Citrix Policy Settings

Last Modified: Oct 30, 2018 @ 7:43 am

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Citrix Policy Settings – GPO Method

Citrix offers two methods of delivering Citrix Policy settings:

  • Citrix Studio – also known as FMA policies
  • Group Policy Object – the Citrix Group Policy installer (included with Studio) adds a Citrix Policy node to the regular Group Policy Editor.

For this page, Citrix Policy refers to policy settings that are provided by Citrix for VDAs. It does not include settings that are native to Microsoft group policies. See the VDA Group Policies articles for more information on the recommended Microsoft group policy settings for a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environment.

Citrix Policies can be easily configured in Citrix Studio and stored in the site database. However, they are not portable, meaning that you can’t export them from one Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops site/farm and import them to another.

GPOs linked to an Active Directory OU can apply to VDAs in multiple Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops sites/farms. If you use the GPO method, make sure the GPOs are linked to OUs that contain VDAs.

 

CTP Carl Webster et al compiled a complete list of 409 Citrix Group Policy Settings at Group Policy Settings Reference for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop.

 

If you ever want to copy the Studio policies to a GPO, run the following PowerShell commands as mentioned at Citrix Discussions:

New-PSDrive -PSProvider CitrixGroupPolicy -Name LocalFarmGpo -Root \ -Controller "MyController"

New-PSDrive -PSProvider CitrixGroupPOlicy -Name TargetGPO -Root \ -DomainGpo "MyGPO"

cd LocalFarmGpo:\User

copy * TargetGPO:\User 

cd LocalFarmGpo:\Computer

copy * TargetGPO:\Computer

Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in

To configure and deliver Citrix Policy Settings using a group policy object, you must install the Citrix Group Policy Management Plug-in on your group policy editing machine:

  1. Login to a machine that has Group Policy Management Console (Windows Feature) installed.
  2. Citrix CTX225741 Citrix GPMC Console 3.0.0 crashing in Win 2K12R2 DC when editing polices says that Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 should be installed first.
  3. If this machine doesn’t have Citrix Studio installed, then install the Citrix Group Policy component from the \x64\Citrix Policy folder on the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops ISO. Make sure all Group Policy consoles are closed first.
  4. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1808 comes with Citrix Group Policy Management 7.19.0.0.  💡

    • XenApp/XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR Cumulative Update 3 comes with Citrix Group Policy Management 3.1.3000.0.
  5. Click Finish to finish the wizard.
  6. Citrix sometimes releases updates for this component, so whenever you update your Delivery Controllers, also update your Group Policy editing machines (machines with Group Policy Management Console installed), and Studio machines.

Computer Settings

  1. Run Group Policy Management Console.
  2. Edit a GPO that applies computer settings to the VDA machines.
  3. In the GPO, expand Computer Configuration, expand Policies, and click Citrix Policies.
  4. On the right, on the Templates tab, you can create a new policy based on a built-in template. Note: Citrix (Daniel Feller XenDesktop 7.7 and Windows 7) has found that the High Server Scalability template can increase user density by 30%.
  5. On the right, on the Policies tab, you can either edit the Unfiltered policy, or you can create a new policy that is filtered.
  6. Switch to the Settings tab.
  7. Citrix Policies in the Computer Half of the GPO only shows Computer Settings. Later, we’ll configure Citrix Policies in the User Half of the GPO, which has different settings (User Settings).
  8. Some of the setting detailed in this post require newer versions of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.
  9. As you edit the policy settings, make note of the Applies to field. Some of the Citrix Policy settings do not apply to Virtual Delivery Agent 7.x.
  10. Also notice that some settings apply to Desktop OS (virtual desktop) or Server OS (Remote Desktop Session Host) but not necessarily both. Read the Applies to section to verify.
  11. Change the Categories drop-down to Auto Client Reconnect.
  12. Click Add next to the setting Auto client reconnect logging.

  13. Change the Value to Log auto-reconnect events, and click OK.
  14. Change the Categories drop-down to End User Monitoring.
  15. Click Add next to the setting ICA round trip calculations for idle connections.
  16. Change the selection to Enabled, and click OK.
  17. Change the Categories drop-down to Local App Access.
  18. Click Add next to the setting Allow Local App Access.
  19. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK. Note: Local App Access interferes with Bidirectional Content Redirection in Receiver 4.7 and newer. See https://www.carlstalhood.com/published-applications/#laa for more info on Local App Access.
  20. Change the Categories drop-down to Printing.
  21. Click Add next to the setting Universal Print Server enable. See Citrix Universal Print Server at Citrix Docs for more info.
  22. Change the Value to Enabled with fallback to Windows’ native remote printing. Click OK.
  23. Change the Categories drop-down to Virtual Delivery Agent Settings > Monitoring.
  24. Click Add next to the setting Enable monitoring of application failures.
  25. You can optionally change the Value drop-down to Both application errors and faults. Click OK.
  26. Click Add next to the setting Enable monitoring of application failures on Desktop OS VDAs.
  27. Change the setting to Allowed, and click OK. See CTX223927 How to use Director to troubleshoot application launch errors for details.
  28. Click Add next to the setting Enable process monitoring.  Note: this setting could significantly increase the size of the Monitoring database. See Citrix Blog Post Citrix Director: CPU, Memory Usage and Process Information.
  29. Change the setting to Allowed, and click OK. This is the last Computer setting.

