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ControlUp 4

ThomasKoetzing.de

This is a web site of a application delivery enthusiast. Please keep in mind that I'm NOT working for Citrix Inc. nor Microsoft. So if you use any of the information you find here you do this at your own risk. Nevertheless you can leave your comments in my support forum.
 
Most of the things you will find here are the result of my contribution in the official Citrix Support Forums and other places as well as my personal experience as a Freelancer for application delivery.  Note that everything on the web site is done during my free time.


Latest News
Citrix Receiver and proxy settings

logoCitrix Receiver... I don't even no where to start with all the issues I had/have and workarounds I have in place to make Receiver at least somewhat useable. The whole thing with Receiver/StoreFront is so "touchie"...anyway, now I just want to let you know something about proxies with Receiver.

Upfront: Most companies I work with are using proxy servers for any web connection. I was in a customer transition and we simply took over the existing proxy policy settings. 

 

When the whole Receiver "gang" starts - AuthService, SelfService, Receiver.... it doesn't just take a long time (try it on old Windows embedded XP Thin Clients) it also tries to connect to the StoreFront URL.

The "gang" starts but then nothing? Ok, I have to do what I always do, troubleshoot the issue. I enabled logging and find that the AuthService runs into an exception when reading the proxy settings. Then I took a closer look at the proxy exceptions and find something like 10.0.0.0/24. Now this is NOT correct for IE (btw. IE didn't care about those entries) and I changed it to 10.0.0.* 

Next trace the AuthService is using the same proxy exceptions? Even I changed it and verified the usual proxy registry key. After a lot more troubleshooting, I found that the AuthService is using the following binary keys 

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Connections
DefaultConnectionSettings
SavedLegacySettings

 

Once I deleted those keys the right proxy exception where used and apps finally showed up!

 

I made an enhancement request to Citrix to build something in group policy or where ever to be able to disable the use of any proxy for the Receiver gang.

 

Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x, Receiver and Desktop issues

logoCitrix XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x is lacking on some features or functions that was in XenApp for many years. Personally I don't understand why Citrix didn't build them in the product from day one XenDesktop 7 was released. Now Citrix is just creating workarounds on customer requests. What I'm talking about you ask?

 

You publish a server Desktop and is bound to a delivery group. The delivery group GUI has no option: to limit the visibility (need PoSh to do so), cannot change the size (not everyone want's desktop viewer, need to tweak ica files), no option to change the Desktop icon (need PoSh) and no option to automatically create a desktop link on the client desktop (need Receiver command line parameter, registry key).

Then you do change the desktop icon with PoSh and the Online Plug-In Version 12x shows the new custom icon just fine! Now let's upgrade to the latest Receiver 4.3.1.1 and guess what, the custom icon is gone and everything looks the same again. Now there is another PoSh to overwrite that again but then users are already screwed with the generic icons. Then you have to delte the Citrix folder in the user profile to finally get the custom icon back.  

If you are using old Citrix clients (Online Plug-In) with StoreFront and XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x you are unable to push the desktop icon to the Client desktop. Again you need to tweak StoreFront in order for the client to show all apps on the client desktop and therefore also the published Desktop.


Here you go, workarounds everywhere to do something that is still so simple in XenApp 6.5 and earlier releases! 

 

 

 

 

PinItem to the Windows Taskbar

logoMicrosoft in there best moments came up with pining items (shortcuts etc.) to the new Jump List. This is all crap, not just for the reason that Microsoft uses a binary key for the list and the corresponding link needs to be in place, it's also not configurable through group policies!

Now you will find quite some scripts (VB, PoSh..) out on the Internet and even Citrix has build-in a script into their products to alter the jump list during logon using PoSh. That script has it's limitation and is just crap to fix Microsoft crap - crap to fix crap. Creating a link to an exe is simple but something with a command parameter, special shell links...whole different story.

 

So I was search, trying stuff etc. to basically do something that should be very simple: "Add a shortcut to the jump list" for all users from a command line. I almost gave up when I found a simple FREE tool to do just that! This little tool is awesome! You can run it from a network share, pointing to a shortcut that's also on a network share. It also checks that you don't create the same shortcut a second time and automatically removes one!

