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Navigating Frame

It is time to move on to the main event: Navigating your Frame account. While there are many variables you can encounter with your Frame account, there are some universal basics that need to be understood first. In this guide we will review how you may access your session, basic session characteristics, basic account management, how to understand session performance, and much more.

Use the table of contents listed on the right side of this guide to navigate through different sections of this guide. ➡️

Launch your Session

As we defined it in the glossary of the previous guide, the Launchpad refers to the end-user-facing part of the Frame interface where users can go to launch and manipulate applications. There are a couple of different ways your administrator may have given you to access your Frame environment. After signing in, you will likely be taken to your Application or Desktop Launchpad.

Application Launchpad

An Application Launchpad

Desktop Launchpad

A Desktop Launchpad

To start a session, simply click on the application you would like to launch. If your Launchpad shows only the "Desktop" icon, you will launch the entire desktop environment and can access all of your apps within the session. If you see individual applications, simply click on the app you would like to run. Application Launchpads only allow end users to run the application selected from the Launchpad. For Application Launchpad users, closing the application window within the Frame session will disconnect you and take you back to your Launchpad. When a session is disconnected, it will still be running and accessible from the Launchpad.

Running Session

System Indicators

The system status indicator is located in the bottom right corner of your Launchpad. The indicator color and status lets you know the state of your session:

Status Indicator ColorMeaning
GreenGreen indicates that a virtual machine is powered on and available. Your Frame session will start in seconds, as the resources are already available.
YellowYellow indicates that a virtual machine is available, but will take a couple of minutes to power on for you to use.
RedRed indicates that there are no virtual machines available for you to use. If you cannot access a virtual machine, you will need to contact your account administrator.

Multiple Launchpads

Your administrator may have provided you with access to multiple Launchpads. Switching between Launchpads is simple. Click on the Launchpad icon in the top center of your browser window.

Launchpad Selector

Your Launchpad selector displays the account name, IaaS provider, and Launchpad name for each Launchpad.

You can verify you are using the correct Launchpad by referencing the breadcrumbs in the upper left corner of your window.

Breadcrumbs

As shown here, we're using the "Applications" Launchpad of our test account.

Switch your System Type

If your administrator has granted you access to more than one system (instance) type, you can switch system types based on the needs of your application. For example, you may normally work on text-based applications like Word and Excel, but occasionally need access to 3D design apps like Autodesk Maya. Text-based applications will do well with an Air 4GB instance type; however, if you need to access to a GPU to run a graphically-intensive app, you can switch to a Pro 16GB system with 4 CPU cores and an NVIDIA GRID GPU.

To switch your system type from your Launchpad, click on the arrow next to your current system type in the bottom right portion of your screen.

A list of available system types will appear, select the desired system type.

Whether you are launching to a desktop environment or launching an app, your session will start with the most recently selected system type.

note

If your Launchpad appears “grayed out” (see below) and the system status is listed as “unavailable” after switching, your administrator may not have set up capacity for that system type. Contact your administrator if you feel this is an error.

Session Basics

In this section, we will outline how to perform basic actions and how to interpret the UI elements in your session. You will likely see some additional details not covered here. Don't worry! The next guide will go into more detail about some of the session settings and features that your administrator may have enabled for your account. For now, we'll start with the basics.

Start your Session

As mentioned in the section above, launching a session is as simple as clicking on an icon on your Launchpad. Once you have selected your application/desktop session, your session will launch in a couple of minutes or a couple of seconds, depending on your system status.

Our session is "powering on" which means that backend resources are powering on to create a session for us.

For this example, we launched Chrome from our Application Launchpad. After a minute or two, we can now use Chrome in our Frame session.

assets/eu_session2.png

A browser within a browser window!

Gear Menu

  • Applications: Any apps available to you will be displayed on the top of your Gear menu as shown above. Bold application titles with a dot to the left of the icon are currently running and active.

  • Show/hide stats: This action toggles the display of session statistics. When enabled, you will see the current bitrate of your session in the bottom right corner of the status bar. Clicking on the "Show/hide stats" option will display additional details, as shown below.

assets/eu_session4.png

  • Change resolution: Allows you to select the desired resolution for your Frame session. "Dynamic" is the default and will adjust the resolution based on the size of your browser window.

  • Settings: Clicking on "Settings" will launch a new window within your session where you can manipulate streaming variables for your session.

  • Disconnect: As mentioned in the glossary, "Disconnecting" a session will take you back to your Launchpad but leave the session running in the background. It is the equivalent to turning off your monitor while your computer is running in a local environment.