User Settings

  1. With the GPO method of configuring Citrix Policies, Citrix Policy settings are split between Computer and User. The remaining settings are User settings. Edit a GPO that applies to Users.
  2. Expand User Configuration, expand Policies, and click Citrix Policies.
  3. On the right, select the Unfiltered policy, and edit it. Or you can create a new policy that is filtered. You can also use the Templates tab to create a policy based on a template.
  4. On the Settings tab, change the Categories drop-down to Audio.
  5. Click Add next to the setting Audio quality.
  6. Change the Value to Medium – optimized for speech, and click OK.
  7. Change the Categories drop-down to Client Sensors.
  8. Click Add next to the Allow applications to use the physical location setting.
  9. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK.
  10. Change the Categories drop-down to Mobile Experience.
  11. Click Add next to the Automatic keyboard display setting.
  12. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK.
  13. Click Add next to the Remote the combo box setting.
  14. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK.
  15. Change the Category drop-down to Multimedia.
  16. Click Add next to the Use GPU for optimizing Windows Media setting.
  17. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK.
  18. Change the Categories drop-down to Printing.
  19. Click Add next to the setting Auto-create PDF Universal Printer.
  20. Change the selection to Enabled, and click OK.

    1. This setting normally only applies to sessions using HTML5 Receiver or HTML5 Workspace app.
    2. In Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) 1808 or newer, and Workspace app 1808 or newer, the PDF Universal Printer also applies to regular Workspace app connections and is no longer limited to HTML5 connections.
  21. Click Add next to the setting Automatic installation of in-box printer drivers.
  22. Change the selection to Disabled, and click OK.
  23. Click Add next to the setting Direct connections to print servers.
  24. Change the selection to Disabled, and click OK.
  25. Click Add next to the setting Printer auto-creation event log preference.
  26. Change the Value to Log errors only, and click OK.
  27. Click Add next to the setting Universal print driver usage.
  28. Change the Value to Use universal printing only.
  29. Change the Categories drop-down to Session Limits.
  30. If you look at the Applies to text for these settings, notice that they apply to virtual desktops (Desktop OS), but not Remote Desktop Session Hosts (Server OS). Session timeouts for Remote Desktop Session Hosts can be configured in a Microsoft GPO.

  31. Change the Categories drop-down to Time Zone Control.
  32. Click Add next to the setting Use local time of client.
  33. Change Value to Use client time zone. Note: you must also configure the Microsoft GPO Remote Desktop Session Host time zone setting.
  34. Change the Categories drop-down to USB Devices.
  35. Click Add next to the setting Client USB device redirection.
  36. Change the selection to Allowed, and click OK. This is the last generic setting. See the next couple sections for more settings.

Also see:

Citrix Policy Templates

  1. The Citrix Policies node of a GPO (or Citrix Studio) has a Templates tab. Each of these templates has pre-defined settings that you can use as a basis for new policies. Note: Citrix (Daniel Feller XenDesktop 7.7 and Windows 7) has found that the High Server Scalability template can increase user density by 30%.
  2. Citrix Docs Group Policy management template updates for XenApp and XenDesktop contains additional templates that you can download and import.

  3. If you are using a GPO to configure Citrix Policies, be aware that user settings and computer settings are in different parts of the GPO.
  4. If you highlight a template, on the bottom of the window is a Settings tab that lets you see what’s contained in the template.
  5. To use a template, right-click it, and click New Policy.

Framehawk Configuration

  1. Framehawk is disabled by default because it uses more bandwidth and more server resources. Citrix recommends only enabling it for users on lossy connections with high bandwidth. More details in the Framehawk Virtual Channel Administrator Guide at Citrix Docs. Also see Framehawk virtual channel at Citrix Docs.
  2. To enable Framehawk, you edit a Citrix Policy, either in Studio or in a GPO. In either case, you need the updated Group Policy Management 2.4 Hotfix 2 or Group Policy Management 2.5 (aka 7.6.300) or newer (e.g. 7.19 included in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1808) on the machine where you are editing the policy.

  3. If configuring a GPO, you’ll find the Framehawk settings in User Configuration > Policies > Citrix Policies. Edit one of the Citrix Policies.
  4. Search for Framehawk, add the Framehawk display channel setting, and Enable it.

