EUC Weekly Digest – May 25, 2024

Last Modified: May 25, 2024 @ 5:53 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix VDA

Citrix Workspace app

NetScaler ADC

Microsoft

VMware

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

EUC Weekly Digest – May 18, 2024

Last Modified: May 18, 2024 @ 6:15 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix HDX

NetScaler ADC

Citrix Cloud

Omnissa (formerly VMware EUC)

Microsoft

Other

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

EUC Weekly Digest – May 11, 2024

Last Modified: May 11, 2024 @ 6:09 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix App Layering

Citrix WEM and Profile Management

Omnissa (formerly VMware EUC)

Microsoft

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

EUC Weekly Digest – May 4, 2024

Last Modified: May 4, 2024 @ 5:55 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix Provisioning

Citrix WEM and Profile Management

Citrix StoreFront

NetScaler ADC

  • NetScaler WAF Signatures Update v128 – A notable CVE with 10.0 score is CVE-2024-4040 which is a server-side template injection vulnerability in CrushFTP – NetScaler Community Article

NetScaler Console (formerly ADM)

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Cloud

Omnissa (formerly VMware EUC)

Microsoft

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

EUC Weekly Digest – April 27, 2024

Last Modified: Apr 27, 2024 @ 6:19 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix App Layering

Citrix HDX

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Workspace app

NetScaler ADC

Citrix XenServer

Omnissa (formerly VMware EUC)

Microsoft

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

EUC Weekly Digest – April 20, 2024

Last Modified: Apr 20, 2024 @ 7:08 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix VDA

Citrix Director / Monitoring

Citrix WEM and Profile Management

Citrix Provisioning

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Microsoft

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.

Director 2402 LTSR

Last Modified: Apr 17, 2024 @ 3:28 am

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Change Log

  • 2024 April 17 – Updated Install section for version 2402
    • Replaced screenshots with new theme

Director Licensing – Premium Edition

Here’s a list of Director features that require CVAD Premium Edition licensing.

  • Up to a year’s worth of performance data
    • Other editions keep up to 30 days of performance data
  • Probes
  • Alerts
  • OS usage reporting
  • Create customized reports
  • Reboot warnings
  • NetScaler Console integration – HDX Insight

See Citrix Docs Feature compatibility matrix for a list of which Director feature came with each version, and the licensing Edition needed for each feature.

Install/Upgrade Director 2402 on Standalone Server

Current Release vs LTSR – Director version 2402 is a Long Term Support Release, which is supported for 5 years from its February 2024 release date. Citrix Support might require you to install the latest Cumulative Update for 2402.

Install on Delivery Controller? – The Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Delivery Controller metainstaller has an option to install Director on the Delivery Controller machine. Or you can install Director on separate, dedicated machines.

  • If Director will connect to multiple sites/farms, then install Director on its own servers.
  • For small environments, it might be OK to install Director on the Delivery Controller machines. Otherwise, Director is usually installed on separate machines.
  • Director is an IIS website. If you install Director, then IIS is also installed.

Scripted install – To install and configure Director using a script, see Dennis Span Citrix Director unattended installation with PowerShell.

Manual installation – To install Director manually:

  1. Run AutoSelect.exe from the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 2402 ISO.
  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 Delivery Controller in each farm. Only enter one Delivery Controller per farm. If you have multiple Director servers, each Director server can point to a different Delivery Controller in each farm.
    • From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Delivery Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Delivery Controllers if the Controller you specified fails. Click Test Connection, and then click Add.
  6. You can optionally force SSL/TLS for the Monitoring service by following the instructions at Data Access Security at Citrix Developer Documentation. Also see CTX224433 Error: “Cannot Retrieve Data” on Citrix Director Dashboard After Securing OData Interface Through TLS.
  7. In the Features page, click Next.
  8. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  9. In the Summary page, click Install.
  10. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  11. In IIS Manager, go to Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings, find Service.AutoDiscoveryAddresses and make sure it points to one Delivery Controller in the farm and not to localhost. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Delivery Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Delivery Controllers if the Delivery Controller you specified fails.
  12. If you built multiple Director servers, use NetScaler to load balance them.
  13. Reconfigure the default domain in LogOn.aspx since upgrading overwrote your domain name configuration.
  14. For info on the new monitoring features in Director, see Use Director below.

Director Default Web Page

From Carl Webster 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. If Director and StoreFront are on the same server, then you’ll probably want StoreFront Receiver for Web as the default web page instead of Director.

  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 Domain Field

On the Director servers, locate and edit the ‘LogOn.aspx’ file. By default, you can find it at C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\Logon.aspx

In line 472 you will have the following. To find the line, search for ID=”Domain”.

<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 inside quotes. Don’t change or add any other attributes. Save the file.

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

This configuration prepopulates 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.

Director Tweaks

Session timeout

By default, the idle time session limit of the Director is 65 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 ‘IIS Manager’
  3. Browse to ‘Sites > Default Web Site > Director’ in the left-hand pane.
  4. Open ‘Session State’ in the right-hand pane.
  5. Change the ‘Time-out (in minutes)’ value under ‘Cookie Settings’
  6. Click ‘Apply’ in the Actions list

SSL Check

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 ‘IIS Manager’
  3. Browse to ‘Sites > Default Web Site > Director’ in the left-hand pane.
  4. Open ‘Application Settings’ 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 tab. 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

In Director, you can create a filter and save it.

The saved filter is then accessible from the right side of the Filters node by clicking the Saved Filters tab.

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:

  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 Console (formerly ADM) to add Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views. Citrix Blog Post Configure Director with NetScaler Management & Analytics System (MAS).

  1. Run “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe” /confignetscaler
  2. Select NetScaler Management and Analytics System

Director Grooming

If Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) is not Premium Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Premium 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 Get-MonitorConfiguration to see the current grooming settings.
  2. Run Set-MonitorConfiguration to change the grooming settings.

More details on Monitor Service data aggregation and retention can be found at Data granularity and retention at Citrix Docs.

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. The FQDN for Director load balancing should be different than the FQDN for StoreFront load balancing.
    2. Create an AD service account that will be used as the Director’s ApplicationPoolIdentity.
    3. Create SPN and link it to the service account.
      setspn -S http/loadbalanced_URL domain\user
    4. 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.
    5. In IIS manager, on the Application Pools (Director), specify the Identity as user we have created earlier.
    6. In IIS manager, expand Default Web Site, select Director, and open the Configuration Editor (bottom of the middle pane).
    7. Use the drop-down to navigate to the following section: system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication
    8. 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 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Sites/Farms

  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 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Site (farm). Only enter one Delivery Controller name. If you have multiple Director servers, you can point each Director server to a different Delivery in the 2nd Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Site (farm).
    1. From Citrix Docs: Director automatically discovers all other Delivery Controllers in the same Site and falls back to those other Delivery Controllers if the Delivery Controller you specified fails.
    2. You can optionally force SSL/TLS for the Monitoring service by following the instructions at Data Access Security at Citrix Developer Documentation.

Director Process Monitoring

Director has 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 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) to be licensed with Premium Edition. See Citrix Blog Post Configuring & Managing Alerts and Notifications Using Director for more information.

For CPU, Memory, and ICT RTT alerts, see Citrix Blog Post 7 New Categories in Director for Proactive Notifications & Alerts

Director supports Hypervisor Alerts from vSphere and Citrix Hypervisor. The alerts are configured in the hypervisor (e.g., vCenter). When triggered, the hypervisor alerts can be viewed in Director. Director can send email notifications when hypervisor alerts are triggered.

  • Hypervisors can generate many alerts, but Director does not have a bulk method of clearing those alerts. Citrix wrote a PowerShell script named DismissAlerts.ps1 that runs a SQL query to clear the Hypervisor alerts.

To configure alerts in Director:

  1. While logged into Director, click the Alerts node.
  2. On the right, 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 Policies tab.
  5. There are four high-level categories of alerts: Site Policy, Delivery Group Policy, Multi-session OS Policy (aka Server OS Policy), and User Policy. Click whichever one you want to configure.
  6. Director has built-in alert policies. All you need to do is add notification email addresses to the built-in policies.
  7. In Director 1811 and newer, in the Site Policy tab, click Edit for the built-in Hypervisor Health policy.

    • In the Send mails field, enter a destination email address and click Add. Click Save when done.
  8. On the Delivery Group Policies tab, find the built-in Smart Alert, and then click Edit. Note: this Smart Alert might not appear until you create a Delivery Group in Citrix Studio.

    1. Notice the Conditions that are already enabled. You can change them or add more.
    2. At the bottom of the page, you can enter a destination email address and click Add. Then click Save.
  9. You can create custom Alert Policies by clicking the Create button on any of these tabs.
  10. For Multi-session OS Policy (aka Server OS Policy) and User Policy, there are ICA RTT alerts.
  11. Citrix has an experimental Desktop Notification Tool. See Citrix Blog Post Desktop Notification Tool For Citrix XenDesktop.

Director – StoreFront Probes

If you are licensed for Premium Edition, then you can install probe agents on remote machines and the probe agents can periodically check if an application can be launched through StoreFront.

Custom Studio Role for Probe Administrator

  1. Create a new user account just for probe administration (e.g CORP\ProbeAdmin).
  2. In Citrix Web Studio, at Administrators, on the Roles tab, create a new Role with the permissions shown below.

    • Delivery Groups > Read-only
    • Director > Create\Edit\Remove Alert Email Server Configuration
    • Director > Create\Edit\Remove Probe Configurations
    • Director > View Applications page
    • Director > View Configurations page
    • Director > View Trends page
  3. On the Administrators tab, add an administrator, select your ProbeAdmin account, and assign it the custom Probe Administrator role that you just created.

StoreFront HTTP Basic Authentication

  1. In StoreFront Console, right-click your Store, and click Manage Authentication Methods.
  2. Check the box next to HTTP Basic, and click OK.

Install Probe Agent

To automate the installation and configuration of the Probe Agent, see CTX493268 Automating Citrix Probe Agent Installation and Configuration, or see CTA Dennis Span Citrix Application Probe Agent unattended installation.

On one or more remote machines, download and install the Probe Agent.

