Turbo client runtime in order to allow coordination with the Turbo Sandbox Manager.

Step 3: Enable Edge browser extensions by typing about:flags into the browser’s location bar and checking the Enable extension developer features checkbox.
Once enabled, you’ll need to restart the browser.

Edge Enable Extension

Step 4: Load the Turbo.net extension by clicking on the Edge options menu dropdown and selecting Extensions.

Edge Extension Menu

This will show the Extensions menu.

Step 5: Click on Load Extensions and select the path to the Turbo.net Edge extension in the client install directory, which may be at one of the following locations depending on your environment:
a) c:\users\[user]\appdata\local\spoon\[version]\edge
b) c:\program files\spoon\[version]\edge
c) c:\program files (x86)\spoon\[version]\edge

Edge Load Extension

Step 6: Once loaded, the Turbo.net Extension will show up in the list of extensions that you have enabled for Edge. You will again need to restart your browser in order for the extension to be enabled.

Edge Turbo Extension

Step 7: Edge automatically disables extensions for the first 10-seconds when it is started. After that time a banner prompt will be shown on the bottom asking to turn them on. Click the Turn on anyway button to enable them.
Currently this step is required every time you start the Edge browser.

Edge Turn On Extension

At this point you’ll be able to use Turbo.net functionality!

Edge Running Turbo Container

Turbo Client and VM Updates, October 25

Users will be automatically updated to the latest version of Turbo Client.

New and Improved

This update includes the following new features and improvements:

  • New! Adds client support allowing Turbo Studio to create Portable Applications (.exe) that are integrated with Turbo Hub. (Stay tuned for more information!)
  • New! Install applications from your computer to the Hub with Turbo Installer.
  • New! Support added for Windows 10 “Redstone 2” pre-release builds. Users on the Windows Fast Ring can use Turbo containers.
  • New! Sync your container to Turbo Hub with the turbo save command.
  • Compatibility fixes allow containerized Internet Explorer 7 to run on Windows 10.
  • The --isolate flag can be used with the merge-user option without having to specify the isolation level. In this case, the isolation level will default to full.
  • Improved handling of device keys in scenarios where the --all-users flag is used.

Bug Fixes

This update includes fixes for the following issues:

  • The turbo installi command fails on systems that do not have .NET Framework 4 or higher installed.
  • The turbo uninstalli command fails to completely remove applications installed with the --all-users flag.
  • The Turbo Launcher throws an error on sign in when the Turbo command line tool is also signed in.
  • An error occurs querying repository metadata for containerized services.
  • Renaming a folder incorrectly fails with a message that the resource is used by another process.
  • Failure to deinitialize and flush streams may cause missing file writes in specific scenarios.
  • Containerized applications can crash if started from multiple paths.
  • Product version is not set correctly when the metadata field is set to inherit from startup file.
  • Trailing spaces are trimmed incorrectly for file paths with arguments.
  • Container fails to start on Windows XP when the container isolation uses the merge-user option.

Version Numbers

The component version numbers for this release are:

  • Turbo Client: 3.33.1316.32
  • Turbo VM: 11.8.1043.1

International Applications in the Hub

The Turbo.net Hub now has first-class support for international versions of applications.

To access a language-specific version of an application, append the language code after the primary repository name. For example, since chrome is the default version of the Google Chrome browser, chrome-es identifies the Spanish language version.

Available languages are listed on both the application repository and application portal pages.

The first internationalized applications in the Turbo.net Hub are Chrome and Firefox, with images built in German, French, and Spanish. To view these examples, visit:

 

Modifier Layers in Turbo

The Turbo system has recently learned a new concept: modifier layers. It is a convenience feature that helps simplify startup file selection for containers.

First, some background. As you can read in our documentation, the startup file for a container is taken from the last image specified on the command line. For example, if you type turbo run firefox,chrome, chrome.exe is used as the startup file. So, previously, if you entered something like turbo run chrome,block-ad-routes, cmd.exe would be used as the startup file because it’s the default when an image does not have any startup file, as is the case with block-ad-routes. To start Chrome, you needed to say turbo run block-ad-routes,chrome.

This isn’t the expected behavior since there are some images that are never intended to be the entry point to the container, but rather an addition that pulls in some tools or modifies configuration in some way (adding network routing rules for example). So we have introduced the concept of modifier layers. A modifier layer is simply an image that has no startup file or services defined. Regardless of its position on the command line, it is never used as the entry point to the container, so it does not overwrite any startup file in the image list, regardless of position.

In short, you can now use the command turbo run chrome,block-ad-routes and what happens is exactly what you would expect — Chrome is started!

Shell Extensions and Containers

The latest Turbo client update (3.33.1046) introduces support for shell context menus (right-click actions). Let’s walk through the process of adding a containerized application to your environment.

We start with a clean system. As you can see, the system does not have any shell extensions available:

no-extension

By installing Turbo.net applications, we will extend Windows Explorer — without modifying the underlying host system.

First, go to Turbo.net site and log in into your account. Browse for an application and mark it for installation by checking required the desired applications in the list. Let’s add 7-Zip and Notepad++.

adding-apps

The selected application icons are shown on the top of the page. After selecting all desired application click Install. When the installation process finishes you will see a confirmation dialog:

installed

Now lets go back to our Windows Explorer window and again right click on selected file:

turboextension

Notice that two additional menu items are now available — one for Notepad++ and another for 7-Zip. When you click on action for the first time, Turbo.net will download or stream all required containers from the cloud and execute the selected action just as it would be natively:

downloading

Turbo Shell Extensions can be connected to any Turbo container, combining a complete desktop experience with the benefits of containerization.

Deploying Turbo with MSI

As of version 3.33.1016, the Turbo client is available as MSI installer. This makes it easy to deploy Turbo using Group Policy and InTune.

