Tag Archive: Citrix

Apr 27

Installing XenDesktop 5 VDA on Windows 2008 R2 Server

Recently I was asked to use XenDesktop 5 as a way for students in a developer training class to connect to individual Windows 2008 R2 server VMs.  I agreed to set it up, but forgot that the Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) will not install on Windows 2008 R2 server, because the installer blocks it.

I did some searching on the web and came up with a post by Carlo Costanzo talking about installing the VDA on Windows 7.  This post made me realize the agent was capable of running, but simply wouldn’t install because it KNEW I was trying to put it onto Windows 2008 R2 server.

After some more searching, I found a post in the Citrix forums by a guy named Patrick Suddereth, who had managed to install the agent onto Windows 2008 R2 using a TRANSFORM workaround.  His post is here.

So, I downloaded the Microsoft Windows SDK and installed a sub-component called Orca on my Windows 2008 R2 dev box.  This program allows you to edit the installation process of a MSI file, then generate a .mst (transform) file.  A transform file simply tells the installer what to do differently from the default installation.  In this case, we needed to remove the prerequisite check of the OS (and as I found out later, allow the MSI to be installed directly).

Here’s what I had to edit:

Editing the MSI in Orca

After the edit was complete, I exported the transform (.mst) and tried running it from command line:
msiexec /i XdsAgent_x64.msi TRANSFORMS=XD5W2K8Install.mst

I was unsuccessful that way, so I tried changing things up a little…

  1. Copied the x64 install directory from the Citrix XenDesktop 5 installation DVD iso
  2. Made the edit directly to the agent MSI (instead of using the transform) and saved it back into the copied directory.
  3. Did a right-click / Run as Administrator to open a Console window.
  4. CD to the x64 / Virtual Desktop Agent directory
  5. Ran msiexec /i XdsAgent_x64.msi at the command prompt.

The agent installed successfully and the system rebooted as expected, but the machine refused to register with the XenDesktop 5 Controller.  I tried turning off firewalls, restarting services, still nothing.  Then I found a reference to a registry key that turned out to be missing!


Add a String (REG_SZ) called ListOfDDCs and for its value put the fully qualified name of your XenDesktop 5 server (like foo.bar.com).

Go register your machine using the Desktop Studio and it should connect immediately.

NOTE: I’m sure this is not supported by Citrix in any way, so use at your own risk.


*** IMPORTANT UPDATE – May 10, 2011 ***

Additional Windows Firewall configuration needed after manual install of VDA Agent

If you’re installing the agent “normally”, you can check the box to automatically configure Windows firewall.  Since we’re taking a backdoor, the configuration doesn’t happen.  Here’s the excerpt from the Admin Guide:

To enable users to connect to desktops, you must configure your firewall as follows:

For communication between endpoint devices and desktops:
•        %Program Files%\Citrix\ICAService\picaSvc.exe requires inbound TCP on port 1494. Because this connection uses a kernel driver, you may need to configure this setting as a port exception rather than a program exception, depending on your firewall software. If you are running Windows Firewall, you must configure this setting as a port exception.

•        %Program Files%\Citrix\ICAService\CitrixCGPServer.exe requires inbound TCP on port 2598

Special thanks to Jerry Jaworski for figuring this out and submitting it!



Permanent link to this article: http://www.startswithv.com/2011/04/27/installing-xendesktop-5-vda-on-windows-2008-r2-server/

May 13

Wyse Technology – Citrix and Wyse Accelerate Mainstream Adoption of Desktop Virtualization for Office Workers with Breakthrough Zero Client Technology

Wyse Xenith and Citrix HDX Technology Deliver Powerful User Experience and Security

The new Wyse Xenith zero client with Citrix HDX takes the concept of thin clients to an entirely new level. Its groundbreaking design requires no local configuration or management, has virtually no attack surface for malware, auto-discovers XenDesktop right out of the box, and launches a full Windows desktop in seconds. For the first time, IT decision-makers will not have to make tradeoffs in endpoint simplicity, security and end user performance.

Read more here: Wyse Technology – Citrix and Wyse Accelerate Mainstream Adoption of Desktop Virtualization for Office Workers with Breakthrough Zero Client Technology.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.startswithv.com/2010/05/13/citrix-and-wyse-accelerate-mainstream-adoption-of-desktop-virtualization/

Dec 07

VMware shops consider Hyper-V, XenServer migrations

“A survey conducted by market research firm TheInfoPro this fall found that 75% of respondents use VMware today, but that almost two-thirds of those had evaluated a competing virtualization platform. Of those, 27% said they intended to deploy an alternative, and another 20% said they are considering doing so.”

Could this have anything to do with the rising cost of VMware?? Probably…

VMware shops consider Hyper-V, XenServer migrations

Permanent link to this article: http://www.startswithv.com/2009/12/07/vmware-shops-consider-hyper-v-xenserver-migrations/