  • Close session: Closing a session will close and end the session (notice the power icon next to the action). Only close your session after you have saved your work and are ready to completely exit.

Frame Status Bar

The Frame Status bar displays an abundance of useful information to help you navigate and use your session. Here are the default icons you will see on your Frame Status bar and how to interpret them.

Session Element
Meaning
The amount and color of indicator dots reflects the strength and health of your connection. Click on the dots to recheck the bandwidth at any time.
Displays how many milliseconds of time it takes for a packet of data to travel from your browser to the virtual machine. This affects the responsiveness of your session inputs.
Reflects the percentage of the window that the session display area is utilizing.
The first value displays the amount of time you have been using your session. The second value (after the slash) displays the total amount of time your administrator has allotted for your session.
Clicking on the input language listed on your status bar will display a new dialog where you can select your desired input language. Multiple languages are configured by your administrator. Frame Terminal will remember your last input language setting.
Toggles the on-screen keyboard.
Toggles output audio from the session.
Toggles full screen/windowed mode.
note

See some icons on your Frame status bar that are missing here? We'll cover the additional Frame features that may be enabled for your account in the next guide.

Terminal Shortcuts

Terminal shortcuts can be used in the session to perform various actions via your keyboard.

Windows key comboMac key comboAction
Alt + ROption + RDisplays resolution menu
Alt + SOption + SDisplays settings menu
Alt + QOption + QBrings up dialog to disconnect session
Alt + COption + CBrings up dialog to quit session
Alt + ~Option + ~Toggles active application windows within the session

End your Session

Using the "Disconnect" option will keep the instance running in the background and return you back to your Launchpad. You can resume your session at any time as long as it is within your "idle timeout" window. The idle timeout setting refers to the amount of time (in minutes) that a session will remain active after an authenticated user disconnects from the session. The default duration for this setting is 10 minutes, although your administrator may have specified a different value.

If you are accessing your session from an application Launchpad, closing the application within the session will disconnect you. The instance will remain active in case you decide you would like to launch another application from your Launchpad.

Select "Quit now" or "Resume"

You can resume your session by clicking the "Resume" button at the bottom of your Launchpad.

danger

If you close your browser window or quit Frame App while you're in a session, your session will continue to run. You can resume the session by following the instructions listed above. If you would like to completely close the session, please see the section below.

Close Session

“Close session” will end your session. This is the equivalent to using the “Shut Down” option in Windows. Any unsaved data will be deleted and the instance will be returned to a “known good state” or the same state it was in when you first started the session.

When you're ready, click on the Gear menu in the bottom left corner of your window:

Reconnect to a Session

If you are in a Frame session and are disconnected for any reason (e.g. network drop), you will see a blurred image of the last state of your session. A yellow box will appear to provide you with the status of several automatic attempts at reconnecting to the session, as shown below:

If the connection cannot be re-established after several automatic attempts, you will see the option to “Reconnect” or “Leave.”

If you have selected "Reconnect" when there is still no network connection, the status box will inform you that you appear to be offline and you will only be given the option to "Leave."

If you click “Leave” at this point, you will return to the Launchpad where the “Resume” button will be greyed out until the network connection returns. Once the connection is re-established, you will be able to resume your session as long as the VM is still available. If your VM is no longer available, the Resume option will dynamically be removed and you may simply start a new session.

note

If you do not immediately click “Reconnect” and instead wait for the network issue to resolve, you can click on “Reconnect” and immediately return to the session without going back to the Launchpad.

User Profile

The user profile section of the Frame UI consists of multiple components that allow you to view and manage your account preferences, storage provider options, and Personal Drive backups (if enabled). This page can be found by clicking on your user name in the upper right corner of your Launchpad and clicking “Edit.”

General

Hover over the Launchpad name under "Roles" for more details.

Preferences

The next tab down is the “Preferences” tab where you can toggle certain account preferences.

  • Desktop Auto Launch: If enabled, the Desktop Auto Launch feature sends users directly into their desktop session, skipping the Launchpad completely. This eliminates the requirement for the user to have to click on the sole “Desktop” icon of their desktop-only Launchpad.

  • Time Display: Date/time will be displayed in UTC or the local time zone of your browser, except for administrators viewing Frame Console Analytics.

Persistent Desktop Backups

If your administrator has enabled the ability for you to manage your own persistent desktop backups, you will see the “Persistent Desktop backups” page in your profile. On this page, you will see any backups created by your account administrator, as well as any backups you have created. From this page, you can filter your backups by name, creation date/time, and backup type.