  5. Framehawk requires the newest Citrix Workspace app / Receiver (4.3.100 or newer).


  6. To use Framehawk through NetScaler Gateway you need NetScaler firmware 11.0 build 62 or newer.
  7. Then enable DTLS on the Gateway vServer. This is the same process as enabling DTLS for UDP Audio.
  8. Note: there are limitations of Framehawk with NetScaler Gateway. For example, HA, AppFlow, and double-hop are not supported. See NetScaler Gateway support for Framehawk at Citrix Docs.
  9. Framehawk defaults to ports UDP 3224-3324. Open these ports between the NetScaler SNIP and the VDAs.
    1. Also make sure these ports are open on the VDA’s Windows Firewall. VDA 7.8 and newer opens these ports automatically. VDA 7.6.300 and VDA 7.7 do not open these ports automatically.

Graphics Settings (EDT, H.264, ThinWire Plus)

Citrix Blog Post What graphics policies do I need, and when? says you should not change any Citrix Policy Graphics Settings. The only exception is 3D workloads, which should have the Visual Quality user setting set to Build to Lossless.

Citrix Blog Post HDX Graphics Encoder Configuration Overview: a comprehensive overview of all relevant HDX Graphics Encoder settings. This overview should give you a guidance and allow you to configure an optimal HDX policy set based on your own needs. A Visio chart with an overview of all relevant configurations and their possible combinations. Furthermore, almost every setting has a review box. The review boxes contain, where applicable, the policy name, facts & figures, recommendations, and example use cases.

7.13 and newer: 7.13 adds a UDP version of HDX/ICA known as Enlightened Data Transport (EDT). EDT improves HDX/ICA performance across WAN links, Internet, etc. In 7.12, EDT was Tech Preview. In Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) and XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 and  and newer, EDT is officially supported.

EDT (Adaptive Transport) is enabled by default in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) and XenApp/XenDesktop 7.16 and newer, but it is not enabled by default in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR.

EDT has several requirements:

  • VDA 7.13 or 1808 or newer.
  • UDP 1494 and UDP 2598 must be opened to every VDA, including from the NetScaler SNIP, if you’re using NetScaler Gateway.
  • Receiver for Windows must be 4.7 or newer.
  • Receiver for Mac must be 12.5 or newer.
  • StoreFront must be 3.9 or newer.
  • HDX Insight requires NetScaler ADC 12.1 build 49 and newer
  • NetScaler Gateway 11.1 build 51 and newer supports EDT (DTLS). The following NetScaler features are not supported with EDT at this time:
  • Use a Citrix Policy to enable EDT. The HDX Adaptive Transport setting is in the Computer half of a GPO. See Citrix CTX220732 How to Configure HDX Enlightened Data Transport Protocol. EDT (Adaptive Transport) is enabled by default in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) and XenApp/XenDesktop 7.16 and newer, but it is not enabled by default in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR.
  • Preferred means it will try to use UDP if it can, and TCP if it can’t.
  • From inside a session, you can run ctxsession -v to verify that it’s using UDP.
  • Director will also show if EDT (UDP) is active. See CTX220730 How to Confirm HDX Enlightened Data Transport Protocol is Active

In 7.13 and newer, the Policy Setting Use hardware encoding for video codec now supports Intel Iris Pro Hardware. Install the Intel Graphics Drivers before installing the VDA. If VDA is already installed, run C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICAService\GfxDisplayTool.exe -vd enable. See Citrix CTX220731 How to Enable Hardware Encoding of H.264 streams using Intel Iris Pro Hardware

7.11 and newer:

  • Use video codec for compression can be configured For actively changing regions, which uses H.264 for actively changing regions, and Thinwire Plus for the rest. Users get the benefit of lower bandwidth use for the video content combined with sharpness of text in applications they are working with elsewhere on their screen(s). Nick Rintalan at CUGC Blog Post Citrix HDX Just Got Smarter…Again explains this new setting.
  • In 7.11 and newer, Use when preferred = Thinwire+ with Selective H264. This is the default selection, so generally there’s no need to change this setting.
  • In 7.18 and newer, Selective H.264 uses H.264 for build to lossless instead of JPEG for build to lossless.
  • Use hardware encoding for video codec is enabled by default.

7.9 and newer:

  • The VDA automatically chooses Thinwire Plus or H.264. The setting: User > Graphics > Use video codec for compression defaults to Use video codec when preferred, which prefers Thinwire Plus. To force Thinwire Plus, set it to Do not use video codec. Citrix Blog Post “Use Video Codec for Compression”: to Use or Not to Use? explains this setting.

7.6.300 and newer:

7.0 – 7.6:

Graphics Tools

  • Remote Display Analyzer (RDAnalyzer) lets you see the current Citrix codec and change it on the fly.
  • GPUPerf 3.0 – free tool that shows Frames per Second and other GPU stats.

 

From https://discussions.citrix.com/topic/347341-specific-application-freezes-receiver-41-session-window/: If you experience graphics performance problems in XenDesktop 7.6, consider configuring the following settings:

  • ICA \ Desktop UI \ Desktop Composition Redirection = Disabled
  • ICA \ Graphics \ Legacy Graphics Mode = Enabled

Security Settings

To improve security, Citrix recommends these additional Citrix Policy settings.

  • User \ ICA \ Client clipboard redirection = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ Desktop launches = Disabled
  • User \ ICA \ Launching of non-published programs = Disabled
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Allow file transfer between desktop and client = Prohibited (7.6.300 and newer, for HTML5 Client)
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Auto connect client drives = Disabled
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Client drive redirection = Prohibited
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Fixed drives = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Client network drives = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ File Redirection \ Client removable drives = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ Printing \ Client printer redirection = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ SecureICA \ SecureICA minimum encryption level = RC5 128 bit
  • User \ ICA \ Session Limits \ Disconnected session timer = Enabled
  • User \ ICA \ Session Limits \ Disconnected session timer internal = 30 minutes
  • User \ ICA \ TWAIN devices \ Client TWAIN device redirection = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ USB devices \ Client USB device redirection = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ USB devices \ Client USB device redirection rules = Prohibit
  • User \ ICA \ USB devices \ Client USB Plug and Play device redirection = Prohibit

Citrix’s Common Criteria documentation includes additional recommended Citrix Policy, Group Policy, and other security settings.

 

XenDesktop 7.17 adds a Session Watermark feature.

Find the settings in the user half of a Citrix Policy under the Session Watermark category.

Citrix Blog Post Receiver for HTML5 and Chrome File Transfer Explained:

  • How to use the toolbar to transfer files
  • Citrix Policy settings to enable/disable file transfer
  • VDA registry settings to control file transfer
  • HTML5Client\Configuration.js settings for client-side configuration
  • View HTML5Client log file

Additional clipboard settings were added in XenApp/XenDesktop 7.6 and newer. To see them, set the middle drop-down to All Settings and then search for clipboard. The setting Readonly clipboard does not apply to 7.6 so skip it. Instead, review the three clipboard settings below it. Or you can turn off clipboard altogether by setting Client clipboard redirection to Prohibit.

Under File Redirection is a setting for Read-only client drive access. This allows client drive mapping but prevents files from being copied to the client device.

For VDAs in Legacy Graphics Mode, the following ICA/HDX protocol tuning options should be evaluated to optimize bandwidth consumption and virtual desktop resource utilization:

  • User \ ICA \ Desktop UI \ Desktop Wallpaper = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ Desktop UI \ Menu animation = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ Desktop UI \ View window contents while dragging = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ Multi Stream Connections \ Multi-Stream = Enable (and QoS)
  • User \ ICA \ Printing \ Direct connection to print servers = Disable
  • User \ ICA \ TWAIN devices \ TWAIN Compression Level = High
  • User \ ICA \ Visual Display \ Target Frames per Second = 15
  • User \ ICA \ Visual Display \ Moving Images \ Minimum Image Quality = Low
  • User \ ICA \ Visual Display \ Still Images \ Extra Color Compression = Enabled in very low bandwidth scenarios. Please note that the “Extra Color Compression Threshold” should be configured to an appropriate value.
  • User \ ICA \ Visual Display \ Still Images \ Lossy compression level = High or “Heavyweight compression” in case image quality loss is not acceptable (more CPU intensive)
  • Enable “Windows Media Redirection
  • Enable “Flash acceleration” with client side content fetching
  • Enable “Audio over UDP Real-Time Transport”. Please note that this configuration requires audio quality to be set to “Medium – optimized for speech”
  • Set “Progressive compression level” to “Low” or any higher value

For more information, please refer to the Citrix Knowledgebase Article CTX131859 – Best Practices and Recommendations for Citrix Receiver 3 and HDX Technology with XenDesktop 5.5.

142 thoughts on “Citrix Policy Settings”

  1. I’m currently dealing with one the most confounding Citrix issues I’ve seen in years. This is for XA65 (I know, I know, I’m getting my corp off of it).

    I manage all of my Citrix policies in GPO. When users log on, I can see the user Citrix policies being written to the subkeys and values below HKLM\Software\Policies\Citrix\[SESSION_ID]\User. At some point during the session, however, the User key and all its subkeys disappear, leaving only the Events and Evidence keys.

    Any ideas? Have you seen this or something similar to it before? This is wreaking havoc in my environment and I haven’t managed to get to root cause despite several weeks of testing & troubleshooting.

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