EUC Weekly Digest – May 21, 2022

Last Modified: May 21, 2022 @ 5:29 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix ADM

Citrix Gateway

VMware

Other

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

EUC Weekly Digest – May 14, 2022

Last Modified: May 14, 2022 @ 5:29 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix VDA

Citrix App Layering

Citrix HDX

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix Gateway

VMware

Microsoft

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

EUC Weekly Digest – April 30, 2022

Last Modified: Apr 30, 2022 @ 4:55 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix ADM

Citrix Cloud

VMware

  • New VMware Horizon Editions – Help Desk tool in all editions; vSAN in Enterprise Plus and Universal; VMware Workspace ONE Access in all editions

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

EUC Weekly Digest – April 23, 2022

Last Modified: Apr 23, 2022 @ 5:37 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Other

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

EUC Weekly Digest – April 16, 2022

Last Modified: Apr 16, 2022 @ 4:44 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix HDX

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix ADM

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Microsoft

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

EUC Weekly Digest – April 9, 2022

Last Modified: Apr 9, 2022 @ 5:55 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Microsoft

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

EUC Weekly Digest – April 2, 2022

Last Modified: Apr 2, 2022 @ 5:18 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix WEM and Profile Management

Citrix Provisioning

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Workspace app

Citrix ADC

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Endpoint Management

Citrix Cloud

VMware

Microsoft

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

Citrix Director 2203 LTSR

Last Modified: Mar 27, 2022 @ 7:01 am

Navigation

💡 = Recently Updated

Change Log

Director Licensing – Premium Edition

Here’s the list of Director features that require Premium Edition (aka Platinum Edition) licensing.

  • Up to a year’s worth of performance and usage data
    • Other editions keep up to 30 days of performance and usage data
  • Application Probing
  • Alerting, including SNMP integration
  • SCOM alerts
  • Single session OS (aka Desktop OS) and Multi-session OS (aka Server OS) usage reporting
  • Create customized reports
  • Reboot warnings
  • Citrix ADM 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 2203 on Standalone Server

Current Release vs LTSR – Director version 2203 is a Long Term Service Release, which is supported for 5 years from its release date in March 2022. Citrix Support might require you to install the latest Cumulative Update for 2203.

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.

Director and Delivery Controller versions – Director 2203 supports Delivery Controllers 2112 and newer, and Delivery Controller 1912.

Installation guidance – For Director installation guidance, see the following:

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 2203 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 site/farm. Only enter one Delivery Controller per site/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. A machine restart will probably be needed.
  11. After the restart, login.
    1. If you see a Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 LTSR’ installation media window, don’t click anything.
    2. Go to the Citrix_Virtual_Apps_and_Desktops_7_2203.iso file and mount it.
    3. Go back to the Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 LTSR’ installation media window.
    4. On the left, expand This PC, and click the DVD Drive.
    5. Click Select Folder.
    6. Installation will resume.
  12. In the Finish page, click Finish.
  13. 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 site/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.
  14. If you built multiple Director servers, use Citrix ADC to load balance them.
  15. If you are upgrading Director, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /upgrade to complete the upgrade process.
  16. Reconfigure the default domain in LogOn.aspx since upgrading overwrote your domain name configuration.
  17. For info on the new monitoring features in Director, see Use Director below.

Director Default Web Page

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 Spinning Circle

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

…then do the following to fix it:

  1. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\web.config using an elevated text editor.
  2. Search for <serviceHostingEnvironment (line 279).
  3. Add the following attribute:
    multipleSiteBindingsEnabled="true"

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

Director 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. 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 allows the user to change it, if that should be required. Note: this only seems to work if Single Sign-on is disabled.

How to hide the domain from Director Logon Page:

  1. Edit the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\LogOn.aspx using an elevated text editor.
  2. Locate the tag which starts with: <asp:Label ID="DomainLabel"
  3. Immediately prior to that label, locate the tag: <div class='label eight'>
  4. Add the following before <div class=’label eight’>: <div style='display:none'>
  5. In between “</asp:Textbox> <br />” add the following: </div>

Director Tweaks

Session timeout

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

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

Site Groups

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

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

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

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

Director Configuration Script

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

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

The same DirectorReconfigureWithLogonMod.ps1 script seems to be available at Citrix’s Github\Powershell-Scripts repository.

Director – Saved Filters

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

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

The saved filters are stored on each Director server at C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\Director\UserData. Each user has their own saved filters. The saved filters are not replicated across multiple 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 Citrix Application Delivery Management (ADM) to add Network tabs to Director’s Trends and Machine Details views. Citrix Blog Post Configure Director with NetScaler Management & Analytics System (MAS).