I just love it! Citrix should buy the code and make something nice of it in a ways that Citrix admins can easily configure the jump list.


The tool is from Winaero and called "Pin to 8" but they also have something for 7 ;-)
http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.140 

 

 

 

Office scrolling issue with Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x

logoMaybe you noticed, maybe not but scrolling in Office (Excel, Word...) doesn't show the content on server 2012R2 with XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x This can be quite annoying and took some time to find out that Citrix is the reason for it!

With 2012R2 the Windows performance settings is not only the value of the VirtualFX key, its set mainly to the UserPerferanceMask registry key. If you are missing some setting, then Office will not show the content while scrolling (might still work with other apps). Using progmon you will find that Citrix wfshell is changing the value during logon in a way that users basically have just ticked three settings in the preference!

Searching the Citrix KB you will find a Hotifx ICATS760WX64034 that you need to install and set the following registry key:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix 
EnableVisualEffect REG_DWORD = 1

 

Problem solved? Hm, NO! This hotfix cannot be applied to the latest VDA Agent 7.6.300 and is also not included! Someone at Citrix forgot to check in the fix for the next release! There is no Hotfix available at the moment. You could use just the wfshell from the hotfix and works but you never know what other issues you might get doing so. So I'm NOT advising you to do it.

 

Netscaler 11.x monitoring of StoreFront 3.x services

logoWith Citrix Netscaler 11.0.63 you can configure a StoreFront 3.0.1 specific monitor to check the backend services. Now when you configure the monitor you will basically fail for some reasons. Here is how to do it!

 

1. Netscaler SIP must be able to communicate (80/443) with the StoreFront server and is not common in a restricted environment (Citrix, the monitor should use the SNIP!).

 

2. You must enable the StoreFront monitor service on port 80/443! I use port 80 because it's insensitive data since it basically just shows if important StoreFront Windows services are up and running.

 

Open PowerShell with admin rights on the StoreFront server. You can run the following as a PowerShell script:

# Import StoreFront API Modules
& "$Env:PROGRAMFILES\Citrix\Receiver StoreFront\Scripts\ImportModules.ps1"
$ServiceURL = "http://localhost:80/StorefrontMonitor"
Remove-DSServiceMonitorFeature
Install-DSServiceMonitorFeature -ServiceUrl $ServiceURL

This will first remove the default service on port 8000 and then create a new one on port 80. You can check the service monitor by opening the URL: http://localhost/StorefrontMonitor/GetSFServicesStatus

 

3. Propagate the changes to other servers in the StoreFront Group in case you are using a load balanced deployment.

 

Check your Netscaler StoreFront monitor and should be up and running.

 

Find all the details here:
http://docs.citrix.com/en-us/storefront/3/integrate-with-netscaler-and-netscaler-gateway/load-balancing-with-netscaler.html

  

Personally that's not enough for me, because even with all services running you might get a "cannot complete your request". I will use in addition a pattern monitor that checks that the login screen shows up. 

 

 

ControlUp from Smart-X yet another utility?

logoI'm a fan of using what strategic products offer before considering a 3rd party solution. In some companies it seems to be common to solve problems or gaps with yet another tool or utility. Those companies have an arsenal of 3rd party vendors; they also do not revisit their decision afterward if it's still necessary to have the 3rd party solution.

 

 

 

ControlUp from Smart-x offers a "level up" for the control of your environment! With ControlUp, you can quickly and easily have a higher level of control through a single console as shown in the following picture. 


Smart-X ControlUp

 

That Sound great but is ControlUp from Smart-X just another utility or will it help manage your environment also on an enterprise Level? What kind of control you get and if ControlUp is a valuable addition for your envrionment you will find out throughout the remainder of the article

 

 

 
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Site updates

02.09.14
New article: How to use Citrix StoreFront SDK
[more

08.07.14
Release of XenApp 6.5 Update script 1.7

20.06.14
First release of VDA 7.x Update script.

07.05.14
New article: How to use Citrix Receiver 4.x?
[more]