XenApp/XenDesktop Upgrades

Last Modified: Jul 18, 2017 @ 8:25 am

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XenApp/XenDesktop Versions

Version Numbering

The current versions of XenApp/XenDesktop are collectively known as 7.x, with the .x ranging from 7.0 through 7.14.

Since upgrading from 7.x to 8.x is perceived as a major upgrade, Citrix has no immediate plans to change the version to 8.x.

7.x upgrades are considered minor, and thus less resistant to upgrading/updating.

Release Notifications

Follow my Twitter or EUC Weekly Digests for new release notifications.

Sometimes release notifications are posted to Citrix Blogs, but this is far from comprehensive.

Watch Citrix Discussions and Citrix Support Knowledgebase to learn about known issues that are fixed in a later release.

Release Classifications – LTSR, CR

There are three classifications for on-premises releases:

  • LTSR (Long Term Service Release) – these releases get 5 years of mainstream support, plus up to 5 more years of extended support
  • CR (Current Release) – 6 months support. Updated quarterly.
  • LTSR Compatible – Current Releases supported when running in a LTSR implementation. Normally all components must be LTSR versions. But this classification provides exceptions.

Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop Service releases are always Current Release. There is no LTSR option.

LTSR Programs

There are two different LTSR programs:

LTSR Licensing requirement

LTSR requires you to be on Customer Success Services Select, formerly known as Software Maintenance.

LTSR vs CR

LTSR is supported for 5 years from the LTSR release date, plus 5 more years of optional extended support.

Only the two most recent CRs are supported.

  • Don’t install CR if you don’t intend to upgrade every 6 months. Receiver too.
  • You might assume that LTSR does not need to be upgraded. However, Cumulative Updates¬†(patches) for LTSR are released periodically. Cumulative Updates for LTSR are installed exactly like upgrading to a newer CR, except you don’t get any new features.
  • For XenApp/XenDesktop, you can migrate to Citrix Cloud XenApp/XenDesktop Service, and let Citrix upgrade Controllers, StoreFront, Director, and NetScaler Gateway for you.
  • Or a managed services provider can do the upgrades for you.

Not supported means that Citrix Support will ask you to upgrade before they troubleshoot an issue.

Release Frequency

New LTSR versions are released every 18-24 months. Prior LTSRs are still supported for the full 5 years. New LTSR version gets new 5 year support from the new release date.

  • Currently only LTSR 7.6.300 is available.
    • This post will refer to LTSR 7.6.300 as LTSR 7.6.
    • 7.6.300 has more features than base 7.6.0.
  • Sometime in 3Q 2017, a new LTSR 7.15 will be released.¬†See Citrix Blog Post¬†XenApp and XenDesktop 2017 Release Schedule.

Cumulative Updates (CU) for LTSR are released every few months. Don’t forget to install these patches. I’ve seen CUs fix LTSR issues.

  • CUs do not include new features.
  • Citrix has released four Cumulative Updates for LTSR 7.6.300, bumping up the version to 7.6.4000.
  • After LTSR 7.15 is released, Citrix will continue to release Cumulative Updates for LTSR 7.6.300.

New CR versions are released every quarter. Sometimes longer for Receiver. See Citrix Blog Post XenApp and XenDesktop 2017 Release Schedule.

Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop Service gets new CR releases every 3 weeks.

Some XenApp/XenDesktop components are released on a separate schedule from the main LTSR or CR releases:

  • Receiver for Windows and Mac
  • Receiver for HTML5
  • Receiver for iOS and Android
  • Skype for Business RealTime Optimization Pack
  • Provisioning Services – this is usually delayed by a few weeks
  • App Layering

CR cons

New CRs add new features, and new bugs.

  • The initial release of XA/XD CR 7.14 had some issues which required it to be pulled and re-released.
  • CR 7.13 had issues (e.g. VDA registration error message), that weren’t fixed until 7.14.

No hotfixes will be released for CR. To get hotfixes, upgrade to the newest CR.

LTSR cons

Features not in LTSR – Personal vDisk and Local App Access are not included in LTSR 7.6. To use these features, you must deploy CR 7.x.

  • Note: Personal vDisk will eventually be replaced by App Layering User Layers.

Features in CR but not LTSR – Many features have been added to CRs since LTSR 7.6 was released.

  • Chris Schrameyer assembled the list of CR-only features in a spreadsheet.
  • If you want Long Term Support, then you won’t get these new features until the next LTSR.
  • If you really need the new features, then you upgrade everything to CR.

XenApp 6.5 features added to CR but not LTSR – Much prior XenApp 6.5 functionality was added to CRs released after LTSR 7.6 – e.g. zones/local host cache, app limits, multiple license types, tags, idle time in Director, TLS 1.2, etc. These features are not in the current LTSR 7.6. If you want these features, you’ll either have to wait for the next LTSR, or go with CR.

Don’t mix CR and LTSR components – As soon as you upgrade one LTSR component to CR, upgrade all other LTSR components to CR, and keep them updated with new CRs every 6 months.

  • When the next LTSR is released, you can stop upgrading (except for Cumulative Updates).
  • Or, deploy CR in a separate environment.
  • Use Citrix LTSR Assistant tool to confirm LTSR compliance.
  • Some app vendors require you to remain on LTSR.

Avoid temptation to upgrade to CR? РThe only LTSR available today is 7.6 Feature Pack 3. In 3Q 2017, new LTSR version 7.15 will become available. LTSR 7.15 will be based on the features in CR 7.14. CR 7.16 will have new features that are not in LTSR 7.15. When you see the list of new features in 7.16, will you:

  • Upgrade to CR 7.16, and every CR after that?
  • Or, stay with LTSR 7.15, and not get the new features until the next LTSR release, probably in 2019?

LTSR “compatible” components require frequent upgrades – Some components, like Profile Management, are LTSR “compatible”, meaning there’s no LTSR version, but it’s OK to use them in an LTSR environment. Since they’re not CR, you’re expected to update the CR components to the latest release every 6 months.

  • There’s no LTSR version of Citrix Licensing. Instead, always upgrade Citrix Licensing to the latest CR version.
  • For Windows 10 support on LTSR 7.6, install the latest CR VDA, which is currently VDA 7.14. Other OS versions must use LTSR VDA 7.6.
  • Each LTSR VDA 7.6 Cumulative Update includes newer Profile Management. 7.6.4000 includes Profile Management 5.8.

XenApp/XenDesktop Supported versions

The most recent XA/XD LTSR is based on version 7.6.300 (aka 7.6 Feature Pack 3).

  • Several XA/XD¬†LTSR¬†Cumulative Updates have been released, resulting in version number 7.6.4000. The .4000 indicates the patch level, while 7.6 indicates the feature level.

The most recent XA/XD Current Release is version 7.14.

  • There have been at least seven CR releases since XA/XD LTSR 7.6.300.

Examples of non-supported versions:

  • XenDesktop 7.6.0 is older than LTSR 7.6 (7.6.300), so it’s not supported.
  • XenDesktop 7.9 is a CR that’s newer than LTSR, but more than two releases behind the most recent CR (7.14), so it’s not supported.

Not supported means that Citrix Support will ask you to upgrade before they troubleshoot an issue.

Receiver Supported versions

The most recent Receiver LTSR is based on version 4.4.

The most recent Receiver Current Release is version 4.8.

  • There have been at least four CR releases since Receiver LTSR 4.4.

Component Version Dependencies

Director¬†uses the Citrix Monitoring Service that is installed on the Delivery¬†Controllers. New Director features don’t work unless Delivery Controllers, and sometimes VDAs are upgraded. See¬†CTX224793 for details.

Provisioning Services –¬†if you use the XenDesktop Setup Wizard, then PvS servers should be the same version as the Controllers. Otherwise, PvS version is independent of XenDesktop version.

Workspace Environment Management (WEM) –¬†newer WEM can configure newer Profile Management features. Otherwise, WEM is separate from XenDesktop.

SCOM Packs should be the same version or newer than the components they are monitoring. Check each SCOM Pack release notes for supported component versions.

Receiver – Many XenApp/XenDesktop features require a specific version of Receiver. If you are deploying CR releases, then deploy the newest CR Receiver. If you are deploying LTSR 7.6 Cumulative Updates, then deploy the latest LTSR Receiver.

NetScaler  Gateway РSome Newer Citrix features require newer NetScaler Gateway firmware. For example:

  • EDT (Enlightened Data Transport) / Adaptive Transport
  • Gateway Configuration export/import with StoreFront
  • Newer Receivers are checking SSL certificates more stringently. You might have to adjust your NetScaler certificates to accommodate newer Receivers.¬†See¬†CTX223949.

NetScaler builds have bugs that affect XenApp/XenDesktop experience.

  • Currently, NetScaler 11.1 build 53 or 54 are recommended.
  • NetScaler 12 must be avoided at this time.

XenApp 6.5 – The following components don’t have any XenApp/XenDesktop version dependency, and thus can be deployed for XenApp 6.5 too:

  • StoreFront and HTML5 Receiver
  • Provisioning Services
  • License Server
  • Profile Management
  • Skype for Business HDX RealTime Optimization Pack
  • Workspace Environment Management
  • Citrix App Layering (Unidesk)
  • SCOM Packs
  • AppDNA

7.x Upgrade Overview

7.x Components

XenApp/XenDesktop is composed of multiple components, each of which is upgraded separately.

Newer versions of Citrix components enable Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) automatically. If you wish to disable CEIP, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/delivery-controller-7-14-and-licensing/#ceip.

Component Upgrade Process

In-place upgrades – 7.x components can be upgraded in-place. No need to rebuild like you did in XenApp 6.5 and older.

Here’s the general in-place upgrade process for each component.¬†Detailed instructions for each component are detailed later.

  1. In-place upgrade one (or half) of the component’s servers.
  2. Upgrade the component’s database. Requires temporary sysadmin permission on SQL Server. Not all components have databases.
  3. In-place upgrade the remaining component’s servers.
  4. In-place upgrade the agents.
    1. Rebuilding of master images might be preferred, assuming you have time to automate it.

Mix and match VDA/Controller versions – You can upgrade VDAs without upgrading Controllers. Or vice versa.

  • Newer VDA features sometimes require Citrix Policy to enable or configure. The newest Citrix Policy settings are included in Controller upgrades. Or, if you haven’t upgraded your Controllers yet, you can simply upgrade the Citrix Group Policy Management component.

VDA Operating System version Upgrade – Considerations when upgrading the VDA operating system version:

  • App compatibility – Verify app compatibility with the new OS version:
    • Windows 2012 R2 = 64-bit Windows 8.1
    • Windows 2016 = 64-bit Windows 10
  • Start Menu in published desktop¬†– If you publish desktops, is the Windows 2012 R2 Start Menu acceptable to the users? Windows 2012 R2 Start Menu is the same as Windows 8.1 Start Menu.
    • Windows 2016 Start Menu is the same as Windows 10 1607 Start Menu
  • GPO settings– Newer OSs have newer Microsoft GPO settings.
  • Profile version – Newer OS means newer profile version. Older profile versions do not work on newer operating system versions. For example, you can’t use Windows 7 profiles on Windows 10. This means that an OS upgrade results in new profiles for every user.
    • Write a script to copy profile settings from the old profiles to the new profiles.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Licensing – if you are building RDSH (Server OS) VDAs, then every user that connects must have an RDS License for the RDSH operating system version. If RDSH is Windows 2016, then every user needs a Windows 2016 RDS License. Windows 2008 R2 RDS Licenses won’t work.
    • RDS Licensing Server – RDS Licensing is a built-in Windows Server Role. It must be installed on servers with the same or newer operating system version than the RDSH VDAs.
  • Windows 10 Branches – Windows 10 Current Branch is not supported. CBB and LTSB are supported. See¬†CTX224843.
  • Upgrade Windows 10 Version – In-place upgrade of Windows 10 versions is not recommended. For example, upgrading from Windows 10 1511 to Windows 10 1607 broke several features. Rebuild is cleaner.
  • Component Agents – ensure the component agents (WEM Agent, Profile Management, Session Recording Agent, App Layering Tools, etc.) are supported on the new OS version.

Considerations for upgrading the operating system version on component servers:

  • Do not in-place upgrade the operating system version. Instead, build new VMs, and join them to the existing infrastructure.
  • New OS version requires newer component versions. The required component version might be newer than what you’re currently running.
  • When adding a server to the existing component farm/site, the new server must be running the same component version as the existing servers.¬†That means you might have to in-place upgrade your existing component servers before you can add new components servers running a newer operating system version.
  • For example:
    • Existing Delivery Controllers are version 7.9 on Windows 2012 R2.
    • You desire to build new Windows 20126 Delivery Controllers.
    • Only Delivery Controller 7.11 and newer can be installed on Windows 2016. But you can’t add Delivery Controller 7.11 to a Delivery Controller 7.9 farm/site.
    • Upgrade the existing Delivery Controllers to 7.11 or newer first.
    • Then you can add the new Windows 2016 Delivery Controllers VMs to the existing farm/site.

Here are general instructions to upgrade component server OS version. Detailed instructions for each component are detailed later.

  1. In-place upgrade the existing component servers to a version that supports the new OS. Check the System Requirements documentation for each component to verify OS version compatibility.
  2. Build new machine(s) with desired OS version.
  3. Install the same component version as the existing component servers.
    • The new machine must be the same component version as the existing machines. You can’t add machines with newer component versions.
  4. Add the new component servers to the existing farm/site/server group.
  5. Migrate load balancer, VDAs, Targets from old to new. See below for detailed instructions for each component.
  6. Decommission old servers.

Upgrade Guidelines

Test farms – Test Citrix infrastructure upgrades in separate test environments (separate test farms):

  • VDA upgrades can usually be tested in production
  • Everything else requires server-side upgrades first, so you can’t test them in production.
  • Should the separate Test environments include multi-datacenter capabilities (StoreFront icon aggregation, GSLB, etc.) so those features can be tested?

Known upgrade issues – Read Citrix Discussions, or ask your Citrix Support TRM, for known upgrade issues. Don’t upgrade production immediately after a new version is released.

  • Read the release notes, especially the known issues.

Smart Check the environment before upgrading. It’s free. Access it at¬†https://smart.cloud.com.

Backup/snapshot – Backup databases, snapshot machines, etc. before starting the in-place upgrade.

  • Have a rollback plan

License Server – Always upgrade the License Server before upgrading anything else.

  • Check Subscription Advantage (SA) date on the installed licenses

In-place upgrade preparation:

  1. Make sure other admins are logged off before starting the upgrades.
  2. Close all consoles and PowerShell.
  3. Snapshot the machines.

Upgrade XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x

All 7.x components can be upgraded in-place.

  • CR upgrades are cumulative. You can skip intermediary versions.
  • LTSR Cumulative Updates are also cumulative, hence the name.
  • LTSR Cumulative Updates are performed using the same process as CR upgrades. The only difference is that you don’t get new features with LTSR updates.

Some components (Delivery Controllers, PvS, Session Recording, WEM, etc.) require the person doing the upgrade to have temporary sysadmin permissions on the SQL server so the database can be upgraded.

Upgrade order – For the most part, upgrade order doesn’t matter. That’s because there are few dependencies between each component, as detailed earlier.

  • Before upgrading anything else, upgrade the Citrix License Server.
    • Install updated license files with non-expired SA dates.
  • VDAs and Delivery Controllers can be different versions.
    • VDAs can be upgraded before Controllers, or vice/versa.
  • If Zones, upgrade all Delivery Controllers in all zones at the same time
  • For Director, upgrading Director won’t do you much good if the Controllers aren’t upgraded, since Director uses the Monitoring service that’s installed on the Controllers.
  • For PvS, the servers must be upgraded before you upgrade the targets.
  • For Session Recording, the server(s) must be upgraded before you upgrade the agent.
  • For WEM, the server(s) must be upgraded before you upgrade the agent.

If upgrading to a version that has CEIP functionality, decide if you want to disable CEIP, or leave it enabled.

After upgrades, configure new functionality.

Citrix Licensing Server

It’s a simple in-place upgrade.

  • After upgrading, download the latest license files from http://mycitrix.com, and install on the license server. Make sure the SA date hasn’t expired.

To upgrade the Licensing Server Operating System version:

  1. Build a new VM with desired OS version.
  2. Install the latest CR License Server.
  3. At http://mycitrix.com, reallocate licenses to the new case-sensitive hostname, and install the license file on the new Licensing Server.
  4. For 7.x sites/farms, in Citrix Studio, go to Configuration > Licensing, and change the License Server to the new Licensing Server.
  5. For XenApp 6.5, in AppCenter > Policies, or a GPO with Citrix Policies, find the Citrix Policy that defines the Licensing Server name, and change it.
    1. Or, run the XenApp Server Role Manager on each server and change Licensing configuration.

Delivery Controllers

Both of the following types of upgrades/updates use the same process:

  • Install latest LTSR Cumulative Update
  • Upgrade to latest Current Release

To in-place upgrade Delivery Controllers:

  1. If High Availability is configured correctly, then Delivery Controllers can be upgraded during the day.
  2. Upgrade the Citrix Licensing Server if you haven’t already. Install current licenses if you haven’t already.
  3. Ask a DBA for temporary sysadmin permission to the SQL server.
  4. Prepare: run Smart Check, logoff other admins, close consoles.
  5. In-place upgrade one (or half) of the Delivery Controllers. Either upgrade to the latest Current Release, or install the latest LTSR Cumulative Update.
  6. Launch Studio. Upgrade the database when prompted.
  7. In-place upgrade the remaining Delivery Controllers.
  8. Run Smart Check again.
  9. Temporary sysadmin permissions can now be removed.
  10. For Studio that’s installed on administrator machines other than Delivery Controllers, in-place upgrade Studio by running AutoSelect.exe from the CR or LTSR XenApp/XenDesktop ISO.

To upgrade the operating system version of the Delivery Controllers:

  1. In-place upgrade the existing Delivery Controllers to a version that supports the new operating system version. For Windows 2016, upgrade to version 7.11 or newer.
  2. Build one or more new virtual machines with the new operating system version.
  3. Install Delivery Controller software with the same version as the other Delivery Controllers.
  4. Run Citrix Studio and join the new machines to the existing farm/site.
  5. Push SCOM Agent with XAXD Agent to the new Delivery Controllers.
  6. Reconfigure VDAs to point to the new Delivery Controllers. Edit the ListOfDDCs registry key.
  7. Reconfigure Director server > IIS > Application Settings > Director path > Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses to point to the new Delivery Controllers.
  8. Reconfigure StoreFront > Store > Manage Delivery Controllers to point to the new Delivery Controllers.
  9. Secure Ticket Authorities:
    1. Add the new Controllers to firewall rules between NetScaler SNIP and STAs.
    2. In NetScaler Gateway > Edit Virtual Server > scroll down to the Published Applications section > click the line to edit the Secure Ticket Authorities. Add the new Controllers as Secure Ticket Authorities. Don’t remove the old ones yet.
    3. In StoreFront Console, go to Manage NetScaler Gateways > edit each Gateway > on the Secure Ticket Authority page, add the new Delivery Controllers as Secure Ticket Authorities, and remove the old ones.
    4. In NetScaler Gateway > Edit Virtual Server > scroll down to the Published Applications section > click the line to edit the Secure Ticket Authorities. Remove the older Controllers as Secure Ticket Authorities.
  10. In Studio, remove the old Delivery Controllers.
    1. Note: this might not fully work and you might have to manually evict the old Controllers from the SQL database.
  11. Decommission the old Delivery Controllers.

App Layering (Unidesk)

To in-place upgrade Citrix App Layering:

  • In-place upgrade the ELM appliance.
    • From 4.2 and newer, newer versions should be downloaded automatically. Just click the link to start the upgrade.
    • From 4.1 and older, download the upgrade package and upload it to the ELM.
  • Upgrade the App Layering PvS Agent by uninstalling the PvS Agent and re-installing it.
  • Create a new OS Layer version and install the latest OS Machine Tools.
  • When the images are published, the drivers will be updated automatically by the ELM.

Workspace Environment Management (WEM)

To in-place upgrade Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM):

  1. In-place upgrade the¬†Citrix Licensing Server if you haven’t already.
    1. Ensure the installed licenses have a non-expired Subscription Advantage date.
  2. Ask a DBA for temporary sysadmin permission to the SQL server.
  3. In-place upgrade the first WEM Server. Consider removing it from load balancing before performing the upgrade.
  4. Use the Database Maintenance tool to upgrade the WEM database.
  5. Run the WEM Broker Configuration Tool on the upgraded Broker to point to the upgraded database.
  6. In-place upgrade the remaining WEM Servers. Consider removing them from load balancing before performing the upgrade.
  7. Temporary sysadmin permissions can now be removed.
  8. In-place upgrade the WEM Console on all non-server machines where it is installed.
  9. In-place upgrade the WEM Agents.
  10. If you are upgrading from WEM 4.2 and older, in the WEM Console, add the Agents (computer accounts) to Configuration Sets instead the old WEM Sites.

To upgrade the operating system version of the Workspace Environment Management servers, it’s easier if you have a custom DNS name, or load balanced DNS name for WEM, instead of using a server name :

  1. In-place upgrade the existing WEM servers to a version that supports the OS you intend for the new WEM servers.
  2. Build new WEM servers with the same version as the existing WEM servers.
  3. Configure the new WEM servers to point to the same database as the old WEM servers.
  4. Cutover options:
    1. If you have a load balanced DNS name for WEM, reconfigure the load balancer to point to the new WEM servers.
    2. If you have a custom DNS name for WEM, change it to resolve to the new WEM server’s IP address.
    3. If you were previously using the actual server name, then you can either change the WEM Agent group policy to point to the new WEM server name, or delete the old WEM server and rename the new WEM server, or delete the old WEM server and reconfigure the old DNS name as a custom DNS name for the new WEM server.
  5. Decommission the old WEM servers.

Session Recording

To in-place upgrade Session Recording:

  1. In-place upgrade the¬†Citrix Licensing Server if you haven’t already.
    1. Ensure the installed licenses have a non-expired Subscription Advantage date.
  2. Ask a DBA for temporary sysadmin permission to the SQL server.
  3. In-place upgrade the first Session Recording server to either the latest CR release or the latest LTSR release.
    1. There is an LTSR version of Session Recording. The install/upgrade process for LTSR is quite different than CR 7.14 and newer.
    2. Consider removing the Session Recording server from load balancing before performing the upgrade.
  4. The upgrade of the first Session Recording server should automatically upgrade the database.
  5. In-place upgrade the remaining Session Recording Servers. Consider removing them from load balancing before performing the upgrade.
  6. Temporary sysadmin permissions can now be removed.
  7. In-place upgrade the Session Recording Agents.
  8. In-place upgrade the Session Recording Player on all machines where it is installed.

To upgrade the operating system version of the Session Recording servers, it’s easier if you have a custom DNS name or load balanced DNS name for Session Recording, instead of using a server name:

  1. In-place upgrade the existing Session Recording servers to a version that supports the OS you intend for the new Session Recording servers. Windows 2016 support was added to Session Recording 7.11 and newer.
  2. Build new Session Recording servers with the same version as the existing Session Recording servers.
  3. Configure the new Session Recording servers to point to the same database as the old Session Recording servers.
  4. Configure the new Session Recording servers to store recordings on the same UNC path as the old Session Recording servers.
  5. The certificate on the Session Recording servers or load balancer must match the DNS name used by the Session Recording Agents and Player.
  6. Cutover:
    1. If you have a load balanced DNS name for Session Recording, reconfigure the load balancer to point to the new Session Recording servers.
    2. If you have a custom DNS name for Session Recording, change it to resolve to the new Session Recording server’s IP address.
    3. If you were previously using the actual server name, then you can either: change the Session Recording Agents and Players to point to the new Session Recording server name, or delete the old Session Recording server and rename the new Session Recording server, or delete the old Session Recording server and reconfigure the old DNS name as a custom DNS name for the new Session Recording server.
    4. If the Session Recording DNS name changed, reconfigure Director to point to the new Session Recording DNS name.
  7. Decommission the old Session Recording servers.

Provisioning Services (PvS)

Provisioning Services (PvS) servers must be upgraded before you can upgrade Target Devices.

To in-place upgrade PvS servers:

  1. Make sure Provisioning Services High Availability (HA) is working for target devices. If HA is functional, in-place upgrade can be done during the day.
    • In the Provisioning Services console, you should see an even distribution of Target Devices across all PvS servers.
    • Check the WriteCache folders on PvS servers to make sure they’re empty. If any Target Device is caching on Server, then those Target Devices will not failover to another¬†PvS server.
  2. Get temporary sysadmin permissions to the SQL Server that hosts the PvS database.
  3. On the first PvS Server:
    1. In-place upgrade PvS Console by running the CR or LTSR PvS Console installer. There is an LTSR version of Provisioning Services.
    2. Re-register the Citrix.PVS.snapin.dll snap-in:
      "C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\InstallUtil.exe" "c:\program files\citrix\provisioning services console\Citrix.PVS.snapin.dll"
    3. In-place upgrade PvS Server by running the CR or LTSR PvS Server installer
    4. Run the PvS Configuration Wizard. The farm should already be configured, so just click Next a few times and let it upgrade the database and restart the services.
  4. In-place upgrade the Console and Server software on the remaining PvS Servers. After installation, run the PvS Configuration Wizard, and click Next until the end.
  5. Temporary sysadmin permissions can now be removed.
  6. Target Device Software can now be upgraded.

There are several methods of upgrading the PvS Target Device Software that’s inside a vDisk:

  • If Target Device Software is 7.6.1 or newer, in-place upgrade the Target Device Software while doing your normal vDisk update process.
  • Completely rebuild the vDisk. An automated build process like MDT is recommended.
  • If Target Device Software is 7.6.0 or older, then you must reverse image.
    • To upgrade VMware Tools (or any software that modifies the NIC), you must revers image.

To in-place upgrade Target Device software 7.6.1 and newer:

  1. Create a new vDisk Maintenance version, or put the vDisk in Private Image mode. Then boot an Updater Target Device. This is the normal process for updating a vDisk.
  2. Run the CR or LTSR Target Device software installer to upgrade the software. The Target Device software must be the same version or older than the PvS Servers.
  3. Shut down the Updater. Promote the Maintenance version to Production, or change the vDisk to Standard Image mode. This is the normal process for updating a vDisk.

Reverse image methods:

  • Boot from VHD – Build a VM. Copy PvS vDisk VHD/VHDX to VM. Boot from VHD/VHDX.
  • Hyper-V can boot from a VHD directly. Copy PvS vDisk VHD/VHDX to Hyper-V host. Create a VM that boots from VHD/VHDX.
  • Once VHD/VHDX is updated, copy the VHD/VHDX back to PvS, import to a PvS store, which creates a new vDisk, and assign the new vDisk to target devices. Takes effect at next Target Device reboot.

If using PvS Accelerator, keep XenServer patched.

To upgrade the operating system version of the PvS Servers:

  1. In-place upgrade the existing PvS Servers to a version that supports the new operating system version. For Windows 2016, upgrade to version 7.11 or newer.
  2. Build one or more new virtual machines with the new operating system version.
  3. Install PvS Server software with the same version as the other PvS Servers.
  4. Run PvS Configuration Wizard and join the new machines to the existing PvS farm and PvS database.
  5. Copy the vDisk files from an existing PvS Server to the new PvS Servers. Check Replication Status of each vDisk.
  6. Install the App Layering PvS Agent.
  7. Push SCOM Agent with PvS Agent to the new PvS Servers.
  8. In PvS Console, reconfigure Bootstrap to point to the new PvS Servers. Go to Sites > MySite > Servers > right-click each server, and click Configure Bootstrap.
  9. Reconfigure DHCP Options or BDM to point to the new PvS Servers. Do one or more of the following:
    • Reconfigure TFTP load balancing to point to the new PvS Servers.
    • Change DHCP Scope Options 66/67 to the new PvS Servers.
    • Create a new Boot ISO with the new PvS Servers.
    • Use the PvS Console to update the BDM Partition on each Target Device.
    • Start the PXE Service on the new PvS Servers and stop the PXE Service on the old PvS Servers.
    • Reboot some Target Devices to make sure they work.
  10. In PvS Console, delete the old PvS Servers.
  11. Decommission the old PvS Servers.

Virtual Delivery Agents (VDA)

To in-place upgrade the Virtual Delivery Agent software:

Instead of in-place upgrading the VDAs, you can also rebuild them with the new software versions. If rebuilding, use an automated method, like MDT.

To upgrade the operating system version of the Virtual Delivery Agents, it’s recommended to rebuild the VDA. But keep in mind the following:

  • Windows 10 Current Branch is not supported.
  • Windows 10 version upgrades should be a rebuild, not an in-place upgrade.
    • If you in-place upgrade, uninstall VDA software, upgrade Windows, then reinstall VDA software.
  • Newer VDA operating system versions use newer profile versions, which means older profiles will not work.
  • Newer RDSH operating system versions require newer RDS Licensing Servers and newer RDS Licenses.
  • GPO settings– Newer OSs have newer Microsoft GPO settings.

StoreFront

StoreFront is the most problematic component to upgrade.

  • Newer CR versions of StoreFront installer are adding pre-upgrade checks to prevent known upgrade issues – e.g. stop SCOM Service

To in-place upgrade the StoreFront servers:

  1. It’s critical that you snapshot the StoreFront machines before beginning the upgrade.
  2. Prep: close consoles, close PowerShell, logoff other admins, stop SCOM Agent.
  3. Remove one StoreFront server from load balancing and run the CR StoreFront installer, or run the LTSR StoreFront installer.
    1. If upgrade fails, review the install logs to determine the cause. Once the cause is determined, revert the VM to prior snapshot, and try the upgrade again.
    2. Upgrade the HTML5 Receiver installed on StoreFront. The instructions for CR and LTSR are the same.
  4. Reconfigure the load balancer to only send traffic to the upgraded server.
  5. Upgrade the remaining servers and add them to the load balancer again.
  6. If Classic Experience is enabled, consider disabling it. However, this changes the UI in the browser.
  7. If Unified Experience is not enabled, considering enabling it. However, this changes the UI in Receiver.
  8. Remove snapshots.

To upgrade the operating system version of the StoreFront Servers:

  1. In-place upgrade the existing StoreFront Servers to a version that supports the new operating system version. For Windows 2016, upgrade to version 3.7 or newer.
  2. Build one or more new virtual machines with the new operating system version.
  3. Install StoreFront software with the same version as the other StoreFront servers.
  4. Push SCOM Agent with StoreFront Agent to the new StoreFront servers.
  5. Upgrade the HTML5 Receiver installed on StoreFront. The instructions for CR and LTSR are the same.
  6. Run StoreFront Console on the new servers, and join the new machines to the existing Server Group.
    • Note: maximum servers in a Server Group is five. You might have to remove old servers before you can add too many new servers.
  7. Reconfigure the load balancer to point to the new StoreFront servers instead of the old StoreFront servers.
  8. In StoreFront console, remove the old StoreFront servers.
  9. Decommission the old StoreFront servers.

Receiver for HTML5

Receiver for HTML5 is usually release on a different schedule than StoreFront.

To in-upgrade upgrade Receiver for HTML5:

  1. Upgrade the HTML5 Receiver installed on StoreFront. The instructions for CR and LTSR are almost the same.
  2. Upgrade the HTML5 Receiver PDF Printer software that’s installed on the VDA machines.
  3. Upgrade the Chrome Receiver File Access software that’s installed on the VDA machines.

Director

To in-place upgrade the Director servers:

  1. Ensure the Delivery Controllers are already upgraded. There’s no point in upgrading Director if Delivery Controllers aren’t upgraded.
  2. Run the CR Director install from the CR XenApp/XenDesktop ISO, or run the LTSR Director install from the LTSR XenApp/XenDesktop ISO.
  3. Repeat for the remaining Director servers.

To upgrade the operating system version of the Director servers, it’s easier if you have a custom DNS name or load balanced DNS name for Director instead of using a server name :

  1. Make sure Delivery Controllers are running a version that supports the OS you intend for Director. For Windows 2016, Delivery Controllers must be version 7.11 or newer.
  2. Build new Director servers with the same version or newer than the Delivery Controllers.
  3. Configure the new Director servers to point to the same Delivery Controllers as the old Director servers.
  4. Copy the Director data files from the old Director servers to the new Director servers. Or point the new Director servers to the existing UNC path.
  5. Cutover:
    1. If you have a load balanced DNS name for Director, reconfigure the load balancer to point to the new Director servers.
    2. If you have a custom DNS name for Director, change it to resolve to the new Director server’s IP address.
    3. If you were previously using the actual server name, then you can either inform users of the new Director server name, or delete the old Director server and rename the new Director server, or delete the old Director server and reconfigure the old DNS name as a custom DNS name for the new Director server.
  6. Decommission the old Director servers.

Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in

On any machine that has Group Policy Management installed, in-place upgrade the Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in by running the installer from the CR or LTSR XenApp/XenDesktop ISO.

Profile Management Group Policy Templates

Profile Management service is included with Virtual Delivery Agent. Upgrading the VDA also upgrades Profile Management.

  • There is no LTSR version of Profile Management. The latest LTSR VDA includes the latest CR Profile Management service.

New templates don’t break existing functionality – Upgrading the Profile Management group policy templates will not affect existing functionality. The templates do nothing more than expose new settings that can be configured. If you don’t upgrade the templates, Profile Management will continue to function like it always has.

To in-place upgrade the Profile Management Group Policy Templates:

  1. Copy the newer Profile Management Group Policy Templates to the PolicyDefinitions folder: either Sysvol, or C:\Windows on every group policy editing machine.
  2. Look for older versions of the templates and delete them. The template files have the version number in their name (e.g. ctxprofile5.8.0.admx). Older Profile Management versions will have different template files with different names (e.g. ctxprofile5.7.0.admx).
  3. Edit the VDA GPOs that have Profile Management settings configured. Review the new settings, and configure them, if desired. Review the Profile Management release notes for the list of new features.

Receiver Group Policy Templates

New templates don’t break existing functionality –¬†Upgrading the Receiver group policy templates will not affect existing functionality. The templates do nothing more than expose new settings that can be configured. If you don’t upgrade the templates, Receiver will continue to function like it always has.

To in-place upgrade the Receiver Group Policy Templates:

  1. Copy the newer Receiver Group Policy Templates to the PolicyDefinitions folder: either Sysvol, or C:\Windows on every group policy editing machine. Overwrite existing template files.
    1. LTSR Receiver and CR Receiver have different group policy template files.
    2. LTSR group policy template files might not have changed between LTSR Cumulative Updates.
    3. CR Receiver template files include all of the LTSR Receiver settings, plus new settings that don’t apply to LTSR.
  2. If deploying a newer CR Receiver version, edit the GPOs that have Receiver settings configured. Review the new settings, and configure them, if desired. Review the Receiver release notes for the list of new features.

Receiver

To in-place upgrade Receiver:

  1. Use SCCM or similar to push CR Receiver, or LTSR Receiver, to internal machines.
  2. If Receiver is offered directly from StoreFront servers, copy the newer CR Receiver to CR StoreFront, or newer LTSR Receiver to LTSR StoreFront.
    1. StoreFront, by default, does not offer Receiver upgrades to users. Offering of Receiver upgrades can be enabled. If Receiver upgrades are not offered, then Receiver is only provided by StoreFront if there’s no Receiver installed on the client device.
    2. For CR, enable Upgrade plug-in at logon at the same place you upload the Receiver files.
    3. For LTSR, edit C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StoreWeb\web.config and set upgradeAtLogin  to true.
  3. In Receiver 4.8 or newer, if Auto-Update is enabled, users with permissions will receive an update notification. Users can then manually initiate the Receiver upgrade.
  4. Inform remote users to upgrade their Receivers by downloading the CR version from http://receiver.citrix.com.
    1. If Receiver was initially installed as an administrator, then only an administrator can upgrade it.
    2. If Receiver was initially installed without administrator permissions, then each non-admin user on the same machine has a different Receiver installation, and each user has to upgrade it separately.

