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Upgrading to Citrix Receiver 4.2

We have a number of functional expectations to test prior to Upgrading to Citrix Receiver 4.2. It is imperative that things as simple as ‘desktop shortcuts’, appropriate start menu integration and XenApp session sharing work to keep the end users happy and prevent the “same ole service calls being logged again”.


  1. A 100% dynamic client start menu (locally or in the XA/XD sessions – built based on the apps published to them) and support for XenApp6.5 session sharing
  2. Ideally one storefront “store” and one receiver version if possible deployed across the organisation (if support for all features exists)
  3. We would prefer not to rely on web interface servers if it can be helped.
  4. Simple desktop and start menu shortcut management with filtering based on device or platform (presently we use separate web interface sites)
  5. Support for File type association and Prelaunch.

Nice to haves / Things to test.

Company Laptop & desktops: Selective or filtered apps on the clients desktops (to avoid conflict with citrix published apps like Citrix outlook vs local outlook) to XenApp 4.5, XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 7.6.

Citrix desktop: End user ‘refresh’ on the XenApp desktop (without logging off)

Issues Encountered with Citrix Receiver 4.2

Session Sharing still broken: Whilst the configuration is not officially supported running the receiver via a published XA6.5 desktop and launching a Citrix app would start a brand new session even launching it on the same server.

Receiver Disconnects: During opening, launching or refreshing of the receiver (inside a Citrix session) the local Citrix session would disconnect http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX136339

Shortcut refresh slow: In selfservicemode=false or with user subscriptions disabled (effectively making all apps mandatory) the initial log into receiver would deploy the apps to the start menu under 2 minutes (which is slow compared to pnagent and depending on how many apps were available for your login) following this Citrix article we also set the InitialRefreshMinMs and MaxMs to 1 http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX200337


Receiver not started automatically for new users logging onto the workstation:

We had to set a shortcut in the users startup folder or regrun keys for the receiver to open.


Receiver Installation:

We decided against recommending the selfservicemode=false option in combination with receiver deployments script to end user devices (as its much more difficult to reverse) rather we’d recommend to use the group policy ADM that comes with the new client to manage the selfservicemode so you can easily change it later if desired.

GPO Location: C:\Program Files(x86)\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration\icaclient.adm

Kiosk Users: if you have a generic desktop login and people each use their own credentials just for citrix its best to just use storefrontweb as the receiver shortcut deployment to the start menu and even in the receiver window constantly got confused between the different logged on users and was definitely too slow to be a usable solution. Possibly this could be fixed with the GPO ‘Remove Apps on Logoff’


Storefront Filtering is per store: If we filtered an application (by its keyword: description) it was effectively hidden from all parts of that store including

  1. Receiver
  2. Storefront web
  3. Legacy Config xml receiver
  4. Regardless of any other store settings (new subscriptions enabled or disabled or the app set to mandatory)

See here how to configure Storefront Filtering


Mandatory Apps Ignore Start Menu Directory:

Via GPO we tried forcing the Start Menu directory (different to what the app has published) which worked for all applications except some instances of mandatory apps refused to move. This was most obvious when the user had already synced their apps to the start menu then the start menu directory was forced via GPO.

XA6.5 Published App Start Menu Folder property name is ignored:

Receiver only uses the “Client Application folder” varilable for the shortcut publication.

This makes more sense however when looking at application publication in the Citrix Studio for XenApp 7.6.

Changing the Start menu Path left all the old shortcuts initially unusable:

Changing the start menu path after a user had already sync with the store resulted in all the shortcuts being completely recreated under the new folder hierarchy, whilst the old path was left (during the sync) intact, but unusable.

Running the old shortcuts resulted in the fun message:

After the initial sync completed again (took over 2-3 minutes as I had heaps of published shortcuts) the old folder ‘Citrix’ was eventually removed.

Desktop shortcuts delivered in folders: If an application is published in the XA6.5 console with a Client Application folder, and the app is published to the desktop as well the Client application folder is also created.

Shortcuts doubled up: If there was an application with the same name locally as remote, we would end up with 2 – making it confusing for the end users – Citrix’s solution to this is the “keyword: Prefer” in the application description – which we found continued to only launch the Citrix application.