  1. Download the Citrix Application Probe Agent 2402. To see it, expand Components that are on the Component ISO but also packaged separately.
  2. On a physical machine in a remote office, install Workspace app 1903 or newer if it isn’t installed already.
  3. Run the downloaded CitrixProbeAgent2402.msi.
  4. In the Welcome to the Citrix Probe Agent Setup Wizard page, click Next.
  5. In the End-User License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the terms, and click Next.
  6. In the Destination Folder page, click Next.
  7. In the Ready to install Citrix Probe Agent page, click Install.
  8. In the Completed the Citrix Probe Agent Setup Wizard page, click Finish.

Configure Probe Agent

  1. Every Probe Agent machine should have unique StoreFront test user credentials. Create unique accounts for each machine.
  2. From the Start Menu of the remote machine, launch Citrix Probe Agent.
  3. Click Start.
  4. In the Configure Workspace Credentials page, enter the StoreFront Receiver for Web URL, or enter a Citrix Gateway URL.
    • For Citrix Gateway, the Citrix Gateway Virtual Server must be configured with RfWebUI theme. Other themes, like X1 theme, do not work.
    • Probe Agent 2308 and newer support Citrix Gateway authentication with Native OTP.
  5. Enter the username and password for the probe user for this machine.
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Configure to Display Probe Result page, enter the URL to Director. Make sure you include /Director at the end of the URL.
  8. Enter the Probe Admin credentials and click Validate.
  9. Select a Site (farm) if there’s more than one.
  10. Click Next.
  11. In the View Summary page, you may close the window.
  12. Login to Director as the Probe Admin account.
  13. On the left, click Probes. On the right, click the Configuration tab.
  14. At the top of the page, select either Application Probe, or Desktop Probe.
  15. Click Create Probe.
  16. In the Create Probe page:
    1. Give the probe configuration a name.
    2. Select one or more Applications or Desktops to test.
    3. Select the registered Probe Agent machine(s) to run the probe from.
    4. Enter an email address for probe result notifications.
    5. Select one time per day to run the probe. You can create multiple probe configurations to run the probe multiple times per day.
  17. Click Save.
  18. The probe configurations are stored in the Monitoring database so there shouldn’t be any concerns with load balancing of Director.
  19. To view the probe results, switch to the Probe Runs tab.

Director – Custom Reports

In Director, 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 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Premium 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 Site Analytics at Citrix Docs.

See the various Troubleshoot topics at Citrix Docs.

Director 2402 new features

Director 2402 has a new theme. Tabs are now shown on the left.

When you Search for a user and select a session you see the Activity Manager page. It has a new theme.

The User Details page also has a new theme. Search for the user and then click View Details.

The Session Performance tab shows you trends of some network metrics. See Diagnose Session Performance issues.

Session Details shows if Teams is optimized or not. Teams 2.1 is supported in Director 2402 with VDA 2402.

Session Details has an option to enable Session Recording for the session. Dynamic Session Recording requires the Session Recording cloud service. Policy based Session Recording requires running C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configsessionrecording on the Director server.
 

The Session Selector button lets you play recordings.

Session Logon tab in the User Details page has an enhanced visualization of the logon duration phases. The new representation shows the overlapping of the individual logon phases.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2402 LTSR

Last Modified: May 21, 2024 @ 10:31 am

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Change Log

Hardware

Hypervisor Host Hardware

  • G0-EUC Moore’s law of Windows 10 1903 – Newer versions of Windows 10 have lower density than older versions
  • Citrix Blog Post Citrix Scalability — 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’re looking for the number of Virtual Desktop VMs you can host on a box, and use 10 if you’re looking for the number of Virtual Apps user sessions you can host on a box.

Virtual Machine Hardware

  1. Operating system version support: VDA version 2402 supports Windows 11, Windows 10 64-bit (1607 and newer), Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016.
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 is no longer supported. For Windows Server 2012 R2, install VDA 1912 with the latest Cumulative Update. VDA 1912 will work with newer Delivery Controllers (e.g., Delivery Controller 2402).
  2. Cloud VDAs licensing – Cloud VDAs are supported if you are licensed for Citrix Cloud with Hybrid Usage rights or Universal licenses. See CTX270373 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: Public cloud support with Current Releases and Long Term Service Releases.
  3. Windows 11 and vSphere – Citrix supports Windows 11 on vSphere 7 or newer. Windows 11 requires TPM. vSphere requires VM encryption of the VM files before it will let you add a TPM to the virtual machine. VM encryption requires a Key Provider. vSphere 7 has a Native Key Provider that does not need any additional servers or licenses. See VMware Tech Zone Windows 11 Support on vSphere.
    1. In vSphere Client, in Inventory, click the vCenter object. On the right, on the Configure tab, scroll down to Key Providers and add a Native Key Provider.
    2. After it’s added, select it and then click Back-up to activate it.

  4. Microsoft TechNet Blog – Say No to Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
    • No Edge
    • From January 2020, Microsoft Office 365 will not be supported on LTSC.
    • Non-security operating system fixes and enhancements may not get back-ported to LTSC.
  5. CTX224843 Windows 10 compatibility with Citrix Virtual Desktops

  6. Hypervisor Support – CTX131239 Supported Hypervisors for Virtual Desktops (XenDesktop) and Provisioning Services
    • vSphere 7 is supported with CVAD 2106 and newer.
    • SCVMM 2022 is supported with CVAD 2203 and newer.
  7. Firewall – the UDP-based EDT protocol is enabled by default. Make sure the UDP ports are open for ICA/HDX:
    1. UDP 1494
    2. UDP 2598
    3. UDP 443 – from Internet to Citrix Gateway.
    4. UDP 443 can also be used by internal ICA connections if VDA SSL is configured.
    5. For EDT through Citrix Gateway, make sure your Citrix ADC firmware is up to date, preferably 12.1 or newer. Then enable DTLS on the Gateway Virtual Server.
    6. TCP 443 and UDP 443 for HDX Direct.
    7. Citrix Blog Post What’s new with HDX in the 2402 LTSR
  8. VDA virtual machine sizing:
    1. For Windows 11 or Windows 10 virtual desktops, give the virtual machine: 2+ vCPU and 4+ GB of RAM – higher RAM for browsers running on the VDA
    2. For Windows Server 2022, 2019, or 2016 RDSH, give the virtual machine 8 vCPU, and 24-48 GB of RAM
  9. If using memory caching (MCSIO or PvS) for storage, add more RAM for the cache.
  10. Remove the floppy drive.
  11. Remove any serial or LPT ports.
  12. If Windows 11 on vSphere:
    1. When creating the Windows 11 virtual machine, enable Encrypt this virtual machine.
    2. In the Select a guest OS screen, if you don’t see Windows 11, then select Windows 10.
    3. On the Customize hardware page, make sure VM configuration files are encrypted. Hard disk encryption is not required, and you can deselect it. Only the VM configuration files must be encrypted.
    4. Then you can use the Add New Device drop-down to add a Trusted Platform Module.
  13. 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.
    3. For vGPU, set vgpu.hotmigrate.enabled Advanced vCenter Server Setting to true. (source = William Lam How to enable vGPU vMotion in vSphere 6.7 Update 1)
  14. App Layering and UEFI – In Citrix App Layering 2003 and newer, import UEFI images by running a script instead of using a connector.
  15. If this VDA will boot from Citrix Provisioning:
    1. For vSphere, the NIC Adapter Type must be VMXNET3.
    2. For vSphere, configure the CD/DVD Drive to boot from IDE instead of SATA. SATA won’t work with PVS.
    3. Make sure you remove the SATA Controller after you change the CD/DVD Drive to be IDE.
  16. Install the latest version of hypervisor drivers (e.g., VMware Tools).
  17. 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 CTX221206 “Connection Interrupted” error message displayed while logging off ICA session.

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. Switch to the tab named VM Options.
  5. Expand Advanced and then click Edit Configuration.
  6. Click the button labelled Add Configuration Params.
  7. For the Name, enter devices.hotplug.
  8. For the Value, enter false. Then click OK.
  9. The VM can then be powered on.

Windows Preparation

  1. Computer Group Policy – Make sure the Master VM is in the same OU as the Linked Clones so that 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 timing issues.
  2. If Server OS, disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration in Server Manager > Local Server.
  3. Run Windows Update. Do not skip this step. Many VDA installation problems are fixed by simply updating Windows.

  4. Defer Feature Updates – For Windows 10, since Citrix VDA does not immediately support new Windows 10 versions, configure Windows Update to defer feature updates. In Windows 11, or in newer versions of Windows 10, defer updates can only be configured using group policy.
  5. Add your Citrix Administrators group to the local Administrators group on the VDA. Computer Management.
  6. The Remote Desktop Services “Prompt for Password” 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\Portica\AutoLogon (DWORD) = 0x1. This registry value only applies to Single-session OS (aka Desktop OS), not Multi-session OS (aka Server OS). (source = comments)
  7. For Remote Assistance in Citrix Director, configure the GPO setting Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Remote Assistance | Offer Remote Assistance. See Jason Samuel – How to setup Citrix Director Shadowing with Remote Assistance using Group Policy for more details.

Install Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2402

Mixed versions – You can upgrade the VDAs before you upgrade the Delivery Controllers resulting in VDAs being newer than the Delivery Controllers. You can upgrade the Delivery Controllers before you upgrade the VDAs. In other words, you can mix and match VDA versions and Delivery Controller versions.

CLI Install:

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

Scripted Upgrade:

To automate the upgrade of VDA software on persistent machines, see Updated VDA Install / Upgrade / RDS Install / Desktop / Server / App Install Script by Kris Davis.

GUI Install:

  1. Mount the downloaded Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2402 ISO and run AutoSelect.exe.

    • Alternatively, you can download the standalone VDA package and run that instead. Go the main Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2402 download page. Expand the section labelled Components that are on the product ISO but also packaged separately. There is also a VDA installer called Single-session OS Core Services that is designed for Remote PC deployments.
  2. Click Start next to either Virtual Apps or Virtual Apps and Desktops. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  3. On the top right, click Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Multi-session OS (aka RDSH, aka Server OS), or Windows Single-session OS (aka virtual desktop, aka Desktop OS), depending on which type of VDA you are building.

  4. In the Environment page, select Create a master MCS Image or Create master image to be used for Citrix Provisioning (PVS) streaming, and click Next.