Skype for Business HDX RealTime Optimization Pack

The Skype for Business HDX RealTime Optimization Pack is usually released separately from the main XenApp/XenDesktop releases.

To in-place upgrade HDX RealTime Optimization Pack:

  1. On the VDAs, install the HDX RealTime Connector normally. The Connector can be downloaded from the XenApp/XenDesktop Components downloads page.
  2. On each Receiver machine, install the HDX RealTime Media Engine normally. HDX RealTime Media Engine is downloaded from the Citrix Receiver section of the Citrix Downloads site. Sometimes, Citrix releases a Receiver that has the Media Engine bundled into it.

AppDNA

To in-place upgrade AppDNA:

  1. Run the AppDNA installer normally.
  2. Run the AppDNA Configuration Wizard and upgrade the database.
  3. Run the Modules Wizard to enable new modules.
  4. Upgrade the AppDNA Clients (management console) that might be installed on machines other than the AppDNA Server.
  5. Upgrade the AppDNA VM Configuration software on the Install Capture Machines.
  6. Upgrade the VM Configuration and Self Provisioning software on the Self Provisioning Machines.

To upgrade the AppDNA Server operating system version:

  1. Build a new AppDNA server, and point it to the same database used for the first server.
  2. Reconfigure AppDNA Clients (management console) to point to the new AppDNA server.
  3. Decommission the old AppDNA server.

SCOM Management Packs

Each SCOM Management Pack can be in-place upgraded:

  1. From the latest SCOM Pack Bundle, run each management pack installer. At the end of the install wizard, select the option to automatically import the updated management pack.
  2. Push the updated SCOM Pack Agent to the following:

Federated Authentication Service (FAS)

To in-place upgrade the Federated Authentication Service (FAS) servers:

  1. On the existing FAS servers, run AutoSelect.exe from the CR XenApp/XenDesktop ISO, and click the button to install Federated Authentication Service. It’s a simple Next, Next, Next process.
  2. Newer versions of FAS might have newer group policy templates. If so, copy them to Sysvol, or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions on all group policy editing machines.

To upgrade the operating system version of the FAS servers:

  1. Build one or more new FAS servers.
  2. Request an Registration Authority certificate for each of the FAS servers.
  3. Change the group policy object for FAS to point to the new FAS servers. Run gpupdate on StoreFront and VDAs.
  4. Decommission the old FAS servers.

Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

Newer versions of XenApp/XenDesktop components automatically enable Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). To disable, see the following:

NetScaler Firmware

Test appliances – Ideally, NetScaler firmware upgrades should be tested on separate test appliances. VIPs on the test appliances should then be tested.

Downtime if no High Availability – If you only have a single NetScaler appliance, then upgrading the firmware will cause downtime while the appliance is rebooting.

GSLB and mixed versions – If GSLB Metric Exchange Protocol (MEP) is enabled, then the NetScaler appliances on both sides of the MEP connection can run different versions of firmware.

To in-place upgrade NetScaler Firmware:

  1. Save the config. Then download a copy of the ns.conf file, or perform a backup of the appliance and download the backup file.
  2. On the secondary appliance, install the newer firmware.
  3. To test the new firmware, perform an HA failover.
    1. Configuration changes made on the primary appliance will not be synchronized to the secondary appliance until the firmware on the secondary appliance is upgraded.
    2. You can failover HA again to revert to the older firmware.
    3. To downgrade, on the appliance you’ve already upgraded, you can perform the firmware upgrade process again, but this time upload the older firmware.
  4. On the primary appliance, install the newer firmware. A HA failover occurs automatically.

Migrate From XenApp 6.5 to XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x

XenApp 6.5 is End-of-life in June 30, 2018. End-of-maintenance (no new patches) after December 31, 2017. See the Lifecycle Announcement.

Citrix has a website devoted to 6.5 to 7.x migrations.

6.5 to 7.x Migration Considerations

CR or LTSR?

Will you deploy CR 7.x? Or LTSR 7.x? See above for a comparison between CR and LTSR.

Some vendors (e.g. Epic) strongly recommend LTSR. Today, the only LTSR option is LTSR 7.6.300. However, much XenApp 6.5 functionality is missing from LTSR 7.6.300.

CR 7.14 is almost (but not quite) at feature parity with XenApp 6.5. So if you don’t want to lose functionality, go with CR.

LTSR 7.15 will be available in 3Q 2017. LTSR 7.15 has the same features as CR 7.14.

Citrix XenApp licensing

Subscription Advantage Expiration date needs to be the same or newer than the 7.x release date.

Software Maintenance or Customer Success Services – Select is required for LTSR.

XenApp licenses can be traded up to XenDesktop licenses.

  • XenApp Enterprise doesn’t have PvS, but XenDesktop Enterprise does get PvS.
  • XenDesktop licenses add virtual desktops capability.

Mixed license types – In 7.13 and newer, you can mix license types, but not editions, in the same 7.x farm/site.

  • LTSR 7.6 only supports one license type for the entire farm/site.

Director licensing – Some Director functionality requires Platinum Edition – e.g. alerting and custom reports

VDA/Worker Operating System Version

Stay with Windows 2008 R2? – Are you staying with Windows 2008 R2 on the 7.x VDAs? If so, you can uninstall 6.5 from the XenApp worker, and install VDA 7.x instead. No need to rebuild.

  • One advantage of staying with Windows 2008 R2 is that you can reuse your existing profiles.
  • Uninstalling 6.5 and installing VDA avoids a complete rebuild

Upgrade operating system version – If you are upgrading the workers to a newer operating system version:

  • Every user will get new profiles.
  • Applications must be compatible with the new operating system version.
  • If you are publishing a desktop, then Windows 2012 R2 Start Menu is quite different than other operating system versions.
  • The VDAs with newer operating system must be rebuilt from scratch.
  • Make sure you own Remote Desktop Services CALs that match the newer operating system. Windows 2008 R2 RDS CALs cannot be used with Windows 2012 R2 or newer VDAs.
    • RDS Licensing Server must be the same OS version or newer than the VDAs.

You can mix and match operating system versions in the same 7.x farm/site. Primarily VDAs. But also infrastructure servers.

  • One option is upgrade most of your VDAs to a newer OS version, but leave some at 2008 R2 so they can run apps that are not supported in the newer OS versions.
  • For 16-bit apps, you can publish them from VDAs running 32-bit Windows 7.

New functionality in 7.x not available in 6.5

The following a selected list of new features in 7.x that wasn’t available in 6.5. Which of these would you like to enable after the upgrade?

  • Hypervisor connection (e.g. vCenter) – for virtual machine power management
  • Machine Creation Services (MCS):
    • Requires knowledge of hypervisor storage, clusters, etc. And Capacity Planning. Need to work with your hypervisor team.
  • VDAs hosted in IaaS Clouds like Azure or AWS
  • Virtual Desktops
  • App-V integration with Citrix Studio
  • EDT protocol (UDP-based ICA)
  • GPUs
  • Generic USB Redirection in RDSH
  • SAML authentication
  • Client IP/Client Name access restrictions
  • AppFlow
  • Remote PC

6.5 to 7.x Changes

Single product – In 7.x, XenApp and XenDesktop were merged into a single product. It’s the same installer for both. The only difference is the licenses. You can use the terms XenApp and XenDesktop interchangeably.

Delivery Controllers – XenApp 6.5 Controllers are now called Delivery Controllers in 7.x.

Virtual Delivery Agents – XenApp 6.5 Workers are now called Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) in 7.x. These are the machines that apps are installed on and users actually connect to. They’re called VDAs because you install Virtual Delivery Agent software on those machines.

Controller and VDAs are separate software – In XenApp 6.5, you install the same software on both Workers and Controllers. In 7.x, Delivery Controller software and VDA software are completely different.

VDA types – 7.x supports three types of VDAs: Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH aka Server OS), virtual desktops (Desktop OS), and Remote PC (physical PCs). XenApp 6.5 primarily only supported one type of worker: RDSH.

  • RDSH is the new name for Terminal Services.
  • XenApp 6.5 administrators tend to think of the XenApp workers as “XenApp Servers“. Actually, it’s more accurate to call them Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Session Hosts. Apps run on top of Windows (RDSH), not Citrix. XenApp is installed on top of RDSH. XenApp merely provides ICA connectivity to RDSH, instead of RDP.
  • In 7.x workers, Virtual Delivery Agent replaces XenApp.

SQL/Licensing communication – In XenApp 6.5, every XenApp machine, including Workers, connects to database and licensing. VDAs in 7.x no longer talk to database or licensing. VDAs rely on Delivery Controllers to do that. This makes 7.x sites/farms much more scalable than 6.5.

Farm vs site – In XenApp 6.5, all Controllers/Workers that share a database belong to a single Farm. In 7.x, all Delivery Controllers that share a database belong to a single XenApp/XenDesktop¬†site. The terms site and farm can be used interchangeably. However, the term “site” might not clearly indicate that it’s the same as a “farm”.

  • VDAs belong to Delivery Controllers in a single site/farm. You use registry values (ListOfDDCs) to control which Delivery Controllers (and site/farm) a VDA registers with.

SQL availability is more important in 7.x. If SQL is down, then the 7.x farm is down. XenApp 6.5 did not have the same level of dependency on SQL.

  • Local Host Cache¬†in CR 7.x can maintain most functionality after a database outage. However, LHC is not available in LTSR 7.6.
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups (or Basic Availability Groups or Mirroring) is the preferred SQL HA method.

Zones vs Multiple sites/farms:

  • In XenApp 6.5, it was very easy to stretch a farm to multiple datacenters by putting different XenApp 6.5 machines in different zones. That’s because access to SQL database was not particularly important.
  • In 7.x, SQL database access is critical, making it difficult to stretch a site/farm across datacenters. CR 7.7 and newer added zones, which were greatly enhanced in CR 7.12 with the addition of Local Host Cache and Zone Preference. CR 7.14 enhanced Local Host Cache even more. There are still some scalability limitations, and missing virtual desktop functionality. And it adds complexity with no savings in the number of machines other than SQL.
  • Zones and Local Host Cache are not available in LTSR 7.6.
  • The alternative for 7.x is to build a separate XenApp/XenDesktop site/farm in each datacenter, and use StoreFront to aggregate the icons.

Citrix Studio – In XenApp 6.5, you manage the farm using AppCenter. In XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x, you manage the site/farm using Citrix Studio. Both are MMC based consoles.

Director РIn XenApp 6.5, help desk uses AppCenter to manage user sessions. In XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x, help desk uses a web-based tool called Director.

  • Shadowing from Director uses Microsoft Remote Assistance.
  • Director is also used by administrators to view historical performance and usage data.
  • Director is similar to EdgeSight, but the monitoring service is built into Delivery Controller, and the monitoring agent is built into the VDA software.

Catalogs / Delivery Groups / App Groups can be confusing concepts.

  • You first add VDA machines to a Catalog. You either add existing VDA machines to a Catalog, or MCS/PvS creates VDA machines and puts them in a Catalog.
  • You add VDA machines from one or more Catalogs to a Delivery Group.
  • You publish apps and desktops from one or more Delivery Groups.
  • You aggregate multiple applications into an App Group. App Groups lets you configure identical settings across multiple published app icons. It also controls Session Sharing.
    • App Groups are in CR 7.9 or newer, and not available in LTSR 7.6.

Tags in 7.x simulate Worker Groups in 6.5. You assign a single tag to multiple VDAs. Then you publish an app to a tag, or publish an app to an App Group that has the tag selected. The published app launches on only the VDAs that have the tag. This lets you publish apps on a subset of machines in a Delivery Group, instead of load balancing across every VDA machine in the Delivery Group.

PowerShell commands in 7.x are different than 6.5. All 7.x configuration is performed using PowerShell. Changes made in Studio are actually performed using PowerShell. This focus on PowerShell makes it easy to automate XenApp/XenDesktop tasks (e.g. add a new VDA machine to Catalog and Delivery Group).

XenApp Streamed Applications was removed from 7.x.

  • If you want to keep the Application Streaming functionality, then you’ll to need to repackage the streaming applications using Microsoft App-V or similar.
  • If you don’t need app isolation, then App Layering Elastic Layers are another option since they are essentially streamed.

Session Recording – XenApp 6.5 Platinum Edition had SmartAuditor.¬†XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x Platinum Edition has Session Recording. The latest CR version of Session Recording can do the following, which weren’t available in SmartAuditor:

  • Record both RDSH and Desktop VDAs
  • Integrate with Director – can enable or disable recording from Director
  • More policy options for starting recording
  • Load balance multiple Session Recording servers
  • These newer Session Recording features are not available in LTSR 7.6, but instead require newer CR releases.

XenApp 6.5 functionality missing from XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x

Much prior 6.5 functionality was added to CRs released after LTSR 7.6. For example:

  • Zones
  • Local Host Cache
  • App limits
  • Multiple license types
  • Publish apps on subset of machines in a Delivery Group
  • Multiple reboot schedules for a single Delivery Group
  • Idle time in Director
  • Published Content
  • TLS 1.2 in StoreFront

The following 6.5 functionality is still not available in 7.x:

  • Custom ICA files:
  • SmartAccess per published application:
    • In 7.x, you enable Access Control filters at the Delivery Group level. It’s not possible to configure Access Control at the individual published application.
  • Director is quite different from EdgeSight, but every CR release adds more Director functionality.
    • To get full Director functionality, ¬†you need XenApp or XenDesktop¬†Platinum Edition, and the latest CR.
    • Many useful CR Director features are not available in LTSR 7.6.
  • Single Sign-on (aka Password Manager)
    • Self Service Password Reset was added to one of ¬†the CR releases, but not LTSR 7.6.
    • The rest of the Single Sign-on functionality is missing from 7.x.

Migrate from Web Interface to StoreFront first

A challenging aspect of migration from 6.5 to 7.x is the StoreFront/NetScaler migration. But once on StoreFront, there should be no more need for major migrations on the client side.

Since StoreFront can connect to both 6.5 farms and new 7.x farms, you should migrate to StoreFront before you migrate the Workers and Controllers to 7.x. StoreFront has features that can help with farm migration:

  • StoreFront can aggregate identical icons from multiple farms/sites.
  • StoreFront can use AD Group Membership to control access to a farm/site.
  • StoreFront can control access and routing to farm/sites and 7.x zones across multiple datacenters.

StoreFront vs Web Interface

StoreFront, Receiver Self-Service, and NetScaler Gateway are a major architectural change from Web Interface/Secure Gateway.

Receiver Self-Service vs PNAgent РIf you are currently running PNAgent clients (aka Receiver Enterprise, aka pnagent.exe), then you will have to deploy a newer Receiver that has Self-Service capability. Self-Service is the client side of StoreFront.

  • If you install Receiver on a machine that has PNAgent installed, then newer versions of Receiver should be able to remove PNAgent and install Self-Service instead. But this isn’t always successful, and you might have to manually remove PNAgent before Self-Service installs correctly.

Favorites – In StoreFront, users can mark icons as Favorites. The selected Favorites are stored on a database that is replicated to each StoreFront server. Web Interface never had this capability. Do you want to leave Favorites enabled? Or disable it so it’s not too much of a change for migrated users?

HTTPS – Receiver Self-Service and StoreFront require HTTPS.

Discovery – Receiver Self-Service downloads a XML-based discovery document from StoreFront, and uses the XML document to configure itself.

Beacons РReceiver Self-Service uses Beacons to determine if the client machine is internal or external. If external, Receiver Self-Service uses NetScaler Gateway to connect.

  • Single FQDN – If you use the same DNS name for both internal and external, then DNS caching might affect machines that roam from internal to external and back again. Another option is to use different DNS names for internal StoreFront and external NetScaler Gateway.

StoreFront Server Group – Multiple StoreFront servers can be combined into a Server Group, which automatically replicates Favorites between each other.

  • Configurations can be manually replicated from the StoreFront Console.
  • Citrix does not support stretching a single StoreFront Server Group across datacenters. Each datacenter should be a separate Server Group.

Multiple Stores – StoreFront can host multiple Stores, which are somewhat like Web Interface sites.

  • Some StoreFront components, like the Base URL, are shared across multiple Stores.
  • When Receiver Self-Service performs Discovery, if the StoreFront server has multiple stores, then the user is prompted to select a store. Stores can be hidden (not advertised).

NetScaler Gateway required – For external access,Receiver Self-Service and StoreFront require NetScaler Gateway ICA Proxy instead of Secure Gateway.

Receiver configuration methods – There are multiple methods of configuring Receiver Self-Service: registry, group policy, StoreFront Account Services, and installer command line arguments.

Challenges of cutover РBecause Receiver Self-Service is so different from PNAgent, cutovers are difficult. Receiver behaves differently when connected to StoreFront Stores vs PNAgent URLs.

HDX Optimal Routing – StoreFront supports sending ICA traffic for each site/farm to a non-default NetScaler Gateway URL. If a user launches an icon from Datacenter A, then you probably want ICA traffic to go through the NetScaler Gateway that is in Datacenter A. This is called HDX Optimal Routing and was never available in Web Interface. This feature requires datacenter-specific DNS names.

SAML Authentication – StoreFront and NetScaler Gateway support SAML authentication. Deploy Federated Authentication Services to support SAML.

LTSR or CR – If you intend to build LTSR XenApp/XenDesktop, then StoreFront should be the LTSR version, and Receiver should be the LTSR version.

NetScaler Gateway vs Secure Gateway

Not free – NetScaler Gateway is not free, except maybe the 5 Mbps Express Edition.

Networking skills – NetScaler is a networking device, which requires different skills than the server-based Secure Gateway.

PNAgent vs Self-Service through NetScaler Gateway – Windows Receiver with PNAgent stores don’t work through NetScaler Gateway. StoreFront stores (Receiver Self-Service) do work through NetScaler Gateway.

AppFlow – If ICA traffic is going through NetScaler, you can enable AppFlow, and send it to NetScaler Management & Analytics System and Director for monitoring and reporting.

  • You can deploy NetScaler Gateway internally to get internal ICA traffic through NetScaler for AppFlow reporting.
  • However,¬†Receiver Self-Service does not support Single Sign-on through NetScaler Gateway, thus complicating designs.

Build StoreFront and NetScaler Gateway

Follow the guides on this site to build StoreFront, and configure NetScaler Gateway:

  1. Build two or more CR or LTSR 3.0 StoreFront servers in each datacenter.
  2. Configure StoreFront (Manage Delivery Controllers) to connect to existing XenApp 6.5 farm(s).
    1. Configure icon aggregation from multiple farms. The instructions for CR StoreFront are different than LTSR 3.0 StoreFront.
  3. Configure a load balancer to load balance Storefront in each datacenter.
  4. Configure NetScaler GSLB to load balance a single DNS name to StoreFront Load Balancing VIPs in both datacenters.
  5. Configure NetScaler Gateway in both datacenters.
    1. Create internal NetScaler Gateway vServer for AppFlow reporting?
    2. Configure StoreFront Console > Manage NetScaler Gateways, and enable Remote Access on the Store. The instructions for CR StoreFront are different than LTSR 3.0 StoreFront.
  6. Configure HDX Optimal Routing. The instructions for CR StoreFront are different than LTSR 3.0 StoreFront.
  7. Configure NetScaler GSLB to load balance a single DNS name to NetScaler Gateway VIPs in both datacenters.
    1. Configure NetScaler GSLB active/passive for the HDX Optimal Routing DNS names.
  8. Import a NetScaler Management and Analytics System virtual appliance.
    1. Use NetScaler MAS to enable AppFlow on the NetScaler appliances.

Migrate from Web Interface to StoreFront

Cutover DNS? – If you cutover an existing DNS name from Web Interface to StoreFront:

  • StoreFront user interface and NetScaler Gateway user interface are different than the Web Interface user interface. A cutover might result in help desk calls from users that are not accustomed to the new user interface.
  • If you cutover an existing DNS name, how do you reconfigure Receivers to use Receiver Self-Service Stores instead of PNAgent URLs? You’d have to ask every user to remove existing Receiver accounts and re-add them.
  • Are you migrating from HTTP to HTTPS? It’s difficult to reconfigure Receivers and Browser Favorites to point to HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • Cutover night would have many changes. Be prepared for many support issues the next day.

New DNS names РA preferred alternative is to use a new DNS name(s) for StoreFront and NetScaler Gateway.  This lets you run Web Interface and StoreFront in parallel, and you can migrate users (and Receiver) at your leisure.

  • Use group policy to point Receiver Self-Service to the StoreFront DNS name. This group policy setting does not apply to PNAgent (pnagent.exe).
  • Deploy CR or LTSR Receiver to company-managed machines.
  • Inform users of new external DNS name. StoreFront can be configured to offer Receiver upgrades.
  • Inform users to remove existing accounts from mobile Receiver (iOS, Android), and re-add using the new DNS name. This changes the mobile Receiver to use StoreFront Store instead of PNAgent (Legacy).

6.5 to 7.x Migration Plan

This section assumes users have already been migrated to StoreFront/Receiver.

New 7.x Infrastructure

  1. Upgrade Citrix License Server, and upgrade license files with Subscription Advantage date that has not expired.
    1. Alternatively, you can build a new license server and reallocate the licenses to the new license server. Point the 7.x farm/site to the new license server.
    2. You can either leave the 6.5 farm on the old license server, or reconfigure the 6.5 farm to use the new license server. If you use both old and new license servers, then the assumption is that you will migrate all users to the new 7.x farm/site in a timely manner so you don’t exceed your license count.
  2. Build highly available SQL Servers. Typically AlwaysOn Availability Groups (or Basic Availability Groups in SQL 2016 Standard Edition).
    1. Separate SQL in each datacenter?
  3. Build 7.x Delivery Controllers – at least two per datacenter. Connect them to the Highly Available SQL Servers.
    1. CR? Or LTSR?
    2. Separate sites/farms in each datacenter?
    3. Or are you stretching and configuring zones instead? Zones are not available in LTSR 7.6.
    4. Mixed license types in CR 7.x, but not LTSR 7.6?
  4. Connect Citrix Studio to your hypervisor (e.g. vCenter). Import the vCenter certificate first.
    1. If using MCS, create Hosting Resources in Studio. These are a combination of hypervisor cluster, hypervisor storage, and hypervisor network.
  5. Install Citrix Director, and configure them to point to the Delivery Controllers.
    1. CR? Or LTSR?
  6. If PvS, and if using the PvS XenDesktop Setup Wizard, then either in-place upgrade PvS servers to the same version as XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x, or build new PvS servers with the same version as XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x.
    1. If new PvS servers, then they can be in a new PvS farm with a new database.
  7. If you are upgrading the VDA OS version, then you might have to upgrade the App-V infrastructure.
  8. If you intend to use Citrix App Layering, import and configure the ELM appliance.
  9. Build Citrix Workspace Environment Management servers.
  10. Build Citrix Session Recording servers. The instructions for CR 7.14 Session Recording are quite different than LTSR Session Recording.
  11. Configure group policies and profiles for newer OS version.
    1. Move Citrix Policy settings from AppCenter to a group policy object (GPO) instead of Citrix Studio.
    2. If new profiles, create scripts to copy settings from old profiles to new profiles.
  12. Implement Citrix and hypervisor monitoring tool(s)

New 7.x VDAs

  1. Use AppDNA to analyze applications for compatibility with newer operating systems.
  2. Create a master VDA – either CR or LTSR 7.6.
    1. If remaining on Windows 2008 R2, you can uninstall XenApp 6.5 (and all related components), and then install Virtual Delivery Agent 7.x.
    2. If upgrading OS version, then you must build from scratch with Windows.
    3. If App Layering, import the OS Layer to ELM with only Windows installed.
    4. If not App Layering, then install Applications, VDA, and Security software (e.g. antivirus) on the Master VDA.
  3. If App-V, upgrade App-V packages, or create new App-V packages.
    1. CR 7.x can integrate App-V into Citrix Studio.
  4. If Layering, use ELM to create Platform Layer and App Layers. Then push an image to PvS, or your hypervisor.
  5. Use PvS or MCS to create Catalogs. Both options create new VDA machines, and put them in a Machine Catalog. If PvS,
    1. Convert the master VDA to a new vDisk.
    2. Use the PvS XenDesktop Setup Wizard to create multiple Target Devices that boot from the vDisk.
  6. Configure scheduled reboots of RDSH VDAs. Citrix Studio has some reboot options. Or write a script.

Publish Icons, Pilot, Rollout, and Operations

  1. Create Delivery Groups and Publish Applications/Desktops from the Delivery Groups. CR 7.x has more capabilities than LTSR 7.6.
    1. You can use Citrix Smart Migrate to copy applications and/or policies from 6.5 to 7.x. Also see the XenApp 6 migration tool.
    2. If CR 7.x, App/Desktop publishing is different than LTSR 7.6.
    3. If CR 7.x, limit application usage.
    4. If CR 7.x, create App Groups.
    5. Publish apps to anonymous users?
    6. If CR 7.x, create Published Content.
    7. If CR 7.x, use Tags to publish apps on a subset of machines in a Delivery Group.
    8. Enable multiple sessions from one user?
    9. Use Keywords to control icons in Receiver. You can even use Keywords to hide applications from StoreFront.
  2. Add the 7.x farm/site to StoreFront > Manage Delivery Controllers
    1. Configure StoreFront user farm mapping (Map users to Controllers) so only members of an AD Group can see icons from the 7.x farm/site? The instructions for CR StoreFront are different than LTSR 3.0 StoreFront.
  3. Help Desk:
    1. Add Help Desk users to Citrix Studio > Configuration > Administrators so they can use Director.
    2. Teach Help Desk how to use Director. CR Director and LTSR 7.6 Director have different capabilities.
  4. Conduct pilot:
    1. Assign users to the apps and desktops published from 7.x. Since users are already using StoreFront, the new icons should show up in Receiver automatically.
    2. Solicit feedback and fix issues.
  5. Rollout:
    1. Assign users to 7.x published apps/desktops, and unassign the users from the 6.5 published apps/desktops
  6. Decommission the 6.5 farm.
  7. Backup 7.x SQL databases, vDisks, master images, and NetScaler configurations.
  8. Build test 7.x farm(s) so you can test Citrix infrastructure upgrades.

Session Recording 7.14

Last Modified: Jun 17, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

Navigation

This article applies to Session Recording 7.14 and newer. Session Recording 7.13 and older is a different article.

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Planning

Citrix links:

Licensing – XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition licensing is required.

Features –¬†CTX224231¬†Session Recording:Features by Version.¬† ūüí°

Farms – There is no relation between Session Recording farms and XenApp/XenDesktop farms. You can have Agents from multiple XenApp/XenDesktop farms recording to a common Session Recording server. Or you can split a XenApp/XenDesktop farm so that different Agents point to different Session Recording servers.

Disk space – The Session Recording server will need a hard drive to store the recordings. Disk access is primarily writes. You can also store recordings on a UNC path (this is required if load balancing).

Offloaded content (e.g. HDX Flash, Lync webcam, MMR) is not recorded.

Certificate – Session Recording server needs a certificate. The certificate must be trusted by Agents and Players. Internal Certificate Authority recommended.

  • If load balancing, on the NetScaler, install a certificate that matches the load balanced name.
  • On each Session Recording server, install a certificate that matches the Session Recording server name.

SQL:

  • Supported Versions = SQL 2008 R2 Service Pack 3 through SQL 2016.
  • The SQL database is very small.
  • The database name defaults to¬†CitrixSessionRecording and can be changed.
  • A separate database is created for CitrixSessionRecordingLogging.
  • Temporary sysadmin¬†(or dbcreator and securityadmin) permissions are needed to create the database, and sysadmin can be revoked after installation.
  • SQL Browser Service must be running.
  • SQL Server High Availability (AlwaysOn Availability Groups, Clustering, Mirroring) is supported. See Install Session Recording with database high availability at Citrix Docs. And see Citrix Blog Post Session Recording 7.13 ‚Äď New HA and Database Options

Installation media РSession Recording 7.14 is installed from the XenApp 7.14 / XenDesktop 7.14 ISO:

Session Recording Server Upgrade

You can upgrade from Session Recording 7.6 and newer.

  1. If this is a new installation, skip to Install.
  2. If this server is Windows 2012 or newer, then go to the downloaded XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 ISO, and run AutoSelect.exe.
  3. If you see the Manage your delivery screen, click either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name shown in the installers.
  4. On the bottom right, click the Session Recording box.
  5. In the Licensing Agreement page, change the selection to I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  6. In the Core Components page, uncheck the box next to Session Recording Player. The Player is typically installed on physical workstations, but not on the Session Recording server. Click Next.
  7. In the Summary page, click Install.
  8. Click Close when prompted to restart.
  9. After reboot and login, if installation doesn’t continue automatically, then mount the XenApp/XenDesktop ISO, run¬†AutoSelect.exe, and click the¬†Session Recording box again. Installation should then continue.
  10. In the Finish page, click Finish.

Session Recording Server Installs

Install

  1. If this server is Windows 2012 or newer, go to the downloaded XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 ISO, and run AutoSelect.exe.
  2. If you see the Manage your delivery screen, click either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name shown in the installers.
  3. On the bottom right, click the Session Recording box.
  4. In the Licensing Agreement page, change the selection to I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  5. In the Core Components page, uncheck the box next to Session Recording Player. This feature is typically installed on physical workstations, but not on the Session Recording server. Click Next.
  6. In the Features page, on the first Session Recording server, install everything.
  7. On the second Session Recording server (if load balancing), only select Session Recording Server. Click Next.

  8. In the Database and Server page, fill out the fields. Enter the SQL server name. Enter the database name. Enter the computer account for the Session Recording server. Click Test connection. Each load balanced Session Recording server must point to the same database. Click Next.
  9. In the Administrator Logging Configurator page, enter the name of the SQL database, click Test connection, and then click Next.
  10. In the Summary page, click Install.

  11. In the Finish page, click Finish.

IIS Certificate

  1. Use MMC Certificates snap-in (certlm.msc), or IIS, or similar, to request a machine certificate.
  2. In IIS Manager, right-click the Default Web Site, and click Edit Bindings.
  3. On the right, click Add.
  4. Change the Type to https.
  5. Select the certificate, and click OK.

Session Recording Server Configuration

  1. From Start Menu, run Session Recording Server Properties.
  2. In the Storage tab, specify a path that has disk space to hold the recordings. UNC is supported. If load balancing, UNC is required.

    1. When using a UNC path, make the share allows both Session Recording servers (AD computer objects) to modify files in the path.
    2. The share must have a subfolder. The recordings will be saved to the subfolder.
    3. In the Session Recording Server Properties tool, add the UNC path with subdirectory to the Storage tab.
  3. In the Signing page, select (Browse) a certificate to sign the recordings.
  4. In the Playback tab, notice that Session Recording files are encrypted before transmit. Also, it’s possible to view live sessions but live sessions are not encrypted.
  5. In the Notifications tab, you can change the message displayed to users before recording begins.

  6. The CEIP tab lets you enable or disable the Customer Experience Improvement Program.
  7. See http://www.carlstalhood.com/delivery-controller-7-14-and-licensing/#ceip for additional places where CEIP is enabled.
  8. The Logging tab lets you configure Logging.
  9. When you click OK you’ll be prompted to restart the service.
  10. Session Recording relies on Message Queuing. In busy environments, it might be necessary to increase the Message Queuing storage limits. See¬†CTX209252¬†Error: “Data lost while recording file…” on Citrix SmartAuditor.


David Ott¬†Session Recording Cleanup Script: You may notice that the session recording entries/files don‚Äôt go away on their own. Here is how to clean them up.¬†Just create a scheduled task to run the code below once per day (as system ‚Äď elevated). See David’s¬†blog post for details.

C:\Program Files\Citrix\SessionRecording\Server\Bin\icldb.exe remove /RETENTION:7 /DELETEFILES /F /S /L

Also see CTX134777 How to Remove Dormant Files From a SmartAuditor Database.

Load Balancing

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, make sure each load balanced Session Recording server (AD computer account) is granted db_owner role in the Session Recording databases.
  2. On each Session Recording server, open regedit.
  3. Navigate to HKLM\Software\Citrix\SmartAuditor\Server.
  4. Create a new DWORD value named EnableLB and set it to 1. Repeat on both Session Recording servers.
  5. Configure NetScaler load balancing similar to the following:
    add server SR01 10.2.2.78
    add server SR02 10.2.2.139
    add serviceGroup svcgrp-Recording-SSL SSL -maxClient 0 -maxReq 0 -cip DISABLED -usip NO -useproxyport YES -cltTimeout 180 -svrTimeout 360 -CKA NO -TCPB NO -CMP YES
    add lb vserver lbvip-Recording-SSL SSL 10.2.5.215 443 -persistenceType SOURCEIP -timeout 60 -lbMethod LEASTBANDWIDTH -cltTimeout 180
    bind lb vserver lbvip-Recording-SSL svcgrp-Recording-SSL
    bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Recording-SSL SR01 443
    bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Recording-SSL SR02 443
    bind serviceGroup svcgrp-Recording-SSL -monitorName https
    bind ssl vserver lbvip-Recording-SSL -certkeyName WildcardCorpLocal
  6. The only special part is the Load Balancing Method set to LEASTBANDWIDTH (or LEASTPACKETS).
  7. Create a DNS host record that resolves to the Load Balancing VIP and matches the certificate bound to the vServer.
  8. Go to C:\Windows\System32\msmq\Mapping and edit the file sample_map.xml.
  9. Follow the instructions at Configure Session Recording with load balancing at Citrix Docs. Each Session Recording server has a unique configuration for this file since the <to> element points to the local server name.
  10. When saving the file, you might have to save it to a writable folder, and then move it to C:\Windows\System32\msmq\Mapping.
  11. Then restart the Message Queuing service on each Session Recording server.

Authorization

  1. Note: authorization is configured separately on each load balanced Session Recording server.
  2. From the Start Menu, run Session Recording Authorization Console.
  3. In the PolicyAdministrator role, add your Citrix Admins group.
  4. If you use Director to configure Session Recording, add the Director users to the PolicyAdministrator role.
  5. In the Player role, add users that can view the recordings.
  6. By default, nobody can see the Administration Log. Add auditing users to the LoggingReader role.
  7. Repeat the authorization configuration on additional load balanced Session Recording servers.
  8. Session Recording has a Session Recording Administrator Logging feature, which opens a webpage to https://SR01.corp.local/SessionRecordingLoggingWebApplication/. Only members of the LoggingReader role can see the data.

Policies

  1. From the Start Menu, run Session Recording Policy Console.
  2. Enter the hostname of the Session Recording server, and click OK.
  3. Only one policy can be enabled at a time. By default, no recording occurs. To enable recording, right-click one of the other two built-in policies, and click Activate Policy.
  4. Or you can create your own policy by right-clicking Recording Policies, and clicking Add New Policy.
  5. After the policy is created, right-click it, and click Add Rule.
  6. Decide if you want notification or not, and click Next.
  7. Click OK to acknowledge this message.
  8. Choose the rule criteria. You can select more than one. Session Recording has an IP Address or IP Range rule.
  9. Then click the links on the bottom specify the groups, applications, servers, and/or IP range for the rule. Click Next.

  10. Give the rule a name, and click Finish.
  11.  Continue adding rules.
  12. When done creating rules, right-click the policy, and click Activate Policy.
  13. You can also rename the policy you created.

Session Recording Agent

Install the Agent on the VDAs. Platinum Licensing is required.