See here for an excellent explanation of the supported Storefront and Receiver Keywords: http://www.martijnhs.com/2014/05/08/citrix-storefront-keywords-explained/




The deployment method we have had most success with (so far) has been:

  • The Citrix Receiver 4.2 packaged and deployed simply with “CitrixReceiver4.2.100.exe /includeSSON” (no other commands or calls)
  • The actual storefront Store configured via GPO

  • The SSO option enabled via GPO

  • The storefront site added to trusted or intranet sites
  • The SSO options/passthrough setting enabled in the storefront servers / site
  •  We enabled The Shortcut managment options to stop confusion for end users (all citrix apps delivered in a start menu sub folder)

  • We also disabled the selfservicemode via gpo rather than forcing it during the installation in the 4.2 receiver.

  • We forced the receiver to connect to the store asap by: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\Dazzle]



  • We placed the receiver in the Startup Folder of the local machine, so it would launch automatically

This configuration would also mean that ALL the application shortcut are all delivered to the users start menu, but people connecting via the ‘storefront web’ page can still have subscriptions enabled so they don’t see things like the accessories published apps ‘calc, or snipping tool or magnifier etc’ from the ‘storefront web’.

*Additional Note: If upgrading existing users devices, you may find it useful to set the legacy web interface to delete / remove all shortcuts on logoff / exit –  that way you can be 99% sure that there there should be no remnants of the legacy clients shortcuts on the desktop or star menu etc for the end users

Windows Desktops / Clients

The 4.2 Citrix receiver is an absolute must have for 3D Pro / HDX graphics, the improvements are numerous for graphics display and the smoothness of 3D apps. When deploying 4.2 locally with self service it grants the users that little bit of flexibility and control over their own start menu and the customisable GPO can help you easily change your mind later should the need arise.


On a XenApp published desktop where session sharing is still broken with Receiver 4.2 we are going to stick with Citrix Receiver 3.4 enterprise Cumulative Update 4 and have it pointing to the storefront legacy config.xml file for now – which delivers the full dynamic Citrix start menu and still supports session sharing.

It is incredibly frustrating as an integrator and even as an end user to see ‘similar’ issues that Citrix has previously fixed in prior versions of their ICA Client reappearing all over again in the new Receiver, it certainly does nothing for their reputation.

We are very interested to hear how other people are managing their upgrades and end user shotcuts. Does anyone have a simpler, quicker, inexpensive and truly dynamic way to manage end user shortcuts whilst still conglomerating the users application experience from all their platforms (i.e local client apps, Citrix apps, Microsoft SCCM, VMWare thinapp and Microsoft App-V to name a few) and still support things like true session sharing and access gateway filtering??? Drop us a line.

Also please see this excellent article to address or workaround some of the problems described above.



The Citrix X1 Mouse Review

The Citrix X1 Mouse prototype hardware solution is fantastic, it is easy to use, quick to pair and is fast enough to be used in most scenarios. (Long commutes to and from the office?)J:\X1 Review\IMG_0018.JPG

I personally believe this has the greatest benefit for the regular long distance commute but also has potential to also benefit companies from a business continuity (BCP) or a disaster recovery (DR) perspective. Not everyone carries a laptop with them, but you can ‘almost’ guarantee that most people / staff will have a have a mobile phone on them ready to go, especially in health and safety high risk environments like Oil & Gas / Mining / Engineering. Nothing like having a replacement workstation ready to go (well… once you give them an X1 mouse of course!)

The Citrix X1 Mouse addresses a limitation and control issue forced on us by Apple where they don’t natively support Bluetooth mice for iPad or iPhone. (there have been rumours of mouse support since iOS6 – yet here we are at iOS 8.1.3 and still nothing!)

See here:



This product may have a very limited life if Apple remove these restrictions and as a side note there are no such restrictions on Android devices.

The mouse on its own with an iPad was fantastic (i.e especially when used whilst Commuting and you’ve got fat fingers like mine!?!) however the most testing I tried (below) was when using the phone/s with an external monitor and keyboard & the Citrix X1 Mouse – as a desktop replacement. From an end users perspective this solution is almost no different to staff using their own laptops or desktops from home but it personally feels like the solution is finally a step closer to nearly being able to replace company thin clients & workstations and having users on tablets and phones (especially those with fat fingers) interact with their Citrix delivered apps and desktops ‘as they are used too’!


Testing wth iPhone 5 (iOS 8.1.3) and iPad Air (iOS 8.1.2) and Dell 19” external display (then later a 30″ 4K Dell monitor)

The Citrix X1 Mouse will only work with iPad3 or iPhone 4s or later but can operate as a normal bluetooth mouse for most other (Bluetooth enabled) devices.