  5. In the Core Components page, if you don’t need Citrix Workspace App installed on your VDA, then leave the box unchecked. Workspace app is usually only needed for double-hop ICA connections (connect to first VDA, and then from there, connect to second VDA). Click Next.
  6. In the Additional Components page:
    1. Workspace Environment Management agent is no longer an option on this screen and is instead a separate box on the main splash screen.
    2. Single-session OS (not Multi-session OS) has an option for Citrix User Personalization Layer (UPL). This component comes from Citrix App Layering but does not need any of the App Layering infrastructure.

      • Do not enable User Personalization Layer if you are also using Citrix App Layering.
      • Warning: A Citrix Policy setting activates Citrix User Personalization Layer by setting the UNC path to where the User Personalization Layers should be stored. The Citrix Policy setting should only be deployed to non-persistent machines. If you deploy the Citrix Policy Setting to your Master Image, then your Master Image will be hosed, and you must rebuild it from scratch.
    3. There’s an option for Machine Creation Services (MCS) storage optimization. This is also known as MCS I/O. In VDA 1912 and newer, the MCSIO driver is now the exact same driver as the driver used in Citrix Provisioning. MCS I/O in older VDAs has performance problems.
    4. The new Images node (Image Management) in Web Studio requires MCSIO to be installed.
    5. VDA 2109 and newer have an option for VDA Upgrade Agent for Citrix Cloud deployments.
    6. There’s an option for Citrix Backup and Restore Service that creates a restore point before installation or upgrade.
  7. Click Next.
  8. In the Delivery Controller page, select Do it manually. Enter the FQDN of each Delivery Controller (at least two). Click Test connection. And then make sure you click Add. Click Next when done.

    • VDA registration normally occurs over port 80. VDA 2402 supports VDA registration over SSL 443 (WebSockets). This requires trusted SSL certificates on the Delivery Controllers and registry values on the Delivery Controllers and the VDAs. See WebSocket communication between VDA and Delivery Controller at Citrix Docs.
  9. In the Features page, if you want to use the features, then check the boxes. Remote Assistance is for Director. The Cloud checkbox is only for telemetry and does not affect installation. Then click Next.
  10. In the Firewall page, VDA 2112 and newer have ports 52525 – 52625 for Screen Sharing. Port TCP/UDP 443 is for HDX Direct. Click Next.
  11. In the Summary page, click Install.

  12. Click Close if you are prompted to restart.
  13. After the machine reboots twice, login and installation should continue.
    1. If you see a Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window, don’t click anything.
    2. Go to the Citrix_Virtual_Apps_and_Desktops_7_2402_LTSR.iso file and mount it.
    3. Go back to the Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window.
    4. On the left, expand This PC, and click the DVD Drive.
    5. Click Select Folder.
    6. Repeat these instructions every time you’re prompted to restart.
  14. Installation will continue automatically.
  15. Note: NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService needs permission to login as a service.
  16. In the Diagnostics page, you can optionally check the box next to Collect diagnostic information, click Connect, enter your Citrix account credentials, and then click Next.
  17. In the Finish page, click Finish to restart the machine again.

Microsoft FSLogix

If you need to roam the user’s Outlook .OST file (Outlook Cached Mode), Outlook Search Index, OneDrive cache, OneNote data, SharePoint data, Skype data, and/or Teams data, then download, install, and configure Microsoft FSLogix. A common architecture is to enable FSLogix Office Container for the Office cache files and use Citrix Profile Management for all other roaming profile files and registry keys.

Microsoft FSLogix is free for all Microsoft RDS CALs, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Access per-user CALs, and all Microsoft Enterprise E3/E5 per-user licenses. Notice that per-device licenses are excluded. See Licensing Requirements at Microsoft Docs.

Microsoft Teams 2.1 requires FSLogix 2210 Hotfix 3.

Do the following to install Microsoft FSLogix on the VDA machine:

  1. Go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/fslogix/install-ht and click the download link.
  2. Extract the downloaded .zip file.
  3. In the FSLogix \x64\Release folder, run FSLogixAppsSetup.exe.
  4. Check the box next to I agree to the license terms and conditions and click Install.
  5. In the Setup Successful page, click Restart.
  6. Make sure the Windows Search service is set to Automatic and Running.
  7. If Office is already installed, then repair the Office installation after installing and starting the Windows Search Service.

FSLogix is configured through Group Policy or by editing registry values on each FSLogix Agent machine.

Citrix Desktop Service

To prevent Citrix Desktop Service (BrokerAgent) from starting and registering with the Delivery Controllers before the boot process is complete, see Jeremy Saunders Controlling the Starting of the Citrix Desktop Service (BrokerAgent).

Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) is enabled 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 https://www.carlstalhood.com/delivery-controller-cr-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. 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 Group Policy settings under Computer Config | Policies | Administrative Templates | Citrix Components | Virtual Desktop Agent | CQI

Version 1.2 adds the GPO settings to the user half of a GPO, which lets you disable CQI for some users and enable it for others.

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

Connection Threshold Settings lets you set the notification thresholds.

Adaptive Transport

Adaptive Transport is an HDX/ICA protocol feature that tries to use UDP ports (EDT protocol) if they are open and falls back to TCP ICA if UDP connection is not successful. On higher latency connections, EDT (UDP) tends to perform better than traditional TCP ICA.

The Citrix Policy setting HDX Adaptive Transport defaults to Preferred, which means Adaptive Transport is enabled by default.

The newer Citrix EDT protocol use UDP Ports 1494/2598 for HDX connections to the VDA. The UDP ports should already be open in the VDA’s Windows Firewall. In other words, HDX/ICA uses both TCP and UDP ports.

For EDT (and Adaptive Transport) through Citrix Gateway, make sure your Citrix ADC firmware is up to date, preferably 12.1 or newer. Then make sure DTLS is enabled on the Gateway Virtual Server. DTLS is the UDP version of SSL/TLS.

See Citrix Blog Post What’s new with HDX in the 2402 LTSR for new EDT features in 2402.

Slow Logons

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 – “Please Wait For Local Session Manager” message when logging into RDS. He found some Windows Updates that caused a logon delay.

 

VDA recalculates WMI filters on every reconnect. CTX212610 Session Reconnect 30 sec Delay – DisableGPCalculation – WMI Filters indicates that recalculation can be disabled by setting HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Reconnect\DisableGPCalculation (DWORD) to 1. Note: this registry value might stop Citrix Policies from being re-evaluated when users reconnect (source = Citrix Discussions).

Verify that the VDA registered with a Delivery Controller

  1. If you restart the Virtual Delivery Agent machine, or restart the Citrix Desktop Service
  2. In Event Viewer > Windows Logs > Application log, you should see an event 1012 from Citrix Desktop Service saying that it successfully registered with a delivery controller.
  3. If you don’t see successful registration, then you’ll need to fix the ListOfDDCs registry key.
    1. See VDA registration with Controllers at Citrix Docs.
    2. See The Most Common VDA Registration Issues & Troubleshooting Steps at Citrix Blogs.
  4. You can also run Citrix’s Health Assistant on the VDA.

Citrix Workspace app

If you want to run Workspace app on the VDA machine, then upgrade it to Workspace app 2402 LTSR.

Download and install Workspace app:

  1. Download Citrix Workspace app 2402 LTSR.
  2. On the VDA, as administrator, run the downloaded CitrixWorkspaceFullInstaller.exe.
  3. Wait for prerequisites to install.
  4. In the Welcome to Citrix Workspace app page, click Continue.
  5. In the CITRIX LICENSE AGREEMENT page, check the box next to I agree and click Continue.
  6. In the Add-on(s) page, check the box next to Enable single sign-on. The Teams VDI Plugin is usually only needed on the endpoint device, not on the VDA. Click Install.

Citrix File Access 2.0.4 for Workspace app for Chrome OS

  1. If you support Workspace app for Chrome OS (Chromebook) and want published applications to open files on Google Drive, install Citrix File Access on the VDAs. Get it from the Citrix File Access for Chrome.
  2. Go to the extracted Citrix_File_Access_2.0.4 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 Apps & Features or Programs and Features as version 2.0.4.34.

  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 the file and open the file using Citrix Workspace app.

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

On Windows 2016 and newer RDSH, the only way to configure Remote Desktop Licensing is using group policy (local or domain). 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 Delivery 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’s 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 multi-session VDAs.

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

  1. Open System.
    1. The quickest method of opening advanced system parameters is to run sysdm.cpl.
    2. In Windows Server 2016 and newer, you can right-click the Start button, and click System.
    3. In Windows 10 1703 or newer (or Windows Server 2019 or newer), search the Start Menu for advanced system settings.
    4. Another option is to open File Explorer, right-click This PC, and click Properties. This works in Windows 10 1703 and newer.
  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 (VDA) 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.



From CTX228128 What is the HKLM\Software\Citrix\PortICA\DirectAccessUsers registry function: The HKLM\Software\Citrix\PortICA\DirectAccessUsers registry key determines which Local group the VDA references to determine if a user should be allowed Unbrokered RDP access. Members of the Local Administrators group will always be granted access. If the Registry Key does not exist, or gets deleted, VDA will always allow the Unbrokered RDP Connection. The Registry key and local group are created as part of the VDA installation process.

Registry

Links:

  • Citrix Docs has a list of HDX features managed through the registry. Example settings:
    • Devices – Bloomberg keyboard, execute from client drive, Windows Image Acquisition application allow list
    • General – HDX Reducer V4, EDT connection timeout, Rendezvous version (default V2), two-minute warning for idle or active sessions, audio loss tolerant mode
    • Content Redirection
    • Graphics – GPU acceleration of CUDA and OpenCL, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) rendering on GPU
    • Multimedia – High-definition webcam streaming
  • Citrix Blog Post What’s new with HDX in the 2402 LTSR

New Teams (version 2.1 or newer) no longer needs the msedgewebview2.exe registry entry as it is now whitelisted by default in VDA 2402 and newer.

ShellBridge for Published Apps

ShellBridge is a new Windows feature that fixes the following published app issues:

ShellBridge is enabled by default. If enabled, when users launch published apps, Windows will load background programs, like system tray icons, from the Run registry key. These extra processes might prevent sessions from closing after a user closes the published app. More info at CTX573346 Sessions not logging out after enabling Shellbridge.

