I’ve been working on writing up a complete guide for optimizing VMware View desktops. In my research I’ve come across some conflicting information on using the ‘No GUI Boot’ and ‘Base Video’ boot optimizations found in the Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe).
Why You Might Use ‘No GUI Boot’ and ‘Base Video’ Tweaks
No GUI Boot
The ‘No GUI Boot’ option disables visual elements in the Windows boot sequence (the Starting Windows screen with the swirling colored dots that turn into the Windows logo). The idea with this optimization is that CPU cycles are needed to render, on the console, the animated logo. Saving CPU cycles by using No GUI Boot will have a cumulative effect when multiple VDI desktops are booted, thus reducing the boot storm effect on the VMware View infrastructure.
Hardcore Windows tweakers will also tell you that enabling the No GUI Boot option will make Windows boot faster, and faster boot times will get non-persistent desktops back online faster in a very dynamic floating pool View implementation. The actual boot speed performance impact is marginal at best as can be seen here:
The ‘Base Video’ option forces Windows to run the console session with a standard VGA graphics driver instead of the VMware SVGA driver that is installed with VMware Tools. This works with View because the PCoIP Server that runs as part of the View Agent install loads a specific version of the VMware SVGA 3D driver to support PCoIP sessions at user connection while the base video VGA driver or the VMware Tools/View Agent driver run on the vSphere console session.