During testing we operated it with an apple ‘lightening to HDMI’ cable on an external display. All functions typically habdled independently to the Apple device screen (when running a Citrix session)J:\X1 Review\image11.PNG

On Apple devices you must use the separate prototype R1 Citrix receiver available (free) from the App Store. If you use the normal Citrix receiver you won’t see the mouse pairing prompts. (Also apparently you can’t or shouldn’t use iOS to pair the device directly) It has three settings for the power button which seem to be Middle = off, Top = On, and Bottom = Also On

You can pair yet another apple device (iPhone or iPad) as a wireless trackpad. From the testing it worked quite well, but at times was very sluggish.

Wireless Trackpad Selection & Pairing Screens

Effectively you have receiver open on your iPad first, and click the 6 square > mouse pairing icon whilst in a session, from your iPhone you open the advanced settings > Wireless trackpad and it will automagically detect the iPad is ready and pair your phone as a touchpad.

J:\X1 Review\image7.PNG           J:\X1 Review\image6.PNG

Speed of the bluetooth keyboard typing in the Citrix session (whilst paired with the mouse) was perfect on internal wireless connection and 3G.

Citrix X1 Mouse movement is only slightly laggy and didn’t feel quite as natural as a laptop. I sped the mouse up in the control panel. The bigger the resolution the slower it felt. (possibly more related to the iPhone as Mouse movement ‘felt’ smoother when connected with the iPad) Compared to local and natural mouse it was noticeable enough to be annoying but wasn’t considerable enough to be a showstopper, would be perfect on a long train commute!

Once the X1 was paired, when powering it off and on the mouse would reconnect automagically without prompt or asking to be ‘re-paired’ (This was different for the keyboard – which was annoying when you try connecting to the session only to realise your keyboard is nowhere to be found and you have to use the onscreen keyboard!)

The external bluetooth keyboard worked natively without enabling the ‘external keyboard option’. Regardless of the options enable in the receiver options menu I was unable to get the Windows key, CTRL + ESC or CTRL + ALT + DEL ever working (Apple and Android) This might be the Bluetooth keyboard we were testing with (Logitech DiNovo Edge) but it was the only Bluetooth keyboard we had!

Sporadically colours of the desktop sometimes went awry (similar to the old school experience of a broken pin in a VGA session) usually only when reconnecting to a session. This occurred regardless of whether I used lightening to VGA or Lightening to HDMI ports. It was experienced more with Lightening port to VGA and occurred on two different dell monitors.

Interestingly you can lock your device and continue using the external screen and X1 mouse, but the keyboard would no longer work (simply passing its keys to the locked main screen) and after the session was idle it would eventually shutdown the wireless and disconnected the session.

Setting the experience to ‘Auto-fit screen’ on iPad and Large on iPhone rendered the best external resolution as well as ensuring that the external display was enabled in the options. Setting specific resolutions, rather than improving things, simply seemed to squash the session into the max available resolution from the iOS device. The iPhone seemed to be capable of a better external screen resolution (or at least it utilised the full real estate of the external monitor)

Best External Display Setting for iPad                Best External Display Setting for iPhone

J:\X1 Review\image21.PNG           J:\X1 Review\image4.PNG

Large Resolution: Full Screen Citrix XenApp Session from iPhone @ 1280×720

Auto Fit Resolution: Full screen Citrix XenApp Session from iPad Air – Note its not using full real estate of external screen, increasing the resolution settings would only squash a smaller session into the same real estate – Believe this is iPad Air hardware limitation?)

The mouse would not interact with any menu options of the Receiver on the Apple devices, so it’s purely for Citrix session based use only (annoying when typing username and password or any phone prompts that come up)

This would be an incredibly nifty feature to combine with an external touch screen monitor …. imagine Apple and Citrix boosting their revenue as replacements for PoS devices?

If I disconnected, change receiver display settings, then reconnected it would renderer the external display unusable or black (until phone was restarted, or receiver terminated and reopened)

Orientation of iPhone didn’t affect External display once the session was running  (which is great) but input would pause during the reorientation (1-2 seconds max) however the iPads display would mirror itself on the external display so the orientation was far more important when used with the iPad.

Expanding or shrinking the iPhone screen (different size to how the Citrix session was launched) would make the mouse unusable locally on the device and would no longer be aligned however as the external monitor didn’t resize, the mouse would usually continue to work as expected.