You can disable ShellBridge by setting the following registry value. Disabling ShellBridge might prevent Office apps from signing in correctly.

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent
    • Value (DWORD) = ShellBridge = 0

Black Screen when launch Published Apps on Windows Server 2016

From CTX225819 When Launching an Application Published from Windows Server 2016, a Black Screen Appears for Several Seconds Before Application is Visible: Citrix and Microsoft have worked together to deliver code fixes for both Windows Server 2016 and Citrix Virtual Apps. Microsoft is targeting their KB4034661 patch for the third week of August 2017. This fix requires a registry edit to enable.

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent
    • Value (DWORD) = DisableLogonUISuppression = 0

Faster Login

From CTP James Rankin The ultimate guide to Windows logon time optimizations, part #6: DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout tells the logon process to wait for a shorter time before switching from session 0 to the actual session in use.

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
    • Value (DWORD) = DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout  = 1

Published App Launch Timeout

From CTX128009 Published Application Fails to Appear: By default, VDA only waits 60 seconds for a published app to start. This is frequently too short.

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI
    • Value (DWORD) = ApplicationLaunchWaitTimeoutMS = 180000 (time-out, in milliseconds)

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 (DWORD) = SetDisplayRequiredMode = 0

You might also have to enable the Citrix Policy setting named Allow windows screen lock. This setting was added in VDA 2402.

Logon Disclaimer Window Size

From CTX231945 How to Modify LogonUI to view Windows Disclaimer Message in Full Size when Launching Published Applications: 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 (DWORD) = LogonUIWidth = 800
    • Value (DWORD) = LogonUIHeight = 600

Login Timeout

From Citrix CTX203760 VDI Session Launches Then Disappears: VDA, 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 (DWORD) = AutoLogonTimeout = decimal 240 or higher (up to 3599).

Workspace app for HTML5/Chrome Upload Folder

The Workspace app 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 Workspace app also adds a Save to My Device location to facilitate downloads.

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 (DWORD) = UNCEnabled = 0

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

Print Driver for Mac/Linux Clients

Workspace app for Mac version 2112 and newer support PDF printing instead of Postscript printing. With PDF, it’s no longer necessary to install the HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS driver on the VDA. Citrix Policy setting Universal driver preference must be adjusted to enable PDF printing as higher priority than PS (postscript) printing. See Citrix Docs for more details.

For Linux clients or older Mac clients, from CTX140208 Client printing from Mac and Linux clients on Windows 10, Server 2012 R2, and Server 2016. By default, non-Windows clients cannot map printers due to a missing print driver on the VDA machine.

  1. Download the HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS driver directly from Microsoft Catalog as detailed at CTX283355 Client Printing from Linux/MAC is not working on Windows Server 2016 and 2019. The Catalog is at https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/. Then search for hp color laserjet 2800. Pick the 6.1.7600.16385 driver version
  2. Extract the .cab file using 7-zip or similar.
  3. In Windows 10 1803+, open Printers & scanners. On the right (or scroll down) is a link to Print Server Properties.

  4. In older versions of Windows, you can get to Print server properties from Devices and Printers.
    1. In Windows prior to Windows 10 1703, click Start, and run Devices and Printers.
    2. In Windows 10 1703, open Printers & scanners, then scroll down, and click Devices and printers.

  5. In the Printers section, highlight a local printer (e.g. Microsoft XPS Document Writer). Then in the toolbar, click Print server properties.
  6. Switch to the Drivers tab and click Change Driver Settings.
  7. Then click Add.
  8. In the Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Next.
  9. In the Processor Selection page, click Next.
  10. In the Printer Driver Selection page, click Have Disk and browse to the .inf that you extracted from the .cab file.

  11. Select HP Color LaserJet 2800 Series PS and click Next.
  12. In the Completing the Add Printer Driver Wizard page, click Finish.

SSL for VDA

If you intend to use HTML5 Workspace app directly to VDAs, install certificates on the VDAs so that the browsers can connect WebSockets to the VDAs on TCP/SSL 443. Alternatively, HTML5 users can use Citrix Gateway ICA Proxy without installing any certs on the VDAs.

  • If you install SSL certificates on the VDAs, you can enforce encrypted SSL connections from normal Workspace apps to the VDAs instead of the default unencrypted (or RC5) ICA protocol.
  • HDX Direct is a preview feature that uses self-signed certs instead of CA-issued certs.

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’ll need some automatic means for creating machine certificates every time they reboot.
  • As detailed in the following procedure, use PowerShell on the Delivery 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 TLS on a VDA using the PowerShell script at Citrix Docs.

  1. On the VDA machine, run certlm.msc.
  2. Right-click Personal, expand All Tasks, and click Request New Certificate to 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.
  3. Browse to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops ISO. In the Support\Tools\SslSupport folder, shift+right-click the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script, and click Copy as path.
  4. Run PowerShell as administrator (elevated).
  5. Run the command Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted. Enter Y to approve.
  6. In the PowerShell prompt, type in an ampersand (&), and a space.
  7. Right-click the PowerShell prompt to paste in the path copied earlier.
  8. At the end of the path, type in -Enable
  9. If there’s only one certificate on this machine, press Enter.
  10. If there are multiple viable certificates, then 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 ‑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.
  11. There are additional switches to specify minimum SSL Version and Cipher Suites.
  12. Press <Enter> to run the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script.
  13. Press <Y> twice to configure the ACLs and Firewall.
  14. You might have to reboot before the settings take effect.
  15. Login to a Delivery Controller and run PowerShell as Administrator (elevated).
  16. Run the command asnp Citrix.*
  17. 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.

  18. You can run Get-BrokerAccessPolicyRule -DesktopGroupName '<delivery-group-name>' to verify that HDX SSL is enabled.
  19. Also run the following command to enable DNS resolution.
    Set-BrokerSite –DnsResolutionEnabled $true

  20. Since the UDP-based EDT protocol is enabled by default, open port UDP 443 to the VDAs.

You should now be able to connect to the VDA using the HTML5 Workspace app 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 non-persistent 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:
    Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 -Enable -CertificateThumbPrint (Get-ChildItem -path cert:\LocalMachine\My | Where-Object -FilterScript {$_.Subject -eq ""} | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Thumbprint) -Confirm:$False

Anonymous Accounts

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

  1. Anonymous accounts are created locally on the VDAs. When VDA 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. Pre-create the Anon accounts on the VDA by running "C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICAConfigTool\CreateAnonymousUsersApp.exe". If you don’t run this tool, then anonymous users can’t login.
  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 want profiles for anonymous users to delete at logoff, then you’ll need to add the local Anon users to the local Guests group.
  5. 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 lock down 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) – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822158.

Every antivirus vendor has their own guidance for VDI. Search their knowledgebase for “non-persistent”, “VDI”, or “clones”.

Citrix’s Recommended Antivirus Exclusions

Citrix Tech Zone Endpoint Security and Antivirus Best Practices: provides guidelines for configuring antivirus software in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environments.

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 Citrix Provisioning. The Blog Post also has links to additional KB articles on antivirus.

Windows Defender Antivirus

Configure Microsoft Defender Antivirus on a remote desktop or virtual desktop infrastructure environment – Microsoft Docs

Configuring Microsoft Defender Antivirus for non-persistent VDI machines – Microsoft Blog

Disable Network protection and configure Citrix’s antivirus exclusions (source = Citrix CTX319676 Users sessions are getting disconnected – Connection Interrupted)

Onboarding and servicing non-persistent VDI machines with Microsoft Defender ATP

Optimize Performance

Citrix Optimizer

Download Citrix Optimizer and run it.

James Rankin Improving Windows 10 logon time:

David Wilkinson links:

Citrix Links:

Microsoft links:

Optimization Notes:

Applications

Choose installers that install to C:\Program Files instead of to %appdata% or %localappdata%. Search for VDI or Enterprise versions of the following applications. These VDI versions do not auto-update, so you’ll have to update them manually.

Seal and Shut Down

If this VDA will be a master image in a Machine Creation Services or Citrix Provisioning 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 of the local C: drive Properties, click Optimize to defrag the drive.
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  5. If KMS Server licensing, run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS Server and has at least one rearm remaining. It is not necessary to manually rearm licensing since MCS will do it automatically.
  6. Run Delprof2 to clean up local profiles. Get it from http://helgeklein.com/download/.
  7. Machine Creation Services and Citrix Provisioning require DHCP.
  8. Session hosts (RDSH) commonly have DHCP reservations.
  9. 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 Citrix Provisioning to create a catalog of linked clones.

Uninstall VDA

Uninstall the VDA from Apps & Features or 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

Delivery Controller 2402 LTSR and Licensing

Last Modified: May 18, 2024 @ 6:03 am

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Change Log

  • 2024 May 18 – added link to GPO Scanner Tool
  • 2024 April 15 – updated article for LTSR 2402
    • Replaced Citrix Studio with Web Studio and Site Manager

Upgrade

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

You can in-place upgrade directly from any Delivery Controller version 7.0 or newer. The operating system must be Windows Server 2016 or newer. And SQL must be SQL 2016 or newer.

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 Site Manager to generate SQL scripts that a DBA must then run in SQL Studio.

  1. CVAD Versions you can upgrade from – XenApp/XenDesktop 7.15 with CU5 or newer, CVAD 1912 with any Cumulative Update, any supported Current Release version.
  2. Virtual Channel Allow List – the Citrix Policy setting named Virtual Channel Allow List is enabled by default in VDA 2203 and newer. Whitelist your non-Citrix (e.g., Zoom) virtual channels before upgrading your VDAs, or else your non-Citrix virtual channels will stop working.
  3. Lost Policy Settings after upgrade – Before upgrading, run the GPO Scanner Tool on a Delivery Controller to find invalid policy settings.
  4. NVIDIA – ensure your NVIDIA Virtual GPU software supports the version of CVAD that you are upgrading to.
  5. Consider Utilizing Local Host Cache for Nondisruptive Database Upgrades at Citrix Docs.
  6. License Server Upgrade – Before upgrading to Delivery Controller 2402, upgrade your Citrix License Server to 11.17.2.0 Build 47000.