  1. On the Master VDA, go to the downloaded XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 ISO, and run AutoSelect.exe.
  2. If you see the Manage your delivery screen, click either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name shown in the installers.
  3. On the bottom right, click the Session Recording box.
  4. In the Licensing Agreement page, change the selection to I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  5. In the Core Components page, uncheck everything except Session Recording Agent. Click Next.
  6. In the Agent page, enter the FQDN of the Session Recording server (or load balanced FQDN), click Test connection, and click Next.
  7. In the Summary page, click Install.
  8. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  9. Agent Installation can also be automated. See Automating installations at Citrix Docs.
  10. In the Start Menu is Session Recording Agent Properties.
  11. You can enable or disable session recording on this Agent.
  12. For MCS and PVS VDAs, see the GenRandomQMID.ps1 script at Install, upgrade, and uninstall Session Recording at Citrix Docs.
  13. Session Recording Agent might cause MCS Image Prep to fail. To work around this, set the Citrix Session Recording Agent service to Automatic (Delayed Start). Source = Todd Dunwoodie at Session Recording causes Image preparation finalization Failed error at Citrix Discussions.

Session Recording Player

Install the Player on any Windows 7 through Windows 10 desktop machine. 32-bit color depth is required. Because of the graphics requirements, don’t run the Player as a published application.

  1. Go to the downloaded XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 ISO, and run AutoSelect.exe.
  2. If you see the Manage your delivery screen, click either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name shown in the installers.
  3. On the bottom right, click the Session Recording box.
  4. In the Licensing Agreement page, change the selection to I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  5. In the Core Components page, uncheck everything except Session Recording Player. Click Next.
  6. In the Summary page, click Install.
  7. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  8. From the Start Menu, run the Session Recording Player.
  9. Open the Tools menu, and click Options.
  10. On the Connections tab, click Add.
  11. Enter the FQDN of the Session Recording server (or load balanced FQDN).
  12. On the Cache tab you can adjust the client-side cache size. Click OK.
  13. Use the Search box to find recordings.
  14. Or you can go to Tools > Advanced Search.

  15. Once you find a recording, double-click it to play it.
  16. If you see a message about Citrix Client version incompatibility, see¬†CTX206145¬†Error: “The Session Recording Player Cannot Play Back This File”¬†to edit the Player’s SsRecPlayer.exe.config file to accept the newer version.¬† ūüí°
  17. To skip spaces where no action occurred, open the Play menu, and click Fast Review Mode.
  18. You can add bookmarks by right-clicking in the viewer pane. Then you can skip to a bookmark by clicking the bookmark in the Events and Bookmarks pane.

Director Integration

  1. On the Director server, run command prompt elevated (as Administrator).
  2. Run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configsessionrecording
  3. Enter the Session Recording FQDN (or load balanced FQDN) when prompted.
  4. Enter 1 for HTTPS.
  5. Enter 443 as the port.
  6. In Director, when you view users or machines, you can change the Session Recording policy. These policy changes don’t apply until a new session is launched.
  7. If the Session Recording menu says N/A, then the Director user needs to be authorized in the Session Recording Authorization Console.

  8. If you use Director to enable or disable recording for a user or machine, rules are added to the active policy on the Session Recording server. They only take effect at next logon.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 7.14.1

Last Modified: Jul 24, 2017 @ 6:56 am

Navigation

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Hardware

Hypervisor Host Hardware

  • Citrix Blog Post¬†Citrix Scalability ‚ÄĒ The Rule of 5 and 10:¬†Simply take the number of physical cores in a hypervisor host, multiply it by 5 or 10, and the result will be your Single Server Scalability.¬†Use 5 if you‚Äôre looking for the number of XenDesktop VMs you can host on a box, and use 10 if you‚Äôre looking for the number of XenApp user sessions you can host on a box.

Virtual Machine Hardware

  1. For virtual desktops, give the virtual machine: 2+ vCPU and 2+ GB of RAM
  2. For Windows 2008 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 4 vCPU and 12-24 GB of RAM
  3. For Windows 2012 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 8 vCPU, and 24-48 GB of RAM
  4. If using RAM caching (MCSIO or PvS), add more RAM for the cache
  5. Remove the floppy drive
  6. Remove any serial or LPT ports
  7. If vSphere:
    1. To reduce disk space, reserve memory. Memory reservations reduce or eliminate the virtual machine .vswp file.
    2. The NIC should be VMXNET3.
  8. If this VDA will boot from Provisioning Services:
    1. For vSphere, the NIC must be VMXNET3.
    2. For vSphere, configure the CD-ROM to boot from IDE instead of SATA. SATA comes with VM hardware version 10. SATA won’t work with PvS.
  9. For Windows 10:
    1. CTX224843 Windows 10 compatibility with Citrix XenDesktop: Current Branch (CB) is not supported.
    2. Visual Studio 2017 is not supported on LTSB. See Visual Studio 2017 Product Family System Requirements.
  10. Install the latest version of drivers (e.g. VMware Tools).
    1. If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see Citrix CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.
  11. The¬†vSphere Activity Monitoring Feature with NSX Guest Introspection feature uses a TDI driver (vnetflt.sys), which might cause a “Connection Interrupted” message when users log off of Citrix. See VMware¬†2121307¬†Windows virtual machines using the vShield Endpoint TDI Manager or NSX Network Introspection Driver (vnetflt.sys) driver fails with a blue diagnostic screen and¬†XenDesktop 7.12 logoff: Connection interrupted at Citrix Discussions.

If vSphere, disable NIC Hotplug

  1. Users could use the systray icon to Eject the Ethernet Controller. Obviously this is bad.
  2. To disable this functionality, power off the virtual machine.
  3. Once powered off, right-click the virtual machine, and click Edit Settings.
  4. On the VM Options tab, expand Advanced, and then click Edit Configuration.
  5. Click Add Row.
  6. On the left, enter devices.hotplug. On the right, enter false.
  7. Then click OK a couple times to close the windows.
  8. The VM can then be powered on.

Windows Preparation

  1. Computer Group Policy ‚Äď Make sure the Master VM is in the same OU as the Linked Clones so the Master VM will get the computer-level GPO settings in its registry. Run gpupdate on the master after moving the VM to the correct OU. When Clones are created from the Master, the computer-level GPO settings will already be applied, thus eliminating a timing issue.
  2. If RDSH (Server OS), disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration in Server Manager > Local Server.
  3. Optionally, go to Action Center (Windows 8.1 or 2012 R2) or Control Panel > Security and Maintenance (Windows 10/2016) to disable User Account Control, and enable SmartScreen.

    1. In Windows 10 1703 and newer, search the Settings app for Change User Account Control settings.
    2. SmartScreen is configured in Windows Defender Security Center > App & browser control.
  4. Run Windows Update.

  5. Add your Citrix Administrators group to the local Administrators group on the VDA. Computer Management.
  6. The Remote Desktop Services ‚ÄúPrompt for Password‚ÄĚ policy prevents Single Sign-on to the Virtual Delivery Agent. Check registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services. If fPromptForPassword = 1 then you need to fix group policy. The following GPO setting will prevent Single Sign-on from working.
    Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session Host | Security | Always prompt for password upon connection
    Or set the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PorticaAutoLogon (DWORD) = 0x10.
  7. For Windows 7/2008 R2 VDAs that will use Personal vDisk, or AppDisk, or any other layering technology, install Microsoft hotfix 2614892 A computer stops responding because of a deadlock situation in the Mountmgr.sys driver. This hotfix solved a Personal vDisk Image update issue detailed at Citrix Discussions.
  8. If this VDA is Windows Server 2008 R2, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/windows-server-2008-r2-post-sp1-hotfixes/.
  9. To remove the built-in apps in Windows 10, see Robin Hobo How to remove built-in apps in Windows 10 Enterprise.
  10. For Remote Assistance in Citrix Director, configure the GPO setting Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Remote Assistance | Offer Remote Assistance. See Jason Samuel РHow to setup Citrix Director Shadowing with Remote Assistance using Group Policy for more details.
  11. If you intend to use Citrix’s SCOM Management Packs for XenApp/XenDesktop, make sure WinRM is enabled on the VDA by running¬†winrm quickconfig. Or you can enable WinRM using Group Policy.

Install Virtual Delivery Agent 7.14.1

  1. For virtual desktops, make sure you are logged into the console. The VDA won’t install if you are connected using RDP.
  2. Make sure .NET Framework 4.5.2 or newer is installed.

CLI Install:

Command Line Install Options are detailed at Install using the command line at Citrix Docs.

The Citrix Telemetry Service seems to cause problems. You can use the Command Line Installer to exclude Telemetry Service as detailed at VDA upgrade cmdlet at Citrix Discussions.

XenDesktopVDASetup.exe /quiet /noreboot /masterimage /Enable_HDX_PORTS /enable_framehawk_port /Enable_REAL_TIME_TRANSPORT /optimize /controllers "xdc01.corp.local xdc02.corp.local" /Exclude "Citrix Telemetry Service"

GUI Install:

  1. Go to the downloaded XenDesktop¬†7.14.1 iso file and extract it. If Windows 8 or newer, you can instead mount it, but be aware that with mounting, the install won’t resume correctly after a reboot.

  2. Run AutoSelect.exe.
  3. Alternatively, you can download the standalone VDA package and run that instead. Go the main XenDesktop 7.14.1 download page. Expand the section labelled Components that are on the product ISO but also packaged separately to download the Standalone VDA installers. 7.14.1 has a VDA installer called Desktop OS Core Services that is designed for Remote PC deployments.
  4. Click Start next to either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  5. Click Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS, or Windows Server OS, depending on which type of VDA you are building.

  6. In the Environment page, select Create a Master Image, and click Next.

  7. For virtual desktops, in the HDX 3D Pro page, click Next.
  8. In the Core Components page, if you don’t need Citrix Receiver installed on your VDA, then uncheck the box. Receiver is usually only needed for double-hop connections (connect to first VDA, and then from there, connect to second VDA). Click Next.
  9. In the Additional Components page, uncheck Citrix AppDisk/Personal vDisk. This feature has been deprecated and is being replaced by Citrix App Layering (Unidesk). Click Next.

  10. In the Delivery Controller page, select Do it manually. Enter the FQDN of each Controller. Click Test connection. And then make sure you click Add. Click Next when done.

  11. In the Features page, check boxes. In 7.12 and newer, only the top box is checked by default. If you want to use the other features, check the boxes. If this is a virtual desktop, you can leave Personal vDisk unchecked now and enable it later. Then click Next.
  12. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  13. In the Summary page, click Install.

  14. If RDSH, click Close when you are prompted to restart.
  15. After the machine reboots twice, login and installation should continue.
  16. If you see a¬†Locate ‘XenApp’ installation media window, click¬†Cancel.

    1. Mount the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_14_1.iso.
    2. Run AutoSelect.exe.
    3. Click the Virtual Desktop Agent box to resume installation.
  17. Installation will continue automatically.
  18. Note: NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService needs permission to login as a service.
  19. In the Smart Tools page, click Connect, enter your MyCitrix.com credentials, and then click Next.

  20. In the Finish page, click Finish to restart the machine again.
  21. Programs and Features shows Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent 7.14.1 as version 7.14.1.14098.

Citrix Desktop Helper Service¬† ūüí°

Citrix Blog Post Augment Your XenDesktop Deployment with the Desktop Helper Service: this installable service adds the following functionality to your VDAs:

  • The ‚ÄúShutdown Inactive Desktops‚ÄĚ feature allows Citrix administrators to enable a timer that shuts down a virtual desktop after it has been registered for a configured amount of minutes without a user connection.
  • Delaying the Citrix Desktop Service start by a configurable amount of time allows the desktop to finish performing on-boot tasks before a user is brokered to it.
  • The ‚ÄúForce Group Policy Update‚ÄĚ feature¬†give administrators the ability to force a group policy update after a configured amount of time.

If these features are desirable, download the tool from the blog post and install it.

Configurable Registry keys are located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\DesktopHelper. Each value is detailed in the accompanying Word document.

Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

VDA 7.12 and newer enable Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) by default. To disable it, create the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Telemetry\CEIP\Enabled (DWORD) and set it to 0 (zero). Also see CEIP at Citrix Insight Services at Citrix Docs.

See http://www.carlstalhood.com/delivery-controller-7-14-and-licensing/#ceip for additional places where CEIP is enabled.

Connection Quality Indicator

The Connection Quality Indicator tells the user the quality of the connection. For example:

Position of the indicator is configurable by the user. Thresholds are configurable through group policy.

Download it from CTX220774 Connection Quality Indicator and install it. The article is very detailed.

Group Policy templates are located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Connection Quality Indicator\Configuration. Copy the files and folder to <Sysvol>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions, or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.

Find the settings under Computer Config | Policies | Administrative Templates | Citrix Components | Virtual Desktop Agent | CQI

Notification display settings lets you customize the user notifications, or disable them.

Connection Threshold Settings lets you set the notification thresholds.

Adaptive Transport

XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 and newer include Adaptive Transport, which uses EDT protocol, which uses UDP Ports 1494/2598 for HDX connections to the VDA. The UDP ports should already be open in the Windows Firewall.

Adaptive Transport is disabled by default, but can be enabled in the Citrix Policy setting HDX Adaptive Transport.

Slow Logons

Citrix Discussions¬†Xenapp 7.9: Wait for local session manager: “I have a Xenapp 7.9 environment on Windows 2012 R2. When logging in through Citrix I got message “Wait for local session manager” for 20-30 seconds. When logging in to the server with RDS, I do not have to wait for this.”

“Add the following 2 registry keys to your 7.9 VDA server – then try connecting to it using ICA to see if the issue still occurs:

Add reg keys in “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\GroupPolicy”
Dword: “CacheGpoExpireInHours” – Value = 5-24 (# of Hours) ***start with value of 5***
Dword: “GpoCacheEnabled” – Value = 1

Restart the machine after adding these registry keys and attempt an ICA connection (at least twice) to see if that helps the Login delay.”

 

Mark DePalma at XenApp slow logon times, user get black screen for 20 seconds at Citrix Discussions says that pushing Tile Refresh to a background task speeds up logons.

  1. Regedit:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
     
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache]
    @="DisableUPMResetCache"
    "Version"="1,1,1,1"
    "StubPath"="REG ADD HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\ImmersiveShell\\StateStore /v ResetCache /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f"
    "Locale"="*"
  2. UPM Exclusions:
    Directory - '!ctx_localappdata!\Microsoft\Windows\Caches'
    Registry - 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache'

 

Marvin Neys at XenApp slow logon times, user get black screen for 20 seconds at Citrix Discussions says that deleting HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UFH\SHC at logoff reduces logon times from 40 seconds to 6 seconds.

Remove-Item HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UFH\SHC

 

For additional logon delay troubleshooting, see¬†Alexander Ollischer¬†XenApp/XenDesktop ‚Äď ‚ÄúPlease Wait For Local Session Manager‚ÄĚ message when logging into RDS. He found some Windows Updates that caused a logon delay.

 

XenApp recalculates WMI filters on every reconnect. CTX212610 Session Reconnect 30 sec Delay РDisableGPCalculation РWMI Filters indicates that recalculation can be disabled by setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Reconnect\DisableGPCalculation (DWORD) to 1.

 

CTX212439¬†Desktop Session Stuck in Pre-Logon State with Message “Please wait for the Local Session Manager”:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters\MaxTokenSize (DWORD) = 48000
  • Delete¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod\L$RTMTIMEBOMB

Controller Registration Port

Some environments will not accept the default port 80 for Virtual Delivery Agent registration, even though registration is authenticated and encrypted on port 80. To change the port, do the following on the Virtual Delivery Agent:

  1. Open Programs and Features. If Windows 10 1703 or newer, open Apps and Features.
  2. Find Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent, and click Change or Modify (Windows 10 1703 and newer).

  3. Click Customize Virtual Delivery Agent Settings.
  4. Edit the Delivery Controllers, and click Next.
  5. On the Protocol and Port page, change the port number, and click Next.
  6. In the Summary page, click Reconfigure.
  7. In the Finish Reconfiguration page, click Finish to restart the machine.
  8. You must also change the VDA registration port on the Delivery Controllers by running BrokerService.exe /VDAPort.

Controller Registration ‚Äď Verify

  1. If you restart the Virtual Delivery Agent machine, or restart the Citrix Desktop Service
  2. In Windows Logs Application log, you should see an event 1012 from Citrix Desktop Service saying that it successfully registered with a controller. If you don’t see this then you’ll need to fix the ListOfDDCs¬†registry key. See¬†VDA registration with Controllers at Citrix Docs.
  3. You can also¬†run Citrix’s Health Assistant on the VDA.
  4. See CTX220772 Technical Primer: VDA Registration for a very detailed explanation of the VDA Registration process.

Citrix PDF Printer 7.11.0 for Receiver for HTML5/Chrome

  1. To allow printing from Receiver for HTML5/Chrome, install Citrix PDF Printer. Get it from the Receiver for HTML5 download page in the Additional Components section. Note: this PDF Printer is only used by Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome.
  2. Go to the extracted CitrixPDFPrinter_7.11.0 and run CitrixPDFPrinter64.msi.
  3. In the Please read the Citrix PDF printer License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms, and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the Citrix PDF Universal Driver Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. In Programs and Features, it is shown as version 7.11.0.11.
  6. Configure a Citrix Policy to enable the PDF printer. The setting is called Auto-create PDF Universal Printer in the user half of a Citrix Policy GPO.

Citrix File Access 2.0.3 for Receiver for Chrome

  1. If you support Receiver for Chrome (Chromebook) and want to open files on Google Drive using published applications, install Citrix File Access on the VDAs. Get it from the Receiver for Chrome download page, in the Additional Components section.
  2. Go to the extracted Citrix_File_Access_2.0.3, and run FileAccess.msi.
  3. In the Please read the File Access License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms, and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the File Access Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. File Access is listed in Programs and Features as version 2.0.3.33.
  6. File Access has a default list of supported file extensions. The list can be expanded by editing the registry on the VDA. See CTX219983 Receiver for Chrome Error: Invalid command line arguments: Unable to open the file as it has an unsupported extension.
  7. To open a file from Google Drive, right-click and and open the file using Citrix Receiver.

Framehawk Configuration

To enable Framehawk, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#framehawkconfig

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

On 2012 R2 and newer RDSH, the only way to configure Remote Desktop Licensing is using group policy (local or domain). This procedure also works for 2008 R2 RDSH. This procedure is not needed on virtual desktops.

  1. For local group policy, run gpedit.msc. Alternatively, you can configure this in a domain GPO.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Licensing.
  3. Double-click Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers. Change it to Enabled, and enter the names of the RDS Licensing Servers (typically installed on XenDesktop Controllers). Click OK.
  4. Double-click Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode. Change it to Enabled and select Per User. Click OK.
  5. Optionally, you can install the Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. In the Server Manager > Add Roles and Features Wizard, on the Features page, expand Remote Server Administration Tools, expand Role Administration Tools, expand Remote Desktop Services Tools, and select Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. Then Finish the wizard.
  6. If it won’t install from Server Manager, you can install it from PowerShell by running¬†Install-WindowsFeature rsat-rds-licensing-diagnosis-ui.
  7. In Server Manager, open the Tools menu, expand Remote Desktop Services (or Terminal Services), and click Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser.

  8. The Diagnoser should find the license server, and indicate the licensing mode. If you’re configured for Per User licenses, then it‚Äôs OK if there are no licenses installed on the Remote Desktop License Server.

Several people in Citrix Discussions reported the following issue: If you see a message about RD Licensing Grace Period has expired even though RD Licensing is properly configured, see Eric Verdumen No remote Desktop Licence Server availible on RD Session Host server 2012. The solution was to delete the REG_BINARY in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod only leaving the default. You must take ownership and give admin users full control to be able to delete this value.

C: Drive Permissions

This section is more important for shared VDAs like RDSH (Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016).

The default permissions allow users to store files on the C: drive in places other than their profile.

  1. Open the Properties dialog box for C:.
  2. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
  3. If UAC is enabled, click Change permissions.
  4. Highlight the line containing Users and Create Folders, and click Remove.
  5. Highlight the line containing Users and Create files (or Special), and click Remove. Click OK.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the permissions change.
  7. If you see any of these Error Applying Security windows, click Continue. This window should appear multiple times.
  8. Click OK to close the C: drive properties.

Pagefile

If this image will be converted to a Provisioning Services vDisk, then you must ensure the pagefile is smaller than the cache disk. For example, if you allocate 20 GB of RAM to your Remote Desktop Session Host, and if the cache disk is only 15 GB, then Windows will have a default pagefile size of 20 GB, and Provisioning Services will be unable to move it to the cache disk. This causes Provisioning Services to cache to server instead of caching to your local cache disk (or RAM).

  1. Open System. In 2012 R2 and newer, you can right-click the Start button, and click System. Note: in Windows 10 1703 and newer, this method no longer opens the correct tool.
  2. Another option is to open File Explorer, right-click This PC, and click Properties. This works in Windows 10 1703.
  3. Click Advanced system settings.
  4. On the Advanced tab, click the top Settings button.
  5. On the Advanced tab, click Change.
  6. Uncheck the box next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Then either turn off the pagefile, or set the pagefile to be smaller than the cache disk. Don’t leave it set to System managed size. Click OK several times.

Direct Access Users

When Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent is installed on a machine, non-administrators can no longer RDP to the machine. A new local group called Direct Access Users is created on each Virtual Delivery Agent. Add your non-administrator RDP users to this local group so they can RDP directly to the machine.

Windows Profiles v3/v4/v5/v6

Roaming Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs. The profile version is also listed.

  • v6 = Windows 10 (1607 and 1703) and Windows Server 2016
  • v5 = Windows 10 (1511 and older)
  • v4 = Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • v3 = Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • v2 = Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • v2 = Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

For Windows 2012 R2, install Microsoft hotfix 2890783, and set the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry value to 1.

Registry

Published Explorer

From Citrix CTX128009 Explorer.exe Fails to Launch: When publishing the seamless explorer.exe application, the session initially begins to connect as expected. After the loading, the dialog box disappears, and the Explorer application fails to appear. On the VDA, use the following registry change to set the length of time a client session waits before disconnecting the session:

  • Key = HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI
    • Value = LogoffCheckerStartupDelayInSeconds (DWORD) = 10 (Hexadecimal)

Screen Saver

From Citrix CTX205214 Screensaver Not Working in XenDesktop: By default, Screen Saver doesn’t work on Desktop OS. To enable it, on the VDA, configure the following registry value:

  • Key =¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Graphics
    • Value =¬†SetDisplayRequiredMode (DWORD) = 0

Logon Disclaimer Window Size

From XenApp 7.8 РSession Launch Security/Warning Login Banner at Citrix Discussions: If your logon disclaimer window has scroll bars, set the following registry values:

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432node\Citrix\CtxHook\AppInit_DLLS\Multiple Monitor Hook
    • Value = LogonUIWidth (DWORD) = 300
    • Value = LogonUIHeight (DWORD) = 200

Login Timeout

From Citrix CTX203760 VDI Session Launches Then Disappears: XenDesktop, by default, only allows 180 seconds to complete a logon operation. The timeout can be increased by setting the following:

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PortICA
    • Value = AutoLogonTimeout¬†(¬†DWORD) = decimal 240 or higher (up to 3600).

Also see Citrix Discussions Machines in “Registered” State, but VM closes after “Welcome” screen.

HDX Flash

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX139939 –¬†Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 – Citrix Known Issues: The registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion is queried by the HDX Flash service to check for maximum Internet Explorer version that HDX Flash supports. For Flash Redirection to work with Internet Explorer 11 set the registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion to 11 on the machine where HDX flash service is running. In case of XenDesktop it would be the machine where VDA is installed.

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer
    • Value =¬†IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion¬†(DWORD) = 11 (Decimal)

From Citrix Discussions: Add the DWORD FlashPlayerVersionComparisonMask=0 on the VDA under HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer.  This disables the Flash major version checking between the VDA and Client Device.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Enhanced Clipboard

From About Citrix Receiver for Chrome 1.9 at Citrix Docs: To enable enhanced clipboard support, create a REG_SZ registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\Virtual Clipboard\Additional Formats\HTML Format\Name=”HTML Format”. Create any missing registry keys. This applies to both virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Hosts.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Upload Folder

The Receiver for HTML5 (or Chrome) lets upload files.

By default, the user is prompted to select a upload location. If you use the Upload feature multiple times, the last selected folder is not remembered.

Citrix CTX217351 How to Customize File Upload and Download Using Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome. You can specify a default uploads location by editing HKLM\Software\Citrix\FileTransfer\UploadFolderLocation on the VDA. Environment variables are supported. When this value is configured, users are no longer prompted to select an upload location. The change takes effect at next logon.

Note: HTML5/Chrome Receiver also adds a Save to My Device location to facilitate downloads.

4K Monitors

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session: .

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula:
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vbdenum
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA.

Citrix Policies also control graphics performance.

COM Port Threads

CTX212090¬†COM Port Intermittently Inaccessible During ICA Sessions:¬†increase the default value of “MaxThreads” under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\picaser\Parameters from 20 to a value greater than the number of COM port connections you want to support.¬†For example, if a XenApp server supports 100 sessions and each session opens two COM ports, the value of “MaxThreads” should be greater than 200.

Legacy Client Drive Mapping

Citrix CTX127968 How to Enable Legacy Client Drive Mapping Format on XenApp: Citrix Client Drive Mapping no longer uses drive letters and instead they appear as local disks. This is similar to RDP drive mapping.

The old drive letter method can be enabled by setting the registry value:

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\UncLinks (create the key)
    • Value = UNCEnabled (DWORD)¬†= 0

When you reconnect, the client drives will be mapped as drive letters (starts with V: and goes backwards).

Print Driver for Non-Windows Clients

This section applies to Windows 8.1/2012 and newer VDAs.

From CTX139020 Configuring Virtual Machines for Mac Client Printer Mapping with Windows 8.x. By default, Non-Windows clients cannot map printers due to a missing print driver on the VDA machine.

  1. Requirements:
    • Internet Access
    • Windows Update service enabled
  2. Click Start, and run Devices and Printers.
  3. In Windows 10 1703, open Printers & scanners, then scroll down, and click Devices and printers.

  4. In the Printers section, highlight a local printer (e.g. Microsoft XPS Document Writer). Then in the toolbar, click Print server properties.

  5. Switch to the Drivers tab. Click Change Driver Settings.
  6. Then click Add.
  7. In the Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Next.
  8. In the Processor Selection page, click Next.
  9. In the Printer Driver Selection page, click Windows Update. The driver we need won’t be in the list until you click this button. Internet access is required.
  10. Once Windows Update is complete, highlight HP on the left, and then select HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS (Microsoft) on the right. Click Next.
  11. In the Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Finish.
  12. Repeat these instructions to install the following additional drivers:
    • HP LaserJet Series II
    • HP Color LaserJet 4500 PCL 5

SSL for VDA

If you intend to use HTML5 Receiver internally, install certificates on the VDAs so the WebSockets (and ICA) connection will be encrypted. Internal HTML5 Receivers will not accept clear text WebSockets. External users don’t have this problem since they are SSL-proxied through NetScaler Gateway. Notes:

  • Each Virtual Delivery Agent needs a machine certificate that matches the machine name. This is feasible for a small number of persistent VDAs. For non-persistent VDAs, you‚Äôll need some automatic means for creating machine certificates every time they reboot.
  • As detailed in the following procedure, use PowerShell on the Controller to enable SSL for the Delivery Group. This forces SSL for every VDA in the Delivery Group, which means every VDA in the Delivery Group must have SSL certificates installed.

The following instructions for manually enabling SSL on VDA can be found at Configure SSL on a VDA using the PowerShell script at Citrix Docs.

  1. On the VDA machine, run mmc.exe.
  2. Add the Certificates snap-in.
  3. Point it to Local Computer.
  4. Request a certificate from your internal Certificate Authority. You can use either the Computer template or the Web Server template.

    1. You can also use group policy to enable Certificate Auto-Enrollment for the VDA computers.
  5. Browse to the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14.1 ISO. In the Support\Tools\SslSupport folder, shift+right-click the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script and click Copy as path.
  6. Run PowerShell as administrator (elevated).
  7. Run the command Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted. Enter Y to approve.
  8. In the PowerShell prompt, type in an ampersand (&), and a space.
  9. Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste in the path copied earlier.
  10. At the end of the path, type in -Enable
  11. If there’s only one certificate on this machine, press Enter.
  12. If there are multiple certificates, you’ll need to specify the thumbprint of the certificate you want to use. Open the Certificates snap-in, open the properties of the machine certificate you want to use, and copy the Thumbprint from the Details tab.

    In the PowerShell prompt, at the end of the command, enter ‚ÄĎCertificateThumbPrint, add a space, and type quotes (").
    Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste the thumbprint.
    Type quotes (") at the end of the thumbprint. Then remove all spaces from the thumbprint. The thumbprint needs to be wrapped in quotes.
  13. If this VDA machine has a different service already listening on 443 (e.g. IIS), then the VDA needs to use a different port for SSL connections. At the end of the command in the PowerShell prompt, enter -SSLPort 444 or any other unused port.
  14. Press <Enter> to run the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script.
  15. Press <Y> twice to configure the ACLs and Firewall.
  16. You might have to reboot before the settings take effect.
  17. Login to a Controller, and run PowerShell as Administrator (elevated).
  18. Run the command asnp Citrix.*
  19. Enter the command:
    Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' | Set-BrokerAccessPolicyRule ‚ÄĎHdxSslEnabled $true

    where <delivery-group-name> is the name of the Delivery Group containing the VDAs.

  20. You can run Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' to verify that HDX SSL is enabled.
  21. Also run the following command:
    Set-BrokerSite ‚ÄďDnsResolutionEnabled $true

You should now be able to connect to the VDA using the HTML5 Receiver from internal machines.

The Citrix blog post How To Secure ICA Connections in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 using SSL has a method for automatically provisioning certificates for pooled virtual desktops by enabling certificate auto-enrollment and setting up a task that runs after the certificate has been enrolled.

  • From¬†Russ Hargrove at¬†A note on VDA certificates in 7.14 at Citrix Discussions:¬†Citrix installs a new “Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop HDX Service” certificate in the Personal store which breaks the automation of the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script. To fix the problem, modify the task scheduler powershell script to:¬† ūüí°
    Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 -Enable -CertificateThumbPrint (Get-ChildItem -path cert:\LocalMachine\My | Where-Object -FilterScript {$_.Subject -eq ""} | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Thumbprint) -Confirm:$False
  • For certificate auto-enrollment on non-persistent Remote Desktop Session Hosts (aka Server OS VDAs), see¬†Non-Persistent Server SSL to VDA by Alfredo Magallon Arbizu at CUGC.

Anonymous Accounts

If you intend to publish apps anonymously then follow this section.

  1. Anonymous accounts are created locally on the VDAs. When XenDesktop creates Anon accounts it gives them an idle time as specified at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\AnonymousUserIdleTime. The default is 10 minutes. Adjust as desired.
  2. You can pre-create the Anon accounts on the VDA by running “C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICAConfigTool\CreateAnonymousUsersApp.exe”. If you don‚Äôt run this tool then Virtual Delivery Agent will create them automatically when users log in.
  3. You can see the local Anon accounts by opening Computer Management, expanding System Tools, expanding Local Users and Groups and clicking Users.
  4. If you open one of the accounts, on the Sessions tab, notice that idle timeout defaults to 10 minutes. Feel free to change it.

Group Policy for Anonymous Users

Since Anonymous users are local accounts on each Virtual Delivery Agent, domain-based GPOs will not apply. To work around this limitation, you’ll need to edit the local group policy on each Virtual Delivery Agent.

  1. On the Virtual Delivery Agent, run mmc.exe.
  2. Open the File menu, and click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Highlight Group Policy Object Editor, and click Add to move it to the right.
  4. In the Welcome to the Group Policy Wizard page, click Browse.
  5. On the Users tab, select Non-Administrators.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Now you can configure group policy to lockdown sessions for anonymous users. Since this is a local group policy, you’ll need to repeat the group policy configuration on every Virtual Delivery Agent image. Also, Group Policy Preferences is not available in local group policy.

Antivirus

Install antivirus using your normal procedure. Instructions vary for each Antivirus product.

Microsoft’s virus scanning recommendations (e.g. exclude group policy files) Рhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158.

Citrix’s Recommended Antivirus Exclusions

Citrix Blog Post Citrix Recommended Antivirus Exclusions: the goal here is to provide you with a consolidated list of recommended antivirus exclusions for your Citrix virtualization environment focused on the key processes, folders, and files that we have seen cause issues in the field:

  • Set real-time scanning to scan local drives only and not network drives
  • Disable scan on boot
  • Remove any unnecessary antivirus related entries from the Run key
  • Exclude the pagefile(s) from being scanned
  • Exclude Windows event logs from being scanned
  • Exclude IIS log files from being scanned

See the Blog Post for exclusions for each Citrix component/product including: StoreFront, VDA, Controller, and Provisioning Services. The Blog Post also has links to additional KB articles on antivirus.

Symantec

Symantec links:

Trend Micro

Trend Micro Slow login on Citrix environment after installing OfficeScan (OSCE): The following registries can be used to troubleshoot the issue. These registries will allow a delay on the startup procedure of OSCE until the system has launched successfully. This avoids deadlock situations during login.

Citrix¬†CTX136680 –¬†Slow Server Performance After Trend Micro Installation. Citrix session hosts experience slow response and performance more noticeable while users try to log in to the servers. At some point the performance of the servers is affected, resulting in issues with users logging on and requiring the server to be restarted. This issue is more noticeable on mid to large session host infrastructures.

Trend Micro has provided a registry fix for this type of issue. Create the following registry on all the affected servers. Add new DWORD Value as:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TmFilterParameters] “DisableCtProcCheck”=dword:00000001

Trend Micro Links:

Sophos

Best Practice for running Sophos on virtual systems:¬†we’ve amassed the following practical information about how you can optimize our software to work with this technology.

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows XP+: Installation and configuration considerations for Sophos Anti-Virus on a Remote Desktop Services server: It maybe desirable to disable the Sophos AutoUpdate shield icon

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows 2000+: incorporating current versions in a disk image, including for use with cloned virtual machines: This procedure will make sure that the produced target/cloned computers:

  • Get their distinct identity with Enterprise Console, under which they can be subsequently managed.
  • Have the desired version of Sophos Anti-Virus already installed and configured on the created image.

Windows Defender Antivirus

Deployment guide for Windows Defender Antivirus in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment

Optimize Performance

VDA Optimizer

Installation of the VDA might have already done this but there’s no harm in doing it again. This tool is only available if you installed VDA in Master Image mode.

  1. On the master VDA, go to C:\Program Files\Citrix\PvsVm\TargetOSOptimizer, and run TargetOSOptimizer.exe.
  2. Then click OK. Notice that it disables Windows Update.

Windows 10 / Windows 2012 R2 / Windows 2016 and newer

Optimization Notes:

RDSH 2008 R2

Citrix CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) РOptimization Guide is a document with several registry modifications that are supposed to improve server performance. Ignore the XenApp 6 content and instead focus on the Windows content.

Norskale has Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop and XenApp 6 Tuning Tips Update.

Windows 7

Microsoft has compiled a list of links to various optimization guides.¬†It’s a common practice to optimize a Windows 7 virtual machine (VM) template (or image) specifically for VDI use. Usually such customizations include the following.

  • Minimize the footprint, e.g. disable some features and services that are not required¬†when the OS is used in¬†‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúnon-persistent‚ÄĚ fashion. This is especially true for disk-intensive workloads since disk I/O is a common bottleneck for VDI deployment. (Especially if there are multiple VMs with the same I/O patterns that are timely aligned).
  • Lock down user interface (e.g. optimize for specific task workers).

With that said the certain practices are quite debatable and vary between actual real-world deployments. Exact choices whether to disable this or that particular component¬†depend on customer requirements and VDI usage patterns. E.g. in personalized virtual desktop scenario there’s much less things to disable since the machine is not completely ‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ. Some customers rely heavily on particular UI functions and other can relatively easily trade them off for the sake of performance or standardization (thus¬†enhance supportability and potentially¬†security). This is one of the primary reasons why Microsoft doesn’t publish any ‚ÄúVDI Tuning‚ÄĚ guide officially.