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 Delivery 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 in step 2.
    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 Delivery Controller, then localhost should already be entered.
  6. Add a comma and the NetBIOS name of one of the Delivery 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 Controller 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. Also see CTX224433 Error: “Cannot Retrieve Data” on Citrix Director Dashboard After Securing OData Interface Through TLS.

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


  4. Switch to the Citrix Alerts Policy tab.
  5. There are four high-level categories of alerts: Site Policy, Delivery Group Policy, 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 the Site Policy tab, click Edit for the built-in Hypervisor Health policy.

    1. On the bottom right, in the Notification preferences section, click Add.
    2. Enter an email address and then click Add.
    3. Click Done when done.
    4. On the bottom, click the Save button.
  8. On the Delivery Group Policy 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. On the bottom right, in the Notification preferences section, click Add.
    3. Enter an email address and click Done.
    4. On the bottom, 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. You can configure alerts to generate an SNMP trap. This is configured in PowerShell as described at Developer Docs.
    Set-MonitorNotificationSnmpServerConfiguration        #see Docs for parameter details
    Set-MonitorNotificationPolicy -IsSnmpEnabled $true -Uid <Policy ID>
  12. 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 Studio, at Configuration > 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 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 2103. Find it on the CVAD 2203 Premium Components downloads page after expanding Components that are on the Component ISO but also packaged separately.
  2. On a physical machine in a remote office, install Workspace app if it isn’t installed already.
  3. Run the downloaded CitrixAppProbeAgent_2103.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.
  9. Apps & features or Programs and Features shows the Citrix Probe Agent version as 2103.1.0.0.

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 Gateway, the Gateway Virtual Server must be configured with RfWebUI theme. Other themes, like X1 theme, do not work.
  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 top middle, click the Configuration button.
  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. If you go back to the Configuration page, to edit a probe configuration, select one, and then click the Edit link.
  19. The probe configurations are stored in the Monitoring database, so there shouldn’t be any concerns with load balancing of Director.
  20. To view the probe results, on the top, click Trends. Then switch to the Probe Results tab. This page seems to not tell you anything more than if the probe was successful or not.

Director – SCOM Integration

Director can display alerts from System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 or newer. This feature requires Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) Premium Edition.

  1. See Configure SCOM integration at Citrix Docs for detailed configuration instructions. Also see Marius Sandbu Integrating Citrix XenDesktop 7.7 and System Center Operations Manager.
  2. On Director server, run C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Director\tools\DirectorConfig.exe /configscom
  3. FYI, the DirectorConfig.exe /configscom command enables the following features on the Director server: /FeatureName:IIS-NetFxExtensibility45 /FeatureName:IIS-ASPNET45 /FeatureName:WCF-HTTP-Activation45
  4. FYI, the System Center Operations Manager server is listed in IIS Manager at Default Web Site > Director > Application Settings (middle pane) > Connector.SCOM.ManagementServer.
  5. On the System Center Operations Manager server, edit the Remote Management Users local group, and then add Citrix Admins and other Director users.
  6. In System Center Operations Manager Console, go to Administration > User Roles and edit Operations Manager Operators. Add the Citrix Admins, and other Director users.
  7. See Citrix Blog Post SCOM Alerts in Citrix Director for information on how to view System Center Operations Manager alerts in Director.

Director – Custom Reports

In Director, 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.

Server OS is renamed to Multi-session OS. Desktop OS is renamed to Single session OS.

Analytics button lets you upload Director data to Citrix Cloud Performance Analytics. See Configuring on-premises Sites with Citrix Analytics for Performance at Citrix Docs.

The Trends views got a face lift.

Session Auto Reconnects

  • At Trends > Sessions, on the bottom is Session Details. Director also shows you the number of Session Auto Reconnects.
  • If you click the number, you’ll see more info on the reconnect. Note: it might take a few minutes for the reconnect status to appear in Director.

Workspace App Session Startup breakdown

  • After searching for a user and selecting a session, click Details on the top right.
  • Scroll down and you’ll see the Session Startup section with a new Workspace App Session Startup sub-section.

Profile Load Drilldown

  • In a Session Details screen, scroll down to the Logon Duration panel. Hover your mouse over the Profile Load bar and then click Detailed Drilldown. You see the size of profile, and the size of the Folders inside the profile.