To create a manual backup, simply click on the blue "Create backup" link in the upper right corner of the page. A new window will appear prompting you to enter a name for your backup. Once you have named your backup, click "Create" in the bottom right corner of the window.

caution

You must ensure that your instance is in a “stopped” state before creating a backup. The ability to backup will be disabled until you click the “Stop Server” button in the upper right corner next to “Create backup.”

You will see a warning informing you that your Persistent Desktop will be powered off for a few minutes. Click “Confirm” to proceed.

Advanced

The "Advanced" tab provides detailed information about your authentication assertions. Your administrator may ask you to access this page for debugging or assessing validation problems with your account.

Notification Center

Lastly, the “Notification Center” tab allows you to check on and subscribe to account activities. If you are an administrator for any of your accounts and would like to know more, you can check out our Notification Center documentation for more information.

Logout

If you would like to log out of your Frame account, simply click on your name in the upper right corner of the page and select “Logout.”

End User Troubleshooting

General

As an end user, you will likely need to reach out to your organization's IT help desk for any issues you may run into with your Frame account. If you are presented with an "Oops!" error, please copy the "Event ID" provided to you in the dialog:

note

To ensure the highest efficiency, please report the time the issue occurred and the Event ID to your organization's IT help desk representative along with the description of the problem.

You may also help your IT help desk by providing them with your “Session ID.” Simply click on the gear menu in the bottom left corner of the session and select “Show/hide stats” as shown below:

Next, click the "Session stats" text on the right side of the status bar. Your session stats will display as shown below:

At the bottom of the stats window, click the copy/paste icon adjacent to “debug info.” Your Session ID will be the first line of information in the debug info when you paste it.

Network

If you notice network performance issues in your Frame sessions, the Frame Support team recommends evaluating a few things before creating a support case. While connected to a session, there are a couple of data points that can help diagnose connection issues: the bandwidth indicator and network latency data.

Bandwidth Indicator

The Bandwidth Indicator (5 dots next to the gear menu of the Frame status bar) represents how much bandwidth is being used by your connection to the Frame session. Network bandwidth is the volume of data per unit of time that an internet connection can handle. For Frame, your “downstream” bandwidth is most important, especially if you are working with apps that have a lot of graphical motion and changes and/or you are using a large monitor with a high resolution (which results in more data needing to be streamed). Upstream bandwidth, however, also affects performance - and while it does not need to be as much as your downstream bandwidth, being as close to a “balanced” connection as possible is best. In general, we recommend a downstream bandwidth of at least 3 Mbps and at least 1 Mbps up.

If your connection's bandwidth is adequate, you should see four or five green dots. If the bandwidth is less than desirable, the dots will reflect this with fewer dots and turn orange, and ultimately red (one dot, which is a very poor connection). The dots translate to Mbps per below:

  • 1 dot: < 1 Mbps
  • 2 dots: 1 - 2 Mbps
  • 3 dots: 2 - 4 Mbps
  • 4 dots: 4 - 8 Mbps
  • 5 dots: > 8 Mbps

You can initiate a new bandwidth measurement any time by clicking on the Bandwidth Indicator.

If you would like to see your local network's bandwidth, you can visit SpeedTest.net to see what you have to work with.

Network Latency

The Network Latency indicator shows how many milliseconds of time it takes for a packet of data to travel one way from one point to another.

In our case, this affects the responsiveness of your session to your inputs. For example, when you click your mouse - that information is sent to our remote servers, the movement is interpreted, and the change in the screen is sent back to you. Lower is better; if you experience high latency, there may be something affecting the routing of the packets to the server. Here are a few possible issues you may consider:

  • Network congestion: Network congestion can happen on under-powered shared Wi-Fi connections or networks that are shared by too many users at a time (schools, coffee shops, airports, etc.). Network congestion can also be caused by excessive data usage (i.e. large file uploads/downloads or multiple users streaming videos at once).

  • Poor network routing: On occasion, ISPs or networks will have rules that cause the physical route of the data to travel farther than desired which can result in excess network latency.

Connectivity Issues

If you find that you are unable to connect to a Frame session at all, we recommend you visit WebSocketsTest.com to ensure that your network and browser supports HTML5 WebSockets. Your browser and network must pass each test in order to be compatible with the Frame service.

If you continue to have issues, please reach out to us by creating a support case.

Ready to learn about some of the optional features that may be enabled for your Frame account? Continue on to the next guide to see what neat things you can do!