Though there are a number of such papers and even tools published either by the community or third parties. This Wiki page is aimed to serve as a consolidated and comprehensive list of such resources.

Daniel Ruiz XenDesktop Windows 7 Optimization and GPO’s Settings

Microsoft Whitepaper Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization

Seal and Shut Down

If this VDA will be a master image in a Machine Creation Services or Provisioning Services catalog, after the master is fully prepared (including applications), do the following:

  1. Go to the properties of the C: drive, and run Disk Cleanup.
  2. If Disk Cleanup is missing, you can run cleanmgr.exe instead.
  3. Windows 10 1703 and newer has a new method for cleaning up temporary files.
    1. Right-click the Start button, and click System.
    2. Click Storage on the left, and click This PC (C:) on the right.
    3. Click Temporary Files.
    4. Check boxes, and click Remove files.
  4. On the Tools tab, click Optimize to defrag the drive.
    `
  5. Run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS and has at least one rearm remaining. It is not necessary to manually rearm licensing. XenDesktop will do it automatically.
  6. Run Delprof2 to clean up local profiles. Get it from http://helgeklein.com/download/.
  7. Machine Creation Services and Provisioning Services require DHCP.
  8. Session hosts (RDSH) commonly have DHCP reservations.
  9. Login Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F) automates many sealing tasks. The script is configurable using Group Policy.
  10. Shut down the master image. You can now use Studio (Machine Creation Services) or Provisioning Services to create a catalog of linked clones.

Troubleshooting – Graphics

If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see¬†CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.

For Citrix Policies that control graphics codecs, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#graphics

Citrix Blog post – Optimising the performance of HDX 3D Pro ‚Äď Lessons from the field

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session:

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula :
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vbdenum
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA

From Citrix Discussions: To exclude applications from Citrix 3D rendering, create a REG_DWORD registry value ‚Äúapp.exe‚ÄĚ with value 0 or a registry value ‚Äú*‚ÄĚ with value 0.

  • XD 7.1 and XD 7.5:
    • x86: reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
    • x64: reg add hklm\software\Wow6432Node\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
  • XD 7.6/7.7/7.8/7.9/7.11 both x86 and x64:
    • reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0

Wildcards are not supported. The asterisk * here has a special meaning ‚Äúall apps‚ÄĚ but is not a traditional wildcard. To blacklist multiple apps e.g. both appa.exe and appb.exe must be done by creating a registry value for each app individually.

This is most problematic in Remote PC since most physical PCs have GPUs. I recently had to blacklist Internet Explorer to prevent lockup issues when switching back to physical.

Uninstall VDA

Uninstall the VDA from Programs and Features.

Then see CTX209255 VDA Cleanup Utility.

To run the VDA Cleanup Tool silently:

  1. Execute VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /noreboot to suppress reboot.
  2. Once the VDACleanupUtility has finished executing, setup Auto logon for the current user.
  3. Reboot.
  4. After reboot, tool will launch automatically to continue Cleanup.

Another option is to delete CitrixVdaCleanup value under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce. Then after reboot, run¬†VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /reboot to indicate that it’s running after the reboot.

Related Pages

Director 7.14

Last Modified: Jul 11, 2017 @ 7:26 am

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Director Licensing – Platinum Edition

See the XenApp and XenDesktop Feature Matrix. Scroll down to Director Platinum Edition for the list of Director features that require Platinum Edition licensing.

  • Up to a year‚Äôs worth of performance data that provides a comprehensive view of capacity trends
  • Proactive notification and alerting including SNMP integration
  • SCOM alerts
  • Desktop and server OS usage reporting
  • Create customized reports
  • Reboot warnings
  • Octoblu integration
  • NetScaler MAS integration
  • Override control over roaming sessions

See¬†CTX224793¬†Director Version Matrix – Install or Upgrade compatibility of Director with Delivery Controller, VDA¬†for a list of which Director feature came with each version, and the licensing Edition needed for each feature.¬† ūüí°¬†

Director 7.14 on Standalone Server

If you are installing Director 7.14 on a standalone server, see Citrix CTX142260 Installing or Upgrading to Citrix Director 7.6.200.

To install and configure Director using a script, see Dennis Span¬†Citrix Director unattended installation with PowerShell.¬† ūüí°

To install Director manually:

  1. If you intend to install Director on a standalone server, start with running AutoSelect.exe from the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 media.
  2. In the Extend Deployment section, on the bottom left, click Citrix Director.
  3. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  4. In the Core Components page, click Next.
  5. In the Delivery Controller page, it will ask you for the location of one Controller in the farm. Only enter one Controller per farm. If you have multiple Director servers, each Director server can point to a different Controller in the farm. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails. Click Test Connection, and then click Add.

  6. In the Features page, click Next.
  7. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  8. In the Summary page, click Install.
  9. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  10. In IIS Manager, go to Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings, find Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses, and make sure it points to one Controller in the farm, and not to localhost. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

  11. If you built multiple Director servers, use NetScaler to load balance them.
  12. If you are upgrading Director, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /upgrade to complete the upgrade process.
  13. For info on the new monitoring features in Director 7.14 and older, see Use Director below.

Director Default Webpage

From CTX223907 How to Make Director the Default Page within IIS: If Director is installed on a standalone server, do the following to set /Director as the default path.

  1. Open Notepad elevated (as administrator) and paste the following text:
    <script type="text/javascript">
    <!--
    window.location="https://director.corp.com/Director";
    // -->
    </script>
  2. Adjust the window.location line to match your FQDN.
  3. Select File > Save As and browse to the IIS folder, by default C:\inetpub\wwwroot is the IIS folder.
  4. Select the Save as type to All types.
  5. Type a file name with an html extension, and select Save.
  6. Open IIS Manager.
  7. Select the SERVERNAME node (top-level) and double-click Default Document, as shown in the following screen shot:
  8. On the right, click Add…,
  9. Enter the file name of the .html file provided in Step 5.
  10. Ensure the .html file is located at the top of the list, as shown in the following screen shot:

Director Spinning Circle

If after login to Director the spinning circle doesn’t go away:

Do the following to fix it:

  1. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\web.config using an elevated text editor.
  2. Search for <serviceHostingEnvironment (line 273).
  3. Add the following attribute:
    multipleSiteBindingsEnabled="true"

Also see CTX202564 Citrix Director Becomes Unresponsive after Submitting the Credentials when IIS X-Frame-Options is enabled

Director Tweaks

Prepopulate the domain field

From http://www.xenblog.dk/?p=33:¬†On the Controllers having the Director role installed, locate and edit the ‚ÄėLogOn.aspx‚Äô file. By default you can find it at C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\Logon.aspx

In line 450¬†you will have the following. To find the line, search for¬†ID=”Domain”. Note:¬†onblur and¬†onfocus¬†attributes were added in newer versions of Director.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

In the ID=”Domain” element, insert a Text¬†attribute and set it to your domain name. Don’t change or add any other attributes. Save the file.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" Text="Corp" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

This will prepopulate the domain field text box with your domain name and still allow the user to change it, if that should be required. Note: this only seems to work if Single Sign-on is disabled.

Session timeout

By default the idle time session limit of the Director is 245 min. If you wish to change the timeout, here is how to do it.

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėSession State‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Change the ‚ÄėTime-out (in minutes)‚Äô value under ‚ÄėCookie Settings‚Äô
  6. Click ‚ÄėApply‚Äô in the Actions list

SSL Check

From http://euc.consulting/blog/citrix-desktop-director-2-1: If you are not securing Director with an SSL certificate you will get this error at the logon screen.

To stop this:

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėApplication Settings‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Set UI.EnableSslCheck to false.

Disable Activity Manager

From Disable the visibility of running applications in the Activity Manager in Advanced Configuration at Citrix Docs: By default, the Activity Manager in Director displays a list of all the running applications and the Windows description in the title bars of any open applications for the user’s session. This information can be viewed by all administrators that have access to the Activity Manager feature in Director. For Delegated Administrator roles, this includes Full administrator, Delivery Group administrator, and Help Desk Administrator.

To protect the privacy of users and the applications they are running, you can disable the Applications tab from listing running applications.

  • On the VDA, modify the registry key located at¬†HKLM\Software\Citrix\Director\TaskManagerDataDisplayed. By default, the key is set to 1. Change the value to 0, which means the information will not be displayed in the Activity Manager.
  • On the server with Director installed, modify the setting that controls the visibility of running applications. By default, the value is true, which allows visibility of running applications in the¬†Applications Change the value to false, which disables visibility. This option affects only the Activity Manager in Director, not the VDA.¬†Modify the value of the following setting:
    UI.TaskManager.EnableApplications = false

Large Active Directory / Multiple Forests

From CTX133013 Desktop Director User Account Search Process is Slow or Fails: By default, all the Global Catalogs for the Active Directory Forest are searched using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). In a large Active Directory environment, this query can take some time or even time out.

If multiple forests, see Citrix Blog Post Using Citrix Director in a MultiForest Environment.

  1. In Information Server (IIS) Management, under the Desktop Director site, select Application Settings and add a new value called Connector.ActiveDirectory.ForestSearch. Set it to False. This disables searching any domain except the user’s domain and the server’s domain.
  2. To search more domains, add the searchable domain or domains in the Connector.ActiveDirectory.Domains field.

Site Groups

From Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 4: Troubleshooting Machines:

If there are a large number of machines, the Director administrator can now configure site groups to perform machine search so that they can narrow down searching for the machine inside a site group. The site groups can be created on the Director server by running the configuration tool via command line by running the command:

C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /createsitegroups

Then provide a site group name and IP address of the delivery controller of the site to create the site group.

Director Configuration Script

Johan Greefkes at Script for configuring Director at Citrix Discussions was kind enough to provide a script that does the following:

  • Sets the XenDesktop Controllers that Director communicates with
  • Disables SSL Check
  • Sets Logon.aspx file to default to a domain name
  • Adds a footer that displays the name of the Director server

Director – Saved Filters

From Scott Osborne and Jarian Gibson at Citrix Discussions: In Director, you can create a filter and save it.

The saved filter is then accessible from the Filters menu structure.

The saved filters are stored on each Director server at C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Director\UserData. Each user has their own saved filters. The saved filters are not replicated across Director servers.

You can instead configure multiple Director servers to store the filters on a shared UNC path: (h/t CTP Jarian Gibson)

  1. Create and share a folder (e.g. DirectorData).
  2. The Director server computer accounts need Modify permission to the share.
  3. On each Director server, run IIS Manager.
  4. Go to Sites > Default Web Site > Director. In the middle, double-click Application Settings.
  5. Change the Service.UserSettingsPath setting to the UNC path of the new share.
  6. Repeat this on other load balanced Director servers.

Director and HDX Insight

You can connect Director to NetScaler Management & Analytics System¬†(NetScaler MAS) or Citrix Insight Center to add Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views.¬†Citrix Blog Post¬†Configure Director with NetScaler Management & Analytics System (MAS).

Director and Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

If you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition, it’s possible to install SSPR on the Director server. See¬†George Spiers¬†Citrix Self-Service Password Reset for a detailed implementation¬†guide.

However this might break Director, and all you will see is a spinning circle.

To fix it, in IIS Manager (inetmgr), edit the bindings of the Default Web Site, and Remove the HTTP 8080 binding. Or implement the multisitebinding fix.

More info at Citrix Discussions Installing SSPR 1.0 appears to have broken Director 7.11 on same server.

Director Grooming

If XenDesktop is not Platinum Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For XenDesktop/XenApp Platinum Edition, by default, most of the historical Director data is groomed at 90 days. This can be adjusted up to 367 days by running a PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. On a XenDesktop Delivery Controller, run PowerShell and run asnp Citrix.*

  2. Run Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  3. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

Director Single Sign-on

You can configure Director to support Integrated Windows Authentication (Single Sign-on). Note: there seem to be issues when not connecting from the local machine or when connecting through a load balancer.

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu), or from the Start Menu, or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle, double-click Authentication in the IIS section.
  4. Right-click Windows Authentication, and Enable it.
  5. Right-click Anonymous Authentication, and Disable it.
  6. Pass-through auth won’t work from another computer until you set the http SPN for the Director server. See¬†Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at Citrix Discussions.
  7. If Director is not installed on a Controller then you’ll need to configure Kerberos delegation.
  8. If you are load balancing Director then additional config is required. See Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at Citrix Discussions for more info.
    1. Create an AD service account that will be used as the Director’s ApplicationPoolIdentity.
    2. Create SPN and link it to the service account.
      setspn -S http/loadbalanced_URL domain\user
    3. Trust the user account for delegation to any service (Kerberos only) (trust the Director servers for delegation is not necessary in this case). You have to create the SPN before you can do this step.
    4. In IIS manager, on the Application Pools (Director), specify the Identity as user we have created in step 1.
    5. In IIS manager, select Default Web Site and open the Configuration Editor.
    6. Use the drop-down to navigate to the following section:

      system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication
    7. Set useAppPoolCredentials = True and useKernelMode = False. Click Apply on the top right.

  9. When you connect to Director you will be automatically logged in. You can change the login account by first logging off.
  10. Then change the drop-down to User credentials.

Director – Multiple XenDesktop Sites

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu) or from the Start Menu, or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle pane, double-click Application Settings.
  4. Find the entry for Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses, and double-click it.
  5. If Director is installed on a Controller, localhost should already be entered.
  6. Add a comma, and the NetBIOS name of one of the controllers in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). Only enter one Controller name. If you have multiple Director servers, you can point each Director server to a different Controller in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

Director Process Monitoring

Director 7.11 and newer have Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

Process Monitoring is disabled by default. To enable it, configure the Enable process monitoring setting in a Citrix Policy. For Citrix Policies in a GPO, find this setting in the computer half of the GPO. Note: this setting could significantly increase the size of the Monitoring database.

Director Alerts and Notifications

Director supports alert conditions and email notifications. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop to be licensed with Platinum Edition. See Citrix Blog Post Configuring & Managing Alerts and Notifications Using Director for more information.

Director 7.11 and newer have CPU, Memory, and ICT RTT alerts. Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts

To configure alerts:

  1. While logged into Director, at the top of the page, click the Alerts button.
  2. Switch to the Email Server Configuration tab.
  3. Enter your SMTP information, and click Send Test Message. Then click Save.

  4. Switch to the Citrix Alerts Policy tab.
  5. There are four high-level categories of alerts: Site Policy, Delivery Group Policy, Server OS Policy, and User Policy. Click whichever one you want to configure.
  6. Then click Create.
  7. Give the alert a name.
  8. On the bottom left, select a condition, and enter thresholds.
  9. On the bottom right, in the Notifications preferences section, click Add.
  10. Enter an email address, and click Add.
  11. Click Save when done. Feel free to create more alerts and notifications.
  12. For Server OS and User Policy, there are new ICA RTT alerts. See Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts for details on the new alerts in 7.11 and newer.
  13. In Director 7.12 and newer, you can configure alerts to generate an SNMP trap. This is configured in PowerShell as described at Configure alerts policies with SNMP traps at Citrix Docs.
    Set-MonitorNotificationSnmpServerConfiguration        #see Docs for parameter details
    Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy -IsSnmpEnabled $true -Uid <Policy ID>
  14. Citrix has an experimental Desktop Notification Tool. See Citrix Blog Post Desktop Notification Tool For Citrix XenDesktop.
    ablogpic2

Director Alerts can be configured with a WebHook that allows Octoblu to perform actions when a Director Alert occurs. See Configure alerts policies with Octoblu webhooks at Citrix Docs for details.

Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy ‚ÄďUid 5 ‚ÄďWebhook <Webhook URL>

Director – SCOM Integration

Director 7.8 and newer can display alerts from System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

  1. See Configure SCOM integration at Citrix Docs for detailed configuration instructions. Also see Marius Sandbu Integrating Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and System Center Operations Manager.
  2. If Director server or System Center Operations Manager server is 2008 R2, then login to the 2008 R2 server, open PowerShell and run Enable-PSRemoting. Yes to everything. This is not needed on Windows Server 2012 R2 servers.
  3. On Director server, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configscom
  4. FYI, the DirectorConfig.exe /configscom command enables the following features on the Director server: /FeatureName:IIS-NetFxExtensibility45 /FeatureName:IIS-ASPNET45 /FeatureName:WCF-HTTP-Activation45
  5. FYI, the System Center Operations Manager server is listed in IIS Manager at Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings (middle pane) > Connector.SCOM.ManagementServer.
  6. On the System Center Operations Manager server, edit Remote Management Users local group, and add Citrix Admins, and other Director users.
  7. In System Center Operations Manager Console, go to Administration > User Roles, and edit Operations Manager Operators. Add the Citrix Admins, and other Director users.
  8. See Citrix Blog Post SCOM Alerts in Citrix Director for information on how to view System Center Operations Manager alerts in Director.

Director – Custom Reports

In Director 7.12 and newer, in the Trends view, there’s a Custom Reports tab that guides you through creating a custom OData Query. This tab only appears if you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

The Monitoring database contains more data than is exposed in Director. To view this data, the Monitoring service has an OData Data Feed that can be queried.

Use Director

The newer Director features usually require Delivery Controllers and VDAs to be at the same version or newer than Director. Director depends on the Monitoring Service that is built into the Delivery Controller. The Monitoring Service gathers data from the VDAs.

See Monitor deployments at Citrix Docs.

See the various Troubleshoot topics at Citrix Docs.

In Director 7.14 and newer, see CTX223928 How to use Director to monitor storage performance.

Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director Now Provides Disk Usage Information!:¬† ūüí°

  • IOPS and disk latency data is enabled by default.
  • IOPS and disk latency is pushed to the database from each VDA at 1 hour interval.
  • Approximately 276 KB of disk space is required to store the CPU, memory, IOPS and disk latency data for one VDA over a period of one year.

In Director 7.14 and newer, see CTX223925 How to use Director to monitor NVIDIA GPU usage.

In Director 7.14 and newer, see CTX223927 How to use Director to troubleshoot application launch errors. This feature is configured in Citrix Policy Settings located in the Computer half at Virtual Delivery Agent Settings > Monitoring.

Citrix Director 7.13 and newer have an Application Instances tab on the Filters page that lets you filter published application sessions based on Session Idle Time (RDS sessions only), Application Name, and all other existing fields, like machine name, and so on. Requires Director 7.13, Controller 7.13, VDA 7.13, and Platinum Edition licensing. See Citrix Blog Post Monitoring Idle Applications and Sessions in Citrix Director. See Troubleshoot applications at Citrix Docs.

If idle time column shows n/a, then you need to wait 10-15 minutes.

In Director 7.13 and newer, the Session Details panel can show if Enlightened Data Transport (EDT, aka HDX on UDP) is enabled in the user’s session. See Citrix Blog Post¬†HDX Adaptive Transport Protocol Monitoring via Director.

George Spiers has a comprehensive guide of all Director 7.12 features at http://www.jgspiers.com/citrix-director/.

Director 7.12 and newer have Connection Failure Details, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post¬†Director 7.12: Easier Troubleshooting of Machine & Connection Failures. Also see¬†CTX223812¬†Citrix Director Failure Codes.¬† ūüí°

Director 7.11 and newer have Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

Director 7.9 and newer have Logon Duration improvements.

Citrix Blog Post¬†Interactive Session of Logon Duration in Citrix Director ‚Äď Explained:¬†Interactive Session Duration = Desktop Ready Event Timestamp (EventId 1000 on VDA) ‚Äď User Profile Loaded Event Timestamp (EventId 2 on VDA). More details in the Blog Post.

Citrix Blog Post Director 7.6 Failure Reasons Demystified lists possible failure reasons behind an Unregistered alert, and the true meaning of failure reasons such as Connection Refused and Communication Error. It details each failure reason, defines the meanings of these failures, and lists action items that serve as a starting point for troubleshooting the specific scenario. The list is based on Director 7.6.300.

Delivery Controller 7.14.1 and Licensing

Last Modified: Jul 17, 2017 @ 9:01 am

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Upgrade

If you are performing a new install of XenApp/XenDesktop Controller, then skip to the next section.

You can upgrade directly from any Delivery Controller version 5.6 or newer.

Before upgrading, if you have a standalone Citrix Licensing Server, upgrade it to 11.14.1.1 build 20104.

During the upgrade of Delivery Controller, be aware that a database upgrade is required. Either get a DBA to grant you temporary sysadmin permission, or use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts that a DBA must then run in SQL Studio.

  1. Frequent upgrades – XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14.1 is a Current Release (CR). It is only supported for 6 months from the date it was released by Citrix. You are expected to in-place upgrade to the next Current Release the next time it becomes available. If you’re not willing to perform frequent upgrades, then the Long Term Service Release (LTSR) might be more appropriate for you.
  2. SCOM Agent РIf StoreFront is installed on the Controller, and if the Citrix SCOM Agent for StoreFront is installed, stop the Citrix MPSF Agent service. See CTX220935 Cannot Perform a StoreFront Upgrade if Citrix SCOM Management Pack Agent Service is Running.
  3. Close PowerShell and Consoles. Make sure all Citrix Consoles and PowerShell consoles are closed. StoreFront won’t upgrade if any are running. If StoreFront fails, then the StoreFront configuration is wiped out.
  4. Other Users – Use Task Manager > Users tab to logoff any other user currently logged into the machine.
  5. Snapshot. If StoreFront is on the Controller, take a snapshot before attempting the upgrade.
  6. Another option is to export the StoreFront configuration so you can restore it later if something goes wrong.
  7. Download the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14.1 ISO.¬† ūüí°
  8. Before upgrading, open PowerShell and run the following.
    asnp citrix*
    Get-TrustDBConnection

  9. If you don’t see a returned value, then you’ll need to run additional commands to fix the Trust Database Connection as detailed at Known Issues at Citrix Docs.¬† ūüí°
    $cs = Get-ConfigDBConnection
    Set-TrustDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $cs
  10. Run¬†AutoSelect.exe from the 7.14.1 ISO. Make sure it’s 7.14.1, and not 7.14.0.

  11. On the top left, click Studio and Server Components.
  12. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  13. In the Ensure Successful Upgrade page, read the steps, check the box next to¬†I’m ready to continue, and click¬†Next.
  14. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  15. In the Summary page, click Upgrade.
  16. If you see a Running Processes window, close the listed programs, and click Continue.
  17. Click Close if prompted to restart.
  18. If you see a window asking you to Locate ‘XenDesktop’ installation media, click Cancel.
  19. Mount the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_14_1.iso.
  20. Run AutoSelect.exe.
  21. Click Delivery Controller, and installation will resume.
  22. In the Smart Tools page, make a selection. If participating, click Connect, login with Citrix Cloud or mycitrix.com credentials, and then click Next. See Citrix Insight Services at Citrix Docs for more information on these options.
  23. In the Finish page, check the box next to Launch Studio, and click Finish.
  24. Programs and Features should show Citrix XenDesktop 7.14.1 as version 7.14.1.14098.
  25. After Citrix Studio launches, if you have¬†sysadmin permissions on SQL, then click¬†Start the automatic Site upgrade. If you don’t have full permission, then get a DBA to help you, click¬†Manually upgrade this site, and follow the instructions.

  26. If you choose to Manually upgrade this site, then note that there might not be an upgrade for the Logging Database schema, depending on what version you are upgrading from.

  27. After all Controllers and VDAs are upgraded, right-click the Catalogs, and click¬†Upgrade Catalog. Note: 7.9 is the newest¬†minimum functional level. You won’t see an option for 7.14. If your Catalogs are already set to VDA version 7.9, then there’s no need to upgrade the Catalogs or Delivery Groups.


  28. Then do the same for the Delivery Groups.¬†Note: 7.9 is the newest¬†minimum functional level. You won’t see an option for 7.14. If your Delivery Groups¬†are already set to VDA version 7.9, then no upgrade is needed.


Other XenApp/XenDesktop components can also be in-place upgraded:

New Install Preparation

Frequent upgrades – XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14.1 is a Current Release (CR). It is only supported for 6 months from the date it was released by Citrix. You are expected to in-place upgrade to the next Current Release the next time it becomes available. If you’re not willing to perform frequent upgrades, then the Long Term Service Release (LTSR) might be more appropriate for you.

Automation РIf you want to automate the install of Delivery Controllers, see Dennis Span Citrix Delivery Controller unattended installation with PowerShell and SCCM.

Citrix Licensing РIf you are going to use an existing Citrix Licensing Server, upgrade it to 11.14.1.1 build 20104.

Note: 7.14  and newer supports multiple license types in a single farm. See CTX223926 How to Configure Multiple License Types within a Single XenApp and XenDesktop Site.

SQL Databases

  • Citrix CTX209080 Database Sizing Tool for XenDesktop 7
  • Citrix article¬†CTX114501 –¬†Supported Databases for XenApp and XenDesktop Components
  • There are typically three databases: one for the Site (aka farm), one for Logging (audit log) and one for Monitoring (Director).
    • The name of the monitoring¬†database must not have any spaces in it. See¬†CTX200325 Database Naming Limitation when Citrix Director Accesses Monitoring Data Using OData APIs
    • If you want Citrix Studio to create the SQL databases automatically, then the person running Studio must be a sysadmin on the SQL instances. No lesser role¬†will work.¬†sysadmin permissions can be granted temporarily and revoked after installation.
    • As an alternative, you can use Citrix Studio to create SQL scripts and then run those scripts on the SQL server. In that case, the person running the scripts only needs the dbcreator and securityadmin roles.
    • It is possible to create the databases in advance. However, you must use the non-default¬†Latin1_General_100_CI_AS_KS collation. Citrix Studio will configure the database tables in the pre-created database.
  • If SQL 2016 or newer, create¬†a¬†Basic Availability Group.
  • If SQL 2014 or older, Citrix recommends SQL Mirroring because it has the fastest failover.
    • SQL Mirroring requires two SQL Standard Edition servers and one SQL Express for the witness server.
    • You can setup SQL Mirroring either before installing XenDesktop or after installing XenDesktop. If after, then see Citrix¬†CTX140319 to manually change XenDesktop’s database connection strings How to Migrate XenDesktop Database to New SQL Server.
    • To setup SQL Mirroring, see Rob Cartwright: Configure SQL Mirroring For Use With XenDesktop, XenApp, and PVS Databases.
    • If you try to stretch the mirror across datacenters, the SQL witness must be placed in a third datacenter that has connectivity to the other two datacenters. However, stretching a single XenApp/XenDesktop site/farm and corresponding SQL mirror across datacenters is not recommended.
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Clustering are also supported. However, these features require the much more expensive SQL Enterprise Edition.

Windows Features

  • Installing¬†Group Policy Management on the Delivery Controller lets you edit GPOs and have access to the Citrix Policies node in the GPO Editor. Or you can install Citrix Studio on a different machine that has GPMC installed.

vSphere

  • Create a role in vSphere Client. Assign a service account to the role at the Datacenter or higher level.

Delivery Controller Install

  1. A typical size for the Controller VMs is 2-4 vCPU and 8+ GB of RAM. If all components (Delivery Controller, StoreFront, Licensing, Director, SQL Express) are installed on one server, then you might want to bump up memory to 10 GB or 12 GB.
  2. From Local Host Cache sizing and scaling at Citrix Docs:
    1. For LHC LocalDB, assign the Controller VMs a single socket with multiple cores.
    2. Add two cores for LHC.
    3. Add at least three more Gigs of RAM and watch the memory consumption.
    4. Since there’s no control over LHC election, ensure all Controllers have the same specs.
  3. Make sure the User Right Log on as a service includes NT SERVICE\ALL SERVICES or add NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService to the User Right.
  4. Download the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14.1 ISO.¬† ūüí°
  5. On two Delivery Controllers, install the Delivery Controller software. Run¬†AutoSelect.exe from the 7.14.1 ISO. Make sure it’s 7.14.1, and not 7.14.0.

  6. Click Start next to either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  7. On the left, click Delivery Controller.
  8. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  9. In the Core Components page, you can install all components on one server, or on separate servers. Splitting them out is only necessary in large environments, or if you have multiple farms and want to share the Licensing, StoreFront, and Director components across those farms.
  10. In the Features page, uncheck the box next to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2 Express, and click Next.
  11. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  12. In the Summary page, click Install.
  13. In the Call Home page, make a selection, click Connect, enter your Citrix Cloud or MyCitrix.com credentials, and then click Next.


  14. In the Finish page, click Finish. Studio will automatically launch.
  15. Programs and Features should show Citrix XenDesktop 7.14.1 as version 7.14.1.14098.
  16. Ensure the two Controller VMs do not run on the same hypervisor host. Create an anti-affinity rule.

Create Site

There are several methods of creating the databases for XenApp/XenDesktop:

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Studio create the databases automatically.
  • If you don‚Äôt have sysadmin permissions to SQL, then use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts, and send them to a DBA.

Use Studio to Create Database Scripts

  1. Launch Citrix Studio. After it loads, click Deliver applications and desktops to your users.
  2. In the Introduction page, select An empty, unconfigured site. This reduces the number of pages in this Setup wizard. The other pages will be configured later.
  3. Enter a Site Name (aka farm name), and click Next. Only administrators see the farm name.
  4. In the Databases page, if you are building two Controllers, click Select near the bottom of the same page.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Enter the FQDN of the second Controller, and click OK. Note: the Delivery Controller software must already be installed on that second machine.
  7. Then click Save.
  8. If you don’t have sysadmin permissions, change the selection to Generate scripts to manually set up databases on the database server.¬†Change the database names if desired, and click¬†Next.
  9. In the Summary page, click Generate scripts.
  10. A folder will open with six scripts. Edit each of the scripts.
  11. Near the top of each script are two lines to create the database. Uncomment both lines (including the go line). Then save and close the file.

  12. Once all of the scripts are edited, you can send them to your DBA.
  13. On the Principal SQL Server, open the file Site_Principal.sql.

  14. Open the Query menu, and click SQLCMD Mode.
  15. Then execute the script.
  16. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly, then the output should look something like this:
  17. If you have a mirrored database, run the second script on the mirror SQL instance. Make sure SQLCMD mode is enabled.
  18. Repeat for the Logging_Principal.sql script.
  19. You’ll have to enable SQLCMD Mode for each script you open.


  20. Repeat for the Monitoring_Principal.sql script.
  21. Once again enable SQLCMD Mode.


  22. The person running Citrix Studio must be added to the SQL Server as a SQL Login, and granted the public server role, so that account can enumerate the databases.

  23. Back in Citrix Studio, click the Continue database configuration and Site setup button.
  24. In the Databases page, enter the SQL server name, and instance name, and click Next.

  25. On the Licensing page, enter the name of the Citrix License Server, and click Connect. If you installed Licensing with your Delivery Controller, then simply enter localhost. See CTX223926 How to Configure Multiple License Types within a Single XenApp and XenDesktop Site.
  26. XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 requires the newest Licensing Server. If your server isn’t compatible, leave it set to localhost and fix it later.
  27. If the Certificate Authentication appears, select Connect me, and click Confirm.T
  28. Then select your license, and click Next.
  29. In the Summary page, if your databases are mirrored, each database will show high availability servers, and the name of the Mirror server. Click Finish.

  30. It will take some time for the site to be created.

Verify Database Mirroring

If your database is mirrored, when you run asnp citrix.* and then run get-brokerdbconnection, you’ll see the Failover Partner in the database connection string.

Second Controller

When building the first Delivery Controller, the scripts might have already included the second Delivery Controller. Thus no special SQL permissions are needed. If the second Delivery Controller has not already been added to the SQL databases, then there are several methods of adding a second Controller to the databases for XenApp/XenDesktop:

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Studio modify the databases automatically.
  • If you don‚Äôt have sysadmin permissions to SQL then use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts and send them to a DBA.

To use Citrix Studio to create the SQL Scripts:

  1. On the first Delivery Controller, if StoreFront is installed, delete the default StoreFront store (/Citrix/Store) and recreate it with your desired Store name (e.g. /Citrix/CompanyStore).
  2. On the 2nd Delivery Controller, install XenDesktop as detailed earlier.
  3. After running Studio, click Connect this Delivery Controller to an existing Site.
  4. Enter the name of the first Delivery Controller, and click OK.
  5. If you don’t have full SQL permissions (sysadmin), click No when asked if you want to update the database automatically.
  6. Click Generate scripts.
  7. A folder will open with six scripts. If not mirroring, then the top three scripts need to be sent to a DBA. If mirroring, send all six.
  8. On the SQL Server, open one of the .sql files.

  9. Open the Query menu, and click SQLCMD Mode.
  10. Then execute the XenDesktop script.
  11. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly, then the output should look something like this:
  12. Repeat for the remaining script files.
  13. Back in Citrix Studio, click OK.
  14. In Citrix Studio, under Configuration > Controllers, you should see both controllers.
  15. You can also test the site again if desired.

Studio ‚Äď Slow Launch

From B.J.M. Groenhout at Citrix Discussions: The following adjustments can be made if Desktop Studio (and other Citrix management Consoles) will start slowly:

  • Within Internet Explorer, go to Tools ‚Äď Internet Options ‚Äď Tab Advanced ‚Äď Section Security, and uncheck the option Check for publisher‚Äôs certificate revocation

After adjustment Desktop Studio (MMC) will be started immediately. Without adjustment it may take some time before Desktop Studio (MMC) is started.

Registry setting (can be deployed using Group Policy Preferences):

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WinTrust\Trust Providers\Software Publishing
    • State“=dword:00023e00

Concurrent Logon Hard Limit

From Samuel Legrand XenApp 7.14 ‚Äď (Really) Manage a DR! – Citrix Policies has a setting called¬†Concurrent Logon Tolerance. However, it is not a hard limit, meaning once the limits are reached, it continues to let users connect. You can configure the Controllers to make it a hard limit by setting the following registry value:

  • HKLM\Software\Policies\Citrix\DesktopServer
    • LogonToleranceIsHardLimit (DWORD) = 1

Local Host Cache

If you have 10,000 or fewer VDAs per zone (up to 40,000 VDAs per multi-zone site/farm), you can enable Local Host Cache (LHC) instead of Connection Leasing. LHC allows new sessions to be started even if SQL database is unavailable. VDA limits for LHC are higher in 7.14 than previous versions of XenApp/XenDesktop.

From Local Host Cache sizing and scaling at Citrix Docs:

  1. For LHC LocalDB, assign the Controller VMs a single socket with multiple cores.
  2. Add two cores for LHC.
  3. Add at least three more Gigs of RAM and watch the memory consumption.
  4. Since there’s no control over LHC election, ensure all Controllers have the same specs.
  5. The Docs article has scripts for monitoring LHC performance.

From XenApp 7.12, LHC and a reboot at Citrix Discussions:

  • If the rebooted DDC is the elected one, a different DDC will take over (causing registration storm) and when the DDC gets back, it will take over brokering causing second registration storm. Site will sort itself out and all will work.
  • If the rebooted DDC is not the elected one, it will not impact any functionality.
  • If you turn the DDC down when site is working, and start it during outage, LHC will not trigger on that machine. This DDC will not impact the LHC unless it would become the elected one. In that scenario it will take control, however not start LHC and resources would not be available.

For Windows Server 2008 R2 Controllers, PowerShell 3, or newer, is required. See LHC XD 7.12 and W2K8SR2 SP1 at Citrix Discussions.

Local Host Cache can be enabled by running some PowerShell commands.

asnp citrix.*
Set-BrokerSite -ConnectionLeasingEnabled $false
Set-BrokerSite -LocalHostCacheEnabled $true

George Spiers Local Host Cache XenApp & XenDesktop 7.12 shows the Event Log entries when LHC is enabled.

Database Maintenance

Enable Read-Committed Snapshot

The XenDesktop Database can become heavily utilized under load in a large environment. Therefore Citrix recommends enabling the Read_Committed_Snapshot option on the XenDesktop databases to remove contention on the database from read queries. This can improve the interactivity of Studio and Director. It should be noted that this option may increase the load on the tempdb files. See Citrix article CTX137161 How to Enable Read-Committed Snapshot in XenDesktop for configuration instructions.