    • Citrix now requires Licensing telemetry as described in CTX477614 Citrix License Telemetry FAQ. The build must be 40000 or newer and you must upgrade within 6 months of release.
    • You can run LicServVerify.exe from the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) ISO to verify that the License Server is compatible. Example syntax is: "E:\x64\XenDesktop Setup\LicServVerify.exe" -h myLicenseServer -p 27000 -v

  7. Current Release– Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2402 is a Long Term Support Release (LTSR), which receives periodic (usually twice per year) Cumulative Updates with bug fixes, but no new features. See Lifecycle Milestones for Citrix Virtual Apps & Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. See CTX205549 FAQ: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Hypervisor Long Term Service Release (LTSR).
  8. Delivery Controller OS Compatibility – Delivery Controller 2402 is supported on Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016.
  9. SQL Compatibility – Delivery Controller 2402 does not support several older database engines, including the previously included SQL 2014 LocalDB database engine for the Local Host Cache.
    • SQL Server 2022 is supported with Delivery Controller 2308 and newer.
    • SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server 2008 R2, are no longer supported for the site database.
    • SQL Server Express LocalDB version 2014 is no longer supported for the local host cache database. The Delivery Controller installer does not upgrade this component, so you’ll have to do it manually. See Replace SQL Server Express LocalDB at Citrix Docs.
  10. VDA OS Compatibility – Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2402 is only supported on a limited number of Windows operating system versions, specifically, Windows 10 (1607+), Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022.
    • For VDAs running Windows Server 2012 R2, leave their VDA at version 1912 LTSR (with latest Cumulative Update). VDA 1912 LTSR can communicate with Delivery Controllers 2402.
    • For VDA machines running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, leave their VDA software at version 7.15 LTSR (with latest Cumulative Update). VDA 7.15 LTSR can communicate with Delivery Controllers 2402. Note that 7.15 is no longer supported by Citrix.
  11. Cloud VDAs support – Delivery Controller 2203 and newer support public cloud (native Azure, native AWS, native Google Cloud) hosting connections, but only if your Citrix licenses are Citrix Cloud licenses with Hybrid rights or Citrix Universal Licenses. Normal on-prem licenses won’t work. If you used cloud hosting connections in CVAD 1912, then you must upgrade your licenses before you upgrade to Delivery Controller 2402. See CTX270373 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: Public cloud support with Current Releases and Long Term Service Releases.
  12. Snapshot. Take a snapshot of the Delivery Controller machine before attempting the upgrade. The Citrix installer requires a reboot before upgrading, so it’s probably best to shut down the machine before you snapshot it.
  13. Download the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2402 ISO.
  14. On an existing Delivery Controller, run AutoSelect.exe from the 2402 ISO.
  15. On the top left, in the Upgrade box, click Studio and Server Components.
  16. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  17. In the Ensure Successful Upgrade page, read the steps, check the box next to I’m ready to continue, and click Next.
  18. If you see the Unsupported Features and Platforms page, read the list, check the box next to I understand the risk of upgrading a deployment that has unsupported features or platforms, then click Next.
  19. If you see a Licensing Errors page, then you need to upgrade your License Server or install an updated license file.

  20. If you see a SQL Server version error, then you might need to upgrade your SQL Server, or move the Citrix databases to a supported SQL server.
  21. If you see a SQL Server Express LocalDB version error, then click the Learn More link to see instructions to upgrade it.
  22. If you see a window saying “We cannot determine which SQL version is currently installed”, click OK.
  23. In the Preliminary Site Tests page, click Start Preliminary Tests.
  24. The tests will take a few minutes. Click Next when done.
  25. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  26. In the Summary page, click Upgrade. Notice that StoreFront is not in this list. StoreFront is upgraded separately.
  27. Click OK when asked to start the upgrade.
  28. The machine will probably restart a couple times.

    1. After the reboot, and after logging in again, you might see a Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window. Don’t click anything yet.
    2. Go to the Citrix_Virtual_Apps_and_Desktops_7_2402_LTSR.iso file and mount it.
    3. Go back to the Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window.
    4. On the left, expand This PC, and click the DVD Drive.
    5. Click Select Folder.
  29. If the upgrade fails:
    1. Look for MetaInstaller log files under %localappdata%\Temp\Citrix\XenDesktop Installer\MSI Log Files.
    2. Citrix has a MSI Log Analyzer.
  30. If you see a License Server Data page, click Next.
  31. In the Finish page, check the box next to Launch Citrix Site Manager and click Finish.

Site Manager – Upgrade Database, Catalogs, and Delivery Groups

  1. After Site Manager launches, if you have sysadmin permissions on SQL, then click Start the automatic Site upgrade. If you don’t have full SQL permission, then get a DBA to help you, click Manually upgrade this site, and follow the instructions.

    • 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.

    • Run the DisableServices.ps1 script before upgrading the database.
    • In SQL Studio, the .sql scripts must be run in SQLCMD mode. Re-enable SQLCMD mode for each script. Run each of the .sql scripts.
    • Then run EnableServices.ps1.

CVAD 2212 and newer include Web Studio at https://ControllerFQDN/citrix/studio or from the Start Menu.

Other Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops components can also be in-place upgraded:

New Install Preparation

Current Release

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2402 is a Long Term Support Release (LTSR), which receives periodic (usually twice per year) Cumulative Updates with bug fixes but no new features. See Lifecycle Milestones for Citrix Virtual Apps & Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. See CTX205549 FAQ: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Hypervisor Long Term Service Release (LTSR).

OS Compatibility

Delivery Controller 2402 is supported on Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2012 R2 and older are no longer supported.

Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2402 is only supported on a limited number of Windows operating system versions, specifically, Windows 11, Windows 10 (1607+), Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022.

  • If you have older VDA machines running Windows Server 2012 R2, you can install VDA software version 1912 LTSR. Citrix supports VDA 1912 LTSR communicating with Delivery Controller 2402.

Citrix Licensing

Upgrade your Citrix License Server to 11.17.2.0 build 47000.

  • Citrix now requires Licensing telemetry as described in CTX477614 Citrix License Telemetry FAQ. The build must be 40000 or newer and you must upgrade within 6 months of release.
  • You can run LicServVerify.exe from the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) ISO to verify that the License Server is compatible. Example syntax is: "E:\x64\XenDesktop Setup\LicServVerify.exe" -h myLicenseServer -p 27000 -v

Multiple License Types – Multiple license types (but not multiple editions) are supported in a single farm. See CTX223926 How to Configure Multiple License Types within a Single XenApp and XenDesktop Site.

Cloud VDAs support – Delivery Controller 2203 and newer support public cloud (native Azure, native AWS, native Google Cloud) hosting connections, but only if your Citrix licenses are Citrix Cloud licenses with Hybrid rights. Normal on-prem licenses won’t work. See CTX270373 Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: Public cloud support with Current Releases and Long Term Service Releases.

SQL Databases for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

  • Citrix article CTX114501 – Supported Databases for Virtual Apps and Desktops (XenApp and XenDesktop) AND Provisioning (Provisioning Services)
    • SQL Server 2022 is supported with Delivery Controller 2308 and newer.
    • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2203 and newer no longer support SQL 2014 and older.
  • Citrix CTX209080 XenDesktop 7.x: Database Sizing Tool
  • Three databases – 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 Site Manager to create the SQL databases automatically, then the person running Studio must be a sysadmin on the SQL instances. No lesser SQL role will work. sysadmin permissions can be granted temporarily and revoked after installation.
    • Alternatively, you can use Citrix Site Manager to create SQL scripts and then ask a DBA to 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 three databases in advance. However, you must use the non-default collation named Latin1_General_100_CI_AS_KS
  • SQL High Availability Options:
    • Basic Availability Groups – Build two SQL 2016 (or newer) Standard Edition servers, and create three Basic Availability Groups, one for each database. Each Basic Availability Group has its own Listener.
    • AlwaysOn Availability Group – Build two SQL Enterprise Edition servers, and create one AlwaysOn Availability Group with one Listener.
    • Failover Clustering – Build two SQL Enterprise Edition servers, and configure SQL Database Failover Clustering.
  • Cloud – Azure SQL is not supported. AWS RDS is supported by AWS, but not by Citrix. You’ll need to build your own SQL Servers on IaaS VMs.

Windows Feature

Installing Group Policy Management (GPMC) on the Delivery Controllers lets you edit Citrix-targeted Group Policy Objects (GPOs) directly from the Delivery Controllers.

Citrix has a Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in that adds the Citrix Policies node to the Group Policy Editor. The Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in is included with the installation of Citrix Studio, meaning that running GPMC on the Delivery Controller automatically grants you access to the Citrix Policies node in the GPOs. If you edit GPOs on a machine that doesn’t have Citrix Studio installed, then you won’t see the Citrix Policies node in GPOs until you manually install the Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in.

vCenter Service Account

Create a role in vSphere Client. Assign a service account to the role at the vCenter Datacenter or higher level. Delivery Controller will use this service account to login to vCenter.

Delivery Controller New 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. 5 GB is the minimum memory.
  2. From Local Host Cache sizing and scaling at Citrix Docs:
    1. Add two cores for LHC.
    2. For LHC SQL LocalDB, assign the Controller VMs a single CPU socket with multiple cores. SQL LocalDB uses a maximum of one CPU socket. Configure the Delivery Controller VM with four cores per socket.
    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 in the site/farm have the same specs.
  3. Operating System: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 2402 is supported on Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2012 R2 and older are no longer supported.
  4. Make sure the User Right Log on as a service includes NT SERVICE\ALL SERVICES or add NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService to the User Right.
  5. Download the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 2402 ISO.
  6. On two Delivery Controllers, to install the Delivery Controller software, run AutoSelect.exe from the mounted 2402 ISO.
  7. Click Start next to either Virtual Apps or Virtual Apps and Desktops. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  8. On the top left, click Delivery Controller.
  9. In the Licensing Agreement page, select I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  10. In the Core Components page, you can install all components on one server, or on separate servers. Splitting out the components is only necessary in large environments, or if you have multiple farms and want to share the Licensing, and Director components across those farms. Notice that StoreFront is no longer an option and must be installed separately.
  11. CVAD 2212 and newer include Web Studio as an option. Studio is no longer selected by default. Citrix says that Web Studio and StoreFront should be installed on separate servers. Click Next.
  12. CVAD 2212 and newer let you add a Delivery Controller that Web Studio will manage.
  13. In the Features page, uncheck the box next to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2022 Express CU9, and click Next.
  14. In the Firewall page, click Next.
  15. In the Summary page, click Install.
  16. The machine will probably restart a couple times.

