Download and Install
It's good practice to download and install the Vision Client Launcher every time you install a new release of Ignition. The Vision Client Launcher is a separate application and is not part of an Ignition release, so it's important not to have an outdated Vision Client Launcher shortcut residing on your desktop. Each time you install a new version of Ignition, download and install the Vision Client Launcher, then let the install process create a new desktop shortcut for you automatically.
The Vision Client Launcher can now be installed as an "all user" application on a Windows operating system providing launcher acess to all users on the same machine from a single installation. The first time the Designer Launcher is installed, you will be prompted to select your install mode: "Install for me only" or to "Install for all users." If the Vision Client Launcher was already installed, subsequent install attempts are treated as an upgrade and you will not be prompted to select the install mode. This new option will only appear on new launcher installations or after uninstalling a prior version of the installer.
Vision Client Launcher Destination Folder
When installing for "all users," the installer will be placed in the following folder: "%Ignition Installation Directory%\Program Files\Inductive Automation"
When installing for "me only," the installer will be found under the "\AppData\Roaming\Inductive Automation" folder.
The Vision Client Launcher for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS are available on the Home tab of the Gateway Webpage. Use the following steps to do an install of the Vision Client Launcher.
Windows Silent Installations
The Vision Client Launcher (and the Designer Launcher) can be installed on Windows systems from command Iine without any user prompts.
Version 8.0.10 introduced launcher installations for all users. Note that using ALLUSERS may trigger a check from User Account Controls, so you may need administrator access for the following command to offer a truly silent installation:
Vision Client Launcher Settings
You have the option of customizing the Vision Client Launcher Settings. This can be accomplished with either the GUI or by modifying a file on the local file system. Regardless of method, both utilize the properties specified under the Vision Client Launcher Reference table.
You can find the Settingsbutton in the upper right corner of the Vision Client Launcher.
You can choose to use the default settings or customize your client applications. There are three different Action buttons in Settings in the Vision Client Launcher.
- Export Launcher Config - Exports a configuration of the the Vision Client Launcher, as a JSON file (i.e.,
vision-client-launcher.json). Taking an export is useful in cases where you want multiple launcher instances to use the same settings. The content of the export file is based on the last saved configurations settings of the launcher.
- Import Launcher Config - Imports your launcher configurations from a Vision Client Launcher export file.
- Import Application Config - Creates a new client application configuration from an export, adding a new application to the launcher. The import file is the same generated by an application export.
When finished updating any of the client launcher settings, click the Save Changes button.
Launcher Configuration Using JSON
In addition to using the GUI, these configurations changes can be made by modifying the
vision-client-launcher.json file (created during installation of the launcher). The file is located at:
The preferred method of configuration is with the GUI, but JSON modification is useful when attempting to load multiple application configurations simultaneously.
A reference to the various properties that can be modified via JSON are listed in the Vision Client Launcher Reference table. However, the JSON file has a setting that isn't available from the GUI:
|lock.configuration||When set to true, the application list and individual application configurations cannot be modified. Effectively restricting the ability to add applications and edit the launcher's configurations.|
Vision Client Launcher Settings Reference
|Launcher Settings - Configurations for the Launcher|
|Property Setting||Description||JSON Name|
|Default Application||When set, the Launcher will attempt to automatically launch the specified Application when running. If left blank/null, an Application will not automatically start|
|Logging Level||Level of logging that will be used for the launcher: INFO, TRACE, DEBUG, WARN, and ERROR.|
|Multicast Address||The address that will be used to listen for multicast broadcasts from Gateways.|
|Multicast Ports||The port that will be used to listen for multicast broadcasts from Gateways.|
|Auto Exit on Launch||Automatically close the launcher window when a client is started.|
|Application Defaults - Default Configurations for New Applications|
|Property Setting||Description||JSON Name|
|Timeout||Maximum number of seconds allowed for any Gateway communication. Any communication that exceeds this amount will cause the client launcher to abort the communication and try again if configured.|
The number of times a Client will to attempt to contact a gateway again if an error occurred during communication. Available values are:
|Initial Heap||Amount of memory to be allocated at startup.|
|Max Heap||Maximum amount of memory allocation for heap size.|
|JVM||Arguments to append to client startup. These should start with a '-D' and be separated by semi-colons.|
|Client Tag Overrides||Client Tags and their values that are set when the client launches.|
As of release 8.0.13 you can add security certificates to the launcher. To use this feature, you must have installed a launcher from a version 8.0.13+ Gateway.
While attempting to launch an application, the launcher will check against the application's host Gateway, and attempt to automatically download any required certificates. In addition, certificates can be manually added using the example below.
- Access Vision Client Launcher Settings by clicking Settings on the top right of the Vision Client Launcher window.
- In the Trusted Certificates section, click the Add icon.
- Navigate to the location of the certificate on your system and choose Open.
- Information about the certificate is displayed. To view complete details, click the Expand icon next to Details. If everything looks OK, click Trust Certificate.
- Once a certificate is imported, you can view its details by clicking the Information icon.
Delete a Certificate
- To delete an imported certificate, access Vision Client Launcher Settings by clicking Settings on the top right of any Vision Client Launcher window.