Max resolution for external display for iPad Air was 1024×768 (which is limiting) but on iPhone it was 1280×720 (Tested on a 19” Dell, and a 30” 4K Dell – just to be sure the monitor wasn’t limiting things!)

Very obviously, the apple lightening to hdmi cable doesnt support dual displays!

Wrap Up

I could actually use a Citrix X1 Mouse prototype and Apple device (with external monitor) as a solution in place of my company laptop or desktop especially if I used a tablet / iPad on a regular basis. The feel of the Citrix X1 mouse is not perfect, but its damn close especially for day to day iPad use (long commutes, meetings etc) the acceleration and smoothness of the mouse movement needs improvement especially when used with an iOS device and external monitor and keyboard.

For full time use, at this early stage, I would still be looking for a more traditional solution.

This is one ‘sticky’ product on offer from Citrix that should set them well apart from the competition but only so long as Apple don’t soon offer their own bluetooth mouse support. Should Apple remove the ‘mouse’ limitations of its iOS then there would likely be no need for the X1.

The Citrix X1 Mouse addresses a perfect need (to help replace fat fingers!) especially for time sensitive and frustrated EXECs who, in my experience, usually have at least one Apple device floating around their office somewhere and it is the perfect companion for an Apple iPad.

If I regularly used Apple iOS devices to connect to my Citrix environment I’d be dancing in the street with the release of the Citrix X1 Mouse!

Read more from Citrix http://www.citrix.com/go/citrix-mouse.html

Thanks for reading the Citrix X1 Mouse review!

App-V 5.0 apps not working when published as seamless applications


Our AppV Applications on Citrix are published globally to the citrix servers computer accounts so the apps are available before the users login. These applications all launch and integrate with AppV either directly calling the AppV exe or by using the /appvve or switch on a hosted Citrix desktop. When the same AppV application is launched seamlessly the app opens but without AppV integration.


*UPDATED* – The /Appvve: switch will work if published via Citrix, but only if the Application/s (in APPV) are published to the end user account (not just the computer accounts)

The /appvve switch doesnt work with Citrix published applications. Use the APP-v console to make the applications available for the end user/s or user groups and then script the launch of the app with powershell.


—— begin script——–

$appvname = get-appvclientpackage “James”
start-appvvirtualprocess -appvclientobject $appvname excel.exe

—— end script——–

I then publish this PS1 script from Citrix in the published app command line:

“C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe” -windowstyle hidden “\lonfs001xenapp$AppsSAPLaunch_APPV_JAMES.ps1”


There is a myriad of other ways you can integrate or launch apps inside the APPV bubble see below link for more details. We were unable to use the ‘file type associations’ as we want normal excel to load without the APPV integration and add-ins and for select users have this APPV integration be available.


Hide Libraries and Network in Microsoft Office (x86) AND Windows Explorer (x64)


We had hidden the Libraries and Network links in the explorer bar on our Citrix XenAPp 6.5 servers, but for some reason they continued to appear inside Office and some other applications.

Turns out the common element was 32bit apps were all still able to see libraries and Network locations etc particularly when saving files in Word or excel.



(screenshot shown above from windows 7 device, its exactly the same view we want to restrict however in terminal server / windows 2008 r2)


There are two registry locations for libraries and network etc, 64bit and 32bit, edit them all as follows, be sure to assign permission to these keys as administrator first!

64bit Favorites key is:
Attributes: a9400100

64Bit Libraries key is:
Attributes:b090010d (hide)
Attributes:b080010d (default – show)

64bit Network key is:
Attributes: B0940064

HIDE 32 bit verison of the same for 32bit apps
32bit Favorites key is:

32Bit Libraries key is:

32bit Network key is:


Citrix PVS 7.1 and AppV 5 applications crashing, launching once

This issue absolutely did my head in. I had to publish it for you all to save you the time if you ever come across it as I was close to QUITTING because I couldn’t get this to work.


  1. Windows 2008 R2, Citrix XenApp 6.5 and Microsoft AppV 5 SP2.
  2. Applications published globally to the XA Servers
  3. All Servers streamed from Citrix PVS 7.1
  4. User profiles managed with Citrix User Profile Manager

This article for the Citrix UPM was already followed and the AppV Exclusions were definitely set


Some App-V packaged applications would launch once, then never again when the Package Installation Root was pointing to the Read Only PVS Image (%programdata%AppV) and ONLY when the server was in Read only mode. If I was editing the image in PVS maintenance mode to update the vDisk – the issue never presented itself.

