Tag Archives: Citrix

Citrix AppDisk – new feature announced @ Synergy 2015

Many new products, services and features have been announced during these three days @ Citrix Synergy in Orlando.

One new feature that I believe will be very interesting for XenApp and XenDesktop users is AppDisk.

AppDisk is an application layering technology that allows you to create disks containing applications (single instances or groups of them) and then attach them to XenApp servers or XenDesktop OSs.

Note: this is not an application isolation technology! Applications in AppDisk are not isolated and they can talk and interact to any other application in the OS just as any traditionally installed application would do. So, for instance, you won’t be able to run two MS Office versions on the same OS as you could do with other technologies like App-V (just to name one).

The main advantage of this solution is that you can create and manage one single OS image without having to install any application on it and deliver AppDisk applications based on the user profile. This is more or less what you can do with App-V but without incurring in the application isolation issues that App-V brings (VFS permissions, application incompatibilities… ). On the other hand, you won’t have the advantages of application isolation, like for example the ability of running two incompatible apps at the same time and on the same OS.

The process for creating an AppDisk is as follows:

  1. Open to Studio
  2. Click on the AppDisk menu
  3. Click on create AppDisk
  4. Choose the Machine Catalog that contains the base image you want to use and then Studio will create an instance of that OS through MCS or PvS
  5. Install the app on that OS image and then seal it (through an apposite button located on the desktop)
  6. Deliver the AppDisk to the Delivery Groups

The limited tech preview will be available in Q2 2015, the tech preview in Q3 2015. The GA version probably at the end of 2015 or early 2016.

We don’t know yet how many AppDisks can be published on the same OS as well as what kind of license you need to run it.

AppDisk does not use any drive letters and you can see the application in the Add Remove Programs Control Panel applet. AppDisk apps are ‘merged’ in the base OS, which means that you can find them in C:\Program Files or Program Files (x86).

AppDisk and Studio can leverage and integrate AppDNA in order to check whether the applications can run properly in the target OS. AppDNA can also show incompatible AppDisks and propose steps to fix any eventual issue.

 

I’m looking forward to test the Tech Preview!!!

 

Step-by-Step guide on how to configure NVIDIA graphics on XenApp 7.6 with vDGA on VMware ESXi 5.5

This technical article explains how to configure a Windows 2012 R2 virtual machine to use the NVIDIA GPU pass-through under XenApp 7.6.

Many information about GPU usage on Citrix and VMware environments are already available on the internet, but I have never been able to find a quick and practical guide that explains how to configure it, so that’s why I wrote this article.

You will go through three main steps:

  1. Configure PCI pass-through in VMware
  2. Configure the Virtual Machine
  3. Enable GPU support in RDS sessions

Environment

The NVIDIA Card model is the “729851-B21 NVIDIA Grid K2 PCIe GPU Kit”:

  • Number of GPUs: 2
  • CUDA cores: 3072 (1536/GPU)
  • Memory size per board (GDDR5): 8GB (4GB/GPU)

Compatible with ProLiant SL250s/SL270s servers with Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors and ProLiant WS460c Graphics Server Blades:

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/accelerators/product-detail.html?oid=5410610#!tab=specs

All runs on VMware ESXi 5.5.

vDGA (Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration) is used in this environment, check the following articles for more information on the other GPU sharing technologies:

http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/01/08/under-the-hood-of-gpu-sharing-technologies/

http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2014/03/26/clearing-up-the-confusion-around-vmware-amp-nvidia-s-vgpu-amp-vdga-daas-announcement.aspx

 

Procedure

Step 1 – Make sure that the GPUs are configured for pass-through in VMware

Make sure that the host has the GPUs available for pass-through (view from vSphere Web Client):

1

If they are not available, edit the settings (by clicking on the pencil icon), make the available and reboot the host:

2

Step 2 – Configure the virtual machine

Adjust pciHole.start. Note: This is required only if the virtual machine has more than 2GB of configured memory. For virtual machines that have more than 2GB of configured memory, add the following parameter to the .vmx file of the virtual machine (you can add this at the end of the file):

pciHole.start = “2048”

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmware-horizon-view-graphics-acceleration-deployment.pdf

3

Set the pass-through in the VM:

4

Install the latest VMware Tools.

Install the NVIDIA Drivers for the GRID K2 cards, the latest version at the time of this writing is 347.52-quadro-tesla-grid-winserv2008-2008r2-2012-64bit-international-whql.exe.

The drivers can be downloaded from the NVIDIA website:

http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/83305/en-us

5

6

7

Restart the server.

Make sure that you can find the NVIDIA GRID K2 card in the Device Manager:

8

You can run GPU-Z in order to make sure that the card is being used by the system.

9

Now you can install the Citrix XenApp 7.6 VDA.

 

Step 3 – Enable the GPU in the RDS session

The final step in the configuration requires enabling the GPU in the RDS/Citrix session, as per Citrix:

On Windows Server 2012, Remote Desktop Services (RDS) sessions on the RD Session Host server use the Microsoft Basic Render Driver as the default adapter. To use the GPU in RDS sessions on Windows Server 2012, enable the Use the hardware default graphics adapter for all Remote Desktop Services sessions setting in the group policy Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Remote Session Environment

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-71/hd-3d-gpu-acceleration-win-server-os.html

 

Now you are ready to GO!

Remove the “Protected Mode” pop-up from Internet Explorer 11 – Win 2012 R2

A published IE application may show the following pop-up when starting a web page:

Image
Such pop-up appears each time, even if you click on the ‘Don’t show this message again’.
The solution is to set the user registry value that prevents this pop-up from appearing (this can be done through GPO, logon script, etc…)
The value is “NoProtectedModeBanner”, DWORD, and must be set to 1.
It must be located under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Image

New features in XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5

For those of you who (legitimately) felt lost after the announcement of the future XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5 releases, below I put a list of some of the new features for which there are not yet official information on the Citrix website:

  • AppDNA is included for Platiunm users with a limited application count of 99.999 Apps (quite enough I’d say :))
  • HDX Mobile has been improved
  • Web Interface 5.4 and Citrix Secure Gateway have an extended support until August 2016
  • Citrix Secure Gateway is not supported by XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5
  • XenApp 7.5 will be out in three editions:
    • Advanced
    • Enterprise
    • Platinum
  • The XenDesktop App Edition is dead
  • XenDesktop App licenses will be equivalent to XenApp Enterprise licenses
  • XenDesktop 7.5 will be out in three editions:
    • Advanced
    • Enterprise
    • Platinum
  • StoreFront 2.5 will be released as well
  • Newly acquired Framehawk technologies will not be integrated in this release
  • XA and XD 7.5 will support OSs from Windows 2008 R2 upwards
  • No new versions of EdgeSight will be released, only Director can be used (Director is under continued development)
  • MCS will be able to provision to the cloud (AWS, CloudPlatform)
  • Windows Azure support is planned but not yet available in this release
  • There will be one single installer for both XD and XA 7.5, the license file differentiates the available features

More info will follow… hopefully… stay tuned 😉

 

XenApp session not closing correctly

Sometimes when you close a XenApp application, the session on the server may not close correctly or remain active, thus creating problems such as :

· Profiles corruption

· Increased servers’ resources usage

· Increased number of disconnected sessions, and so on…

This behavior can be caused by locked files (have a look at this for an example) or by processes that may have been launched during the sessions and that are not correctly closed upon user’s logoff.

For instance, if you publish an instance of Internet Explorer that in turn launches a Java process in order to run a web application, this java process may not be recognized by Citrix as being part of the user’s session, thus ignoring it upon user’s logoff and leaving an active session on the server.

A registry key can be modified on the server in order to instruct XenApp to consider other processes to be part of a user’s session ; the key is :

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix\wfshell\TWI]

and the value to configure is :  LogoffCheckSysModules 

For example, you configure such value like the following if you want XenApp to recognize the two processes “Java.exe” and “Javaw.exe” :

“LogoffCheckSysModules”=”java.exe,javaw.exe”

I experienced this on XenApp 5 and Presentation Server 4 and the solution works correctly. I never faced this on XenApp 6.5.

For more information about this : http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX891671

Upgrading Citrix Receiver from version 3.1 to 3.2 prevents Windows Aero in XenDesktop to work

Environment: Citrix Receiver 3.1, Citrix XenDesktop 5.6.

Problem description: if you install the new Receiver 3.2 as an upgrade of Receiver 3.1 your Windows Aero themes in XenDesktop will not work anymore.

Problem cause: after the upgrade the vd3dn.dll file is missing from the ICA Client directory.

Problem resolution: to solve the issue uninstall Receiver 3.1 before installing Receiver 3.2; do not perform an upgrade.

Solving ‘BOOTMGR is missing’ error when importing a vDisk in Provisioning Services

Environment: Citrix Provisioning Services 5.6 SP2, VMware ESX 4

 

Problem description: when using the Provisioning Services Imaging Wizard in order to import a vDisk into the PvS server you might encounter the following error when rebooting the machine in order to complete the process:

You get the following message:

clip_image002

You reboot, the PXE works correctly but you get the following error and the boot process stops:

BOOTMGR is missing

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot

 

Problem cause: apparently the vDisk has to use position 0:0 in the virtual machine; if you have other virtual disks that occupy this position you will likely get the error.

 

Problem resolution: free up position 0:0 in the Virtual Device Node section of the Virtual Machine Properties; to do so just move the existing disks to any other position (e.g. 0:1, 0:2):

image

Citrix Desktop Director error 102 may be related to XD Controller proxy settings (SOLVED)

Environment:  XenDesktop 5.6, Windows 7 x32, Desktop Director 2.1.1

 

Problem description: when accessing your Desktop Director console and looking for virtual desktop information you may run into the following error:

image

You followed articles http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131197 and http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX125243, you correctly installed the VDA and configured user permissions but the problem is still there…

If you run Winrm id -r:MACHINENAME on your Controller in order to get WinRM information from your desktop you get the following error:

The WSMan client cannot process the request. Proxy is not supported under HTTP transport. Change the transport to HTTPS and specify valid proxy information and try again.

Error number: –2147024891 0x80070005

Access is denied.

There are several forums and articles on the Net that  address the 102 error but none of them refers to this specific issue.

 

Problem cause: the problem might be caused by your proxy configuration which prevents WSMan to contact the client.

 

Problem resolution: reset proxy settings by deleting this value: “WinHttpSettings” from the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Connections\WinHttpSettings

Run the command again and you should get the correct info form the desktop. Now your Desktop Director console should work as intended.

 

For more info on how to troubleshoot WinRM give a look at: http://blogs.technet.com/b/jonjor/archive/2009/01/09/winrm-windows-remote-management-troubleshooting.aspx

Acrobat Reader 9 script pop-up removal

Environment:  Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Citrix XenApp 5 Roll Up Pack 7, Citrix User Profile Management 3.2, VMware ESX 4.0.

Problem description: every time an application tries to open, through a script, a pdf file with Acrobat Reader (from version 9 on), a pop-up alert notifies the user of the action. This pop-up can be annoying when multiple pdf files need to be open during a session. The pop-up can be acknowledged and avoided for future uses, but usually users tend to ignore its content and click on “ok”.

Problem cause: the pop-up alert is a security feature introduced by Adobe since Acrobat Reader version 9.

Problem solution: when the “do not show this message again” check box is checked, a new registry key is created into the registry. To discover the key created by the process I used a free tool called “RegFromApp.exe”. The key is:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader
\9.0\AVAlert\cCheckbox\cAcrobat]"iWarnScriptPrintAll"=dword:00000001

To solve the problem I created an ADM template which I’ve imported and enabled through the GPO management console. The template is the following (please note that it modifies also another registry key: …\9.0\AdobeViewer]”EULA”= dword:00000001, which is useful to avoid the adobe contract to appear each time a new user opens acrobat reader):

;template creato da Sebastiano Ingallo
;per disabilitare il pop-up di alert
;di acrobat reader e la
;visualizzazione del contratto al primo avvio
CLASS USER
CATEGORY !!Reader
        POLICY !!DisAlert
            KEYNAME "Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\9.0\
                     AVAlert\cCheckbox\cAcrobat"
           EXPLAIN !!DisAlertExplain
                VALUENAME "iWarnScriptPrintAll"
                    VALUEON NUMERIC 1
                    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 0
        END POLICY
       POLICY !!DonotdisplayEULA
            KEYNAME "Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\9.0\AdobeViewer"
           EXPLAIN !!DonotdisplayEULAexplain
                VALUENAME "EULA"
                    VALUEON NUMERIC 1
                    VALUEOFF NUMERIC 0
        END POLICY
END CATEGORY
[strings]
Reader="Adobe Reader 9.0"
DisAlert="Disabilita Alert Stampa"
DisAlertExplain="Se abilitato non visualizza l'alert
durante la stampa inziata da uno script"
DonotdisplayEULA="Non visualizzare contratto"
DonotdisplayEULAexplain="Se abilitato non fa
visualizzare il contratto al primo avvio"

 

PS: comments are written in Italian.

Support Articlesfrickelsoft.net; nirsoft.net

 

 

VMware ESX hgfs.dat file causes Terminal Services to duplicate users’ profiles

Environment:  Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Citrix XenApp 5 Roll Up Pack 7, Citrix User Profile Management 3.2, VMware ESX 4.0.

Problem description: in some situation, when using Terminal Server roaming profiles or Citrix UPM, users connecting to a Terminal Server may have their profile duplicated in the form of user.domain.001, user.domain.002, user.domain.003 and so on.

Problem cause: the problem is caused by a bug in the VMware tools “shared folder” feature. Such feature is installed when VMware tools are installed with the “Complete” option. When a user logs off, the Terminal Server tries to copy the hgfs.dat file back to the profiles folder but the operation fails because VMware keeps the file locked with exclusive access. When the user logs in again, a new and duplicated user profile folder is created.

Problem solution: the “shared folder” feature can be disabled by modifying a registry key (the feature is not used by ESX and GSX  Server).

  1. Disable users logons on the server;
  2. When all users are logged off delete the profiles folders in c:\Documents and Settings\;
  3. Open the registry editor: regedit;
  4. Find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider\Order\
  5. Open the “ProviderOrder” key and delete the the words “hgfs” or “vmhgs” or “vmhgfs” present in the string ;
  6. Reboot the server.
Support Articles: http://kb.vmware.com/