    1. After the reboot, and after logging in again, you might see a Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window. Don’t click anything yet.
    2. Go to the Citrix_Virtual_Apps_and_Desktops_7_2402_LTSR.iso file and mount it.
    3. Go back to the Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7’ installation media window.
    4. On the left, expand This PC, and click the DVD Drive.
    5. Click Select Folder.
    6. Installation will resume. Repeat these instructions after each reboot.
  17. If you see a Diagnostics page, you can optionally Collect diagnostic information by clicking Connect and entering your Citrix Cloud or MyCitrix.com credentials. Click Next.
  18. In the Finish page, click Finish. Citrix Site Manager will automatically launch.
  19. Anti-affinity – Ensure the two Delivery Controller VMs do not run on the same hypervisor host. Create an anti-affinity rule at vSphere Cluster > Manage > VM/Host Rules > Add. Set the Type to Separate Virtual Machines.
  20. Citrix Tech Zone Endpoint Security and Antivirus Best Practices: provides guidelines for configuring antivirus software in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environments.

Create Site – Create Database

There are several methods of creating the databases for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD):

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Site Manager create the databases automatically.
  • If you don’t have sysadmin permissions to SQL, then use Citrix Site Manager to generate SQL scripts and send the SQL scripts to a DBA.

Use Citrix Site Manager to Create the Databases Automatically

  1. Launch Citrix Site Manager. After it loads, click Deliver applications and desktops to your users.
  2. In the Introduction page, enter a Site Name (aka farm name) and click Next. Only administrators see the farm name.
  3. In the Databases page, if you are building two Delivery Controllers, click Select near the bottom of the same page.

    1. Click Add.
    2. Enter the FQDN of the second Delivery Controller and click OK. Note: the Delivery Controller software must already be installed on that second machine.
    3. Then click Save.
  4. If the person running Citrix Site Manager has sysadmin permissions to the SQL Server, then enter the SQL server name/instance in the three Location fields and click Next.
  5. If you don’t have sysadmin permission, then jump to the SQL Scripts section below.
  6. On the Licensing page, enter the name of the Citrix License Server, and click Connect. If you installed Citrix Licensing with your Delivery Controller, then simply enter localhost.
  7. If the Certificate Authentication appears, select Connect me, and click Confirm.
  8. Select your license type, and click Next. If you see both User/Device and Concurrent, then you usually must select User/Device licenses. Also see Multi-type licensing at Citrix Docs.
  9. In the Summary page, if your databases are mirrored or in an Availability Group, each database will show high availability servers and the name of the Mirror server. Click Finish.

  10. It will take some time for the site to be created.
  11. Once done, skip to the Second Delivery Controller section.

Use Citrix Site Manager to create SQL scripts

  1. If you don’t have SQL sysadmin permissions, then change the selection to Generate scripts to manually set up databases on the database server. Change the database names if desired and click Next.
  2. In the Summary page, click Generate scripts.
  3. A folder will open with many scripts.
    • There’s a Principal script for each of the three databases.
    • The Mixed scripts and SysAdmin scripts create SQL Server logins whereas the DbOwner scripts do not. Either run the Mixed scripts that contain all tasks or run the SysAdmin and DbOwner scripts separately. The idea is that the separate scripts are run by different SQL admins that have different permissions.
    • The Replicas scripts add logons to secondary SQL servers.
  4. Before running the scripts, create the three databases.

    1. At the top of each script is the Database Name that was entered in Citrix Site Manager. The database name needs to match the script.
    2. On the Options tab, change the Collation to Latin1_General_100_CI_AS_KS.
    3. In the bottom part, find Is Read Committed Snapshot On and set it to True.
    4. Repeat this for all three databases.
    5. You can then add these three databases to an AlwasyOn Availability Group.
  5. Now do the following to run either the Mixed scripts or run the SysAdmin and DbOwner scripts separately. The scripts must be run in SQLCMD mode.
    1. On the Principal SQL Server, open the file Site_Mixed_Principal.sql.

    2. Open the Query menu, and click SQLCMD Mode to enable it.
    3. Then execute the script.
    4. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly, then the output should look something like this:
    5. If you have a mirrored database, then run the Replicas script on the mirror SQL instance. Make sure SQLCMD mode is enabled.
    6. Repeat for the Logging_Mixed_Principal.sql script.
    7. You’ll have to enable SQLCMD Mode for each script you open.


    8. Repeat for the Monitoring_Mixed_Principal.sql script.
    9. Once again enable SQLCMD Mode.


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

  6. Back in Citrix Site Manager, click the Continue database configuration and Site setup button.
  7. In the Databases page, enter the SQL server name and instance name, and then click Next.

  8. On the Licensing page, enter the name of the Citrix License Server, and click Connect. If you installed Citrix Licensing with your Delivery Controller, then simply enter localhost.
  9. If the Certificate Authentication window appears, select Connect me, and click Confirm.
  10. Then select your license and click Next. See CTX223926 How to Configure Multiple License Types within a Single XenApp and XenDesktop Site.
  11. 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.

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

Second Controller

During Site creation on the first Delivery Controller, in the Site Setup wizard, you might have selected more than one Delivery Controller.  In that case, on the second Delivery Controller, simply run Citrix Site Manager and it should already be configured.

Otherwise, additional Delivery Controllers need to be added to the SQL databases.

  • If you have sysadmin permissions to SQL, let Citrix Site Manager modify the databases automatically.
  • If you don’t have sysadmin permissions to SQL, then use Citrix Site Manager to generate SQL scripts and send them to a DBA.

To use Citrix Site Manager to create the SQL Scripts:

  1. On the first Delivery Controller, if StoreFront is installed on the Controller, then delete the default StoreFront store (/Citrix/Store) and recreate it with your desired Store name (e.g. /Citrix/Company).
  2. On the second Delivery Controller machine, install Delivery Controller as detailed earlier.
  3. After installation, launch Citrix Site Manager on the second controller, and 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 multiple SQL scripts. These SQL script files follow the same pattern as the first Delivery Controller where the Mixed scripts do everything, but the DbOwner and SysAdmin scripts are intended to be run by different SQL administration roles. Always run each of these scripts in SQLCMD mode. There are separate scripts for mirrored databases.

    1. On the SQL Server, open one of the .sql files.

    2. Open the Query menu and click SQLCMD Mode.
    3. Then execute the SQL script.
    4. If SQLCMD mode was enabled properly, then the output should look something like this:
  8. Repeat for the remaining script files. Enable SQLCMD mode for each script.
  9. Back in Citrix Site Manager, click OK.
  10. In Citrix Site Manager you should see both controllers.

SSL for Delivery Controller

SSL certificates should be installed on each Delivery Controller to encrypt the traffic between StoreFront and Delivery Controller. The traffic between StoreFront and Delivery Controller contains user credentials.

The SSL certificate on each Delivery Controller needs to match the FQDN of the Delivery Controller.

  • If StoreFront is installed on the Delivery Controller, then you have two FQDNs to consider: the Delivery Controller FQDN, and the StoreFront FQDN. Make sure the certificate matches the Delivery Controller FQDN, but it’s usually not necessary for the same certificate to also match the StoreFront FQDN.
    • The StoreFront certificate is usually hosted on a NetScaler Load Balancing Virtual Server. Users connect to NetScaler instead of directly to the StoreFront servers. The StoreFront certificate only needs to be valid between the user and the NetScaler.
    • For the connection between NetScaler and StoreFront server, NetScaler does not validate the certificate, so the certificate on the StoreFront server can be anything. That means you can install a certificate that matches the Delivery Controller FQDN and there’s no need for the certificate to match the StoreFront FQDN.

To enable SSL for a Delivery Controller:

  1. Run certlm.msc, go to Personal > Certificates and create or install a server certificate that matches the Delivery Controller’s FQDN. This can be an internally-signed certificate if the StoreFront server trusts internally-signed certificates.
  2. If IIS is installed on the Delivery Controller, then simply run IIS Manager, go to Default Web Site, click Edit Bindings, and add an https binding using the chosen certificate.

If IIS is not installed on the Delivery Controller, then we need to build a command line to bind the certificate to the Citrix Broker Service.

  1. Open a command prompt as administrator.
  2. Enter the following text but don’t press Enter yet.
    netsh http add sslcert ipport=0.0.0.0:443 certhash=
  3. Right after certhash= paste the certificate thumbprint using the following procedure:
    1. Go to certlm.mscPersonal Certificates.
    2. Double-click the certificate you want to bind.
    3. On the Details tab, scroll down to Thumbprint and copy the thumbprint.
    4. Paste the thumbprint into the command line we’re building.
    5. Remove the special character at the beginning of the thumbprint.
    6. Remove the spaces.
  4. Add the following to the command line:
     appid=
  5. Michael Shuster at HowTo: Enable SSL on Citrix Delivery Controllers – Easy Method says you can run the following PowerShell to get the Broker Service GUID.
    Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-String -Pattern "broker service"
  6. Paste the GUID for Citrix Broker Service that you got from the Get-WmiObject. Make sure the GUID has curly braces on both sides with no space between appid and the left curly brace.
  7. Press <Enter> to run the command.
  8. If you entered everything correctly, then it should say SSL Certificate successfully added.
  9. To confirm the certificate binding, run the following:
    netsh http show sslcert ipport=0.0.0.0:443

Concurrent Logon Hard Limit

From Samuel Legrand XenApp 7.14 – (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 on the Delivery Controllers:

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

Local Host Cache

Local Host Cache (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 CPU socket with multiple CPU cores.
  2. Add two CPU 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.

As mentioned by Citrix Docs, make sure PowerShell Execution Policy is set to RemoteSigned, Unrestricted, or Bypass.

If you did a fresh install of 2402, then Local Host Cache should be enabled by default. In PowerShell, you can run Get-BrokerSite to confirm.