Change Database Connection Strings

Sometimes the database connection strings need to be modified:

  • When moving the SQL databases to a different SQL server
  • For AlwaysOn Availability Groups, to add MultiSubnetFailover to the SQL connection strings
  • For SQL mirroring, to add Failover Partner to the SQL connection strings

From Citrix Docs Update database connection strings when using SQL Server high availability solutions: Citrix offers several PowerShell scripts that update XenApp and XenDesktop database connection strings when you are using SQL Server high availability database solutions such as AlwaysOn and mirroring. The scripts, which use the XenApp and XenDesktop PowerShell API, are:

  • DBConnectionStringFuncs.ps1: The core script that does the actual work. This script contains common functions that the other scripts use.
  • Change_XD_Failover_Partner_v1.ps1: Updates (adds, changes, or removes) the failover partner. This script prompts for the failover partner location (FQDN) for each database. (Providing a blank failover partner removes the failover partner. You can also use the ClearPartner option to remove a partner.) Do not set the failover partner to the same location as the principal database server.
  • Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1: Uses the provided connection strings to update the connection strings to the databases. This script ensures that certain Citrix services are up and running, and then updates those services in the correct order on all Controllers in the site. Enclose connection string information for each database in quotes.
  • Change_XD_To_MultiSubnetFailover.ps1: Toggles the addition and removal of MultiSubnetFailover=true. If you use AlwaysOn Availability Groups, Microsoft recommends that the connection string include MultiSubnetFailover=true. This option speeds up recovery when a high availability event occurs, and is recommended for both single and multi-subnet environments. Run this script once to add the option. Run the script again to remove it.
  • Change_XD_To_Null.ps1: Resets all the connection strings on the localhost because something has gone wrong. By resetting the connection strings to null, this script places the Controller into an ‚Äúinitial‚ÄĚ state. If you run Studio after running this script, you’ll be asked if you want to create a site or join an existing site. This is useful if something has gone wrong and a reset is needed. After the reset, you can try again to set the connection strings.

CTX140319 How to Migrate XenDesktop Database to New SQL Server has the correctly ordered list of PowerShell commands to change the database connection strings. Make sure PowerShell is running as administrator before running these commands.

Here are the DB Connections that must be changed. This list might be longer than the article. When using the article, make sure you include all of the DB Connections shown below. You can get the full list of database commands by running Get-Command Set-*DBConnection. When changing the DB connections, AdminDBConnection must be the last to be set to NULL, and the first to be configured with the new connection string.

Set-ConfigDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AppLibDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null ¬† ¬†#7.8 and newer
Set-OrchDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null ¬† ¬†  #7.11 and newer
Set-TrustDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null     #7.11 and newer
Set-AcctDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AnalyticsDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-HypDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-ProvDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-BrokerDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-EnvTestDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-SfDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DataStore Monitor -DBConnection $null   #Monitoring Database
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $null                      #Site Database
Set-LogDBConnection -DataStore Logging -DBConnection $null       #Logging Database
Set-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $null                          #Site Database
Set-AdminDBConnection -DBConnection $null -force

Citrix CTX221389 Scripts For Updating Connection Strings in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x was recently updated for 7.13.

  • Change_XD_Failover_Partner_v1.ps1 ‚Äď is used to update the mirroring failover partner.
  • Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1 ‚Äď this takes passed in connection strings and uses them, so a very generic version.
  • Change_XD_To_MultiSubnetFailover.ps1 ‚Äď this toggles the MultiSubnetFailover. If it doesn’t exist or is false, it sets it to true. If it’s set to true, the script sets it back to false. If you need to remove the option then you’ll need to use Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1 and provide strings without the setting.
  • Change_XD_To_Null.ps1 ‚Äď this is a reset of all the connection strings on the localhost as something has gone wrong. Note because this resets the connection strings to null, it will actually place the ddc into a ‚Äúinitial‚ÄĚ state. I.E. if you run Studio, it‚Äôll ask if you want to create a site, or join to another DDC. This is useful if something has gone wrong, as you can reset a Controller’s settings, and then attempt to set the connection strings again using Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1.

Director Grooming

If XenDesktop is not Platinum Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For XenDesktop/XenApp Platinum Edition, by default, most of the historical Director data is groomed at 90 days. This can be adjusted up to 367 days by running a PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. On a Delivery Controller, run PowerShell elevated (as administrator), and run asnp Citrix.*
  2. Run Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  3. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

View Logging Database

To view the contents of the Logging Database, in Studio, click the Logging node. On the right is Create Custom Report. See Citrix article CTX138132 Viewing Configuration Logging Data Not Shown for more info.

The Logging Database can be queried using Get-LogLowLevelOperation. See Stefan Beckmann Get user who set maintenance mode for a server or client for an example script that uses this PowerShell cmdlet.

Maintain Logging Database

Citrix¬†CTX215069¬†Troubleshooting and managing Oversized Configuration Logging database:¬†The article’s¬†queries can be used to determine the number of configuration operation types performed by XenDesktop Administrator, and to analyze the content of the Configuration Logging database when it is considered oversized.¬†A grooming query is also provided to delete data older than a specified date.

Export/Import Configuration

Ryan Butler has a PowerShell script that can export configuration from one XenDesktop farm and import it to another.

Studio Administrators

Full Administrators

  1. In the Studio, under Configuration, click the Administrators node. The first time you access the node you‚Äôll see a Welcome¬†page. Feel free to check the box to Don’t show this again, and then click Close.
  2. On the Administrators tab, right-click, and click Create Administrator.
  3. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a group (e.g. Citrix Admins) that will have permissions to Studio and Director. These groups typically have access to all objects, so select the All scope. Alternatively, you can create a Scope to limit the objects. Click Next.
  4. On the Role page, select a role, and then click Next. For example:
    • Full Administrator for the Citrix Admins group
    • Help Desk Administrator for the Help Desk group
    • Machine Catalog Administrator for the desktop team
  5. In the Summary page, click Finish.

Help Desk

  1. In the Studio, under Configuration, click the Administrators node. On the Administrators tab, right-click, and click Create Administrator.
  2. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a Help Desk group that will have permissions to Studio and Director. Select the All scope. And click Next.
  3. On the Role page, select the Help Desk Administrator role, and then click Next.
  4. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  5. When administrators in the Help Desk role log into Director, all they see is this.

    To jazz it up a little, add the Help Desk group to the read-only role.
  6. Right-click the Help Desk Administrator, and click Edit Administrator.
  7. Click Add.
  8. In the Scope page, select a scope, and click Next.
  9. In the Role page, select Read Only Administrator, and click Next.
  10. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  11. Then click OK. Now Director will display the dashboard.

Provisioning Services w/Personal vDisk

From Considerations: Provisioning Services at Configure and manage Personal vDisk at Citrix Docs: The Provisioning Services Soap Service account must be added to the Administrator node of Studio and must have the Machine Administrator or higher role. This ensures that the PvD desktops are put into the Preparing state when the Provisioning Services (PVS) vDisk is promoted to production.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 enables CEIP by default. If desired, you can disable it in Citrix Studio:

  1. On the left, go to the Configuration node.
  2. On the right, switch to the Product Support tab.
  3. Click End.
  4. Click Yes.

Each XenApp/XenDesktop component has a separate configuration for disabling Customer Experience Improvement Program:

vCenter Connection

XenDesktop uses an Active Directory service account to log into vCenter. This account needs specific permissions in vCenter. To facilitate assigning these permissions, create a new vCenter role and assign it to the XenDesktop service account. The permissions should be applied at the datacenter or higher level.

Hosting Resources

A Hosting Resource = vCenter + Cluster (Resource Pool) + Storage + Network. When you create a machine catalog, you select a previously defined Hosting Resource, and the Cluster, Storage, and Network defined in the Hosting Resource object are automatically selected. If you need some desktops on a different Cluster+Storage+Network then you’ll need to define more Hosting Resources in Studio.

  1. In Studio, expand Configuration and click Hosting. Right-click it, and click Add Connection and Resources.
  2. In the Connection page, for Connection type, select VMware vSphere.
  3. Notice there’s a Learn about user permissions¬†blue link to an article that describes the necessary permissions.
  4. Enter https://vcenter01.corp.local/sdk as the vCenter URL. The URL must contain the FQDN of the vCenter server.
  5. Enter credentials of a service account that can log into vCenter.
  6. In the Connection name field, give the connection a name. Typically, this matches the name of the vCenter server.
  7. If you are not using Machine Creation Services, and instead only need the vCenter connection for machine power management, change the Create virtual machines using selection to Other Tools. If you intend to use MCS, leave it set to Studio Tools.
  8. Click Next.
  9. If you see a message about the vCenter certificate, check the box next to Trust certificate, and click OK.
  10. Note: this vCenter certificate thumbprint is stored in the XenDesktop database, and is not updated when the vCenter certificate changes. See CTX217415 Cannot connect to the VCenter server due to a certificate error for instructions on manually updating the database with the new certificate thumbprint.

  11. In the Storage Management¬†page, click¬†Browse, and select a vSphere cluster. Note: as detailed at CTX223662, make sure there’s no comma in the datacenter name.
  12. Select Use storage shared by hypervisors.
  13. If you have sufficient disk space on each ESXi host, also select¬†Optimize temporary data on available local storage.¬†From Mark Syms at¬†XA 7.9 MCS with RAM Caching¬†at Citrix Discussions: “If you use just MCS caching to local storage then the VM is not agile at all and cannot be moved even when powered off as it has a virtual disk permanently associated with a single host.”
  14. From Martin Rowan at XA 7.9 MCS with RAM Caching¬†at Citrix Discussions: for the temporary cache disk, “Don’t format it, the raw disk is what MCS caching uses.”
  15. Click Next.
  16. In the Storage Selection page, OS and Personal vDisk must be selected on at least one datastore. For maximum flexibility, only select one datastore. To select additional datastores, run this wizard again to create a separate Hosting Resource.
  17. If you selected the temporary data on local storage option, on the bottom, click Select, and choose the datastores you want to use for disk caching. By default, all local datastores are selected. Click Next when done.
  18. In the Network page, enter a name for the hosting resource. Since each hosting resource is a combination of vCenter, Cluster, Network, and Datastores, include those names in this field (e.g. vCenter01-Cluster01-Network01-Datastore01).
  19. Select a network and click Next.
  20. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  21. If you have multiple datastores for your VDAs, run the wizard again.
  22. You can use the existing vCenter connection.
  23. This time, select a different datastore.
  24. Give it a name that indicates the chosen datastore.
  25. When you create a Catalog, select the Hosting Resource for the datastore where you want the VDAs to be placed. Create additional Catalogs for each datastore. You can then combine the Catalogs into a single Delivery Group.
  26. Later in the Catalog wizard, you’re given an option to enable caching and select a cache size. This is similar to Provisioning Services option “Cache in RAM with overflow to disk”.
  27. If you rename Storage, Network, or Datacenters, see Citrix¬†CTX225019¬†XA/XD 7.13: Renaming Storage, Network or Datacenters When Used With MCS or PVS. Either run¬†Update-HypHypervisorConnection -LiteralPath "XDHyp:\Connections\MyConnection", or right-click the Hosting Resource and click Edit Storage. You can cancel the wizard.¬† ūüí°

Citrix Licensing Server

Upgrade

XenApp/XenDesktop 7.14 comes with 11.14.1.1 build 20104

If you have a standalone Licensing Server, upgrade it to Citrix Licensing 11.14.1.1 build 20104 if it isn’t already.

  1. Go to the downloaded Citrix Licensing 11.14.1.1 build 20104, and run CitrixLicensing.exe.
  2. If you see the Subscription Advantage Renewal page, make a selection, and click Next.
  3. In the Upgrade page, click Upgrade.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. If you go to Programs and Features, it should now show version 14.0.0.20104.
  6. If you login to the license server web console, on the Administration tab, it shows it as version 11.14.1.1 build 120104.
  7. You can also view the version in the registry at HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\LicenseServer\Install.

License Server CEIP

11.14.1.1 build 19005 and newer enables CEIP by default. This can be disabled in the Citrix Licensing Manager (https://localhost:8083) by clicking the gear icon.

Scroll down to Share usage statistics with Citrix and make a selection.

Citrix License Management Service

Version 11.14.0.1 and newer include the Citrix License Management Service. This service helps you avoid prohibited practices:

  • Duplication of licenses outside a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment
  • Use of legacy licenses for new product versions
  • Use of rescinded licenses

Licensing Server HA using GSLB

From Dane Young ‚Äď Creating a Bulletproof Citrix Licensing Server Infrastructure using NetScaler Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) and CtxLicChk.ps1 PowerShell Scripts. Here is a summary of the configuration steps. See the blog post for detailed configuration instructions.

  1. Build two License Servers in each datacenter with identical server names. Since server names are identical, they can’t be domain-joined.
  2. Install identical licenses on all License Servers.
  3. Set the DisableStrictNameChecking registry key on all Citrix Licensing servers.
  4. Synchronize the certificate files located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Licensing\WebServicesForLicensing\Apache\conf. They must be identical on all Licensing Servers.
  5. Download CtxLicChk.exe from http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX123935 and place on all Licensing Servers.
  6. Schedule the PowerShell script CtxLicChk.ps1 on all Licensing Servers. Get this script from the blog post linked above.
  7. Configure NetScaler:
    1. Configure GSLB ADNS services.
    2. Add wildcard Load Balancing service for each Citrix Licensing Server.
    3. Configure service TCP monitoring for ports 27000, 7279, 8082, and 8083.
    4. Create Load Balancing Virtual Server for each Licensing Server.
    5. Set one Load Balancing Virtual Server as backup for the other.
    6. Repeat in second datacenter.
    7. Configure GSLB Services and GSLB Monitoring.
    8. Configure GSLB Virtual Servers. Set one GSLB Virtual Server as backup for the other.
  8. Delegate the Citrix Licensing DNS name to the ADNS services on the NetScaler appliances.
  9. Configure Citrix Studio to point to the GSLB-enabled DNS name for Citrix Licensing.

Citrix License Server Monitoring

Citrix Licensing 11.13.1 and newer has historical usage reporting:

  1. Run Citrix Licensing Manager from the Start Menu. Or use a browser to connect to https://MyLicenseServer:8083
  2. Use the drop-down menus to select a license type, select dates, and export to a .csv file.
  3. The Update Licenses tab lets you check for renewals and download them.
  4. On the top right is a gear icon where you can set the historical retention period and configure SA license auto-renewal.

Jonathan Medd Monitor Citrix License Usage With PowerShell.

Lal Mohan РCitrix License Usage Monitoring Using Powershell

Jaroslaw Sobel ‚Äď Monitoring Citrix Licenses usage ‚Äď Graphs using WMI, Powershell and RRDtool. This script generates a graph similar to the following:

Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Install Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Do the following on your XenDesktop Controllers:

  1. In Server Manager, open the Manage menu, and click Add Roles and Features.
  2. In the Installation Type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation.
  3. Click Next until you get to the Server Roles page. Check the box next to Remote Desktop Services, and click Next.
  4. Click Next until you get to the Role Services page. Check the box next to Remote Desktop Licensing, and click Next.
  5. Click Add Features if prompted.
  6. Then finish the wizard to install the role service.

Activate Remote Desktop Licensing

  1. After RD Licensing is installed, in Server Manager, open the Tool menu, expand Terminal Services (or Remote Desktop Services), and click Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
  2. The tool should find the local server. If it does not, right-click All servers, click Connect, and type in the name of the local server.
  3. Once the local server can be seen in the list, right-click the server and click Activate Server.
  4. In the Welcome to the Activate Server Wizard page, click Next.
  5. In the Connection Method page, click Next.
  6. In the Company Information page, enter the required information, and click Next.
  7. All of the fields on the Company Information page are optional, so you do not have to enter anything. Click Next.
  8. In the Completing the Activate Server Wizard page, uncheck the box next to Start Install Licenses Wizard now, and click Finish. Since the session hosts will be configured to pull Per User licenses, there is no need to install licenses on the RD Licensing Server.
  9. In RD Licensing Manager, right-click the server, and click Review Configuration.
  10. Ensure you have green check marks. If the person installing Remote Desktop Licensing does not have permissions to add the server to the Terminal Server License Servers group in Active Directory, ask a domain admin to do it manually. If you have the proper permissions, click Add to Group.
  11. Click Continue when prompted that you must have Domain Admins privileges.
  12. Click OK when prompted that the computer account has been added.
  13. Click OK to close the window.

Smart Check

Citrix Cloud offers a Smart Check service that can scan your XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure for known issues. Soon Smart Check will require Citrix Customer Success Services (Select).

To run Smart Check:

  1. Go to https://citrix.cloud.com, and login.
  2. After logging in, find Smart Tools, and click Manage.
  3. Click Smart Check.
  4. If you enabled Smart Tools during the installation of XenDesktop 7.14, then the site should already be there. Click Complete Setup.
  5. If you didn’t enable Smart Check during XenDesktop installation, then on the top right, click¬†Add Site.

    1. In step 1, click Download Agent.
    2. Step 2 indicates it is waiting for you to install the Agent.
    3. On a Delivery Controller, run the downloaded CitrixLifecycleManagementAgent.exe.
    4. Check the box next to I accept the terms in the License Agreement, and click  Install.
    5. In the Completed the Citrix Smart Tools Agent Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
    6. Step 2 now shows that the Agent was installed successfully. Click Next.
  6. Enter credentials for your XenDesktop farm, and click Add Site.
  7. Eventually you’ll see a¬†Get Started link.
  8. Or, if the site is already added to your list of sites, click View Report next to the site.
  9. At the top right, if you click Perform Check, you can run one of the checks.
  10. If you click Configure.
  11. You can schedule the checks to automatically run periodically.
  12. To view the alerts, click one of the alert badges in the component category. Also see Smart Check alerts reference at Citrix Docs.
  13. Expand a component, and click an alert.
  14. On the right, there’s an option to¬†Hide Alert.

  15. To view the hidden alerts, at the top right, click the menu icon, and click Show Hidden Alerts.
  16. The hidden alert is grayed out. If you click the alert, you can restore it.

Citrix Scout

XenDesktop 7.14 includes a new Citrix Scout that can be launched from the Start Menu.

The tool can run a manual collection, run a trace, or schedule periodic collection. The results are uploaded to Citrix Smart Tools.


Links with more information:

XenApp/XenDesktop Health Check

Sacha Tomet¬†Finally 1.0 ‚Äď but never finalized!:¬†XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x Health Check script has now Version 1.0.

Andrew Morgan – New Free Tool: Citrix Director Notification Service: The Citrix Director Notification service sits on an edge server as a service (or local to the delivery controller) and periodically checks the health of:

  • Citrix Licensing.
  • Database Connections.
  • Broker Service.
  • Core Services.
  • Hypervisor Connections.

And if any of these items fall out of bounds, an SMTP alert is sent to the mailbox of your choice for action. The tool will also send ‚ÄúAll Clear‚ÄĚ emails when these items are resolved, ensuring you are aware when the service has resumed a healthy state.

Matt Bodholdt XenDesktop 7.x Controller Service Status Script at CUGC – PowerShell script that checks the following:

  • Lists Controllers with boot time
  • Licensing status
  • Service status on each Controller
  • DB Connections
  • Controller Available Memory
  • Hypervisor Connections Status

Related Pages

Director 7.13

Last Modified: Jul 11, 2017 @ 7:26 am

Navigation

Director 7.13 on Standalone Server

If you are installing Director 7.13 on a standalone server, see Citrix CTX142260 Installing or Upgrading to Citrix Director 7.6.200

  1. If you intend to install Director on a standalone server, start with running AutoSelect.exe from the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 media.
  2. On the right, click Citrix Director.
  3. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  4. In the Core Components page, click Next.
  5. In the Delivery Controller page, it will ask you for the location of one Controller in the farm. Only enter one Controller per farm. If you have multiple Director servers, each Director server can point to a different Controller in the farm. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails. Click Test Connection, and then click Add.
  6. In the Features page, click Next.
  7. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  8. In the Summary page, click Install.
  9. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  10. In IIS Manager, go to Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings, find Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses, and make sure it points to one Controller in the farm, and not to localhost. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

  11. If you built multiple Director servers, use NetScaler to load balance them.
  12. If you are upgrading Director, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /upgrade to complete the upgrade process.
  13. For info on the new monitoring features in Director 7.13 and older, see Use Director below.

Director Spinning Circle

If after login the spinning circle doesn’t go away:

Do the following to fix it:

  1. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\web.config using an elevated text editor.
  2. Search for <serviceHostingEnvironment (line 273).
  3. Add the following attribute:
    multipleSiteBindingsEnabled="true"

Also see CTX202564 Citrix Director Becomes Unresponsive after Submitting the Credentials when IIS X-Frame-Options is enabled

Director Tweaks

Prepopulate the domain field

From http://www.xenblog.dk/?p=33:¬†On the Controllers having the Director role installed, locate and edit the ‚ÄėLogOn.aspx‚Äô file. By default you can find it at C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\Logon.aspx

In line 450¬†you will have the following. To find the line, search for¬†ID=”Domain”. Note:¬†onblur and¬†onfocus¬†attributes were added in newer versions of Director.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

In the ID=”Domain” element, insert a Text¬†attribute and set it to your domain name. Don’t change or add any other attributes. Save the file.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" Text="Corp" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

This will prepopulate the domain field text box with your domain name and still allow the user to change it, if that should be required. Note: this only seems to work if Single Sign-on is disabled.

Session timeout

By default the idle time session limit of the Director is 245 min. If you wish to change the timeout, here is how to do it.

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėSession State‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Change the ‚ÄėTime-out (in minutes)‚Äô value under ‚ÄėCookie Settings‚Äô
  6. Click ‚ÄėApply‚Äô in the Actions list

SSL Check

From http://euc.consulting/blog/citrix-desktop-director-2-1: If you are not securing Director with an SSL certificate you will get this error at the logon screen.

To stop this:

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėApplication Settings‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Set UI.EnableSslCheck to false.

Disable Activity Manager

From Disable the visibility of running applications in the Activity Manager in Advanced Configuration at Citrix Docs: By default, the Activity Manager in Director displays a list of all the running applications and the Windows description in the title bars of any open applications for the user’s session. This information can be viewed by all administrators that have access to the Activity Manager feature in Director. For Delegated Administrator roles, this includes Full administrator, Delivery Group administrator, and Help Desk Administrator.

To protect the privacy of users and the applications they are running, you can disable the Applications tab from listing running applications.

  • On the VDA, modify the registry key located at¬†HKLM\Software\Citrix\Director\TaskManagerDataDisplayed. By default, the key is set to 1. Change the value to 0, which means the information will not be displayed in the Activity Manager.
  • On the server with Director installed, modify the setting that controls the visibility of running applications. By default, the value is true, which allows visibility of running applications in the¬†Applications Change the value to false, which disables visibility. This option affects only the Activity Manager in Director, not the VDA.¬†Modify the value of the following setting:
    UI.TaskManager.EnableApplications = false

Large Active Directory / Multiple Forests

From CTX133013 Desktop Director User Account Search Process is Slow or Fails: By default, all the Global Catalogs for the Active Directory Forest are searched using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). In a large Active Directory environment, this query can take some time or even time out.

If multiple forests, see Citrix Blog Post Using Citrix Director in a MultiForest Environment.

  1. In Information Server (IIS) Management, under the Desktop Director site, select Application Settings and add a new value called Connector.ActiveDirectory.ForestSearch. Set it to False. This disables searching any domain except the user’s domain and the server’s domain.
  2. To search more domains, add the searchable domain or domains in the Connector.ActiveDirectory.Domains field.

Site Groups

From Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 4: Troubleshooting Machines:

If there are a large number of machines, the Director administrator can now configure site groups to perform machine search so that they can narrow down searching for the machine inside a site group. The site groups can be created on the Director server by running the configuration tool via command line by running the command:

C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /createsitegroups

Then provide a site group name and IP address of the delivery controller of the site to create the site group.

Director Configuration Script¬† ūüí°

Johan Greefkes at Script for configuring Director at Citrix Discussions was kind enough to provide a script that does the following:

  • Sets the XenDesktop Controllers that Director communicates with
  • Disables SSL Check
  • Sets Logon.aspx file to default to a domain name
  • Adds a footer that displays the name of the Director server

Director – Saved Filters

From Scott Osborne and Jarian Gibson at Citrix Discussions: In Director, you can create a filter and save it.

The saved filter is then accessible from the Filters menu structure.

The saved filters are stored on each Director server at C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Director\UserData. Each user has their own saved filters. The saved filters are not replicated across Director servers.

You can instead configure multiple Director servers to store the filters on a shared UNC path: (h/t CTP Jarian Gibson)

  1. Create and share a folder (e.g. DirectorData).
  2. The Director server computer accounts need Modify permission to the share.
  3. On each Director server, run IIS Manager.
  4. Go to Sites > Default Web Site > Director. In the middle, double-click Application Settings.
  5. Change the Service.UserSettingsPath setting to the UNC path of the new share.
  6. Repeat this on other load balanced Director servers.

Director and HDX Insight

You can connect Director to NetScaler Management & Analytics System¬†(NetScaler MAS) or Citrix Insight Center to add Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views.¬†Citrix Blog Post¬†Configure Director with NetScaler Management & Analytics System (MAS).

Director and Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

If you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition, it’s possible to install SSPR on the Director server. See¬†George Spiers¬†Citrix Self-Service Password Reset for a detailed implementation¬†guide.

However this might break Director, and all you will see is a spinning circle.

To fix it, in IIS Manager (inetmgr), edit the bindings of the Default Web Site, and Remove the HTTP 8080 binding. Or implement the multisitebinding fix.

More info at Citrix Discussions Installing SSPR 1.0 appears to have broken Director 7.11 on same server.

Director Grooming

If XenDesktop is not Platinum Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For XenDesktop/XenApp Platinum Edition, by default, most of the historical Director data is groomed at 90 days. This can be adjusted up to 367 days by running a PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. On a XenDesktop Delivery Controller, run PowerShell and run asnp Citrix.*

  2. Run Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  3. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

Director Single Sign-on

You can configure Director to support Integrated Windows Authentication (Single Sign-on). Note: there seem to be issues when not connecting from the local machine or when connecting through a load balancer.

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu), or from the Start Menu, or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle, double-click Authentication in the IIS section.
  4. Right-click Windows Authentication, and Enable it.
  5. Right-click Anonymous Authentication, and Disable it.
  6. Pass-through auth won’t work from another computer until you set the http SPN for the Director server. See¬†Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at Citrix Discussions.
  7. If Director is not installed on a Controller then you’ll need to configure Kerberos delegation.
  8. If you are load balancing Director then additional config is required. See Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at Citrix Discussions for more info.
    1. Create an AD service account that will be used as the Director’s ApplicationPoolIdentity.
    2. Create SPN and link it to the service account.
      setspn -S http/loadbalanced_URL domain\user
    3. Trust the user account for delegation to any service (Kerberos only) (trust the Director servers for delegation is not necessary in this case). You have to create the SPN before you can do this step.
    4. In IIS manager, on the Application Pools (Director), specify the Identity as user we have created in step 1.
    5. In IIS manager, select Default Web Site and open the Configuration Editor.
    6. Use the drop-down to navigate to the following section:

      system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication
    7. Set useAppPoolCredentials = True and useKernelMode = False. Click Apply on the top right.

  9. When you connect to Director you will be automatically logged in. You can change the login account by first logging off.
  10. Then change the drop-down to User credentials.

Director – Multiple XenDesktop Sites

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu) or from the Start Menu, or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle pane, double-click Application Settings.
  4. Find the entry for Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses, and double-click it.
  5. If Director is installed on a Controller, localhost should already be entered.
  6. Add a comma, and the NetBIOS name of one of the controllers in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). Only enter one Controller name. If you have multiple Director servers, you can point each Director server to a different Controller in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

Director Process Monitoring

Director 7.11 and newer have Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

Process Monitoring is disabled by default. To enable it, configure the Enable process monitoring setting in a Citrix Policy. For Citrix Policies in a GPO, find this setting in the computer half of the GPO. Note: this setting could significantly increase the size of the Monitoring database.

Director Alerts and Notifications

Director supports alert conditions and email notifications. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop to be licensed with Platinum Edition. See Citrix Blog Post Configuring & Managing Alerts and Notifications Using Director for more information.

Director 7.11 and newer have CPU, Memory, and ICT RTT alerts. Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts

To configure alerts:

  1. While logged into Director, at the top of the page, click the Alerts button.
  2. Switch to the Email Server Configuration tab.
  3. Enter your SMTP information, and click Send Test Message. Then click Save.

  4. Switch to the Citrix Alerts Policy tab.
  5. There are four high-level categories of alerts: Site Policy, Delivery Group Policy, Server OS Policy, and User Policy. Click whichever one you want to configure.
  6. Then click Create.
  7. Give the alert a name.
  8. On the bottom left, select a condition and enter thresholds.
  9. On the bottom right, in the Notifications preferences section, click Add.
  10. Enter an email address, and click Add.
  11. Click Save when done. Feel free to create more alerts and notifications.
  12. For Server OS and User Policy, there are new ICA RTT alerts. See Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts for details on the new alerts in 7.11 and newer.
  13. In Director 7.12 and newer, you can configure alerts to generate an SNMP trap. This is configured in PowerShell as described at Configure alerts policies with SNMP traps at Citrix Docs.
    Set-MonitorNotificationSnmpServerConfiguration        #see Docs for parameter details
    Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy -IsSnmpEnabled $true -Uid <Policy ID>
  14. Citrix has an experimental Desktop Notification Tool. See Citrix Blog Post Desktop Notification Tool For Citrix XenDesktop.
    ablogpic2

Director Alerts can be configured with a WebHook that allows Octoblu to perform actions when a Director Alert occurs. See Configure alerts policies with Octoblu webhooks at Citrix Docs for details.

Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy ‚ÄďUid 5 ‚ÄďWebhook <Webhook URL>

Director – SCOM Integration

Director 7.8 and newer can display alerts from System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

  1. See Configure SCOM integration at Citrix Docs for detailed configuration instructions. Also see Marius Sandbu Integrating Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and System Center Operations Manager.
  2. If Director server or System Center Operations Manager server is 2008 R2, then login to the 2008 R2 server, open PowerShell and run Enable-PSRemoting. Yes to everything. This is not needed on Windows Server 2012 R2 servers.
  3. On Director server, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configscom
  4. FYI, the DirectorConfig.exe /configscom command enables the following features on the Director server: /FeatureName:IIS-NetFxExtensibility45 /FeatureName:IIS-ASPNET45 /FeatureName:WCF-HTTP-Activation45
  5. FYI, the System Center Operations Manager server is listed in IIS Manager at Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings (middle pane) > Connector.SCOM.ManagementServer.
  6. On the System Center Operations Manager server, edit Remote Management Users local group, and add Citrix Admins, and other Director users.
  7. In System Center Operations Manager Console, go to Administration > User Roles, and edit Operations Manager Operators. Add the Citrix Admins, and other Director users.
  8. See Citrix Blog Post SCOM Alerts in Citrix Director for information on how to view System Center Operations Manager alerts in Director.

Director – Custom Reports

In Director 7.12 and newer, in the Trends view, there’s a Custom Reports tab that guides you through creating a custom OData Query. This tab only appears if you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

The Monitoring database contains more data than is exposed in Director. To view this data, the Monitoring service has an OData Data Feed that can be queried.

Use Director

See Monitor deployments at Citrix Docs.

Citrix Director 7.13 and newer have an Application Instances tab on the Filters page that lets you filter published application sessions based on Session Idle Time (RDS sessions only), Application Name, and all other existing fields, like machine name, and so on. Requires Director 7.13, Controller 7.13, VDA 7.13, and Platinum Edition licensing. See Citrix Blog Post Monitoring Idle Applications and Sessions in Citrix Director. See Troubleshooting applications at Citrix Docs.

If idle time column shows n/a, then you need to wait 10-15 minutes.

In Director 7.13 and newer, the Session Details panel can show if Enlightened Data Transport (EDT, aka HDX on UDP) is enabled in the user’s session. See Citrix Blog Post¬†HDX Adaptive Transport Protocol Monitoring via Director.

George Spiers has a comprehensive guide of all Director 7.12 features at http://www.jgspiers.com/citrix-director/.

Director 7.12 and newer have Connection Failure Details, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Director 7.12: Easier Troubleshooting of Machine & Connection Failures.

Director 7.11 and newer have Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

Director 7.9 and newer have Logon Duration improvements.
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Citrix Blog Post¬†Interactive Session of Logon Duration in Citrix Director ‚Äď Explained:¬†Interactive Session Duration = Desktop Ready Event Timestamp (EventId 1000 on VDA) ‚Äď User Profile Loaded Event Timestamp (EventId 2 on VDA). More details in the Blog Post.

Citrix Blog Post Director 7.6 Failure Reasons Demystified lists possible failure reasons behind an Unregistered alert, and the true meaning of failure reasons such as Connection Refused and Communication Error. It details each failure reason, defines the meanings of these failures, and lists action items that serve as a starting point for troubleshooting the specific scenario. The list is based on Director 7.6.300.

Delivery Controller 7.13 and Licensing

Last Modified: May 18, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

Navigation

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Upgrade

If you are performing a new install of XenApp/XenDesktop Controller, then skip to the next section.

You can upgrade directly from any Delivery Controller version 5.6 or newer.

Before upgrading, if you have a standalone Citrix Licensing Server, upgrade it to 11.14.0.1 build 19005.

During the upgrade of Delivery Controller, be aware that a database upgrade is required. Either get a DBA to grant you temporary sysadmin permission, or use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts that a DBA must then run in SQL Studio.

  1. If StoreFront is installed on the Controller, and if the Citrix SCOM Agent for StoreFront is installed, stop the Citrix MPSF Agent service. See CTX220935 Cannot Perform a StoreFront Upgrade if Citrix SCOM Management Pack Agent Service is Running.
  2. Close PowerShell/Consoles. Make sure all Citrix Consoles and PowerShell consoles are closed. StoreFront won’t upgrade if any are running. If StoreFront fails, then the StoreFront configuration is wiped out.
  3. Snapshot. If StoreFront is on the Controller, take a snapshot before attempting the upgrade.
  4. Another option is to export the StoreFront configuration so you can restore it later if something goes wrong.
  5. Run AutoSelect.exe from the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 ISO.
  6. On the top left, click Studio and Server Components.
  7. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  8. In the Ensure Successful Upgrade page, read the steps, check the box next to¬†I’m ready to continue, and click¬†Next.
  9. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  10. In the Summary page, click Upgrade.
  11. If you see a Running Processes window, close the listed programs, and click Continue.
  12. Click Close if prompted to restart.
  13. If you see a window asking you to Locate XenDesktop installation media, click Cancel.
  14. Mount the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_13.iso.
  15. Run AutoSelect.exe.
  16. Click Delivery Controller and installation will resume.
  17. In the Call Home page, make a selection. If participating, click Connect, login, and then click Next.
  18. In the Finish page, check the box next to Launch Studio, and click Finish.
  19. After Citrix Studio launches, if you have¬†sysadmin permissions on SQL, then click¬†Start the automatic Site upgrade. If you don’t have full permission, then get a DBA to help you, click¬†Manually upgrade this site, and follow the instructions.

  20. If you choose to¬†Manually upgrade this site, and if you are upgrading from 7.11, then note that there’s no upgrade for the Logging Database schema, so there won’t be any SQL script for the Logging database.

  21. After all Controllers and VDAs are upgraded, right-click the Catalogs, and click¬†Upgrade Catalog. Note: 7.9 is the newest¬†minimum functional level. You won’t see an option for 7.13. If your Catalogs are already set to VDA version 7.9, then no upgrade is needed.


  22. Then do the same for the Delivery Groups.¬†Note: 7.9 is the newest¬†minimum functional level. You won’t see an option for 7.13. If your Delivery Groups¬†are already set to VDA version 7.9, then no upgrade is needed.