  • By default, all folder names are visible. To hide the folder names, add a registry value on the VDA machines:
    • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Citrix\Director\
      • DWORD Value ProfileFoldersNameHidden  = 1

RDS Licensing status

  • The Machine Details panel shows the status of RDS Licensing for Multi-session OS (aka Server OS, aka RDSH) VDAs.

GPO Duration Drilldown

Interactive Session drilldown

  • In the Logon Duration panel, hover your mouse over the Interactive Session bars to see this phase broken down. More info at Diagnose user logon issues at Citrix Docs.

Export of Filter Views to CSV file

  • Open one of the Filter Views. Then click the Export button in the top right.

Health Assistant link

  • In Director, you can view the details of a VDA machine (instead of a user session). If the machine is unregistered, then there’s a link to Health Assistant, which opens Troubleshoot machines at Citrix Docs.

Application Analytics

Citrix Blog Post – Citrix Director 7.16 Can Now Shadow Linux App & Desktop

For one-way trusts, see Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director Supports Domain local groups in XenApp & XenDesktop 7.16!

Citrix Monitor Service API

  • The Monitor Service API uses the Open Data (OData) protocol, which is a Web protocol for querying and updating data, built upon Web technologies such as HTTP. You can use the API to:
    • Analyze historical trends for future planning
    • Perform detailed troubleshooting of connection and machine failures
    • Extract information for feeding into other tools and processes; for example, using Microsoft Excel’s PowerPivot tables to display the data in different ways
    • Build a custom user interface on top of the data that the API provides
    • Run aggregation queries with the OData Version 4 endpoints to get basic grouping and aggregation functionality.

Citrix Hypervisor Console access:

  • Troubleshoot machines at Citrix Docs details the Console access to VDAs running on Citrix Hypervisor 7.3 and newer.

CTX223927 How to use Director to troubleshoot application launch errors. This feature is configured in Citrix Policy Settings located in the Computer half at Virtual Delivery Agent Settings > Monitoring. Also see Citrix Blog Post Application Related Session Failure Reporting in Citrix Director 7.15.

CTX223928 How to use Director to monitor storage performance.

Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director Now Provides Disk Usage Information!:

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

CTX223925 How to use Director to monitor NVIDIA GPU usage.

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

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

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

CTP George Spiers has a comprehensive guide of all Director 7.16 features at http://www.jgspiers.com/citrix-director/.

Connection Failure Details, see CTX223812 Citrix Director Failure Codes.

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

Logon Duration improvements.

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

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

Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2203 LTSR

Last Modified: May 16, 2022 @ 9:09 am

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💡 = 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 2203 LTSR supports Windows 11, Windows 10 64-bit (1607 and newer), Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016.
    • Windows Server 2022 does not support Microsoft 365 Apps (aka Office 365), but Office LTSC 2021 is supported.
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 is no longer supported. For Windows Server 2012 R2, install VDA 1912 LTSR with the latest Cumulative Update. VDA 1912 LTSR will work with newer Delivery Controllers (e.g., Delivery Controller 2203 LTSR).
    • For older operating systems (e.g. Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2), install VDA 7.15 LTSR with the latest Cumulative Update. VDA 7.15 LTSR will work with newer Delivery Controllers (e.g., Delivery Controller 2203 LTSR).
  2. Cloud VDAs – Cloud VDAs are supported if you are licensed for Citrix Cloud with Hybrid Usage rights. 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 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.
    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 (XenDesktop). This article also has links to several other articles listing known issues with Windows 10 releases.
  6. Hypervisor Support – CTX131239 Supported Hypervisors for Virtual Desktops (XenDesktop) and Provisioning Services
  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.
  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
    2. For Windows Server 2022, 2019, or 2016 RDSH, give the virtual machine 8 vCPU, and 24-48 GB of RAM
    3. See Daniel Feller Sizing Windows 2016, Windows 2012 And Windows 10 Virtual Machines
  9. If using RAM caching (MCSIO or PvS), 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 the size 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 – Citrix App Layering 2003 and newer can 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).

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.

    • 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.
  4. Add your Citrix Administrators group to the local Administrators group on the VDA. Computer Management.
  5. 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)
  6. 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/Upgrade Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) 2203 LTSR

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.

For a list of HDX improvements in VDA 2203 LTSR, see Citrix Blog Post Get to know the top HDX enhancements in the 2203 LTSR.

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 David Ott Quickly Updating Persistent MCS VDAs at CUGC for a sample script.