- In the Trusted Certificates section, select the certificate you want to delete.
- Click the Delete icon.
- You'll get a confirmation window. If the certificate is the correct one you want to delete, click the Delete button.
Export a Certificate
- To export an imported certificate, access Vision Client Launcher Settings by clicking Settings on the top right of any Vision Client Launcher window.
- In the Trusted Certificates section, select the certificate you want to export.
- Click the Export icon.
- Navigate to the location you want to save the certificate and click Save.
For each project application, you can update the default settings by clicking the More
.json file. The Delete command deletes the project application from the launcher.
You can choose to use the default settings or customize your project client applications. There are three different Action buttons under Manage Project Settings in the Vision Client Launcher.
- Launch Application - Launches the your application in the Vision Client Launcher.
- Export Config - Exports your updates to the Vision Client Launcher file (i.e.,
vision-client-launcher.json). The resulting export file contains the last saved configuration of the application.
- Create Desktop Shortcut - Creates a shortcut to your application on your desktop, using the last saved application configuration.
When finished updating any of the launcher settings, click the Save Changes button.
Application Property Reference
In some cases, it may be desirable to deploy a pre-configured Launcher to remote clients. Doing so bypasses the installation process on the remote machine. The process to do so is outlined below. The steps in this example are operating system dependent, as the launchers were designed to run on a single operating system.
There are three key pieces to a configured launcher:
- The launcher itself.
- The JRE for the launcher. The "jre" directory should be in the same directory as the launcher.
- The configuration JSON file. The launcher always expects this file to be located at a certain directory, otherwise the launcher will create a new, blank, file.
The steps below demonstrate how to configure a launcher, and then migrate each piece to a new file system into an appropriate location.
Pre-Configure a Launcher
- Install a Vision Client Launcher somewhere on network. Take note of the Installation directory you use, as a later step will involve finding this directory.
- Configure each application. Be mindful of the Gateway Address setting: the deployed launcher will need to be able find the gateway based on the address you enter.
At this point, we should have a single launcher configured with one or more applications. Next we can zip up the the launcher and its configuration files.
Create a ZIP
In these steps, we will create a single ZIP, containing all of the required files.
- Navigate to the Launcher's installation directory. It should look similar to the image below:
Copy all of the files shown in Step 1, and paste them into the Client Launcher Data directory. This is the same directory that the configuration JSON file is located. The path differs by Operating System, but should generally look like the following:
After pasting, the directory should look something like the following:
We now have a single folder containing the launcher, a JRE, and the application configurations.
Navigate up a directory to the ".ignition" folder. You will see the folder we were just in: "clientlauncher-data"
In this directory (the .ignition directory), create a new folder called .ignition. Note the leading period. In some operating systems you may have to attempt to rename with a trailing period as well:
- Copy the clientlauncher-data folder into the new .ignition folder. Note that you want to copy, not move. Moving would make prior application configurations on the local system unavailable.
Zip up the newer .ignition directory.
We now have a ZIP we can deploy to a new system.
Deploying the Launcher
- Take the ZIP, and move it to another computer.
Unzip the file at the user directory. The location of the directory is based on the local operating system.
The files should be unzipped. Navigate to the launcher at:
- Run the Launcher. It should contain all of the configured applications.
- At this point, consider creating a shortcut to the launcher, and placing the shortcut at a more accessible location. Alternatively, the launcher can be accessed via command line/terminal, so you could automate client launchers in a number of ways.
The client launcher can take advantage of a redundant Gateway setup. Whenever a connection is established with a master Gateway, the backup Gateway IP address is automatically stored in the client launcher configuration file. If the master Gateway cannot be contacted the next time the client launcher is run, an attempt is made to contact the backup Gateway. If the backup cannot be contacted, the client launcher switches between contacting the primary Gateway and the backup Gateway until one responds or the user closes the launcher.
Clients can be launched from the Client Launcher via command/terminal. When called in this way, many of the application properties may be overridden for the one call. The overrides use the same property names as noted in the Application Property Reference, under the "JSON name" column.
There are a few important notes when using the Command Line/Terminal to launch a project from the Vision Client Launcher.
- The Vision Client Launcher must be installed and have an application added for the Command Line/Terminal commands to work.
- The application argument requires the application name in the Launcher, not the project name. You can open the launcher to determine what the application name is. Adding new applications in the launcher uses the Project title by default.
- Applications may contain spaces in their name. However, when launching from command/terminal, spaces should be escaped with %20. For example, if our application was named my project, then we could all it with the following:
Command Line Arguments
Launchers and SSL
When SSL is enabled on a Gateway, the Vision Client Launcher can take advantage of the enhanced security features associated with SSL.
Certificates Signed by a CA
When the Gateway's SSL certificates are signed by a recognized Certificate Authority, no additional configuration is required on the launcher.
When using a self-signed SSL certificate, the certificates for the gateway must be locally accessible to the client launcher in the following directory:
When a certificate is placed in the directory above, the launcher will attempt to automatically add the certificate(s) to the local keystore upon application launch.
If the Vision Client Launcher fails to launch a client for some reason, the log file can be found at:
This log contains any errors that occurred.