If not enabled, you can run some PowerShell commands to enable Local Host Cache:

Set-BrokerSite -ConnectionLeasingEnabled $false
Set-BrokerSite -LocalHostCacheEnabled $true

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

Database Maintenance

Enable Read-Committed Snapshot

The Delivery Controller Database can become heavily utilized under load in a large environment. Therefore, Citrix recommends enabling the Read_Committed_Snapshot option on the Delivery Controller 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

Here are general instructions for moving the database and assigning the correct permissions:

  1. Backup the three Citrix databases on the original SQL server and restore them on the new SQL server. See Microsoft’s documentation for details.
  2. In SQL Management Studio > Security > Logins, add the Delivery Controller computer accounts (e.g., CORP\DDC01$)
  3. When adding the SQL Login, on the User Mapping page, select the three Citrix databases (Site database, Monitoring database, and Logging database)
  4. For each of the three Citrix databases, add the Delivery Controller computer account to the various database roles as listed below. The Site database has many more roles than the Logging and Monitoring databases.
    • Site database – ADIdentitySchema_ROLE
    • Site database – Analytics_ROLE (7.8 and newer)
    • Site database – AppLibrarySchema_ROLE (7.8 and newer)
    • Site database – chr_Broker
    • Site database – chr_Controller
    • Site database – ConfigLoggingSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – ConfigLoggingSiteSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – ConfigurationSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – DAS_ROLE
    • Site database – DesktopUpdateManagerSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – EnvTestServiceSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – HostingUnitServiceSchema_ROLE
    • Site database – Monitor_ROLE
    • Site database – MonitorData_ROLE
    • Site database – OrchestrationSchema_ROLE (7.11 and newer)
    • Site database – public
    • Site database – StorefrontSchema_ROLE (7.8 and newer)
    • Site database – TrustSchema_ROLE (7.11 and newer)
    • Monitoring database – Monitor_ROLE
    • Monitoring database – public
    • Logging database – ConfigLoggingSchema_ROLE
    • Logging database – public

From Citrix Docs Update database connection strings when using SQL Server high availability solutions: Citrix offers several PowerShell scripts that update Delivery Controller database connection strings when you are using SQL Server high availability database solutions such as AlwaysOn and mirroring. The scripts, which use the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 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 “initial” 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.

Here are the DB Connections that must be changed. 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. Repeat these instructions on all Delivery Controllers in the farm.

Remove the existing Database connections

At the Delivery Controller, open PowerShell as Administrator and run the following commands to clear the existing database connections.

## Disable configuration logging for the XD site:
Set-LogSite -State Disabled

## ## Clear the current Delivery Controller database connections
## Note: AdminDBConnection must be the last command
Set-ConfigDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AppLibDBConnection -DBConnection $null    #7.8 and newer
Set-OrchDBConnection -DBConnection $null      #7.11 and newer
Set-TrustDBConnection -DBConnection $null     #7.11 and newer
Set-AcctDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-AnalyticsDBConnection -DBConnection $null # 7.6 and newer
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

Specify the new Database connection strings

Run the following commands to set the new SQL connection strings. Adjust the variables to match your desired connection string. For example, if you wish to add “;MultiSubnetFailover=True” to the connection strings, then set the $csSite variable to "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$SiteDBName;Integrated Security=True;MultiSubnetFailover=True". Repeat this for the $csLogging and $csMonitoring variables.

## Replace <dbserver> with the SQL server name, and instance if present, e.g "ServerName\SQLInstanceName". If no SQL Instance name is mentioned, this commandlet will try to connect to the default SQL instance.
## Replace <dbname> with the name of your restored Database
## Note: AdminDBConnection should be first

$ServerName = "<dbserver>"
$SiteDBName = "<SiteDbName>"
$LogDBName = "<LoggingDbName>"
$MonitorDBName = "<MonitorDbName>"
$csSite = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$SiteDBName;Integrated Security=True;MultiSubnetFailover=True"
$csLogging = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$LogDBName;Integrated Security=True;MultiSubnetFailover=True"
$csMonitoring = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$MonitorDBName;Integrated Security=True;MultiSubnetFailover=True"

Set-AdminDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-ConfigDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-AcctDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-AnalyticsDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite # 7.6 and newer
Set-HypDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite 
Set-ProvDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-AppLibDBConnection –DBConnection $csSite # 7.8 and newer
Set-OrchDBConnection –DBConnection $csSite # 7.11 and newer
Set-TrustDBConnection –DBConnection $csSite # 7.11 and newer
Set-BrokerDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-EnvTestDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-SfDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-LogDBConnection -DataStore Logging -DBConnection $null
Set-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-LogDBConnection -DataStore Logging -DBConnection $csLogging
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DataStore Monitor -DBConnection $null
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $null
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Set-MonitorDBConnection -DataStore Monitor -DBConnection $csMonitoring
Set-LogSite -State Enabled

Test the new Database connection strings

Run the following commands to verify connectivity to the database:

## Copy these variables from the previous step
## If you haven’t closed your PowerShell window, then the variables might still be defined. In that case, just run the Test commands
$ServerName = "<dbserver>"
$SiteDBName = "<SiteDbName>"
$LogDBName = "<LoggingDbName>"
$MonitorDBName = "<MonitorDbName>"
$csSite = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$SiteDBName;Integrated Security=True"
$csLogging = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$LogDBName;Integrated Security=True"
$csMonitoring = "Server=$ServerName;Initial Catalog=$MonitorDBName;Integrated Security=True"

Test-AcctDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-AdminDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-AnalyticsDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite # 7.6 and newer
Test-AppLibDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite # 7.8 and newer
Test-BrokerDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-ConfigDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-EnvTestDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-HypDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-LogDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-LogDBConnection -DataStore Logging -DBConnection $csLogging
Test-MonitorDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-MonitorDBConnection -Datastore Monitor -DBConnection $csMonitoring
Test-OrchDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite # 7.11 and newer
Test-ProvDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-SfDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite
Test-TrustDBConnection -DBConnection $csSite # 7.11 and newer

Director Grooming

If your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is not Premium Edition, then all historical Director data is groomed at 30 days.

For Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Premium 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).
  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 Web 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.

Logging Database Grooming

By default, the Logging Database does not groom old entries. You can enable grooming in Citrix PowerShell by running the Set-LogSite cmdlet with the -LoggingDBPurgeDurationDays parameter. More info at Schedule periodic data deletion at Citrix Docs.

Studio Administrators

Full Administrators

  1. In Web Studio click the Administrators node and then click Create Administrator.
  2. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a group (e.g. Citrix Admins) that will have permissions to Citrix Web Studio and Director.

  3. 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 Web Studio, click the Administrators node. On the Administrators tab, click Create Administrator.
  2. In the Administrator and Scope page, Browse to a Help Desk group that will have permissions to Web 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 Save. Now Director will display the dashboard.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops enables CEIP by default.

If desired, you can disable it in Citrix Web Studio (CVAD 2212 and newer):

  1. Go to https://ControllerFQDN/Citrix/Studio
  2. On the left, click Settings.
  3. On the top right, move the slider for Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program.
  4. Click Apply at the bottom.

Citrix Studio collects data for Google Analytics. You can disable this in the registry at HKLM\Software\Citrix\DesktopStudio\GAEnabled = 0.

Each Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops component has a separate configuration for disabling Customer Experience Improvement Program:

Web Studio Settings

Web Studio 2311 and newer under Logging can show you PowerShell and APIs that Web Studio is using.

Web Studio has a Settings page:

  1. Web Studio 2308 and newer support Integrated Windows authentication.
  2. Web Studio 2308 and newer let you configure an Inactivity timeout.
  3. Web Studio 2311 and newer have multiple site management in the Settings node.

    • Use the Site selector at the top right of the page.
  4. Web Studio 2308 and newer support Vertical load balancing.

    • CVAD 2311 and newer let you set Vertical load balancing at the Delivery Group instead of only at the Site.
  5. Web Studio 2308+ lets you create folders of Machine Catalogs.
  6. Web Studio 2308+ lets you create folders of Delivery Groups.
  7. Web Studio 2402+ supports machine profile when using MCS on vSphere. MCS copies machine specifications (e.g., TPM) from the template machine to the MCS machines.
  8. Web Studio 2402+ has an Images node with Image Definitions and Image Versions that are prepared prior to creating or updating Catalogs. Now you can pre-replicate the baseDisk to datastores and later use the prepared image to quickly update the Catalogs. The Image Versions can also be shared by multiple Catalogs.

Hosting Connection – VMware vCenter

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

Import vCenter Root Certificate

If the vCenter certificate is valid and trusted, then you can skip to the Hosting Resource section.

For newer versions of vCenter, you can import the root certificate that signed the vCenter Server/Appliance certificate.

  1. Point your browser to the root path of the vCenter Server URL.
  2. On the bottom right, click Download trusted root CA certificates.
  3. Extract the downloaded files.
  4. Go to \certs\win.
  5. Sort the files by date, and double-click the newest .crt file.
  6. On the General tab, click Install Certificate.
  7. In the Welcome to the Certificate Import Wizard page, change the Store Location selection to Local Machine, and click Next.
  8. In the Certificate Store page, click Browse.
  9. Select Trust Root Certification Authorities, and click OK.
  10. In the Completing the Certificate Import Wizard page, click Finish.
  11. If you close your browser and reopen it, and then go to the vCenter URL, there should no longer be any certificate errors.
  12. Skip to the Hosting Resource section.

Import vCenter Certificate

If the vCenter certificate is valid and trusted, then you can skip to the Hosting Resource section.

Alternatively, you can import the actual vCenter Server certificate (instead of the root certificate). This is the only option for older self-signed vCenter certificates.

Newer versions of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) have the ability to import the vCenter certificate thumbprint into the database so that every Delivery Controller trusts it. However, it is difficult to update the thumbprint whenever the vCenter certificate changes. It might instead be more reliable to use the older method of configuring the Trusted People store on the Delivery Controllers. Whenever the vCenter certificate is changed, you’ll need to repeat these steps.

