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Category: Citrix (page 1 of 3)

How to…Create a custom Citrix AppCenter MMC plug-in

Having a preconfigured AppCenter Console makes life a bit easier for the XenApp Admins but is essential if you need to provide support staff access to the XenApp farm to carry out session termination, shadowing, etc.

To avoid running through the AppCenter discover wizard each time you can create a custom MMC snap-in that already has the settings you require:

  • Log onto a XenApp server (that has AppCenter installed)
  • Run mmc.exe /32  (The AppCenter MMC snap-in is 32Bit – it won’t appear in the options if you try to load it into a default 64Bit mmc.exe)

MMC 1

  • Click File-Add/Remove Snap-in

MMC snap-in 1

  • Select Citrix AppCenter, click Add then click OK
  • Right click on Citrix AppCenter and select New Window from here

MMC snap-in 2

  • Enable Skip this screen in the future

Config AppCenter discovery 1

  • Adjust components as required

Config AppCenter discovery 2

  • Add LOCALHOST (Means that the console will discover the XenApp farm irrespective what server it’s opened on. Needless to say it won’t work if you use it on a non-XenApp server).

Config AppCenter discovery 3

  • Enable Close this wizard when discovery is successful

Config AppCenter discovery 4

  • Edit the console as required – customise the View settings to remove menus that aren’t needed etc.

MMC 2

  • Adjust the Options – add a name for the console, add an icon, make read only, etc

MMC 3

  • Then click File-Save As to save the .msc file somewhere accessible to all users

(File-Save will write to local profile (%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools which you’re likely to lose at logoff if you’re not retaining user profiles).

 

How to…Create an shortcut icon to a XenApp streamed application

Streaming applications to your XenApp server solves a lot of issues in an RDS environment but does cause one key headache – you can’t create simple shortcuts to .exe files on your desktop/home folder etc.

The streamed application is launched by Citrix RadeRun.exe so if you want a shortcut to the streamed application it has to be called by RadeRun.exe.

Create a shortcut to RadeRun.exe including the path to .profile and application name you want. (The application name would be what’s available inside the profiled application i.e. what you’d see available when publishing in the AppCenter console).

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Streaming Client\RadeRun.exe" /app:"application name" /package:"\\path to streaming profiles share\path to application profile folder\applicationprofilename.profile"

If you want to run a profiled version of Internet Explorer with a specific URL, use /extracmdline”value

see http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX115191 and http://blogs.citrix.com/2009/03/05/app-streaming-running-apps-via-raderun/ for more information

Note: bear in mind there is a 259 character limit to shortcuts which could trip you up if you have particularly long file/folder names and paths.

 

Remote Assistance not working on Windows 2008 R2 / XenApp 6.5

Recently when testing a new XenApp 6.5 farm we discovered Remote Assistance (msara.exe /offerra) didn’t work. Where on the existing XenApp 5.0 / Windows Server 2008 farm it could be used by desktop support staff no problem, now the app failed to launch with the error:

“There was a problem starting Remote Assistance. Remote Assistance is unavailable for the current user account. If you are using a Windows Guest account try logging in with another account. If you are not using a Guest account, try restarting your machine.”

A quick bit of online investigation uncovered that Microsoft have adjusted the security behind Remote Assistance and from Windows Server 2008 R2 it won’t work if you’re using Mandatory Profiles.

To fix

You can get round this with a GPO setting as outlined below.

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\%LogonUserSid%
Value name: State
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value data: 0x10 (16)

16 = Roaming Profile

5 = Mandatory Profile

Have spoken with Microsoft and though 0 or 2 are referenced as required on other blogs and discussion forums, (and do work), they are not the values as per Microsoft internal knowledge base.

Now if you check the users local profile folder you’ll see that it’s still created based on the mandatory profile and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentSession\ProfileList\UserSID\CentralProfile  REG_SZ will also match the mandatory profile path.

However Advanced System Settings-User ProfilesSettings shows that the Profile Type is set to Roaming

The down side of this fix

Be aware that while this will make the user profile behave as a Roaming Profile thereby allowing Remote Assistance to work, you’ll also start to have the usual problems with Roaming Profiles on your RDS/XenApp server that you’re trying to avoid in the first place.

And worse, you’ll create a new issue because Windows will refuse to delete the profile when the user logs off – irrespective of whether you have the GPO ‘Delete cached copies of roaming profiles‘ set. Needless to say, this is something you’re trying to avoid by using clean mandatory profiles in your XenApp environment and leads to all sorts of problems and inconsistencies across the farm.

As I mentioned above, this will fix Remote Assistance, but it will then break Mandatory Profiles. You’ll need to decide which is more important.

In my option, maintaining a consistent user environment is far more important than a single application, so the best approach is to look into an alternative Remote Assistance support tool – GoToAssist, LogMeIn Rescue, WebEx, etc.

 

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