Other XenApp/XenDesktop components can also be in-place upgraded:

New Install Preparation

Automation РIf you want to automate the install of Delivery Controllers, see Dennis Span Citrix Delivery Controller unattended installation with PowerShell and SCCM.

Citrix Licensing РIf you are going to use an existing Citrix Licensing Server, upgrade it to 11.14.0.1 build 19005.

SQL Databases

  • Citrix CTX209080 Database Sizing Tool for XenDesktop 7
  • Citrix article¬†CTX114501 –¬†Supported Databases for XenApp and XenDesktop Components
  • There are typically three databases: one for the Site (aka farm), one for Logging (audit log) and one for Monitoring (Director).
    • The name of the monitoring¬†database must not have any spaces in it. See¬†CTX200325 Database Naming Limitation when Citrix Director Accesses Monitoring Data Using OData APIs
    • If you want Citrix Studio to create the SQL databases automatically, then the person running Studio must be a sysadmin on the SQL instances. No lesser role¬†will work.¬†sysadmin permissions can be granted temporarily and revoked after installation.
    • As an alternative, you can use Citrix Studio to create SQL scripts and then run those scripts on the SQL server. In that case, the person running the scripts only needs the dbcreator and securityadmin roles.
    • It is possible to create the databases in advance. However, you must use the non-default¬†Latin1_General_100_CI_AS_KS collation. Then use Citrix Studio to configure the database tables.
  • If SQL 2016 or newer, create¬†a¬†Basic Availability Group.
  • If SQL 2014 or older, Citrix recommends SQL Mirroring because it has the fastest failover.
    • SQL Mirroring requires two SQL Standard Edition servers and one SQL Express for the witness server.
    • You can setup SQL Mirroring either before installing XenDesktop or after installing XenDesktop. If after, then see Citrix¬†CTX140319 to manually change XenDesktop’s database connection strings How to Migrate XenDesktop Database to New SQL Server.
    • To setup SQL Mirroring, see Rob Cartwright: Configure SQL Mirroring For Use With XenDesktop, XenApp, and PVS Databases.
    • If you try to stretch the mirror across datacenters, the SQL witness must be placed in a third datacenter that has connectivity to the other two datacenters. However, stretching a single XenApp/XenDesktop site/farm and corresponding SQL mirror across datacenters is not recommended.
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Clustering are also supported. However, these features require the much more expensive SQL Enterprise Edition.

Windows Features

  • Installing¬†Group Policy Management on the Delivery Controller lets you edit GPOs and have access to the Citrix Policies node in the GPO Editor. Or you can install Citrix Studio on a different machine that has GPMC installed.

vSphere

  • Create a role in vSphere Client. Assign a service account to the role at the Datacenter or higher level.

Delivery Controller Install

  1. A typical size for the Controller VMs is 2-4 vCPU and 8+ GB of RAM. If all components (Delivery Controller, StoreFront, Licensing, Director, SQL Express) are installed on one server, then you might want to bump up memory to 10 GB or 12 GB.
  2. From Local Host Cache sizing and scaling at Citrix Docs:
    1. For LHC LocalDB, assign the Controller VMs a single socket with multiple cores.
    2. Add two cores for LHC.
    3. Add at least three more Gigs of RAM and watch the memory consumption.
    4. Since there’s no control over LHC election, ensure all Controllers have the same specs.
  3. Make sure the User Right Log on as a service includes NT SERVICE\ALL SERVICES or add NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService to the User Right.
  4. On two Delivery Controllers, install the Delivery Controller software from the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 ISO. Go to the extracted ISO and run AutoSelect.exe.
  5. Click Start next to either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  6. On the left, click Delivery Controller.
  7. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept, and click Next.
  8. In the Core Components page, you can install all components on one server, or on separate servers. Splitting them out is only necessary in large environments, or if you have multiple farms and want to share the Licensing, StoreFront, and Director components across those farms.
  9. In the Features page, uncheck the box next to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2 Express, and click Next.
  10. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  11. In the Summary page, click Install.
  12. In the Call Home page, make a selection, click Connect, enter your MyCitrix credentials, and then click Next.
  13. In the Finish page, click Finish. Studio will automatically launch.
  14. Ensure the two Controller VMs do not run on the same hypervisor host. Create an anti-affinity rule.

Create Site

There are several methods of creating the databases for XenApp/XenDesktop:

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Studio create the databases automatically.
  • If you don‚Äôt have sysadmin permissions to SQL, then use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts, and send them to a DBA.

Use Studio to Create Database Scripts

  1. Launch Citrix Studio. After it loads, click Deliver applications and desktops to your users.
  2. In the Introduction page, select An empty, unconfigured site. This reduces the number of pages in this Setup wizard. The other pages will be configured later.
  3. Enter a Site Name (aka farm name), and click Next. Only administrators see the farm name.
  4. In the Databases page, if you are building two Controllers, click Select near the bottom of the same page.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Enter the FQDN of the second Controller and click OK. Note: the Delivery Controller software must already be installed on that machine.
  7. Then click Save.
  8. If you don’t have sysadmin permissions, change the selection to Generate scripts to manually set up databases on the database server.¬†Change the database names if desired, and click¬†Next.
  9. In the Summary page, click Generate scripts.
  10. A folder will open with six scripts. Edit each of the scripts.
  11. Near the top of each script are two lines to create the database. Uncomment both lines (including the go line). Then save and close the file.

  12. Once all of the scripts are edited, you can send them to your DBA.
  13. On the Principal SQL Server, open the file Site_Principal.sql.

  14. Open the Query menu, and click SQLCMD Mode.
  15. Then execute the script.
  16. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly, then the output should look something like this:
  17. If you have a mirrored database, run the second script on the mirror SQL instance. Make sure SQLCMD mode is enabled.
  18. Repeat for the Logging_Principal.sql script.
  19. You’ll have to enable SQLCMD Mode for each script you open.


  20. Repeat for the Monitoring_Principal.sql script.
  21. Once again enable SQLCMD Mode.


  22. The person running Citrix Studio must be added to the SQL Server as a SQL Login, and granted the public server role.

  23. Back in Citrix Studio, click the Continue database configuration and Site setup button.
  24. In the Databases page, enter the SQL server name, and instance name, and click Next.

  25. On the Licensing page, enter the name of the Citrix License Server, and click Connect. If you installed Licensing with your Delivery Controller, then simply enter localhost.
  26. XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 requires the newest Licensing Server. If your server isn’t compatible, leave it set to localhost and fix it later.
  27. If the Certificate Authentication appears, select Connect me, and click Confirm.
  28. Then select your license, and click Next.
  29. In the Summary page, if your databases are mirrored, each database will show high availability servers, and the name of the Mirror server. Click Finish.

  30. It will take some time for the site to be created.

Verify Database Mirroring

If your database is mirrored, when you run asnp citrix.* and then run get-brokerdbconnection, you’ll see the Failover Partner in the database connection string.

Second Controller

When building the first Delivery Controller, the scripts might have already included the second Delivery Controller. Thus no special SQL permissions are needed. If the second Delivery Controller has not already been added to the SQL databases, then there are several methods of adding a second Controller to the databases for XenApp/XenDesktop:

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Studio modify the databases automatically.
  • If you don‚Äôt have sysadmin permissions to SQL then use Citrix Studio to generate SQL scripts and send them to a DBA.

To use Citrix Studio to create the SQL Scripts:

  1. On the first Delivery Controller, if StoreFront is installed, delete the default StoreFront store (/Citrix/Store) and recreate it with your desired Store name (e.g. /Citrix/CompanyStore).
  2. On the 2nd Delivery Controller, install XenDesktop as detailed earlier.
  3. After running Studio, click Connect this Delivery Controller to an existing Site.
  4. Enter the name of the first Delivery Controller, and click OK.
  5. If you don’t have elevated SQL permissions, click No when asked if you want to update the database automatically.
  6. Click Generate scripts.
  7. A folder will open with six scripts. If not mirroring, then the top three scripts need to be sent to a DBA. If mirroring, send all six.
  8. On the SQL Server, open one of the .sql files.

  9. Open the Query menu and click SQLCMD Mode.
  10. Then execute the XenDesktop script.
  11. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly then the output should look something like this:
  12. Repeat for the remaining script files.
  13. Back in Citrix Studio, click OK.
  14. In Citrix Studio, under Configuration > Controllers, you should see both controllers.
  15. You can also test the site again if desired.

Studio ‚Äď Slow Launch

From B.J.M. Groenhout at Citrix Discussions: The following adjustments can be made if Desktop Studio (and other Citrix management Consoles) will start slowly:

  • Within Internet Explorer, go to Tools ‚Äď Internet Options ‚Äď Tab Advanced ‚Äď Section Security and uncheck the option Check for publisher‚Äôs certificate revocation

After adjustment Desktop Studio (MMC) will be started immediately. Without adjustment it may take some time before Desktop Studio (MMC) is started.

Registry setting (can be deployed using Group Policy Preferences):

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WinTrust\Trust Providers\Software Publishing
    • State“=dword:00023e00

Local Host Cache

If you have 5,000 or fewer VDAs, you can enable Local Host Cache (LHC) instead of Connection Leasing. LHC allows new sessions to be started even if SQL database is unavailable.

From Local Host Cache sizing and scaling at Citrix Docs:

  1. For LHC LocalDB, assign the Controller VMs a single socket with multiple cores.
  2. Add two cores for LHC.
  3. Add at least three more Gigs of RAM and watch the memory consumption.
  4. Since there’s no control over LHC election, ensure all Controllers have the same specs.
  5. The Docs article has scripts for monitoring LHC performance.

From XenApp 7.12, LHC and a reboot at Citrix Discussions:

  • If the rebooted DDC is the elected one, a different DDC will take over (causing registration storm) and when the DDC gets back, it will take over brokering causing second registration storm. Site will sort itself out and all will work.
  • If the rebooted DDC is not the elected one, it will not impact any functionality.
  • If you turn the DDC down when site is working, and start it during outage, LHC will not trigger on that machine. This DDC will not impact the LHC unless it would become the elected one. In that scenario it will take control, however not start LHC and resources would not be available.

For Windows Server 2008 R2 Controllers, PowerShell 3, or newer, is required. See LHC XD 7.12 and W2K8SR2 SP1 at Citrix Discussions.

Local Host Cache can be enabled by running some PowerShell commands.

asnp citrix.*
Set-BrokerSite -ConnectionLeasingEnabled $false
Set-BrokerSite -LocalHostCacheEnabled $true

George Spiers Local Host Cache XenApp & XenDesktop 7.12 shows the Event Log entries when LHC is enabled.

Database Maintenance

Enable Read-Committed Snapshot

The XenDesktop Database can become heavily utilized under load in a large environment. Therefore Citrix recommends enabling the Read_Committed_Snapshot option on the XenDesktop databases to remove contention on the database from read queries. This can improve the interactivity of Studio and Director. It should be noted that this option may increase the load on the tempdb files. See Citrix article CTX137161 How to Enable Read-Committed Snapshot in XenDesktop for configuration instructions.

Change Database Connection Strings

Sometimes the database connection strings need to be modified:

  • When moving the SQL databases to a different SQL server
  • For AlwaysOn Availability Groups, to add MultiSubnetFailover to the SQL connection strings
  • For SQL mirroring, to add Failover Partner to the SQL connection strings

CTX140319 How to Migrate XenDesktop Database to New SQL Server has the correctly ordered list of PowerShell commands to change the database connection strings. Make sure PowerShell is running as administrator before running these commands.

Here are the DB Connections that must be changed. This list might be longer than the article. When using the article, make sure you include all of the DB Connections shown below. You can get the full list of database commands by running Get-Command Set-*DBConnection. When changing the DB connections, AdminDBConnection must be the last to be set to NULL, and the first to be configured with the new connection string.

Set-ConfigDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AppLibDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null ¬† ¬†#7.8 and newer
Set-OrchDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null ¬† ¬†  #7.11 and newer
Set-TrustDBConnection ‚ÄďDBConnection $null     #7.11 and newer
Set-AcctDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AnalyticsDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-HypDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-ProvDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-BrokerDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-EnvTestDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-SfDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DataStore Monitor -DBConnection $null   #Monitoring Database
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $null                      #Site Database
Set-LogDBConnection -DataStore Logging -DBConnection $null       #Logging Database
Set-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $null                          #Site Database
Set-AdminDBConnection -DBConnection $null -force

Citrix CTX221389 Scripts For Updating Connection Strings in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x was recently updated for 7.13.

  • Change_XD_Failover_Partner_v1.ps1 ‚Äď is used to update the mirroring failover partner.
  • Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1 ‚Äď this takes passed in connection strings and uses them, so a very generic version.
  • Change_XD_To_MultiSubnetFailover.ps1 ‚Äď this toggles the MultiSubnetFailover. If it doesn’t exist or is false, it sets it to true. If it’s set to true, the script sets it back to false. If you need to remove the option then you’ll need to use Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1 and provide strings without the setting.
  • Change_XD_To_Null.ps1 ‚Äď this is a reset of all the connection strings on the localhost as something has gone wrong. Note because this resets the connection strings to null, it will actually place the ddc into a ‚Äúinitial‚ÄĚ state. I.E. if you run Studio, it‚Äôll ask if you want to create a site, or join to another DDC. This is useful if something has gone wrong, as you can reset a Controller’s settings, and then attempt to set the connection strings again using Change_XD_To_ConnectionString.ps1.

Director Grooming

If XenDesktop is not Platinum Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For XenDesktop/XenApp Platinum Edition, by default, most of the historical Director data is groomed at 90 days. This can be adjusted up to 367 days by running a PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. On a Delivery Controller, run PowerShell and run asnp Citrix.*

  2. Run Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  3. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

View Logging Database

To view the contents of the Logging Database, in Studio, click the Logging node. On the right is Create Custom Report. See Citrix article CTX138132 Viewing Configuration Logging Data Not Shown for more info.

The Logging Database can be queried using Get-LogLowLevelOperation. See Stefan Beckmann Get user who set maintenance mode for a server or client for an example script that uses this PowerShell cmdlet.

Maintain Logging Database

Citrix¬†CTX215069¬†Troubleshooting and managing Oversized Configuration Logging database:¬†The article’s¬†queries can be used to determine the number of configuration operation types performed by XenDesktop Administrator, and to analyze the content of the Configuration Logging database when it is considered oversized.¬†A grooming query is also provided to delete data older than a specified date.

Export/Import Configuration

Ryan Butler has a PowerShell script that can export configuration from one XenDesktop farm and import it to another.

Studio Administrators

Full Administrators

  1. In the Studio, under Configuration, click the Administrators node. The first time you access the node you‚Äôll see a Welcome¬†page. Feel free to check the box to Don’t show this again, and then click Close.
  2. On the Administrators tab, right-click, and click Create Administrator.
  3. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a group (e.g. Citrix Admins) that will have permissions to Studio and Director. These groups typically have access to all objects so select the All scope. Alternatively, you can create a Scope to limit the objects. Click Next.
  4. On the Role page, select a role, and then click Next. For example:
    • Full Administrator for the Citrix Admins group
    • Help Desk Administrator for the Help Desk group
    • Machine Catalog Administrator for the desktop team
  5. In the Summary page, click Finish.

Help Desk

  1. In the Studio, under Configuration, click the Administrators node. On the Administrators tab, right-click, and click Create Administrator.
  2. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a Help Desk group that will have permissions to Studio and Director. Select the All scope. And click Next.
  3. On the Role page, select the Help Desk Administrator role, and then click Next.
  4. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  5. When administrators in the Help Desk role log into Director, all they see is this.

    To jazz it up a little, add the Help Desk group to the read-only role.
  6. Right-click the Help Desk Administrator, and click Edit Administrator.
  7. Click Add.
  8. In the Scope page, select a scope, and click Next.
  9. In the Role page, select Read Only Administrator, and click Next.
  10. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  11. Then click OK. Now Director will display the dashboard.

Provisioning Services w/Personal vDisk

From Considerations: Provisioning Services at Configure and manage Personal vDisk at Citrix Docs: The Provisioning Services Soap Service account must be added to the Administrator node of Studio and must have the Machine Administrator or higher role. This ensures that the PvD desktops are put into the Preparing state when the Provisioning Services (PVS) vDisk is promoted to production.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 enables CEIP by default. If desired, you can disable it in Citrix Studio:

  1. On the left, go to the Configuration node.
  2. On the right, switch to the Product Support tab.
  3. Click End.
  4. Click Yes.

Each XenApp/XenDesktop component has a separate configuration for disabling Customer Experience Improvement Program:

vCenter Connection

XenDesktop uses an Active Directory service account to log into vCenter. This account needs specific permissions in vCenter. To facilitate assigning these permissions, create a new vCenter role and assign it to the XenDesktop service account. The permissions should be applied at the datacenter or higher level.

Hosting Resources

A Hosting Resource = vCenter + Cluster (Resource Pool) + Storage + Network. When you create a machine catalog, you select a previously defined Hosting Resource, and the Cluster, Storage, and Network defined in the Hosting Resource object are automatically selected. If you need some desktops on a different Cluster+Storage+Network then you’ll need to define more Hosting Resources in Studio.

  1. In Studio, expand Configuration and click Hosting. Right-click it, and click Add Connection and Resources.
  2. In the Connection page, for Connection type, select VMware vSphere.
  3. Notice there’s a Learn about user permissions¬†blue link to an article that describes the necessary permissions.
  4. Enter https://vcenter01.corp.local/sdk as the vCenter URL. The URL must contain the FQDN of the vCenter server.
  5. Enter credentials of a service account that can log into vCenter.
  6. In the Connection name field, give the connection a name. Typically, this matches the name of the vCenter server.
  7. If you are not using Machine Creation Services, and instead only need the vCenter connection for machine power management, change the Create virtual machines using selection to Other Tools. If you intend to use MCS, leave it set to Studio Tools.
  8. Click Next.
  9. If you see a message about the vCenter certificate, check the box next to Trust certificate, and click OK.
  10. Note: this vCenter certificate thumbprint is stored in the XenDesktop database, and is not updated when the vCenter certificate changes. See CTX217415 Cannot connect to the VCenter server due to a certificate error for instructions on manually updating the database with the new certificate thumbprint.
  11. In the Storage Management¬†page, click¬†Browse, and select a vSphere cluster. Note: as detailed at CTX223662, make sure there’s no comma in the datacenter name.
  12. Select Use storage shared by hypervisors.
  13. If you have sufficient disk space on each ESXi host, also select¬†Optimize temporary data on available local storage.¬†From Mark Syms at¬†XA 7.9 MCS with RAM Caching¬†at Citrix Discussions: “If you use just MCS caching to local storage then the VM is not agile at all and cannot be moved even when powered off as it has a virtual disk permanently associated with a single host.”
  14. From Martin Rowan at XA 7.9 MCS with RAM Caching¬†at Citrix Discussions: for the temporary cache disk, “Don’t format it, the raw disk is what MCS caching uses.”
  15. Click Next.
  16. In the Storage Selection page, OS and Personal vDisk must be selected on at least one datastore. For maximum flexibility, only select one datastore. To select additional datastores, run this wizard again to create a separate Hosting Resource.
  17. If you selected the temporary data on local storage option, on the bottom, click Select, and choose the datastores you want to use for disk caching. By default, all local datastores are selected. Click Next when done.
  18. In the Network page, enter a name for the hosting resource. Since each hosting resource is a combination of vCenter, Cluster, Network, and Datastores, include those names in this field (e.g. vCenter01-Cluster01-Network01-Datastore01).
  19. Select a network and click Next.
  20. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  21. If you have multiple datastores for your VDAs, run the wizard again.
  22. You can use the existing vCenter connection.
  23. This time, select a different datastore.
  24. Give it a name that indicates the chosen datastore.
  25. When you create a Catalog, select the Hosting Resource for the datastore where you want the VDAs to be placed. Create additional Catalogs for each datastore. You can then combine the Catalogs into a single Delivery Group.
  26. Later in the Catalog wizard, you’re given an option to enable caching and select a cache size. This is similar to Provisioning Services option “Cache in RAM with overflow to disk”.

Citrix Licensing Server

Upgrade

XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 comes with 11.14.0.1 build 19005

If you have a standalone Licensing Server, upgrade it to Citrix Licensing 11.14.0.1 build 19005 if it isn’t already.

  1. Go to the downloaded Citrix Licensing 11.14.0.1 build 19005 and run CitrixLicensing.exe.
  2. If you see the Subscription Advantage Renewal page, make a selection, and click Next.
  3. In the Upgrade page, click Upgrade.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. If you go to Programs and Features, it should now show version 13.0.0.19005.
  6. If you login to the license server web console, on the Administration tab, it shows it as version 11.14.0 build 18001.
  7. You can also view the version in the registry at HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\LicenseServer\Install.

License Server CEIP

11.14.0.1 build 19005 and newer enables CEIP by default. This can be disabled in the Citrix Licensing Manager (https://localhost:8083) by clicking the gear icon.

Scroll down to Share usage statistics with Citrix and make a selection.

Citrix License Management Service

New in 11.14.0.1 is the Citrix License Management Service. This service helps you avoid prohibited practices:

  • Duplication of licenses outside a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment
  • Use of legacy licenses for new product versions
  • Use of rescinded licenses

Licensing Server HA using GSLB

From Dane Young ‚Äď Creating a Bulletproof Citrix Licensing Server Infrastructure using NetScaler Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) and CtxLicChk.ps1 PowerShell Scripts. Here is a summary of the configuration steps. See the blog post for detailed configuration instructions.

  1. Build two License Servers in each datacenter with identical server names. Since server names are identical, they can’t be domain-joined.
  2. Install identical licenses on all License Servers.
  3. Set the DisableStrictNameChecking registry key on all Citrix Licensing servers.
  4. Synchronize the certificate files located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Licensing\WebServicesForLicensing\Apache\conf. They must be identical on all Licensing Servers.
  5. Download CtxLicChk.exe from http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX123935 and place on all Licensing Servers.
  6. Schedule the PowerShell script CtxLicChk.ps1 on all Licensing Servers. Get this script from the blog post linked above.
  7. Configure NetScaler:
    1. Configure GSLB ADNS services.
    2. Add wildcard Load Balancing service for each Citrix Licensing Server.
    3. Configure service TCP monitoring for ports 27000, 7279, 8082, and 8083.
    4. Create Load Balancing Virtual Server for each Licensing Server.
    5. Set one Load Balancing Virtual Server as backup for the other.
    6. Repeat in second datacenter.
    7. Configure GSLB Services and GSLB Monitoring.
    8. Configure GSLB Virtual Servers. Set one GSLB Virtual Server as backup for the other.
  8. Delegate the Citrix Licensing DNS name to the ADNS services on the NetScaler appliances.
  9. Configure Citrix Studio to point to the GSLB-enabled DNS name for Citrix Licensing.

Citrix License Server Monitoring

Citrix Licensing 11.13.1 and newer has historical usage reporting:

  1. Run Citrix Licensing Manager from the Start Menu. Or use a browser to connect to https://MyLicenseServer:8083
  2. Use the drop-down menus to select a license type, select dates, and export to a .csv file.
  3. The Update Licenses tab lets you check for renewals and download them.
  4. On the top right is a gear icon where you can set the historical retention period and configure SA license auto-renewal.

Jonathan Medd Monitor Citrix License Usage With PowerShell.

Lal Mohan РCitrix License Usage Monitoring Using Powershell

Jaroslaw Sobel ‚Äď Monitoring Citrix Licenses usage ‚Äď Graphs using WMI, Powershell and RRDtool. This script generates a graph similar to the following:

Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Install Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Do the following on your XenDesktop Controllers:

  1. In Server Manager, open the Manage menu, and click Add Roles and Features.
  2. In the Installation Type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation.
  3. Click Next until you get to the Server Roles page. Check the box next to Remote Desktop Services, and click Next.
  4. Click Next until you get to the Role Services page. Check the box next to Remote Desktop Licensing, and click Next.
  5. Click Add Features if prompted.
  6. Then finish the wizard to install the role service.

Activate Remote Desktop Licensing

  1. After RD Licensing is installed, in Server Manager, open the Tool menu, expand Terminal Services (or Remote Desktop Services), and click Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
  2. The tool should find the local server. If it does not, right-click All servers, click Connect, and type in the name of the local server.
  3. Once the local server can be seen in the list, right-click the server and click Activate Server.
  4. In the Welcome to the Activate Server Wizard page, click Next.
  5. In the Connection Method page, click Next.
  6. In the Company Information page, enter the required information, and click Next.
  7. All of the fields on the Company Information page are optional, so you do not have to enter anything. Click Next.
  8. In the Completing the Activate Server Wizard page, uncheck the box next to Start Install Licenses Wizard now, and click Finish. Since the session hosts will be configured to pull Per User licenses, there is no need to install licenses on the RD Licensing Server.
  9. In RD Licensing Manager, right-click the server, and click Review Configuration.
  10. Ensure you have green check marks. If the person installing Remote Desktop Licensing does not have permissions to add the server to the Terminal Server License Servers group in Active Directory, ask a domain admin to do it manually. If you have the proper permissions, click Add to Group.
  11. Click Continue when prompted that you must have Domain Admins privileges.
  12. Click OK when prompted that the computer account has been added.
  13. Click OK to close the window.

Smart Check

Citrix Cloud offers a Smart Check service that can scan your XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure for known issues. Soon Smart Check will require Citrix Customer Success Services (Select).

To run Smart Check:

  1. Go to https://citrix.cloud.com, and login.
  2. After logging in, find Smart Tools, and click Manage.
  3. Click Smart Check.
  4. On the top right, click Add Site.
  5. In step 1, click Download Agent.
  6. Step 2 indicates it is waiting for you to install the Agent.
  7. On a Delivery Controller, run the downloaded CitrixLifecycleManagementAgent.exe.
  8. Check the box next to I accept the terms in the License Agreement, and click  Install.
  9. In the Completed the Citrix Smart Tools Agent Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  10. Step 2 now shows that the Agent was installed successfully. Click Next.
  11. Enter credentials for your XenDesktop farm, and click Add Site.
  12. Eventually you’ll see a¬†Get Started link.
  13. Or, if the site is already added to your list of sites, click View Report next to the site.
  14. At the top right, if you click Perform Check, you can run one of the checks.
  15. If you click Configure.
  16. You can schedule the checks to automatically run periodically.
  17. To view the alerts, click one of the alert badges in the component category. Also see Smart Check alerts reference at Citrix Docs.
  18. Expand a component, and click an alert.
  19. On the right, there’s an option to¬†Hide Alert.

  20. To view the hidden alerts, at the top right, click the menu icon, and click Show Hidden Alerts.
  21. The hidden alert is grayed out. If you click the alert, you can restore it.

XenApp/XenDesktop Health Check

Sacha Tomet¬†Finally 1.0 ‚Äď but never finalized!:¬†XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x Health Check script has now Version 1.0.

Andrew Morgan – New Free Tool: Citrix Director Notification Service: The Citrix Director Notification service sits on an edge server as a service (or local to the delivery controller) and periodically checks the health of:

  • Citrix Licensing.
  • Database Connections.
  • Broker Service.
  • Core Services.
  • Hypervisor Connections.

And if any of these items fall out of bounds, an SMTP alert is sent to the mailbox of your choice for action. The tool will also send ‚ÄúAll Clear‚ÄĚ emails when these items are resolved, ensuring you are aware when the service has resumed a healthy state.

Matt Bodholdt XenDesktop 7.x Controller Service Status Script at CUGC – PowerShell script that checks the following:

  • Lists Controllers with boot time
  • Licensing status
  • Service status on each Controller
  • DB Connections
  • Controller Available Memory
  • Hypervisor Connections Status

Related Pages

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 7.13

Last Modified: Jul 10, 2017 @ 8:16 am

Navigation

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Hardware

Hypervisor Host Hardware

  • Citrix Blog Post¬†Citrix Scalability ‚ÄĒ The Rule of 5 and 10:¬†Simply take the number of physical cores in a hypervisor host, multiply it by 5 or 10, and the result will be your Single Server Scalability.¬†Use 5 if you‚Äôre looking for the number of XenDesktop VMs you can host on a box, and use 10 if you‚Äôre looking for the number of XenApp user sessions you can host on a box.

Virtual Machine Hardware

  1. For virtual desktops, give the virtual machine: 2+ vCPU and 2+ GB of RAM
  2. For Windows 2008 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 4 vCPU and 12-24 GB of RAM
  3. For Windows 2012 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 8 vCPU, and 24-48 GB of RAM
  4. If using RAM caching (MCSIO or PvS), add more RAM for the cache
  5. Remove the floppy drive
  6. Remove any serial or LPT ports
  7. If vSphere:
    1. To reduce disk space, reserve memory. Memory reservations reduce or eliminate the virtual machine .vswp file.
    2. The NIC should be VMXNET3.
  8. If this VDA will boot from Provisioning Services:
    1. Do not enable Memory Hot Plug
    2. For vSphere, the NIC must be VMXNET3.
    3. For vSphere, configure the CD-ROM to boot from IDE instead of SATA. SATA comes with VM hardware version 10. SATA won’t work with PvS.
  9. For Windows 10, note that Visual Studio 2017 is not supported on LTSB. See Visual Studio 2017 Product Family System Requirements.
  10. Install the latest version of drivers (e.g. VMware Tools).
    1. If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see¬†CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.

If vSphere, disable NIC Hotplug

  1. Users could use the systray icon to Eject the Ethernet Controller. Obviously this is bad.
  2. To disable this functionality, power off the virtual machine.
  3. Once powered off, right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  4. On the VM Options tab, expand Advanced and then click Edit Configuration.
  5. Click Add Row.
  6. On the left, enter devices.hotplug. On the right, enter false.
  7. Then click OK a couple times to close the windows.
  8. The VM can then be powered on.

Windows Preparation

  1. If RDSH, disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration in Server Manager > Local Server.
  2. Optionally, go to Action Center (Windows 8.1 or 2012 R2) or Control Panel > Security and Maintenance (Windows 10/2016) to disable User Account Control and enable SmartScreen .
  3. Run Windows Update.

  4. Add your Citrix Administrators group to the local Administrators group on the VDA. Computer Management.
  5. The Remote Desktop Services ‚ÄúPrompt for Password‚ÄĚ policy prevents Single Sign-on to the Virtual Delivery Agent. Check registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services. If fPromptForPassword = 1 then you need to fix group policy. The following GPO setting will prevent Single Sign-on from working.
    Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session Host | Security | Always prompt for password upon connection
    Or set the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PorticaAutoLogon (DWORD) = 0x10.
  6. For Windows 7/2008 R2 VDAs that will use Personal vDisk, or AppDisk, or any other layering technology, install Microsoft hotfix 2614892 A computer stops responding because of a deadlock situation in the Mountmgr.sys driver. This hotfix solved a Personal vDisk Image update issue detailed at Citrix Discussions.
  7. If this VDA is Windows Server 2008 R2, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/windows-server-2008-r2-post-sp1-hotfixes/.
  8. To remove the built-in apps in Windows 10, see Robin Hobo How to remove built-in apps in Windows 10 Enterprise.
  9. For Remote Assistance in Citrix Director, configure the GPO setting Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Remote Assistance | Offer Remote Assistance. See Jason Samuel РHow to setup Citrix Director Shadowing with Remote Assistance using Group Policy for more details.
  10. If you intend to use Citrix’s SCOM Management Packs for XenApp/XenDesktop, make sure WinRM is enabled on the VDA by running¬†winrm quickconfig. Or you can enable WinRM using Group Policy.

Install Virtual Delivery Agent 7.13

  1. For virtual desktops, make sure you are logged into the console. The VDA won’t install if you are connected using RDP.
  2. Make sure .NET Framework 4.5.2 or newer is installed.

CLI Install:

Command Line Install Options are detailed at Install using the command line at Citrix Docs.

The Citrix Telemetry Service seems to cause problems. You can use the Command Line Installer to exclude Telemetry Service as detailed at VDA upgrade cmdlet at Citrix Discussions.

XenDesktopVDASetup.exe /quiet /noreboot /masterimage /Enable_HDX_PORTS /enable_framehawk_port /Enable_REAL_TIME_TRANSPORT /optimize /controllers "xdc01.corp.local xdc02.corp.local" /Exclude "Citrix Telemetry Service"

GUI Install:

  1. Go to the downloaded XenDesktop 7.13 .iso file and run AutoSelect.exe.

  2. Alternatively, you can download the standalone VDA package and run that instead. Go the main XenDesktop 7.13 download page. Expand the section labelled Components that are on the product ISO but also packaged separately to download the Standalone VDA installers. 7.13 has a VDA installer called Desktop OS Core Services that is designed for Remote PC deployments.
  3. Click Start next to either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  4. Click Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS or Windows Server OS depending on which type of VDA you are building.

  5. In the Environment page, select Create a Master Image, and click Next.
  6. For virtual desktops, in the HDX 3D Pro page, click Next.
  7. In the Core Components page, if you don’t need Citrix Receiver installed on your VDA, then uncheck the box. Receiver is usually only needed for double-hop connections (connect to 1st VDA, and then from there, connect to 2nd VDA). Click Next.
  8. In the Additional Components page, select the features

  9. In the Delivery Controller page, select Do it manually. Enter the FQDN of each Controller. Click Test connection. And then make sure you click Add. Click Next when done.
  10. In the Features page, check boxes. In 7.12 and newer, only the top box is checked by default. If you want to use the other features, check the boxes. If this is a virtual desktop, you can leave Personal vDisk unchecked now and enable it later. Then click Next.
  11. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  12. In the Summary page, click Install.
  13. For RDSH, click Close when you are prompted to restart.
  14. After the machine reboots twice, login and installation should continue.
  15. If you see a¬†Local ‘XenApp’ installation media window, click¬†Cancel.
  16. Mount the XenApp_and_XenDesktop_7_13.iso.
  17. Run AutoSelect.exe.
  18. Click the Virtual Desktop Agent box.
  19. Installation will continue automatically.
  20. Note: NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService needs permission to login as a service.
  21. In the Call Home page, click Connect, enter your MyCitrix credentials, and then click Next.

  22. In the Finish page, click Finish to restart the machine again.

Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) ¬†ūüí°

VDA 7.12 and newer enable Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) by default. To disable it, create the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Telemetry\CEIP\Enabled (DWORD) and set it to 0 (zero). Also see CEIP at Citrix Insight Services at Citrix Docs.

See http://www.carlstalhood.com/delivery-controller-7-13-and-licensing/#ceip for additional places where CEIP is enabled.

Connection Quality Indicator

The Connection Quality Indicator tells the user the quality of the connection. For example:

Position of the indicator is configurable by the user. Thresholds are configurable through group policy.

Download it from CTX220774 Connection Quality Indicator and install it. The article is very detailed.

Group Policy templates are located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Connection Quality Indicator\Configuration. Copy the files and folder to <Sysvol>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions, or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.

Find the settings under Computer Config | Policies | Administrative Templates | Citrix Components | Virtual Desktop Agent | CQI

Notification display settings lets you customize the user notifications, or disable them.

Connection Threshold Settings lets you set the notification thresholds.

Adaptive Transport

A new feature in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 is Adaptive Transport, which uses EDT protocol, which uses UDP Ports 1494/2598 on the VDA. The UDP ports should already be open in the Windows Firewall.

Adaptive Transport is disabled by default, but can be enabled in the Citrix Policy setting HDX Adaptive Transport.

Slow Logons

Citrix Discussions¬†Xenapp 7.9: Wait for local session manager: “I have a Xenapp 7.9 environment on Windows 2012 R2. When logging in through Citrix I got message “Wait for local session manager” for 20-30 seconds. When logging in to the server with RDS, I do not have to wait for this.”

