What happens when I clone computers and VMs with streamer pre-installed?

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Below is a description of what happens when computers and VMs are cloned, when Splashtop streamer is already installed as part of the disk or VM image.

With the information below, hopefully you can formulate your own cloning workflow where Splashtop can still work properly.

Background

To work properly, Splashtop relies on each streamer instance to have a fully unique identifier.

The unique identifier is generated at the time of streamer installation.

If you clone a disk image that has streamer pre-installed, the two clones would have the same unique identifier. When multiple streamers have the same unique identifier, strange problems will happen, as described below.

Note that these symptoms will generally not happen with streamer v3.0.8.2 and later, which have a feature to "auto correct" duplicate unique identifiers. (Please read further below about the "auto correct" feature, which has some side effects.)

Symptoms

  • Only one of the cloned computers will show up in the computer list.
  • When you try to connect to that computer in the computer list, connection may be randomly to any of the cloned computers.
  • If you restart the streamer on one of the cloned computer, it will appear in your computer list and take precedence over all the other clones.

Basically, streamers having the same unique identifier is not a usable setup and must be fixed!

Fixes

One workaround is to not include streamer in the disk image. Clone all the computers and VMs, then install streamer on each machine afterwards.

When streamer is installed, it creates a unique identifier relying on some system characteristics (e.g. MAC address), which are generally unique across computers and VMs.

If that is not possible in your workflow, and cloned computers unavoidably will all have the same streamer unique identifier, be sure to use the latest streamer. Streamer version 3.0.8.2 or later will detect duplicate unique identifier and attempt to fix itself.

When a conflict is detected, one of the conflicting streamers will change its own unique identifier to a fully random one. This will allow both computers to properly show up on the computer list and be remotely accessible. However, that automatic adjustment has the following side effects:

  • It may take a few hours or up to days for the conflict to be detected and fixed, depending on when the multiple clones come online
  • Streamer name will reset back to the original computer name
  • Streamer will be moved back to the default computer group (i.e. not grouped)
  • Streamer permissions will be reset back to default

Support

If you'd like to learn more or need help in figuring out a suitable workflow, please contact our support team.

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