The latest Turbo MSI installer is available at: start.turbo.net/install/?msi=.

IMPORTANT: The Turbo MSI installs a Turbo configuration for all users. Hence this installer is most appropriate for use with centrally managed desktops, XenApp and Horizon application servers, and so forth.

 

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Once the client files are copied, a configuration step is performed.  This step may take a few minutes if it is determined that other components are required to download (such as an appropriate .NET image).

 

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The MSI install is equivalent to the turbo-plugin.exe --all-users command, so Turbo is installed for all users on the device.

 

Ad Blocking in Containers

Ad blocking is important for improving user experience, maximizing performance, and eliminating an important source of security vulnerabilties.

Turbo automatically provides ad blocking in popular web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. In addition, any application running in a Turbo container can be ad blocked using Turbo container networking.

This article will explain Turbo’s built-in browser ad blocking and network routing-based container ad blocking technology.

Browser Ad Blocking

Popular web browsers in the Turbo Hub such as Chrome and Firefox come pre-configured with ad blocking.

UblockOrigin

Turbo uses the uBlock Origin plugin, a popular open source system currently installed on millions of devices. Turbo augments the default configuration with data on additional advertising networks. The ad block plugin and databases are automatically updated as part of Turbo’s automatic browser patching system — users or administrators don’t need to do anything!

If you wish to use a non-adblocked version of a browser, use the “Base” version in the Hub. For example, the mozilla/firefox-base image is a default Firefox image with no adblocking or other plugins applied.

IP-based Ad Blocking

Turbo also provides an alternate approach to ad blocking based on virtual network configuration in the container. Recall that Turbo supports custom IP routing rules within containers. The Turbo Hub provides a pre-configured routing table with known advertising networks and hosts blocked. Applying this layer blocks access to these advertising networks. This allows ad blocking for applications other than web browsers, where ad blocking plugin interfaces are not available.

Applications containing advertising in the Turbo.net Hub have this layer enabled by default. Examples include Skype and uTorrent.

To enable network-based ad blocking on your own applications, click on Customize next to the application in the Home tab of the dashboard. Then select the Network tab and click the Add button next to the Block Ad Networks layer:

click-network-tab-add

Finally, click Save. To apply these changes to the desktop, click Sync Device, or wait until the next automatic synchronization.

The Block Ad Networks layer is an aggregation of multiple databases of advertising network hosts and IP addresses. These are updated nightly by TurboBuild and pushed automatically when automatic patching is enabled. Additional manual customizations can be applied on top of the layer by clicking on the Custom sub-tab.

Customizing IP Blocking

Administrators can easily build custom network blocking rules and apply them to organization containers.

For a small group of hosts which is unlikely to change, use the route block TurboScript instruction to add blocked hosts or IP addresses.

route block ip://ads.com

See the Skype or uTorrent TurboScripts for more detailed examples.

If there are a large number of hosts to block, it is easiest to define routing rules in a route file. A simple route file is below:

[settings]
PreResolveHostNames=false

[ip-block]
*.host1.com
*.host2.com

The declaration PreResolveHostNames=false instructs Turbo to skip resolving DNS names until the first time they are used. This significantly reduces the time required for launching an application when the configuration contains thousands of hosts.

Before submitting an application image, you may want to verify how an application behaves when hosts are blacklisted. The Turbo command line interface provides --route-block and --route-file options for this purpose:

turbo try google/chrome --route-block=ip://host.com
turbo try google/chrome --route-file=routes.ini

Once the changes have been tested, they can be applied with the turbo commit command using the same flags.

Keep Apps Safe for Kids (and Employees) – Block Adult Content

Turbo now includes the ability to block adult content as an application customization option.

The new Block Adult Content routes layer can be used with any Turbo container, including web browsers, email clients, instant messengers, or any other applications. The layer contains a set of IP routing rules that automatically block connections to adult content sites.

The host list in the Block Adult Content routes layer is updated automatically by TurboBuild based on published databases of adult content sites. Updates are propagated automatically to subscribed devices if automatic updates are enabled.

To apply this customization, click the Customize button in the My Applications table. Go to the Network tab and click Add on Block Adult Content. Finally, click Save to save. You may need to synchronize devices to apply the layer, or wait for the next automatic synchronization.

The layer can also be applied using the command line interface. To use the layer, insert block-adult-routes into the image list. For example, to run Chrome with adult sites blocked, use the command:

turbo run block-adult-routes,chrome

Turbo File Associations

The latest Turbo client update (3.33.968) now registers file associations defined in your applications as part of the subscribe action. Let’s walk through the process of getting this setup in your environment.

In your channel home page, hover over the application you want to enable file extensions for and press the Customize button. (You’ll need to remove and re-add existing applications to access this new feature.)

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In the application settings page, you’ll notice a new File Extensions section. Here you can see which extensions are handled by the application. Click the Register file extensions checkbox and press the Save button.

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Once your applications are properly configured, press the Sync Device button to push the new settings to your machine. This will create shortcuts in your Start Menu as well as register any file associations that you configured.

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Once the file associations are registered on your machine, you’ll notice the new options are available in Windows Explorer. For most file types, double clicking on the file will open a dialog allowing you to configure the new default application.

Remember to click the Always use this app to open files checkbox so that your settings will be made the default. If an explicit default application was already selected for a particular extension, then Windows will continue to use this by default. In this case, you can change the default (more on that below).

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Once the default application is selected, the file icon will be updated to reflect the change and future files of the same type will be opened automatically.

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If a file type already had an explicit default assigned or you want to change the default to another application then you can change the default in the file’s context menu. Right-click on the file, scroll to Open with, and select Choose another app.  This will bring you back to the How do you want to open this file dialog and allow you to select the default behavior.

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