GUI Install:

  1. Virtual Channel Allow List – the Citrix Policy setting named Virtual Channel Allow List is enabled by default in VDA 2203. Whitelist your non-Citrix (e.g., Zoom) virtual channels before upgrading your VDAs, or else your non-Citrix virtual channels will stop working.
  2. NVIDIA – ensure your NVIDIA Virtual GPU software supports the version of VDA that you are upgrading to.
  3. Mount the downloaded Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2203 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 2203 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.
  4. Click Start next to either Virtual Apps or Virtual Apps and Desktops. The only difference is the product name displayed in the installation wizard.
  5. 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.

  6. In the Environment page, select Create a master MCS Image or Create a master image using Citrix Provisioning, and click Next.

  7. In the Core Components page, if you don’t need Citrix Workspace App installed on your VDA, then leave it 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.
  8. In the Additional Components page:
    1. VDA has an option to install the Workspace Environment Management agent, but this option has been deprecated.
    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 2203, the MCS I/O driver is now the exact same driver as the driver used in Citrix Provisioning.
    4. Threre’s an option for VDA Upgrade Agent if this is a Citrix Cloud deployment.
    5. There’s an option for Citrix Files for Windows, which installs an agent that can display files from Citrix Content Collaboration (aka ShareFile). These VDA install options have also been deprecated. Also see CTX228273 Install and Use Citrix Files for Windows.
  9. Click Next.
  10. 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.
  11. If you see the WEM page, change it to WEM On-Premises, enter the address of the WEM Server, click Test connection, and then click Add. Click Next.
  12. In the Features page, if you want to use the features, then check the boxes. Remote Assistance is for Director. Use Screen Sharing allows users to share their sessions with other users. Then click Next.
  13. In the Firewall page, there are ports 52525 – 52625 for Screen Sharing. Click Next.
  14. In the Summary page, there’s an optional Enable restore on failure checkbox. click Install.

  15. Click Close if you are prompted to restart.
  16. After the machine reboots twice, login and installation should continue.
    1. If you see a Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 LTSR’ installation media window, don’t click anything.
    2. Go to the Citrix_Virtual_Apps_and_Desktops_7_2203.iso file and mount it.
    3. Go back to the Locate ‘Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 LTSR’ 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.
  17. Installation will continue automatically.
  18. Note: NT SERVICE\CitrixTelemetryService needs permission to login as a service.
  19. 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.
  20. In the Finish page, click Finish to restart the machine again.

  21. From CTX225819 When Launching an Application Published from Windows Server 2016, a Black Screen Appears for Several Seconds Before Application is Visible
    • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent\DisableLogonUISuppression (DWORD) should be set to 0.

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. FSLogix has more Office roaming features than Citrix Profile Management. 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.

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. The installed version is shown in Apps & features.
  7. Make sure the Windows Search service is set to Automatic and Running.
  8. 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-2203-ltsr-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

The user half of a GPO 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 a 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 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. Also, open UDP 2598 and UDP 1494 from the ADC SNIP to the VDAs.

Verify that the VDA registered with a Controller

  1. If you restart the Virtual Delivery Agent machine, or restart the Citrix Desktop Service
  2. In Windows Logs > Application log, you should see an event 1012 from Citrix Desktop Service saying that it successfully registered with a controller.
  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 install or upgrade.

Download and install Workspace app:

  1. Download Citrix Workspace app 2205 (Current Release).

  2. On the VDA, as administrator, run the downloaded CitrixWorkspaceApp.exe.
  3. In the Welcome to Citrix Workspace page, click Start.
  4. In the License Agreement page, check the box next to I accept the license agreement, and click Next.
  5. In the Enable Single Sign-on page, check the box next to Enable single sign-on, and click Install.
  6. In the Installation successful page, click Finish.
  7. Click Yes when asked to restart now.

Citrix File Access 2.0.4 for Workspace app for Chrome

  1. If you support Workspace app for Chrome (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 and and open the file using Citrix Workspace app.

Remote Desktop Licensing Configuration

On Windows Server 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 shared VDAs like RDSH (Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022).

The default permissions for C: drive 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 Remote Desktop Session Host, and if the cache disk is only 15 GB, then Windows will have a default pagefile size of 20 GB and 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.



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

EDT MTU Discovery

EDT MTU Discovery prevents EDT packet fragmentation that might result in performance degradation or failure to establish a session. This feature requires the following:

  • Citrix Workspace app 1911 for Windows or newer
  • Citrix ADC 13.0.52.24 or newer
  • Citrix ADC 12.1.56.22 or newer

In VDA 2203, MtuDiscovery is enabled by default. You can also set the following registry value on the VDA.

  • Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\Wds\icawd
    • Value (DWORD) = MtuDiscovery = 1

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 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 Explorer

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

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

Logon Disclaimer Window Size

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 = 300
    • Value (DWORD) = LogonUIHeight = 200

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).

From Citrix CTX138404 Application Connection Starts but Disappears after Timeout: after loading the published application, the dialog box disappears, and the application fails to appear.

  •  Key = HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI
    • Value (DWORD) =ApplicationLaunchWaitTimeoutMS = decimal 60000

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.

4K Monitors

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

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

Citrix Policies also control graphics performance.

COM Port Threads

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

NVIDIA vGPU GRID License

Allow NVIDIA vGPU GRID License to apply after the session is started. (Source = Jan Hendrik Meier NVIDIA GRID license not applied before the user connects – License Restriction will not be removed until the user reconnects)

  • Key = HKLM\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\GridLicensing
    • Value (DWORD) = IgnoreSP = 1

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 2203 and newer along with VDA 2112 and newer supports 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 Citrix Workspace App for Mac and Linux fail to Redirect Local printer to Citrix Sessions. 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 internally, install certificates on the VDAs so the WebSockets (and ICA) connection will be encrypted. Internal HTML5 Workspace app will not accept clear text WebSockets. External users don’t have this problem since they are SSL-proxied through Citrix Gateway.

Notes:

  • Each Virtual Delivery Agent needs a machine certificate that matches the machine name. This is feasible for a small number of persistent VDAs. For non-persistent VDAs, you’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 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. Also see Citrix CTX226049 Disabling Triple DES on the VDA breaks the VDA SSL connection.
  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 pooled virtual desktops by enabling certificate auto-enrollment and setting up a task that runs after the certificate has been enrolled.

  • From Russ Hargrove at A note on VDA certificates in 7.14 at Citrix Discussions: Citrix installs a new “Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop HDX Service” certificate in the Personal store which breaks the automation of the Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 script. To fix the problem, modify the task scheduler powershell script to:
    Enable-VdaSSL.ps1 -Enable -CertificateThumbPrint (Get-ChildItem -path cert:\LocalMachine\My | Where-Object -FilterScript {$_.Subject -eq ""} | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Thumbprint) -Confirm:$False

For certificate auto-enrollment on non-persistent Remote Desktop Session Hosts (aka Multi-session OS, aka Server OS VDAs), see Non-Persistent Server SSL to VDA by Alfredo Magallon Arbizu at CUGC.

Anonymous Accounts

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

  1. Anonymous accounts are created locally on the VDAs. When 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.

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.

Symantec

Symantec links:

Trend Micro

Citrix CTX312452 Grey Screen when launching the applications or desktops – Ctxuvi event ID 1005 and 1003: Trend Micro have released a fix for their Deep Security Agent 20.0.0-2593 (20 LTS Update 2021-07-01).

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

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

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

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

Trend Micro Links:

Sophos

CTX238012 Logon process to VDAs is extremely slow when Citrix UPM is enabled. Set the following registry:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Sophos\SavService\Application
    • DisableAsyncScans (DWORD) = 1

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

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

Sophos Endpoint Security and Control: How to include current version of Sophos in a disk image for cloned virtual machines: This procedure will make sure that the produced target/cloned computers:

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

Palo Alto Traps

  • Install Traps Agent for Windows:
    • Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) installation—Intended for non-persistent endpoints that replicate (also referred to as spawn) from a golden image which has Traps installed.
    • Temporary session—Intended for either physical or virtual endpoints (such as a Remote Desktop Server) that repeatedly revert to a snapshot (or image) on which Traps is not installed.

Windows Defender Antivirus

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)

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

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

Cylance

CTX232722 Unable to launch application with Cylance Memory Protection Enabled. Cylance must be run in compatibility mode in order to the VDA and Cylance to run on the same machine. See the article for detailed instructions.

Optimize Performance

Citrix Optimizer

Download Citrix Optimizer and run it.

Microsoft links:

Optimization Notes:

Applications

Choose application installers that install to C:\Program Files instead of to %appdata%. 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.
    `
  5. Run slmgr.vbs /dlv and make sure it is licensed with KMS and has at least one rearm remaining. It is not necessary to manually rearm licensing 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, set up Auto logon for the current user.
  3. Reboot.
  4. After reboot, the 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

EUC Weekly Digest – March 26, 2022

Last Modified: Mar 26, 2022 @ 5:46 am

Interesting EUC items from last week:

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Citrix HDX

Citrix WEM and Profile Management

Citrix Provisioning

Citrix StoreFront

Citrix Workspace app

VMware

Microsoft

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