  1. Get the vCenter certificate.
    1. Open a browser and point it to the vCenter URL. Note: this procedure to get the certificate won’t work in Internet Explorer.
    2. If Google Chrome, click the Secure box in the address bar, and then click Certificate.
    3. On the Details tab, click Copy to File.
    4. In the Welcome to the Certificate Export Wizard page, click Next.
    5. In the Export File Format page, either format will work. Click Next.
    6. In the File to Export page, browse to a new file, and click Next.
    7. In the Completing the Certificate Export Wizard page, click Finish.
  2. On the Delivery Controller, run certlm.msc. This opens the MMC console with the Certificates snap-in already added and pointing to Local computer.
  3. On the left, right-click the Trusted People node, expand All Tasks, and click Import.
  4. In the Welcome to the Certificate Import Wizard page, click Next.
  5. In the File to Import page, browse to the certificate you saved earlier, and click Next.
  6. In the Certificate Store page, click Next.
  7. In the Completing the Certificate Import Wizard page, click Finish.
  8. Click OK to acknowledge that the import was successful.
  9. Repeat these steps on the second Delivery Controller. It is important that you import the certificate on all Delivery Controllers before you add the Hosting Resource in Web Studio.
  10. If you open a browser and point to the vCenter Server, there should be no certificate errors.

Hosting Resources

Hosting Resources are used by both Machine Creation Services (MCS) and by Citrix Provisioning’s CVAD Setup Wizard.

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

Hosting Connections and Hosting Resources are two different objects. The Hosting Connection defines the type of hypervisor and the credentials that Delivery Controller uses to log into the hypervisor. A single Hosting Connection can have multiple Hosting Resources for multiple clusters, multiple datastores, etc. The first time you run the wizard both objects are created. Later you can add Hosting Resources to a pre-existing Hosting Connection.

Citrix CTX131239 Supported Hypervisors for Virtual Desktops and Provisioning (Provisioning Services). vSphere 7 is supported in CVAD 2203 and newer. vSphere 8 is supported in CVAD 2212 and newer. SCVMM 2022 is supported in CVAD 2203 and newer.

  1. In Web Studio click Hosting.
  2. On the right, click Add Connection and Resources.
  3. In the Connection page, for Connection type, select VMware vSphere.
  4. Notice there’s a Learn about user permissions blue link to an article that describes the necessary permissions.
  5. In the Connection address field, enter a vCenter URL similar to https://vcenter01.corp.local/sdk. The URL must contain the FQDN of the vCenter server.
  6. Enter credentials of a service account that can log into vCenter.
  7. In the Connection name field, give the connection a name. Typically, this matches the name of the vCenter server.
  8. If you are not using Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Citrix Provisioning (PVS) and instead only need the vCenter connection for machine power management, change the Create virtual machines using selection to Other Tools.
  9. If you intend to use MCS or PVS, leave Create virtual machines using set to Studio Tools.
  10. Click Next.

  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. Beware of Optimize temporary data on available local storage. From Mark Syms 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. Click Next.
  15. In the Storage Selection page, OS and Temporary must be selected on at least one datastore.

    • For maximum virtual machine placement flexibility, only select one datastore per Hosting Resource. To select additional datastores, run this wizard again to create a separate Hosting Resource for each datastore.
    • When creating a Machine Catalog you select a Hosting Resource. If the Hosting Resource only has one datastore selected, then you know which datastore the new VMs will be placed on. However, if the Hosting Resource has multiple datastores selected, then the datastores are selected round robin and you don’t have any control over which datastore is selected for each new machine.
  16. 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).
  17. Select a network and click Next.
  18. In the Summary page, click Finish.
  19. If you need to rename Storage, Network, or Datacenters in vCenter, 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.

If you have multiple datastores for your VDAs, then create multiple Hosting Resources (one for each datastore):

  1. Run the Add Connection and Resources wizard again.
  2. You can use the existing vCenter connection.
  3. This time, select a different datastore. Remember, don’t select more than one datastore per Hosting Resource.
  4. Give the Hosting Resource a name that indicates the chosen datastore.

When you later create a MCS Machine Catalog:

  1. Select the Hosting Resource for the datastore where you want the VDAs to be placed.
  2. You can create multiple Machine Catalogs, with each of them on different datastores. You can then combine the Catalogs into a single Delivery Group.

Citrix License Server

Upgrade Citrix License Server to version 11.17.2.0 build 47000, which might be newer than what’s on the CVAD ISO.

New License Server

If you’re building a new standalone Citrix License Server:

  1. Citrix now requires Licensing telemetry as described in CTX477614 Citrix License Telemetry FAQ. The build must be 40000 or newer and you must upgrade within 6 months of release.
  2. Extract the downloaded Citrix License 11.17.2.0 build 47000.
  3. Run CitrixLicensing.exe
  4. In the Software License Agreement page, check the box next to I have read, understand, and accept the terms, and click Next.
  5. In the Install Location page, click Next.
  6. In the Configure Ports page, click Next.
  7. In the Configure Customer Success Services Renewal page, click Install.
  8. In the Summary page, choose an option for sharing license server data with Citrix and then click Finish.

Upgrade License Server

Upgrade your Citrix License Server to 11.17.2.0 build 47000 if it isn’t already.

  1. Citrix now requires Licensing telemetry as described in CTX477614 Citrix License Telemetry FAQ. The build must be 40000 or newer and you must upgrade within 6 months of release.
  2. Go to the downloaded Citrix License 11.17.2.0 build 47000 and run CitrixLicensing.exe.

  3. If you see the Subscription Advantage Renewal page, make a selection, and click Next.
  4. In the Upgrade page, click Upgrade.
  5. If you login to the Citrix Licensing Manager (:8083), the top of the page shows the version number 11.17.2.0 build 47000.

Citrix Licensing Manager

Newer versions of License Server come with a new management web site.

  1. From the Start Menu, run Citrix Licensing Manager. Or go to https://<My_Licensing_Server>:8083
  2. You might be prompted to login.

    • To eliminate this login, add the License Server URL to the Local Intranet zone.
  3. Licensing Manager might prompt you to register with Citrix Cloud.

    1. On the Settings > Usage and Statistics page, in the Share license server data with Citrix section, click Register.
    2. You’ll see a screen with a registration code. Click the Copy button and then click Register to be take to Citrix Cloud.
    3. The Register button in the Citrix License Server takes you to Identity and Access Management > API Access > Product Registrations. Click Register.
    4. Paste in the copied code and then click Continue.
    5. Click Register.
    6. Back in the on-premises Licensing Manager, it will eventually show as Registered.
    7. On the same Usage & Statistics page, scroll down, and then click Upload now. This should cause data to upload to Citrix Cloud and show up in Citrix Cloud Licensing.
  4. Licensing Manager 11.17.2.0 build 43000 and newer has a Product Information tab showing you component versions.
  5. Licensing Manager has a Dashboard page that shows installed licenses.

    • Click the arrow next to a license to see when it expires and the number of licenses in use.
  6. If you click the gear icon on the top right…
  7. On the Account tab, you can add License Server Administrators.
  8. The Update Licenses tab lets you check for license renewals and download them.

Activate Citrix License

The easy way to install and activate a Citrix license is through Citrix Web Studio:

  1. In Web Studio, click the Licensing node.
  2. On the right, if you see a Log On button, click it and log on to the license server.
  3. Click More and then click Allocate License.
  4. Enter the license access code and click Show.
  5. Back in Web Studio, enter the License Access Code, click Show, and then click the Allocate licenses button at the bottom.

    • Another method of allocating licenses is in the Citrix Licensing Manager at https://MyLicenseServer:8083 > Install Licenses tab.
  6. After licenses are installed, click Edit Product Edition at the top of the Licensing page.
  7. Change the edition to match your licenses. If you see both Virtual Apps and Virtual Desktops licenses, you must select Virtual Desktops. If you see both Concurrent and User/Device, then you must select User/Device. Click Save when done.

  8. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops supports mixed licensing in a single site/farm. See the following:

License Server CEIP

Citrix License Server enables CEIP by default. This can be disabled:

  1. In the Citrix Licensing Manager (https://MyLicenseServer:8083) by clicking the gear icon.
  2. Switch to the Usage and Statistics tab and make a selection in the Share license server data with Citrix section.

Citrix License Server Monitoring

Citrix Licensing Manager has historical usage reporting:

  1. Run Citrix Licensing Manager from the Start Menu. Or use a browser to connect to https://MyLicenseServer:8083
  2. On the Historical Use tab, use the drop-down menus to select a license type, select dates, and export to a .csv file.
  3. At the bottom of this page is a link to change the retention period.

Jonathan Medd Monitor Citrix License Usage With PowerShell.

Lal Mohan – Citrix License Usage Monitoring Using Powershell

Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Install Remote Desktop Licensing Server

Do the following on your Delivery 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.

Citrix Scout

Delivery Controller includes Citrix Scout that can be launched from the Start Menu.

The tool can run a manual collection, run a trace, schedule periodic collection, or run a Health Check.

Health Check:

  1. When adding machines, you can select StoreFront or Windows VDA.
  2. When you select machines, it might tell you to enable PSRemoting.
  3. Winrm is usually not enabled on desktop machines. Login to the machine, open command prompt as administrator, and run winrm quickconfig. It’s also possible to use Group Policy to enable winrm.
  4. Go back to Citrix Scout and click Continue.
  5. Click Start Checking.
  6. You can click View Details to view the issues it found.

Collect:

  1. The wizard is identical to the Health Check wizard, except there’s another screen to upload the data.

  2. If Citrix Cloud credentials, then you need to Generate a token.
  3. After logging into Citrix Cloud, copy the token.
  4. Go back to Citrix Scout and paste the token. Click Continue.
  5. Click Start Upload.
  6. Click View Analysis.

Links with more information:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Health Check

Sacha Thomet Finally 1.0 – but never finalized!: XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x Health Check script has now Version 1.0.

Pavan900 posted a PowerShell-based Health Check script at Citrix Studi – Colors for Maintenance Mode at Citrix Discussions.

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 “All Clear” emails when these items are resolved, ensuring you are aware when the service has resumed a healthy state.

Related Pages

EUC Weekly Digest – April 13, 2024

Last Modified: Apr 13, 2024 @ 6:27 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix Workspace app

NetScaler Console

  • NetScaler Console new features – at Infrastructure > Instances > NetScaler, clicking on the host name now connects to the NetScaler GUI through the host name; during upgrade job, view configuration discrepancies between the primary node and the secondary – NetScaler Docs

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Microsoft

For more immediate updates, follow me at http://twitter.com/cstalhood.