Build Virtual Desktop Templates

Applies To: Windows 8.1

For a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) VM-based desktop deployment scenario, you can use Hyper-V to create your virtual desktop template and configure settings for memory, network, and so on.

VDI VM-based desktop deployment scenarios require a virtual desktop template. A virtual desktop template has all the normal settings of a VM (such as memory, networking, and VHD settings). When a new user connects to the VDI, the VDI creates a virtual desktop VM based on the virtual desktop template.

To create your virtual desktop template, use Hyper-V Manager with the recommendations listed in Table 6.

Table 6. Virtual Desktop Template Configuration Setting Recommendations

Setting Description


Depending on the apps your users will be running, you may need to increase this value. Measure the memory users require by determining the memory consumed on a physical device while running the apps. You can configure the virtual desktop template to use static or dynamic memory. Microsoft recommends that you configure the virtual desktop template to use at least 1,024 MB.


Configure the virtual network adapter to connect to:

  • A virtual switch in Hyper-V on the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host. The Hyper-V virtual switch must connect to your institution’s intranet so that the VDI sessions can connect to resources on your intranet and the Internet.

  • The domain specified during the configuration process. This is required because the instances of the VM template are automatically joined to the domain when they are created.


Only one VHD is supported. The VHD:

  • Must contain a Windows 8.1 image that you have configured to a generalized state by using the Windows System Preparation Tool (Sysprep).

  • Can be configured as a differencing disk.

  • Can contain more than one partition but only one Windows operating system image.


The virtual desktop template can have one or more snapshots but the current (Now) state of the virtual desktop template. This allows you to manage the template more efficiently. You can take snapshot of the template just prior to running Sysprep so that it is easy to restore the template to a beginning state, change the configuration, take another snapshot, and then run Sysprep again on the updated version of the template.

Remote Desktop Services exports the virtual desktop template during the virtual desktop collection creation process. The export process creates a copy of the virtual desktop template, including all of the configuration settings made in Table 6. This allows you manage the virtual desktop template while users are connected to their VDI sessions.


Two or more virtual desktop collections can share the same virtual desktop template.

Additional resources

See also