“Add the following 2 registry keys to your 7.9 VDA server – then try connecting to it using ICA to see if the issue still occurs:

Add reg keys in “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\GroupPolicy”
Dword: “CacheGpoExpireInHours” – Value = 5-24 (# of Hours) ***start with value of 5***
Dword: “GpoCacheEnabled” – Value = 1

Restart the machine after adding these registry keys and attempt an ICA connection (at least twice) to see if that helps the Login delay.”

 

Mark DePalma at XenApp slow logon times, user get black screen for 20 seconds at Citrix Discussions says that pushing Tile Refresh to a background task speeds up logons.

  1. Regedit:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
     
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache]
    @="DisableUPMResetCache"
    "Version"="1,1,1,1"
    "StubPath"="REG ADD HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\ImmersiveShell\\StateStore /v ResetCache /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f"
    "Locale"="*"
  2. UPM Exclusions:
    Directory - '!ctx_localappdata!\Microsoft\Windows\Caches'
    Registry - 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache'

 

Marvin Neys at¬†XenApp slow logon times, user get black screen for 20 seconds at Citrix Discussions says that deleting¬†HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UFH\SHC at logoff reduces logon times from 40 seconds to 6 seconds.¬† ūüí°

Remove-Item HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UFH\SHC

 

For additional logon delay troubleshooting, see¬†Alexander Ollischer¬†XenApp/XenDesktop ‚Äď ‚ÄúPlease Wait For Local Session Manager‚ÄĚ message when logging into RDS. He found some Windows Updates that caused a logon delay.

 

XenApp recalculates WMI filters on every reconnect. CTX212610 Session Reconnect 30 sec Delay РDisableGPCalculation РWMI Filters indicates that recalculation can be disabled by setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Reconnect\DisableGPCalculation (DWORD) to 1.

 

CTX212439¬†Desktop Session Stuck in Pre-Logon State with Message “Please wait for the Local Session Manager”:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters\MaxTokenSize (DWORD) = 48000
  • Delete¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod\L$RTMTIMEBOMB

Controller Registration Port

Some environments will not accept the default port 80 for Virtual Delivery Agent registration, even though registration is authenticated and encrypted on port 80. To change the port, do the following on the Virtual Delivery Agent:

  1. Open Programs and Features.
  2. Find Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent, and click Change.
  3. Click Customize Virtual Delivery Agent Settings.
  4. Edit the Delivery Controllers, and click Next.
  5. On the Protocol and Port page, change the port number, and click Next.
  6. In the Summary page, click Reconfigure.
  7. In the Call Home page, configure as desired, and then click Next.
  8. In the Finish Reconfiguration page, click Finish.
  9. You must also change the VDA registration port on the Controllers by running BrokerService.exe /VDAPort.

Controller Registration ‚Äď Verify

  1. If you restart the Virtual Delivery Agent machine or restart the Citrix Desktop Service
  2. In Windows Logs Application log, you should see an event 1012 from Citrix Desktop Service saying that it successfully registered with a controller. If you don’t see this then you’ll need to fix the ListOfDDCs¬†registry key.¬†See¬†VDA registration with Controllers at Citrix Docs.¬† ūüí°
  3. You can also¬†run Citrix’s Health Assistant on the VDA.
  4. See CTX220772 Technical Primer: VDA Registration for a very detailed explanation of the VDA Registration process.

Citrix PDF Printer 7.11.0 for Receiver for HTML5/Chrome

  1. To allow printing from Receiver for HTML5/Chrome, install Citrix PDF Printer. Get it from the Receiver for HTML5 download page in the Additional Components section. Note: this PDF Printer is only used by Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome.
  2. Go to the extracted CitrixPDFPrinter_7.11.0 and run CitrixPDFPrinter64.msi.
  3. In the Please read the Citrix PDF printer License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms, and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the Citrix PDF Universal Driver Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. In Programs and Features, it is shown as version 7.11.0.11.
  6. Configure a Citrix Policy to enable the PDF printer. The setting is called Auto-create PDF Universal Printer in the user half of a Citrix Policy GPO.

Citrix File Access 2.0.3 for Receiver for Chrome

  1. If you support Receiver for Chrome (Chromebook) and want to open files on Google Drive using published applications, install Citrix File Access on the VDAs. Get it from the Receiver for Chrome download page, in the Additional Components section.
  2. Go to the extracted Citrix_File_Access_2.0.3, and run FileAccess.msi.
  3. In the Please read the File Access License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the File Access Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. File Access is listed in Programs and Features as version 2.0.3.33.
  6. File Access has a default list of supported file extensions. The list can be expanded by editing the registry on the VDA. See CTX219983 Receiver for Chrome Error: Invalid command line arguments: Unable to open the file as it has an unsupported extension.
  7. To open a file from Google Drive, right-click and and open the file using Citrix Receiver.

Framehawk Configuration

To enable Framehawk, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#framehawkconfig

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

On 2012 R2 and newer RDSH, the only way to configure Remote Desktop Licensing is using group policy (local or domain). This procedure also works for 2008 R2 RDSH. This procedure is not needed on virtual desktops.

  1. For local group policy, run gpedit.msc. Alternatively, you can configure this in a domain GPO.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Licensing.
  3. Double-click Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers. Change it to Enabled, and enter the names of the RDS Licensing Servers (typically installed on XenDesktop Controllers). Click OK.
  4. Double-click Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode. Change it to Enabled and select Per User. Click OK.
  5. Optionally, you can install the Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. In the Server Manager > Add Roles and Features Wizard, on the Features page, expand Remote Server Administration Tools, expand Role Administration Tools, expand Remote Desktop Services Tools, and select Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. Then Finish the wizard.
  6. If it won’t install from Server Manager, you can install it from PowerShell by running¬†Install-WindowsFeature rsat-rds-licensing-diagnosis-ui.
  7. In Server Manager, open the Tools menu, expand Remote Desktop Services (or Terminal Services), and click Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser.

  8. The Diagnoser should find the license server, and indicate the licensing mode. If you’re configured for Per User licenses, then it‚Äôs OK if there are no licenses installed on the Remote Desktop License Server.

Several people in Citrix Discussions reported the following issue: If you see a message about RD Licensing Grace Period has expired even though RD Licensing is properly configured, see Eric Verdumen No remote Desktop Licence Server availible on RD Session Host server 2012. The solution was to delete the REG_BINARY in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod only leaving the default. You must take ownership and give admin users full control to be able to delete this value.

C: Drive Permissions

This section is more important for shared VDAs like RDSH Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016.

The default permissions allow users to store files on the C: drive in places other than their profile.

  1. Open the Properties dialog box for C:.
  2. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
  3. If UAC is enabled, click Change permissions.
  4. Highlight the line containing Users and Create Folders, and click Remove.
  5. Highlight the line containing Users and Create files (or Special), and click Remove. Click OK.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the permissions change.
  7. If you see any of these Error Applying Security windows, click Continue. This window should appear multiple times.
  8. Click OK to close the C: drive properties.

Pagefile

If this image will be converted to a Provisioning Services vDisk, then you must ensure the pagefile is smaller than the cache disk. For example, if you allocate 20 GB of RAM to your Remote Desktop Session Host, and if the cache disk is only 15 GB, then Windows will have a default pagefile size of 20 GB, and Provisioning Services will be unable to move it to the cache disk. This causes Provisioning Services to cache to server instead of caching to your local cache disk (or RAM).

  1. Open System. In 2012 R2 and newer, you can right-click the Start button, and click System.
  2. Click Advanced system settings.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click the top Settings button.
  4. On the Advanced tab, click Change.
  5. Uncheck the box next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Then either turn off the pagefile, or set the pagefile to be smaller than the cache disk. Don’t leave it set to System managed size. Click OK several times.

Direct Access Users

When Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent is installed on a machine, non-administrators can no longer RDP to the machine. A new local group called Direct Access Users is created on each Virtual Delivery Agent. Add your non-administrator RDP users to this local group so they can RDP directly to the machine.

Windows Profiles v3/v4/v5/v6

Roaming Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs. The profile version is also listed.

  • v6 = Windows 10 (1607) and Windows Server 2016
  • v5 = Windows 10 (1511 and older)
  • v4 = Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • v3 = Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • v2 = Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • v2 = Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

For Windows 2012 R2, install Microsoft hotfix 2890783, and set the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry value to 1.

Registry

Published Explorer

From Citrix CTX128009 Explorer.exe Fails to Launch: When publishing the seamless explorer.exe application, the session initially begins to connect as expected. After the loading, the dialog box disappears, and the Explorer application fails to appear. On the VDA, use the following registry change to set the length of time a client session waits before disconnecting the session:

  • Key = HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI
    • Value = LogoffCheckerStartupDelayInSeconds (DWORD) = 10 (Hexadecimal)

Screen Saver

From Citrix CTX205214 Screensaver Not Working in XenDesktop: By default, Screen Saver doesn’t work on Desktop OS. To enable it, on the VDA, configure the following registry value:

  • Key =¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Graphics
    • Value =¬†SetDisplayRequiredMode (DWORD) = 0

Logon Disclaimer Window Size

From XenApp 7.8 РSession Launch Security/Warning Login Banner at Citrix Discussions: If your logon disclaimer window has scroll bars, set the following registry values:

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432node\Citrix\CtxHook\AppInit_DLLS\Multiple Monitor Hook
    • Value = LogonUIWidth (DWORD) = 300
    • Value = LogonUIHeight (DWORD) = 200

Login Timeout

From Citrix CTX203760 VDI Session Launches Then Disappears: XenDesktop, by default, only allows 180 seconds to complete a logon operation. The timeout can be increased by setting the following:

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PortICA
    • Value = AutoLogonTimeout¬†(¬†DWORD) = decimal 240 or higher (up to 3600).

Also see Citrix Discussions Machines in “Registered” State, but VM closes after “Welcome” screen.

HDX Flash

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX139939 –¬†Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 – Citrix Known Issues: The registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion is queried by the HDX Flash service to check for maximum Internet Explorer version that HDX Flash supports. For Flash Redirection to work with Internet Explorer 11 set the registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion to 11 on the machine where HDX flash service is running. In case of XenDesktop it would be the machine where VDA is installed.

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer
    • Value =¬†IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion¬†(DWORD) = 00000011 (Decimal)

From Citrix Discussions: Add the DWORD ‘FlashPlayerVersionComparisonMask=0′ on the VDA under HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer.¬† This disables the Flash major version checking between the VDA and Client Device.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Enhanced Clipboard

From About Citrix Receiver for Chrome 1.9 at Citrix Docs: To enable enhanced clipboard support, create a REG_SZ registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\Virtual Clipboard\Additional Formats\HTML Format\Name=”HTML Format”. Create any missing registry keys. This applies to both virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Hosts.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Upload Folder

The Receiver for HTML5 (or Chrome) lets upload files.

By default, the user is prompted to select a upload location. If you use the Upload feature multiple times, the last selected folder is not remembered.

Citrix CTX217351 How to Customize File Upload and Download Using Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome. You can specify a default uploads location by editing HKLM\Software\Citrix\FileTransfer\UploadFolderLocation on the VDA. Environment variables are supported. When this value is configured, users are no longer prompted to select an upload location. The change takes effect at next logon.

Note: HTML5/Chrome Receiver also adds a Save to My Device location to facilitate downloads.

4K Monitors

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session: .

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula:
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vbdenum
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA.

Citrix Policies also control graphics performance.

COM Port Threads

CTX212090¬†COM Port Intermittently Inaccessible During ICA Sessions:¬†increase the default value of “MaxThreads” under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\picaser\Parameters from 20 to a value greater than the number of COM port connections you want to support.¬†For example, if a XenApp server supports 100 sessions and each session opens two COM ports, the value of “MaxThreads” should be greater than 200.

Legacy Client Drive Mapping

Citrix CTX127968 How to Enable Legacy Client Drive Mapping Format on XenApp: Citrix Client Drive Mapping no longer uses drive letters and instead they appear as local disks. This is similar to RDP drive mapping.

The old drive letter method can be enabled by setting the registry value:

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\UncLinks (create the key)
    • Value = UNCEnabled (DWORD)¬†= 0

When you reconnect, the client drives will be mapped as drive letters (starts with V: and goes backwards).

Print Driver for Non-Windows Clients

This section applies to Windows 8.1/2012 and newer VDAs.

From CTX139020 Mac Client Printer Mapping Fix for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Server 2012/2012R2. By default, Non-Windows clients cannot map printers due to a missing print driver on the VDA machine.

  1. Requirements:
    • Internet Access
    • Windows Update service enabled
  2. Click Start, and run Devices and Printers.
  3. In the Printers section, highlight a local printer (e.g. Microsoft XPS Document Writer). Then in the toolbar, click Print server properties.
  4. Switch to the Drivers tab. Click Change Driver Settings.
  5. Then click Add.
  6. In the Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Next.
  7. In the Processor Selection page, click Next.
  8. In the Printer Driver Selection page, click Windows Update. The driver we need won’t be in the list until you click this button. Internet access is required.
  9. Once Windows Update is complete, highlight HP on the left, and then select HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS (Microsoft) on the right. Click Next.
  10. In the Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Finish.
  11. Repeat these instructions to install the following additional drivers:
    • HP LaserJet Series II
    • HP Color LaserJet 4500 PCL 5

SSL for VDA

If you intend to use HTML5 Receiver internally, install certificates on the VDAs so the WebSockets (and ICA) connection will be encrypted. Internal HTML5 Receivers will not accept clear text WebSockets. External users don’t have this problem since they are SSL-proxied through NetScaler Gateway. Notes:

  • Each Virtual Delivery Agent needs a machine certificate that matches the machine name. This is feasible for a small number of persistent VDAs. For non-persistent VDAs, you‚Äôll need some automatic means for creating machine certificates every time they reboot.
  • As detailed in the following procedure, use PowerShell on the Controller to enable SSL for the Delivery Group. This forces SSL for every VDA in the Delivery Group, which means every VDA in the Delivery Group must have SSL certificates installed.

The following instructions for manually enabling SSL on VDA can be found at Configure SSL on a VDA using the PowerShell script at Citrix Docs.

  1. On the VDA machine, run mmc.exe.
  2. Add the Certificates snap-in.
  3. Point it to Local Computer.
  4. Request a certificate from your internal Certificate Authority. You can use either the Computer template or the Web Server template.

    You can also use group policy to enable Certificate Auto-Enrollment for the VDA computers.
  5. Browse to the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 ISO. In the Support\Tools\SslSupport folder, shift+right-click the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script and click Copy as path.
  6. Run PowerShell as administrator (elevated).
  7. Run the command Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted. Enter Y to approve.
  8. In the PowerShell prompt, type in an ampersand (&), and a space.
  9. Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste in the path copied earlier.
  10. At the end of the path, type in -Enable
  11. If there’s only one certificate on this machine, press Enter.
  12. If there are multiple certificates, you’ll need to specify the thumbprint of the certificate you want to use. Open the Certificates snap-in, open the properties of the machine certificate you want to use, and copy the Thumbprint from the Details tab.

    In the PowerShell prompt, at the end of the command, enter ‚ÄĎCertificateThumbPrint, add a space, and type quotes (").
    Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste the thumbprint.
    Type quotes (") at the end of the thumbprint. Then remove all spaces from the thumbprint. The thumbprint needs to be wrapped in quotes.
  13. If this VDA machine has a different service already listening on 443 (e.g. IIS), then the VDA needs to use a different port for SSL connections. At the end of the command in the PowerShell prompt, enter -SSLPort 444 or any other unused port.
  14. Press <Enter> to run the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script.
  15. Press <Y> twice to configure the ACLs and Firewall.
  16. You might have to reboot before the settings take effect.
  17. Login to a Controller, and run PowerShell as Administrator (elevated).
  18. Run the command asnp Citrix.*
  19. Enter the command:
    Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' | Set-BrokerAccessPolicyRule ‚ÄĎHdxSslEnabled $true

    where <delivery-group-name> is the name of the Delivery Group containing the VDAs.

  20. You can run Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' to verify that HDX SSL is enabled.
  21. Also run the following command:
    Set-BrokerSite ‚ÄďDnsResolutionEnabled $true

You should now be able to connect to the VDA using the HTML5 Receiver from internal machines.

The Citrix blog post How To Secure ICA Connections in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 using SSL has a method for automatically provisioning certificates for pooled virtual desktops by enabling certificate auto-enrollment and setting up a task that runs after the certificate has been enrolled.

  • For certificate auto-enrollment on non-persistent Remote Desktop Session Hosts (aka Server OS VDAs), see¬†Non-Persistent Server SSL to VDA by Alfredo Magallon Arbizu at CUGC.

Anonymous Accounts

If you intend to publish apps anonymously then follow this section.

  1. Anonymous accounts are created locally on the VDAs. When XenDesktop creates Anon accounts it gives them an idle time as specified at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\AnonymousUserIdleTime. The default is 10 minutes. Adjust as desired.
  2. You can pre-create the Anon accounts on the VDA by running “C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICAConfigTool\CreateAnonymousUsersApp.exe”. If you don‚Äôt run this tool then Virtual Delivery Agent will create them automatically when users log in.
  3. You can see the local Anon accounts by opening Computer Management, expanding System Tools, expand Local Users and Groups and clicking Users.
  4. If you open one of the accounts, on the Sessions tab, notice that idle timeout defaults to 10 minutes. Feel free to change it.

Group Policy for Anonymous Users

Since Anonymous users are local accounts on each Virtual Delivery Agent, domain-based GPOs will not apply. To work around this limitation, you’ll need to edit the local group policy on each Virtual Delivery Agent.

  1. On the Virtual Delivery Agent, run mmc.exe.
  2. Open the File menu, and click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Highlight Group Policy Object Editor, and click Add to move it to the right.
  4. In the Welcome to the Group Policy Wizard page, click Browse.
  5. On the Users tab, select Non-Administrators.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Now you can configure group policy to lockdown sessions for anonymous users. Since this is a local group policy, you’ll need to repeat the group policy configuration on every Virtual Delivery Agent image. Also, Group Policy Preferences is not available in local group policy.

Antivirus

Install antivirus using your normal procedure. Instructions vary for each Antivirus product.

Microsoft’s virus scanning recommendations (e.g. exclude group policy files) Рhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158.

Citrix’s Recommended Antivirus Exclusions

Citrix Blog Post Citrix Recommended Antivirus Exclusions: the goal here is to provide you with a consolidated list of recommended antivirus exclusions for your Citrix virtualization environment focused on the key processes, folders, and files that we have seen cause issues in the field:

  • Set real-time scanning to scan local drives only and not network drives
  • Disable scan on boot
  • Remove any unnecessary antivirus related entries from the Run key
  • Exclude the pagefile(s) from being scanned
  • Exclude Windows event logs from being scanned
  • Exclude IIS log files from being scanned

See the Blog Post for exclusions for each Citrix component/product including: StoreFront, VDA, Controller, and Provisioning Services. The Blog Post also has links to additional KB articles on antivirus.

Symantec

Symantec links:

Trend Micro

Trend Micro Slow login on Citrix environment after installing OfficeScan (OSCE): The following registries can be used to troubleshoot the issue. These registries will allow a delay on the startup procedure of OSCE until the system has launched successfully. This avoids deadlock situations during login.

Citrix¬†CTX136680 –¬†Slow Server Performance After Trend Micro Installation. Citrix session hosts experience slow response and performance more noticeable while users try to log in to the servers. At some point the performance of the servers is affected, resulting in issues with users logging on and requiring the server to be restarted. This issue is more noticeable on mid to large session host infrastructures.

Trend Micro has provided a registry fix for this type of issue. Create the following registry on all the affected servers. Add new DWORD Value as:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TmFilterParameters] “DisableCtProcCheck”=dword:00000001

Trend Micro Links:

Sophos

Best Practice for running Sophos on virtual systems:¬†we’ve amassed the following practical information about how you can optimize our software to work with this technology.

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows XP+: Installation and configuration considerations for Sophos Anti-Virus on a Remote Desktop Services server: It maybe desirable to disable the Sophos AutoUpdate shield icon

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows 2000+: incorporating current versions in a disk image, including for use with cloned virtual machines: This procedure will make sure that the produced target/cloned computers:

  • Get their distinct identity with Enterprise Console, under which they can be subsequently managed.
  • Have the desired version of Sophos Anti-Virus already installed and configured on the created image.

Optimize Performance

VDA Optimizer

Installation of the VDA might have already done this but there’s no harm in doing it again. This tool is only available if you installed VDA in Master Image mode.

  1. On the master VDA, go to C:\Program Files\Citrix\PvsVm\TargetOSOptimizer and run TargetOSOptimizer.exe.
  2. Then click OK. Notice that it disables Windows Update.

Windows 10 / Windows 2012 R2 / Windows 2016 and newer

Optimization Notes:

  • If this machine is provisioned using Provisioning Services, do not disable the Shadow Copy services.
  • Windows 8 detects VDI and automatically disables SuperFetch. No need to disable it yourself.
  • Windows 8 automatically disables RSS and TaskOffload if not supported by the NIC.

RDSH 2008 R2

Citrix CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) РOptimization Guide is a document with several registry modifications that are supposed to improve server performance. Ignore the XenApp 6 content and instead focus on the Windows content.

Citrix CTX131995 User Cannot Launch Application in Seamless Mode in a Provisioning Services Server when XenApp Optimization Best Practices are Applied. Do not enable NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation.

Citrix¬†CTX213540¬†Unable To View Printers In Devices And Printers Win 2012 R2 – don’t disable¬†Device Setup Manager Service

Norskale has Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop and XenApp 6 Tuning Tips Update.

Windows 7

Microsoft has compiled a list of links to various optimization guides.

It’s a common practice to optimize a Windows 7 virtual machine (VM) template (or image) specifically for VDI use. Usually such customizations include the following.

  • Minimize the footprint, e.g. disable some features and services that are not required¬†when the OS is used in¬†‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúnon-persistent‚ÄĚ fashion. This is especially true for disk-intensive workloads since disk I/O is a common bottleneck for VDI deployment. (Especially if there are multiple VMs with the same I/O patterns that are timely aligned).
  • Lock down user interface (e.g. optimize for specific task workers).

With that said the certain practices are quite debatable and vary between actual real-world deployments. Exact choices whether to disable this or that particular component¬†depend on customer requirements and VDI usage patterns. E.g. in personalized virtual desktop scenario there’s much less things to disable since the machine is not completely ‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ. Some customers rely heavily on particular UI functions and other can relatively easily trade them off for the sake of performance or standardization (thus¬†enhance supportability and potentially¬†security). This is one of the primary reasons why Microsoft doesn’t publish any ‚ÄúVDI Tuning‚ÄĚ guide officially.

Though there are a number of such papers and even tools published either by the community or third parties. This Wiki page is aimed to serve as a consolidated and comprehensive list of such resources.

Daniel Ruiz XenDesktop Windows 7 Optimization and GPO’s Settings

Microsoft Whitepaper Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization

Seal and Shut Down

If this session host will be a master image in a Machine Creation Services or Provisioning Services catalog, after the master is fully prepared (including applications), do the following:

  1. Go to the properties of the C: drive and run Disk Cleanup.
  2. If Disk Cleanup is missing, you can run cleanmgr.exe instead.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Optimize to defrag the drive.
    `
  4. Run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS and has at least one rearm remaining. It is no longer necessary to manually rearm licensing. XenDesktop will do it automatically.
  5. Run Delprof2 to clean up local profiles. Get it from http://helgeklein.com/download/.
  6. Machine Creation Services and Provisioning Services require DHCP.
  7. Session hosts commonly have DHCP reservations.
  8. Login Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F) automates many image sealing tasks. The script is configurable using Group Policy.¬† ūüí°
  9. Shut down the master image. You can now use Studio or Provisioning Services to create a catalog of linked clones.

Troubleshooting – Graphics

If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see¬†CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.

For Citrix Policies that control graphics codecs, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#graphics

Citrix Blog post – Optimising the performance of HDX 3D Pro ‚Äď Lessons from the field

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session:

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula :
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vbdenum
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA

From Citrix Discussions: To exclude applications from Citrix 3D rendering, create a REG_DWORD registry value ‚Äúapp.exe‚ÄĚ with value 0 or a registry value ‚Äú*‚ÄĚ with value 0.

  • XD 7.1 and XD 7.5:
    • x86: reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
    • x64: reg add hklm\software\Wow6432Node\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
  • XD 7.6/7.7/7.8/7.9/7.11 both x86 and x64:
    • reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0

Wildcards are not supported. The asterisk * here has a special meaning ‚Äúall apps‚ÄĚ but is not a traditional wildcard. To blacklist multiple apps e.g. both appa.exe and appb.exe must be done by creating a registry value for each app individually.

This is most problematic in Remote PC since most physical PCs have GPUs. I recently had to blacklist Internet Explorer to prevent lockup issues when switching back to physical.

Uninstall VDA

Uninstall the VDA from Programs and Features.

Then see CTX209255 VDA Cleanup Utility.

To run the VDA Cleanup Tool silently:

  1. Execute VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /noreboot to suppress reboot.
  2. Once the VDACleanupUtility has finished executing, setup Auto logon for the current user.
  3. Reboot.
  4. After reboot, tool will launch automatically to continue Cleanup.

Another option is to delete CitrixVdaCleanup value under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce. Then after reboot, run¬†VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /reboot to indicate that it’s running after the reboot.

Related Pages

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 7.12

Last Modified: Jul 10, 2017 @ 8:16 am

Navigation

ūüí° = Recently Updated

Hardware

  1. For virtual desktops, give the virtual machine: 2+ vCPU and 2+ GB of RAM
  2. For Windows 2008 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 4 vCPU and 12-24 GB of RAM
  3. For Windows 2012 R2 RDSH, give the virtual machine 8 vCPU, and 24-48 GB of RAM
  4. If using RAM caching (MCSIO or PvS), add more RAM for the cache
  5. Remove the floppy drive
  6. Remove any serial or LPT ports
  7. If vSphere:
    1. To reduce disk space, reserve memory. Memory reservations reduce or eliminate the virtual machine .vswp file.
    2. The NIC should be VMXNET3.
  8. If this VDA will boot from Provisioning Services:
    1. Do not enable Memory Hot Plug
    2. For vSphere, the NIC must be VMXNET3.
    3. For vSphere, configure the CD-ROM to boot from IDE instead of SATA. SATA comes with VM hardware version 10. SATA won’t work with PvS.
  9. Install the latest version of drivers (e.g. VMware Tools).
    1. If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see¬†CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.

If vSphere, disable NIC Hotplug

  1. Users could use the systray icon to Eject the Ethernet Controller. Obviously this is bad.
  2. To disable this functionality, power off the virtual machine.
  3. Once powered off, right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  4. On the VM Options tab, expand Advanced and then click Edit Configuration.
  5. Click Add Row.
  6. On the left, enter devices.hotplug. On the right, enter false.
  7. Then click OK a couple times to close the windows.
  8. The VM can then be powered on.

Windows Preparation

  1. If RDSH, disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration in Server Manager > Local Server.
  2. Optionally, go to Action Center (Windows 8.1 or 2012 R2) or Control Panel > Security and Maintenance (Windows 10/2016) to disable User Account Control and enable SmartScreen .
  3. Run Windows Update.

  4. Add your Citrix Administrators group to the local Administrators group on the VDA. Computer Management.
  5. The Remote Desktop Services ‚ÄúPrompt for Password‚ÄĚ policy prevents Single Sign-on to the Virtual Delivery Agent. Check registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services. If fPromptForPassword = 1 then you need to fix group policy. The following GPO setting will prevent Single Sign-on from working.
    Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session Host | Security | Always prompt for password upon connection
    Or set the registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PorticaAutoLogon (DWORD) = 0x10.
  6. For Windows 7/2008 R2 VDAs that will use Personal vDisk, or AppDisk, or any other layering technology, install Microsoft hotfix 2614892 A computer stops responding because of a deadlock situation in the Mountmgr.sys driver. This hotfix solved a Personal vDisk Image update issue detailed at Citrix Discussions.
  7. If this VDA is Windows Server 2008 R2, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/windows-server-2008-r2-post-sp1-hotfixes/.
  8. To remove the built-in apps in Windows 10, see Robin Hobo How to remove built-in apps in Windows 10 Enterprise.
  9. For Remote Assistance in Citrix Director, configure the GPO setting Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Remote Assistance | Offer Remote Assistance. See Jason Samuel РHow to setup Citrix Director Shadowing with Remote Assistance using Group Policy for more details.
  10. If you intend to use Citrix’s SCOM Management Packs for XenApp/XenDesktop, make sure WinRM is enabled on the VDA by running¬†winrm quickconfig. Or you can enable WinRM using Group Policy.

Install Virtual Delivery Agent 7.12

  1. For virtual desktops, make sure you are logged into the console. The VDA won’t install if you are connected using RDP.
  2. Make sure .NET Framework 4.5.2 or newer is installed.

CLI Install:

Command Line Install Options are detailed at Install using the command line at Citrix Docs.

The Citrix Telemetry Service seems to cause problems. You can use the Command Line Installer to exclude Telemetry Service as detailed at VDA upgrade cmdlet at Citrix Discussions.

XenDesktopVDASetup.exe /quiet /noreboot /masterimage /Enable_HDX_PORTS /enable_framehawk_port /Enable_REAL_TIME_TRANSPORT /optimize /controllers "xdc01.corp.local xdc02.corp.local" /Exclude "Citrix Telemetry Service"

GUI Install:

  1. Go to the downloaded XenDesktop 7.12 .iso file and run AutoSelect.exe.
  2. Alternatively, you can download the standalone VDA package and run that instead. Go the main XenDesktop 7.12 download page. Expand the section labelled Components that are on the product ISO but also packaged separately to download the Standalone VDA installers. 7.12 has a new VDA installer called Desktop OS Core Services that is designed for Remote PC deployments.
  3. Click Start next to either XenApp or XenDesktop. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  4. Click Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS or Windows Server OS depending on which type of VDA you are building.

  5. In the Environment page, select Create a Master Image, and click Next.

  6. For virtual desktops, in the HDX 3D Pro page, click Next.
  7. In the Core Components page, if you don’t need Citrix Receiver installed on your VDA, then uncheck the box. Receiver is usually only needed for double-hop connections (connect to 1st VDA, and then from there, connect to 2nd VDA). Click Next.
  8. In the Delivery Controller page, select Do it manually. Enter the FQDN of each Controller. Click Test connection. And then make sure you click Add. Click Next when done.

  9. In the Features page, check boxes. In 7.12 and newer, only the top box is checked by default. If you want to use the other features, check the boxes. If this is a virtual desktop, you can leave Personal vDisk unchecked now and enable it later. Then click Next.

  10. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  11. In the Summary page, click Install.

  12. For RDSH, click Close when you are prompted to restart.
  13. After the machine reboots twice, login and installation will continue.
  14. Note: NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService needs permission to login as a service.
  15. In the Call Home page, click Connect, enter your MyCitrix credentials, and then click Next.

  16. In the Finish page, click Finish to restart the machine again.

Connection Quality Indicator¬† ūüí°

The Connection Quality Indicator tells the user the quality of the connection. For example:

Position of the indicator is configurable by the user. Thresholds are configurable through group policy.

Download it from CTX220774 Connection Quality Indicator and install it. The article is very detailed.

Group Policy templates are located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Connection Quality Indicator\Configuration. Copy the files and folder to <Sysvol>\Policies\PolicyDefinitions, or C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions.

Find the settings under Computer Config | Policies | Admin Templates | Citrix Components | Virtual Desktop Agent | CQI

Slow Logons

Citrix Discussions¬†Xenapp 7.9: Wait for local session manager: “I have a Xenapp 7.9 environment on Windows 2012 R2. When logging in through Citrix I got message “Wait for local session manager” for 20-30 seconds. When logging in to the server with RDS, I do not have to wait for this.”

“Add the following 2 registry keys to your 7.9 VDA server – then try connecting to it using ICA to see if the issue still occurs:

Add reg keys in “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\GroupPolicy”
Dword: “CacheGpoExpireInHours” – Value = 5-24 (# of Hours) ***start with value of 5***
Dword: “GpoCacheEnabled” – Value = 1

Restart the machine after adding these registry keys and attempt an ICA connection (at least twice) to see if that helps the Login delay.”

 

Mark DePalma at XenApp slow logon times, user get black screen for 20 seconds at Citrix Discussions says that pushing Tile Refresh to a background task speeds up logons.

  1. Regedit:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
     
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache]
    @="DisableUPMResetCache"
    "Version"="1,1,1,1"
    "StubPath"="REG ADD HKCU\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\ImmersiveShell\\StateStore /v ResetCache /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f"
    "Locale"="*"
  2. UPM Exclusions:
    Directory - '!ctx_localappdata!\Microsoft\Windows\Caches'
    Registry - 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\DisableUPMResetCache'

 

For additional logon delay troubleshooting, see¬†Alexander Ollischer¬†XenApp/XenDesktop ‚Äď ‚ÄúPlease Wait For Local Session Manager‚ÄĚ message when logging into RDS. He found some Windows Updates that caused a logon delay.

 

XenApp recalculates WMI filters on every reconnect. CTX212610 Session Reconnect 30 sec Delay РDisableGPCalculation РWMI Filters indicates that recalculation can be disabled by setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Reconnect\DisableGPCalculation (DWORD) to 1.

 

CTX212439¬†Desktop Session Stuck in Pre-Logon State with Message “Please wait for the Local Session Manager”:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters\MaxTokenSize (DWORD) = 48000
  • Delete¬†HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod\L$RTMTIMEBOMB

Controller Registration Port

Some environments will not accept the default port 80 for Virtual Delivery Agent registration, even though registration is authenticated and encrypted on port 80. To change the port, do the following on the Virtual Delivery Agent:

  1. Open Programs and Features.
  2. Find Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent, and click Change.
  3. Click Customize Virtual Delivery Agent Settings.
  4. Edit the Delivery Controllers and click Next.
  5. On the Configure Delivery Controller page, change the port number, and click Next.
  6. In the Summary page, click Reconfigure.
  7. In the Finish Reconfiguration page, click Finish.
  8. You must also change the VDA registration port on the Controllers by running BrokerService.exe /VDAPort.

Controller Registration ‚Äď Verify

  1. If you restart the Virtual Delivery Agent machine or restart the Citrix Desktop Service
  2. In Windows Logs Application log, you should see an event 1012 from Citrix Desktop Service saying that it successfully registered with a controller. If you don’t see this then you’ll need to fix the ListOfDDCs¬†registry key.
  3. You can also¬†run Citrix’s Health Assistant on the VDA.
  4. See¬†CTX220772¬†Technical Primer: VDA Registration for a very detailed explanation of the VDA Registration process.¬† ūüí°¬†

Citrix PDF Printer 7.11.0 for Receiver for HTML5/Chrome

  1. To allow printing from Receiver for HTML5/Chrome, install Citrix PDF Printer. Get it from the Receiver for HTML5 download page in the Additional Components section. Note: this PDF Printer is only used by Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome.
  2. Go to the extracted CitrixPDFPrinter_7.11.0 and run CitrixPDFPrinter64.msi.
  3. In the Please read the Citrix PDF printer License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms, and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the Citrix PDF Universal Driver Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. In Programs and Features, it is shown as version 7.8.0.10.
  6. Configure a Citrix Policy to enable the PDF printer. The setting is called Auto-create PDF Universal Printer in the user half of a Citrix Policy GPO.

Citrix File Access 2.0.3 for Receiver for Chrome

  1. If you support Receiver for Chrome (Chromebook) and want to open files on Google Drive using published applications, install Citrix File Access on the VDAs. Get it from the Receiver for Chrome download page, in the Additional Components section.
  2. Go to the extracted Citrix_File_Access_2.0.3 and run FileAccess.msi.
  3. In the Please read the File Access License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms and click Install.
  4. In the Completed the File Access Setup Wizard page, click Finish.
  5. File Access is listed in Programs and Features as version 2.0.3.33.
  6. File Access has a default list of supported file extensions. The list can be expanded by editing the registry on the VDA. See CTX219983 Receiver for Chrome Error: Invalid command line arguments: Unable to open the file as it has an unsupported extension.
  7. To open a file from Google Drive, right-click and and open the file using Citrix Receiver.