Ideally I wanted the App-V cache to point to the ‘out of the box’ %programdata%AppV – and in conjunction with PVS you can guarantee its fresh everytime

A temporary work around was to move the Package Installation Root to the D: (Read Write Disk) < but we soon started getting errors with this as no amount of scripting and startup scripts would cleanly remove this directory 100% all the time. I.E:

Get-AppvClientPackage -All | Remove-AppVClientPackage

remove-item -Recurse -Force d:app-v

get-appvpublishingserver | sync-appvpublishingserver -Global

This script would only remove the currently published applications, too bad for any legacy packages that were no longer published to the servers,


and for whatever reason the SYSTEM account was unable to delete the d:app-v folder (access denied even though it was owner and had full rights) sporadically the folder wouldn’t update at all and no applications would be refreshed until a user logged into the server. (Poinless on a citrix server where the applications have to exist if delivered as published apps’  Citrix could not find / see the executable and the published app would not run.

Eventually App-V Clients services started failing unable to start.


The Microsoft App-V Client service terminated with service-specific error The system cannot find the path specified.. EventID 7024 (Update: After further troubleshooting it turn out this was because some of the legacy packages were referenced in the Windows registry)

There had to be a better solution.


Change the PVS 7.1 Disk Cache mode to  “RAM with Overflow to Disk”, Return the Package Install Root to %programdata%AppV and generalise the AppV 5 Client before shutting down the image after each PVS update.




AppV 5 Generalise:

c:admintoolspstoolspsexec.exe -s powershell.exe “Get-AppvClientPackage -All | Remove-AppVClientPackage”
regedit.exe /s “C:adminToolsAppV_Generalise.reg”

AppvGeneralise.reg Contents:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00





Articles / References:

http://discussions.citrix.com/topic/348198-app-v-5-client-citrix-provisioning/ – Explains the situation clearly, and finally provided me the solution to fix it once and for all. Much thanks to Carl Fallis!

Citrix Netscaler Gateway – Some apps sporadically appearing

Scenario: 2 Citrix XenApp farms (6.5 and a 4.5)

The 6.5 apps were always appearing and working ok

The 4.5 apps would sporadically appear or even disappear during a refresh of the Gaeway page ‘ Some applications have been removed’ even if these applications had the option to allow via access gateway UNTICKED



One of the 2 servers for the 4.5 farm did not have the Trust XML option enabled, once this was enabled the application stayed hidden!


Citrix XenApp 6.5 Reboot Policy Minimum Settings

The minimum settings you need configured are (settings are examples)





You can troubleshoot if its applying in the registry of a machine that has the policy applied to here

HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesCitrixIMARestart OptionsSchedule



PVS vDisk extension results in windows boot manager failure


Our C: drive on a test PVS image (Private mode acccess) was nearly full

We extended the vDisk following this process

  1. Open Cmd Prompt
  2. diskpart
  3. Select vDisk file=”Path to your PVS vDisk”
  4. List vDisk
  5. expand vDisk maximum=xxxxx (in Mb) (61440 for 60GB etc)
  6. attach vDisk
  7. list Disk
  8. list volume
  9. Select volume x
  10. extend
  11. List volume
  12. detach vDisk
  13. exit

After detattching and booting the Test PVS Server windows wouldn’t boot with a System volume couldnt be accessed



Repeat steps 3,6 and 12 to reattach the disk and deattach the vdisk cleanly then boot the VM.

Default user registry keys for citrix User Profile manager or Appsense Hive in and Out

These are the keys we imported and exported before finally using Appsense Personalisation

These were used in conjunction with a mandatory profile. Remember that a mandatory profile will not work well with I.E or user based certificates. There is another post here about changing the user to look like a ‘non mandatory’ user for the duration of their session so certificates work.


“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWindows Messaging Subsystem”



“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet Explorer”


“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared Tools”



“HKEY_CURRENT_USERPrinters” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftActive Setup”









“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDiscardable” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerHideDesktopIcons” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMenuOrder”

“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerModules” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerNewShortcutHandlers” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerRunMRU”

“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerSearchPlatform” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerSessionInfo”






“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDontShowMeThisDialogAgain” “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTypedPaths”


“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings5.0”

“HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWindows”