Citrix just released Citrix Profile Management Cross-platform Settings Beta available for download at MyCitrix:
Archive for March 15, 2011
Recently I found a blogpost from Alex Fontana at the VMware community blogs with Citrix XenApp on VMware Best Practices:
After posting RES Workspace Manager: Windows 7 Embedded, Citrix and log off local client I got pointed to the Desktop Appliance Lock by Michel Helderman on Twitter. This is an MSI on the XenDesktop DVD which can be installed on a thin client with Windows 7 embedded:
Supported Windows Operating Systems:
- Windows 7, 32-bit and 64-bit editions (including Embedded Edition)
- Windows XP Professional, 32-bit and 64-bit editions
- Windows XP Embedded
- Windows Vista, 32-bit and 64-bit editions
- Windows Server 2008 R1, 32-bit and 64-bit editions (not supported by XenDesktop connections)
- Windows Server 2008 R2, 64-bit edition (not supported by XenDesktop connections)
- Windows Server 2003, 32-bit and 64-bit editions (not supported by XenDesktop connections)
Important: For XenDesktop connections, be aware that the Desktop Appliance Lock is only supported on Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Embedded.
Prerequisite for this is a Citrix Online plugin (Full) that’s properly configured with a Citrix Services Site. Keep in mind that there’s a shell replacement so when the Desktop Appliance Lock is installed it can only be un-installed by the same account that was used for the installation (the shell of the install account won’t be changed).
As we’re using RES PowerFuse 2010 at this customer we first tried this with a RES PowerFuse desktop but this wouldn’t work because it’s a published application and not a published desktop like the Desktop Appliance Lock expects. If you want this to work you have to publish a desktop and if you’re using RES PowerFuse (or Workspace Manager) you have to configure it so it starts at the user log on process. You can do this by using Group Policy or by using the RES Console:
If you choose not to run the Workspace Composer automatically after installation of the .
msi, you may choose to change the shell later via the RES Workspace Manager Console at Setup > Agents.
The Run Workspace Composer column reflects whether an Agent was configured to start the Workspace Composer automatically when users log on to the Agent. This information does not apply to Agents running on Terminal Servers.
- If the column shows the value Automatic (pending) or Manual (pending), the Agent cache has not been updated yet.
The Settings tab of the Edit RES Workspace Manager Agent window, which is shown when editing the settings of a RES Workspace Manager Agent features the option Run Workspace Composer. This option, which is not available for Agents running on a server, makes it possible to choose whether the Workspace Composer should run automatically when a user logs on to the computer on which the Agent runs.
Like I said earlier, the shell is modified and when the Citrix Online plugin is configured the right way the session will be started automatic and when logging off the Windows 7 Embedded client will be logged off as well.
Today I was at a customer with thin clients with Windows 7 embedded installed, these thin clients had to be configured to connect to a Citrix XenApp 5 farm. The problem was that we wanted to have SSO (single sign out ;-)). So of course we asked RES if we could use the Subscriber/VDX but they came with the following statement:
One of the sys admins at a customer attended me to the following problem and solution (Thanks Niek!)
RES Workspace Manager can be used to provide data to configure Outlook, when this is done the user normally gets his own mailbox and have to connect other mailboxes manually. But the User Settings – Outlook template doesn’t support this in the zero-profiling. To solve this problem the ‘HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem” should be added to the zero-profiling.
Recently I participated in a project in which a new Citrix XA5 for 2008 farm was build and PowerFuse 2010 was used for ‘user workspace management’. They had thin clients which connected to their old Citrix farm by using a distributed ICA file. In the new farm we created a setup with two Citrix Web Interfaces servers with a Citrix Services Site configured. Only one server was active, the other one was configured as backup URL.
The desktop was started as seamless desktop because of the configuration in the ICA file, this resulted in a situation where the user could start the task manager of the local thin client (Windows 7 Embedded) so they could stop running processes in their ICA session but they couldn’t use the windows shortcut keys because all of the commands were passed trough to the thin client. The customer wanted a full desktop so they could use their windows shortcut keys but they also wanted a method to stop running processes in their ICA session.
In my opinion they had two options:
- Full desktop with taskmgr.exe as application within this full desktop
- Full desktop with memory optimization from RES PowerFuse.
Full desktop with taskmgr.exe as application within this full desktop
By offering a full desktop the windows shortcut keys can be used within the ICA session but the user doesn’t get the functionality to stop running processes. As an addition taskmgr.exe should be offered to the users via PowerFuse. The downside would be that the taskmgr.exe gives more information that needed for the users and would probably create more confusion for the users.
Full desktop with memory optimization from RES PowerFuse
By offering a full desktop the windows shortcut keys can be used within the ICA session but the user doesn’t get the functionality to stop running processes. As an addition PowerFuse should be configured to give the users the option to stop running processes.
By turning on memory optimization there’s an option in RES PowerFuse to show the memory usage in the system tray:
When this option is enabled users will get an extra icon in their system tray:
When the user clicks this icon a program will appear that displays the running processes, the memory usage and let’s the user close an application:
But… when memory optimization is enabled keep in mind that there’s more to configure. A limit will be forced so you have to calculate the limit properly and a couple of applications can’t really deal with these kinds of memory optimization. When you’ve got such an application you can exclude this specific application from the memory optimization in PowerFuse 2010:
So my advice would be to run a full desktop with memory optimization but keep in mind that it brings on additional administrative burden.