Framehawk Configuration

To enable Framehawk, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#framehawkconfig

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

On 2012 R2 and newer RDSH, the only way to configure Remote Desktop Licensing is using group policy (local or domain). This procedure also works for 2008 R2 RDSH. This procedure is not needed on virtual desktops.

  1. For local group policy, run gpedit.msc. Alternatively, you can configure this in a domain GPO.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Licensing.
  3. Double-click Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers. Change it to Enabled, and enter the names of the RDS Licensing Servers (typically installed on XenDesktop Controllers). Click OK.
  4. Double-click Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode. Change it to Enabled and select Per User. Click OK.
  5. Optionally, you can install the Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. In the Server Manager > Add Roles and Features Wizard, on the Features page, expand Remote Server Administration Tools, expand Role Administration Tools, expand Remote Desktop Services Tools, and select Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser Tool. Then Finish the wizard.
  6. If it won’t install from Server Manager, you can install it from PowerShell by running¬†Install-WindowsFeature rsat-rds-licensing-diagnosis-ui.
  7. In Server Manager, open the Tools menu, expand Remote Desktop Services (or Terminal Services), and click Remote Desktop Licensing Diagnoser.

  8. The Diagnoser should find the license server, and indicate the licensing mode. If you’re configured for Per User licenses, then it‚Äôs OK if there are no licenses installed on the Remote Desktop License Server.

Several people in Citrix Discussions reported the following issue: If you see a message about RD Licensing Grace Period has expired even though RD Licensing is properly configured, see Eric Verdumen No remote Desktop Licence Server availible on RD Session Host server 2012. The solution was to delete the REG_BINARY in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod only leaving the default. You must take ownership and give admin users full control to be able to delete this value.

C: Drive Permissions

This section is more important for shared VDAs like Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 R2.

The default permissions allow users to store files on the C: drive in places other than their profile.

  1. Open the Properties dialog box for C:.
  2. On the Security tab, click Advanced.
  3. If UAC is enabled, click Change permissions.
  4. Highlight the line containing Users and Create Folders, and click Remove.
  5. Highlight the line containing Users and Create files (or Special), and click Remove. Click OK.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the permissions change.
  7. If you see any of these Error Applying Security windows, click Continue. This window should appear multiple times.
  8. Click OK to close the C: drive properties.

Pagefile

If this image will be converted to a Provisioning Services vDisk, then you must ensure the pagefile is smaller than the cache disk. For example, if you allocate 20 GB of RAM to your Remote Desktop Session Host, and if the cache disk is only 15 GB, then Windows will have a default pagefile size of 20 GB, and Provisioning Services will be unable to move it to the cache disk. This causes Provisioning Services to cache to server instead of caching to your local cache disk (or RAM).

  1. Open System. In 2012 R2 and newer, you can right-click the Start button, and click System.
  2. Click Advanced system settings.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click the top Settings button.
  4. On the Advanced tab, click Change.
  5. Uncheck the box next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Then either turn off the pagefile, or set the pagefile to be smaller than the cache disk. Don’t leave it set to System managed size. Click OK several times.

Direct Access Users

When Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent is installed on a machine, non-administrators can no longer RDP to the machine. A new local group called Direct Access Users is created on each Virtual Delivery Agent. Add your non-administrator RDP users to this local group so they can RDP directly to the machine.

Windows Profiles v3/v4/v5/v6

Roaming Profiles are compatible only between the following client and server operating system pairs. The profile version is also listed.

  • v6 = Windows 10 (1607) and Windows Server 2016
  • v5 = Windows 10 (1511 and older)
  • v4 = Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • v3 = Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • v2 = Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • v2 = Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

For Windows 2012 R2, install Microsoft hotfix 2890783, and set the UseProfilePathExtensionVersion registry value to 1.

Registry

HDX Flash

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX139939 –¬†Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 – Citrix Known Issues: The registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion is queried by the HDX Flash service to check for maximum Internet Explorer version that HDX Flash supports. For Flash Redirection to work with Internet Explorer 11 set the registry key value IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion to 11 on the machine where HDX flash service is running. In case of XenDesktop it would be the machine where VDA is installed.

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer
    • Value =¬†IEBrowserMaximumMajorVersion¬†(DWORD) = 00000011 (Decimal)

From Citrix Discussions: Add the DWORD ‘FlashPlayerVersionComparisonMask=0′ on the VDA under HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\HdxMediaStreamForFlash\Server\PseudoServer.¬† This disables the Flash major version checking between the VDA and Client Device.

Published Explorer

This section applies if you intend to publish apps from this VDA.

From Citrix Knoweldgebase article CTX128009 Explorer.exe Fails to Launch: When publishing the seamless explorer.exe application, the session initially begins to connect as expected. After the loading, the dialog box disappears and the explorer application fails to appear. On the VDA, use the following registry change to set the length of time a client session waits before disconnecting the session:

  • Key = HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI
    • Value = LogoffCheckerStartupDelayInSeconds (DWORD) = 10 (Hexadecimal)

Logon Disclaimer Window Size

From XenApp 7.8 РSession Launch Security/Warning Login Banner at Citrix Discussions: If your logon disclaimer window has scroll bars, set the following registry values:

HKLM\Software\Wow6432node\Citrix\CtxHook\AppInit_DLLS\Multiple Monitor Hook\LogonUIWidth = DWORD:300
HKLM\Software\Wow6432node\Citrix\CtxHook\AppInit_DLLS\Multiple Monitor Hook\LogonUIHeight = DWORD:200

Login Timeout

Citrix CTX203760 VDI Session Launches Then Disappears: XenDesktop, by default, only allows 180 seconds to complete a logon operation. The timeout can be increased by setting the following:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\PortICA

Add a new DWORD AutoLogonTimeout and set the value to decimal 240 or higher (up to 3600).

Also see Citrix Discussions Machines in “Registered” State, but VM closes after “Welcome” screen.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Enhanced Clipboard

From About Citrix Receiver for Chrome 1.9 at Citrix Docs: To enable enhanced clipboard support, create a REG_SZ registry value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\Virtual Clipboard\Additional Formats\HTML Format\Name=”HTML Format”. Create any missing registry keys. This applies to both virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Hosts.

Receiver for HTML5/Chrome Upload Folder

The Receiver for HTML5 (or Chrome) lets upload files.

By default, the user is prompted to select a upload location. If you use the Upload feature multiple times, the last selected folder is not remembered.

Citrix CTX217351 How to Customize File Upload and Download Using Receiver for HTML5 and Receiver for Chrome. You can specify a default uploads location by editing HKLM\Software\Citrix\FileTransfer\UploadFolderLocation on the VDA. Environment variables are supported. When this value is configured, users are no longer prompted to select an upload location. The change takes effect at next logon.

Note: HTML5/Chrome Receiver also adds a Save to My Device location to facilitate downloads.

4K Monitors

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session: .

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula:
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vd3v
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA.

Citrix Policies also control graphics performance.

COM Port Threads¬† ūüí°

CTX212090¬†COM Port Intermittently Inaccessible During ICA Sessions:¬†increase the default value of “MaxThreads” under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\picaser\Parameters from 20 to a value greater than the number of COM port connections you want to support.¬†For example, if a XenApp server supports 100 sessions and each session opens two COM ports, the value of “MaxThreads” should be greater than 200.

Legacy Client Drive Mapping

Citrix CTX127968 How to Enable Legacy Client Drive Mapping Format on XenApp: Citrix Client Drive Mapping no longer uses drive letters and instead they appear as local disks. This is similar to RDP drive mapping.

The old drive letter method can be enabled by setting the registry value:

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\UncLinks (create the key)
    • Value = UNCEnabled (DWORD)¬†= 0

When you reconnect, the client drives will be mapped as drive letters (starts with V: and goes backwards).

Print Driver for Non-Windows Clients

This section applies to Windows 8.1/2012 and newer VDAs.

From Mac Client Printer Mapping Fix for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Server 2012/2012R2. By default, Non-Windows clients cannot map printers due to a missing print driver on the VDA machine.

  1. Requirements:
    • Internet Access
    • Windows Update service enabled
  2. Click Start, and run Devices and Printers.
  3. In the Printers section, highlight a local printer (e.g. Microsoft XPS Document Writer). Then in the toolbar click Print server properties.
  4. Switch to the Drivers tab. Click Change Driver Settings.
  5. Then click Add.
  6. In the Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Next.
  7. In the Processor Selection page, click Next.
  8. In the Printer Driver Selection page, click Windows Update. The driver we need won’t be in the list until you click this button. Internet access is required.
  9. Once Windows Update is complete, highlight HP on the left and then select HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS (Microsoft) on the right. Click Next.
  10. In the Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Finish.
  11. Repeat these instructions to install the following additional drivers:
    • HP LaserJet Series II
    • HP Color LaserJet 4500 PCL 5

SSL for VDA

If you intend to use HTML5 Receiver internally, install certificates on the VDAs so the WebSockets (and ICA) connection will be encrypted. Internal HTML5 Receivers will not accept clear text WebSockets. External users don’t have this problem since they are SSL-proxied through NetScaler Gateway. Notes:

  • Each Virtual Delivery Agent needs a machine certificate that matches the machine name. This is feasible for a small number of persistent VDAs. For non-persistent VDAs, you‚Äôll need some automatic means for creating machine certificates every time they reboot.
  • As detailed in the following procedure, use PowerShell on the Controller to enable SSL for the Delivery Group. This forces SSL for every VDA in the Delivery Group, which means every VDA in the Delivery Group must have SSL certificates installed.

The Citrix blog post How To Secure ICA Connections in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 using SSL has a method for automatically provisioning certificates for pooled virtual desktops by enabling certificate auto-enrollment and setting up a task that runs after the certificate has been enrolled. Unfortunately this does not work for Remote Desktop Session Host.

The following instructions can be found at Configure SSL on a VDA using the PowerShell script at Citrix Docs.

  1. On the VDA machine, run mmc.exe.
  2. Add the Certificates snap-in.
  3. Point it to Local Computer.
  4. Request a certificate from your internal Certificate Authority. You can use either the Computer template or the Web Server template.

    You can also use group policy to enable Certificate Auto-Enrollment for the VDA computers.
  5. Browse to the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.12 ISO. In the Support\Tools\SslSupport folder, shift+right-click the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script and click Copy as path.
  6. Run PowerShell as administrator (elevated).
  7. Run the command Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted. Enter Y to approve.
  8. In the PowerShell prompt, type in an ampersand (&), and a space.
  9. Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste in the path copied earlier.
  10. At the end of the path, type in -Enable
  11. If there’s only one certificate on this machine, press Enter.
  12. If there are multiple certificates, you’ll need to specify the thumprint of the certificate you want to use. Open the Certificates snap-in, open the properties of the machine certificate you want to use, and copy the Thumbprint from the Details tab.

    In the PowerShell prompt, at the end of the command, enter ?CertificateThumbPrint, add a space, and type quotes (").
    Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste the thumbprint.
    Type quotes (") at the end of the thumbprint. Then remove all spaces from the thumbprint. The thumbprint needs to be wrapped in quotes.
  13. If this VDA machine has a different service already listening on 443 (e.g. IIS), then the VDA needs to use a different port for SSL connections. At the end of the command in the PowerShell prompt, enter -SSLPort 444 or any other unused port.
  14. Press <Enter> to run the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script.
  15. Press <Y> twice to configure the ACLs and Firewall.
  16. You might have to reboot before the settings take effect.
  17. Login to a Controller, and run PowerShell as Administrator (elevated).
  18. Run the command asnp Citrix.*
  19. Enter the command:
    Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' | Set-BrokerAccessPolicyRule ?HdxSslEnabled $true

    where <delivery-group-name> is the name of the Delivery Group containing the VDAs.

  20. You can run Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' to verify that HDX SSL is enabled.
  21. Also run the following command:
    Set-BrokerSite ‚ÄďDnsResolutionEnabled $true

You should now be able to connect to the VDA using the HTML5 Receiver from internal machines.

Anonymous Accounts

If you intend to publish apps anonymously then follow this section.

  1. Anonymous accounts are created locally on the VDAs. When XenDesktop creates Anon accounts it gives them an idle time as specified at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\AnonymousUserIdleTime. The default is 10 minutes. Adjust as desired.
  2. You can pre-create the Anon accounts on the VDA by running “C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICAConfigTool\CreateAnonymousUsersApp.exe”. If you don‚Äôt run this tool then Virtual Delivery Agent will create them automatically when users log in.
  3. You can see the local Anon accounts by opening Computer Management, expanding System Tools, expand Local Users and Groups and clicking Users.
  4. If you open one of the accounts, on the Sessions tab, notice that idle timeout defaults to 10 minutes. Feel free to change it.

Group Policy for Anonymous Users

Since Anonymous users are local accounts on each Virtual Delivery Agent, domain-based GPOs will not apply. To work around this limitation, you’ll need to edit the local group policy on each Virtual Delivery Agent.

  1. On the Virtual Delivery Agent, run mmc.exe.
  2. Open the File menu, and click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Highlight Group Policy Object Editor, and click Add to move it to the right.
  4. In the Welcome to the Group Policy Wizard page, click Browse.
  5. On the Users tab, select Non-Administrators.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Now you can configure group policy to lockdown sessions for anonymous users. Since this is a local group policy, you’ll need to repeat the group policy configuration on every Virtual Delivery Agent image. Also, Group Policy Preferences is not available in local group policy.

Antivirus

Install antivirus using your normal procedure. Instructions vary for each Antivirus product.

Microsoft’s virus scanning recommendations (e.g. exclude group policy files) Рhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158.

Citrix’s Recommended Antivirus Exclusions

Citrix Blog Post Citrix Recommended Antivirus Exclusions: the goal here is to provide you with a consolidated list of recommended antivirus exclusions for your Citrix virtualization environment focused on the key processes, folders, and files that we have seen cause issues in the field:

  • Set real-time scanning to scan local drives only and not network drives
  • Disable scan on boot
  • Remove any unnecessary antivirus related entries from the Run key
  • Exclude the pagefile(s) from being scanned
  • Exclude Windows event logs from being scanned
  • Exclude IIS log files from being scanned

See the Blog Post for exclusions for each Citrix component/product including: StoreFront, VDA, Controller, and Provisioning Services. The Blog Post also has links to additional KB articles on antivirus.

Symantec

Symantec links:

Trend Micro

Trend Micro Slow login on Citrix environment after installing OfficeScan (OSCE): The following registries can be used to troubleshoot the issue. These registries will allow a delay on the startup procedure of OSCE until the system has launched successfully. This avoids deadlock situations during login.

Citrix¬†CTX136680 –¬†Slow Server Performance After Trend Micro Installation. Citrix session hosts experience slow response and performance more noticeable while users try to log in to the servers. At some point the performance of the servers is affected, resulting in issues with users logging on and requiring the server to be restarted. This issue is more noticeable on mid to large session host infrastructures.

Trend Micro has provided a registry fix for this type of issue. Create the following registry on all the affected servers. Add new DWORD Value as:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TmFilterParameters] “DisableCtProcCheck”=dword:00000001

Trend Micro Links:

Sophos

Best Practice for running Sophos on virtual systems:¬†we’ve amassed the following practical information about how you can optimize our software to work with this technology.

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows XP+: Installation and configuration considerations for Sophos Anti-Virus on a Remote Desktop Services server: It maybe desirable to disable the Sophos AutoUpdate shield icon

Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows 2000+: incorporating current versions in a disk image, including for use with cloned virtual machines: This procedure will make sure that the produced target/cloned computers:

  • Get their distinct identity with Enterprise Console, under which they can be subsequently managed.
  • Have the desired version of Sophos Anti-Virus already installed and configured on the created image.

Optimize Performance

VDA Optimizer

Installation of the VDA might have already done this but there’s no harm in doing it again. This tool is only available if you installed VDA in Master Image mode.

  1. On the master VDA, go to C:\Program Files\Citrix\PvsVm\TargetOSOptimizer and run TargetOSOptimizer.exe.
  2. Then click OK. Notice that it disables Windows Update.

Windows 10 / Windows 2012 R2 / Windows 2016 and newer

Optimization Notes:

  • If this machine is provisioned using Provisioning Services, do not disable the Shadow Copy services.
  • Windows 8 detects VDI and automatically disables SuperFetch. No need to disable it yourself.
  • Windows 8 automatically disables RSS and TaskOffload if not supported by the NIC.

RDSH 2008 R2

Citrix CTX131577 XenApp 6.x (Windows 2008 R2) РOptimization Guide is a document with several registry modifications that are supposed to improve server performance. Ignore the XenApp 6 content and instead focus on the Windows content.

Citrix CTX131995 User Cannot Launch Application in Seamless Mode in a Provisioning Services Server when XenApp Optimization Best Practices are Applied. Do not enable NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation.

Citrix¬†CTX213540¬†Unable To View Printers In Devices And Printers Win 2012 R2 – don’t disable¬†Device Setup Manager Service

Norskale has Windows 2008 R2 Remote Desktop and XenApp 6 Tuning Tips Update.

Windows 7

Microsoft has compiled a list of links to various optimization guides.

It’s a common practice to optimize a Windows 7 virtual machine (VM) template (or image) specifically for VDI use. Usually such customizations include the following.

  • Minimize the footprint, e.g. disable some features and services that are not required¬†when the OS is used in¬†‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúnon-persistent‚ÄĚ fashion. This is especially true for disk-intensive workloads since disk I/O is a common bottleneck for VDI deployment. (Especially if there are multiple VMs with the same I/O patterns that are timely aligned).
  • Lock down user interface (e.g. optimize for specific task workers).

With that said the certain practices are quite debatable and vary between actual real-world deployments. Exact choices whether to disable this or that particular component¬†depend on customer requirements and VDI usage patterns. E.g. in personalized virtual desktop scenario there’s much less things to disable since the machine is not completely ‚Äústateless‚ÄĚ. Some customers rely heavily on particular UI functions and other can relatively easily trade them off for the sake of performance or standardization (thus¬†enhance supportability and potentially¬†security). This is one of the primary reasons why Microsoft doesn’t publish any ‚ÄúVDI Tuning‚ÄĚ guide officially.

Though there are a number of such papers and even tools published either by the community or third parties. This Wiki page is aimed to serve as a consolidated and comprehensive list of such resources.

Daniel Ruiz XenDesktop Windows 7 Optimization and GPO’s Settings

Microsoft Whitepaper Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization

Seal and Shut Down

If this session host will be a master image in a Machine Creation Services or Provisioning Services catalog, after the master is fully prepared (including applications), do the following:

  1. Go to the properties of the C: drive and run Disk Cleanup.
  2. If Disk Cleanup is missing, you can run cleanmgr.exe instead.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Optimize to defrag the drive.
    `
  4. Run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS and has at least one rearm remaining. It is no longer necessary to manually rearm licensing. XenDesktop will do it automatically.
  5. Run Delprof2 to clean up local profiles. Get it from http://helgeklein.com/download/.
  6. Machine Creation Services and Provisioning Services require DHCP.

Session hosts commonly have DHCP reservations.

Shut down the master image. You can now use Studio or Provisioning Services to create a catalog of linked clones.

Troubleshooting – Graphics

If Windows 7 on vSphere, don’t install the VMware SVGA driver. For more details, see¬†CTX201804¬†Intermittent Connection Failures/Black Screen Issues When Connecting from Multi-Monitor Client Machines to Windows 7 VDA with VDA 7.x on vSphere/ESXi.

For Citrix Policies that control graphics codecs, see http://www.carlstalhood.com/citrix-policy-settings/#graphics

Citrix Blog post – Optimising the performance of HDX 3D Pro ‚Äď Lessons from the field

From Citrix Knowledgebase article CTX218217 Unable to span across multiple monitors after upgrade to 7.11 VDA, Black/Blank screen appears on the monitors while connecting to ICA session:

  1. For VDA 7.11 and newer, calculate the video memory that is required for monitors using the following formula :
    SumOfAllMons (Width * Height) * 4 / 0.3, where width and height are resolution of the monitor. Note: There is no hard and fast rule that will work for all cases.
    Example: Consider the resolution of monitor 1 is 1920*1200 and monitor 2 is 1366*768. Then SumOfAllMons will be (1920*1200 + 1366*768)
  2. CTX115637 Citrix Session Graphics Memory Reference describes how multi-monitor resolution is determined.
  3. Open the registry (regedit) and navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\vd3d
  4. Increase the value of “MaxVideoMemoryBytes”¬†REG_DWORD value to the above calculated memory.
  5. Reboot the VDA

From Citrix Discussions: To exclude applications from Citrix 3D rendering, create a REG_DWORD registry value ‚Äúapp.exe‚ÄĚ with value 0 or a registry value ‚Äú*‚ÄĚ with value 0.

  • XD 7.1 and XD 7.5:
    • x86: reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
    • x64: reg add hklm\software\Wow6432Node\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
  • XD 7.6/7.7/7.8/7.9/7.11 both x86 and x64:
    • reg add hklm\software\citrix\vd3d\compatibility /v * /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0

Wildcards are not supported. The asterisk * here has a special meaning ‚Äúall apps‚ÄĚ but is not a traditional wildcard. To blacklist multiple apps e.g. both appa.exe and appb.exe must be done by creating a registry value for each app individually.

This is most problematic in Remote PC since most physical PCs have GPUs. I recently had to blacklist Internet Explorer to prevent lockup issues when switching back to physical.

Uninstall VDA

Uninstall the VDA from Programs and Features.

Then see CTX209255 VDA Cleanup Utility.

To run the VDA Cleanup Tool silently:

  1. Execute VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /noreboot to suppress reboot.
  2. Once the VDACleanupUtility has finished executing, setup Auto logon for the current user.
  3. Reboot.
  4. After reboot, tool will launch automatically to continue Cleanup.

Another option is to delete CitrixVdaCleanup value under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce. Then after reboot, run¬†VDACleanupUtility.exe /silent /reboot to indicate that it’s running after the reboot.

Related Pages

Director 7.12

Last Modified: Jul 11, 2017 @ 7:27 am

Navigation

Director on Standalone Server

If you are installing Director 7.12 on a standalone server, see Citrix CTX142260 Installing or Upgrading to Citrix Director 7.6.200

  1. If you intend to install Director on a standalone server, start with running AutoSelect.exe from the XenApp/XenDesktop 7.12 media.
  2. On the right, click Citrix Director.
  3. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  4. In the Core Components page, click Next.
  5. In the Delivery Controller page, it will ask you for the location of one Controller in the farm. Only enter one Controller per farm. If you have multiple Director servers, each Director server can point to a different Controller in the farm. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails. Click Test Connection, and then click Add.

  6. In the Features page, click Next.
  7. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  8. In the Summary page, click Install.
  9. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  10. In IIS Manager, go to Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings, find Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses and make sure it points to one Controller in the farm, and not to localhost. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

  11. If you built multiple Director servers, use NetScaler to load balance them.
  12. If you are upgrading Director, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /upgrade to complete the upgrade process.

Director Spinning Circle

If after login the spinning circle doesn’t go away:

Do the following to fix it:

  1. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\web.config using an elevated text editor.
  2. Search for <serviceHostingEnvironment (line 273).
  3. Add the following attribute:
    multipleSiteBindingsEnabled="true"

Also see CTX202564 Citrix Director Becomes Unresponsive after Submitting the Credentials when IIS X-Frame-Options is enabled

Director Configuration Script¬† ūüí°

Johan Greefkes at Script for configuring Director at Citrix Discussions was kind enough to provide a script that does the following:

  • Sets the XenDesktop Controllers that Director communicates with
  • Disables SSL Check
  • Sets Logon.aspx file to default to a domain name
  • Adds a footer that displays the name of the Director server

Director and HDX Insight

You can connect Director to NetScaler Management & Analytics System¬†(NetScaler MAS) or Citrix Insight Center to add Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views.¬†Citrix Blog Post¬†Configure Director with NetScaler Management & Analytics System (MAS).

Director and Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

If you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition, it’s possible to install SSPR on the Director server. See¬†George Spiers¬†Citrix Self-Service Password Reset for a detailed implementation¬†guide.

However this might break Director, and all you will see is a spinning circle.

To fix it, in IIS Manager (inetmgr), edit the bindings of the Default Web Site, and Remove the HTTP 8080 binding. Or implement the multisitebinding fix.

More info at Citrix Discussions Installing SSPR 1.0 appears to have broken Director 7.11 on same server.

Director Grooming

If XenDesktop is not Platinum Edition then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For XenDesktop/XenApp Platinum Edition, by default, most of the historical Director data is groomed at 90 days. This can be adjusted up to 367 days by running a PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. On a XenDesktop Delivery Controller, run PowerShell and run asnp Citrix.*

  2. Run Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  3. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

Director Single Sign-on

You can configure Director to support Integrated Windows Authentication (Single Sign-on). Note: there seem to be issues when not connecting from the local machine or when connecting through a load balancer.

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu), or from the Start Menu, or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle, double-click Authentication in the IIS section.
  4. Right-click Windows Authentication, and Enable it.
  5. Right-click Anonymous Authentication, and Disable it.
  6. Pass-through auth won’t work from another computer until you set the http SPN for the Director server. See¬†Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at Citrix Discussions.
  7. If Director is not installed on a Controller then you’ll need to configure Kerberos delegation.
  8. If you are load balancing Director then additional config is required. See Director 7.7 Windows Authentication not working with NS LB at discussions.citrix.com for more info.
    1. Create an AD service account that will be used as the Director’s ApplicationPoolIdentity.
    2. Create SPN and link it to the service account.
      setspn -S http/loadbalanced_URL domain\user
    3. Trust the user account for delegation to any service (Kerberos only) (trust the Director servers for delegation is not necessary in this case). You have to create the SPN before you can do this step.
    4. In IIS manager, on the Application Pools (Director), specify the Identity as user we have created in step 1.
    5. In IIS manager, select Default Web Site and open the Configuration Editor.
    6. Use the drop-down to navigate to the following section:

      system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication
    7. Set useAppPoolCredentials = True and useKernelMode = False. Click Apply on the top right.

  9. When you connect to Director you will be automatically logged in. You can change the login account by first logging off.
  10. Then change the drop-down to User credentials.

Director – Multiple XenDesktop Sites

  1. Run IIS Manager. You can launch it from Server Manager (Tools menu) or from the Start Menu or by running inetmgr.
  2. On the left, expand Sites, expand Default Web Site, and click Director.
  3. In the middle pane, double-click Application Settings.
  4. Find the entry for Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses and double-click it.
  5. If Director is installed on a Controller, localhost should already be entered.
  6. Add a comma and the NetBIOS name of one of the controllers in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). Only enter one Controller name. If you have multiple Director servers, you can point each Director server to a different Controller in the 2nd XenDesktop Site (farm). From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Controllers if the Controller you specified fails.

Director Process Monitoring

Director 7.11 adds Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

This feature is disabled by default. To enable it, configure the Enable process monitoring setting in a Citrix Policy. For Citrix Policies in a GPO, find this setting in the computer half of the GPO. Note: this setting could significantly increase the size of the Monitoring database.

Director Alerts and Notifications

Director supports alert conditions and email notifications. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop to be licensed with Platinum Edition. See Citrix Blog Post Configuring & Managing Alerts and Notifications Using Director for more information.

Director 7.11 adds CPU, Memory, and ICT RTT alerts. Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts

To configure alerts:

  1. While logged into Director, at the top of the page click the Alerts button.
  2. Switch to the Email Server Configuration tab.
  3. Enter your SMTP information and click Send Test Message. Then click Save.

  4. Switch to the Citrix Alerts Policy tab.
  5. There are four high-level categories of alerts: Site Policy, Delivery Group Policy, Server OS Policy, and User Policy. Click whichever one you want to configure.
  6. Then click Create.
  7. Give the alert a name.
  8. On the bottom left, select a condition and enter thresholds.
  9. On the bottom right, in the Notifications preferences section, click Add.
  10. Enter an email address and click Add.
  11. Click Save when done. Feel free to create more alerts and notifications.
  12. For Server OS and User Policy, there are new ICA RTT alerts. See Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts for details on the new alerts in 7.11.
  13. In Director 7.12 and newer, you can configure alerts to generate an SNMP trap. This is configured in PowerShell as described at Configure alerts policies with SNMP traps at Citrix Docs.
    Set-MonitorNotificationSnmpServerConfiguration        #see Docs for parameter details
    Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy -IsSnmpEnabled $true -Uid <Policy ID>
  14. Citrix has an experimental Desktop Notification Tool. See Citrix Blog Post Desktop Notification Tool For Citrix XenDesktop.
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Director Alerts can be configured with a WebHook that allows Octoblu to perform actions when a Director Alert occurs. See Configure alerts policies with Octoblu webhooks at Citrix Docs for details.

Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy ‚ÄďUid 5 ‚ÄďWebhook <Webhook URL>

Director – SCOM Integration

Director 7.8 and newer can display alerts from System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2. This feature requires XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

  1. See Configure SCOM integration at Citrix Docs for detailed configuration instructions. Also see Marius Sandbu Integrating Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and System Center Operations Manager.
  2. If Director server or System Center Operations Manager server is 2008 R2, then login to the 2008 R2 server, open PowerShell and run Enable-PSRemoting. Yes to everything. This is not needed on Windows Server 2012 R2 servers.
  3. On Director server, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configscom
  4. FYI, the DirectorConfig.exe /configscom command enables the following features on the Director server: /FeatureName:IIS-NetFxExtensibility45 /FeatureName:IIS-ASPNET45 /FeatureName:WCF-HTTP-Activation45
  5. FYI, the System Center Operations Manager server is listed in IIS Manager at Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings (middle pane) > Connector.SCOM.ManagementServer.
  6. On the System Center Operations Manager server, edit Remote Management Users local group and add Citrix Admins and other Director users.
  7. In System Center Operations Manager Console, go to Administration > User Roles and edit Operations Manager Operators. Add the Citrix Admins and other Director users.
  8. See Citrix Blog Post SCOM Alerts in Citrix Director for information on how to view System Center Operations Manager alerts in Director.

Director Tweaks

Prepopulate the domain field

From http://www.xenblog.dk/?p=33:¬†On the Controllers having the Director role installed, locate and edit the ‚ÄėLogOn.aspx‚Äô file. By default you can find it at C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\Logon.aspx

In line 450¬†you will have the following. To find the line, search for¬†ID=”Domain”. Note:¬†onblur and¬†onfocus¬†attributes were added in newer versions of Director.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

In the ID=”Domain” element, insert a Text¬†attribute and set it to your domain name. Don’t change or add any other attributes. Save the file.

<asp:TextBox ID="Domain" runat="server" Text="Corp" CssClass="text-box" onfocus="showIndicator(this);" onblur="hideIndicator(this);"></asp:TextBox>

This will prepopulate the domain field text box with your domain name and still allow the user to change it, if that should be required. Note: this only seems to work if Single Sign-on is disabled.

Session timeout

By default the idle time session limit of the Director is 245 min. If you wish to change the timeout, here is how to do it.

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėSession State‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Change the ‚ÄėTime-out (in minutes)‚Äô value under ‚ÄėCookie Settings‚Äô
  6. Click ‚ÄėApply‚Äô in the Actions list

SSL Check

From http://euc.consulting/blog/citrix-desktop-director-2-1: If you are not securing Director with an SSL certificate you will get this error at the logon screen.

To stop this:

  1. Log on to the Director Server as an administrator
  2. Open the ‚ÄėIIS Manager‚Äô
  3. Browse to ‚ÄėSitesDefault Web SiteDirector‚Äô in the left hand pane.
  4. Open ‚ÄėApplication Settings‚Äô in the right hand pane
  5. Set UI.EnableSslCheck to false.

Disable Activity Manager

From Disable the visibility of running applications in the Activity Manager in Advanced Configuration at Citrix Docs: By default, the Activity Manager in Director displays a list of all the running applications and the Windows description in the title bars of any open applications for the user’s session. This information can be viewed by all administrators that have access to the Activity Manager feature in Director. For Delegated Administrator roles, this includes Full administrator, Delivery Group administrator, and Help Desk Administrator.

To protect the privacy of users and the applications they are running, you can disable the Applications tab from listing running applications.

  • On the VDA, modify the registry key located at¬†HKLM\Software\Citrix\Director\TaskManagerDataDisplayed. By default, the key is set to 1. Change the value to 0, which means the information will not be displayed in the Activity Manager.
  • On the server with Director installed, modify the setting that controls the visibility of running applications. By default, the value is true, which allows visibility of running applications in the¬†Applications Change the value to false, which disables visibility. This option affects only the Activity Manager in Director, not the VDA.¬†Modify the value of the following setting:
    UI.TaskManager.EnableApplications = false

Large Active Directory / Multiple Forests

From CTX133013 Desktop Director User Account Search Process is Slow or Fails: By default, all the Global Catalogs for the Active Directory Forest are searched using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). In a large Active Directory environment, this query can take some time or even time out.

If multiple forests, see Citrix Blog Post Using Citrix Director in a MultiForest Environment.

  1. In Information Server (IIS) Management, under the Desktop Director site, select Application Settings and add a new value called Connector.ActiveDirectory.ForestSearch. Set it to False. This disables searching any domain except the user’s domain and the server’s domain.
  2. To search more domains, add the searchable domain or domains in the Connector.ActiveDirectory.Domains field.

Site Groups

From Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director 7.6 Deep-Dive Part 4: Troubleshooting Machines:

If there are a large number of machines, the Director administrator can now configure site groups to perform machine search so that they can narrow down searching for the machine inside a site group. The site groups can be created on the Director server by running the configuration tool via command line by running the command:

C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /createsitegroups

Then provide a site group name and IP address of the delivery controller of the site to create the site group.

Director – Saved Filters

From Scott Osborne and Jarian Gibson at Citrix Discussions: In Director, you can create a filter and save it.

The saved filter is then accessible from the Filters menu structure.

The saved filters are stored on each Director server at C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Director\UserData. Each user has their own saved filters. The saved filters are not replicated across Director servers.

You can instead configure multiple Director servers to store the filters on a shared UNC path: (h/t CTP Jarian Gibson)

  1. Create and share a folder (e.g. DirectorData).
  2. The Director server computer accounts need Modify permission to the share.
  3. On each Director server, run IIS Manager.
  4. Go to Sites > Default Web Site > Director. In the middle, double-click Application Settings.
  5. Change the Service.UserSettingsPath setting to the UNC path of the new share.
  6. Repeat this on other load balanced Director servers.

Director – Custom Reports

In Director 7.12 and newer, in the Trends view, there’s a Custom Reports tab that guides you through creating a custom OData Query. This tab only appears if you have XenApp/XenDesktop Platinum Edition.

The Monitoring database contains more data than is exposed in Director. To view this data, the Monitoring service has an OData Data Feed that can be queried.

Use Director

See Monitor deployments at Citrix Docs.

George Spiers has a comprehensive guide of all Director 7.12 features at http://www.jgspiers.com/citrix-director/.

Director 7.12 adds Connection Failure Details, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post¬†Director 7.12: Easier Troubleshooting of Machine & Connection Failures.¬† ūüí°

Director 7.11 adds Process Monitoring, which is detailed in Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.

Director 7.9 added Logon Duration improvements.
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Citrix Blog Post¬†Interactive Session of Logon Duration in Citrix Director ‚Äď Explained:¬†Interactive Session Duration = Desktop Ready Event Timestamp (EventId 1000 on VDA) ‚Äď User Profile Loaded Event Timestamp (EventId 2 on VDA). More details in the Blog Post.

Citrix Blog Post Director 7.6 Failure Reasons Demystified lists possible failure reasons behind an Unregistered alert, and the true meaning of failure reasons such as Connection Refused and Communication Error. It details each failure reason, defines the meanings of these failures, and lists action items that serve as a starting point for troubleshooting the specific scenario. The list is based on Director 7.6.300.