Installing and Configuring Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 and publishing Desktops and Applications

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In October 2013 Citrix released XenDesktop 7.1. With the introduction of Citrix XenDesktop 7 the XenApp functionality is now fully integrated into XenDesktop enabling it to be used for the provision of both Desktops and Applications. With the XenDesktop 7.1 update Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 are now official supported.

In this step-by-step blog I will install Citrix XenDesktop 7.1, including the Delivery Controller, installing the Virtual Delivery Agent on a Windows 2012 R2 and a Windows 8.1 system, creating the XenDesktop Site, configuring the catalogs and delivery groups and show you how to publish Desktops and Applications.

I already installed the Citrix License Server, Citrix StoreFront 2.1 and a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on a separate server within my environment. I also have installed Citrix Provisioning Services server 7.1 with a Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 device using a PVS vDisk which I will use for this Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 installation. For installing and configuring Provisioning Services server 7.1 see this blog.

XenDesktop 7.1 Preparations

  • Citrix License Server 11.11.1 or higher with the required licenses installed
  • A “Master” machine for use with PVS or MCS
  • Citrix StoreFront for the provision of the Desktops and/or Applications
  • Create security groups to assign desktops and applications to users

XenDesktop 7.1 Prerequisites

Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Delivery Controller;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (for Server 2008 R2) or Windows PowerShell 3.0 (for Server 2012)
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C++ 2008 SP1
  • Visual C++ 2010

Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Studio;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2)
  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (for Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7) or Windows PowerShell 3.0 (for Server 2012/2012 R2 or Windows 8 / 8.1)

Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Director;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and ASP.NET 2.0

Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Desktop OS;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Windows 7)
  •  Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Visual C++ 2010

Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Server OS;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C++ 2008
  • Visual C++ 2010

Installing Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 Delivery Controller

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Start the installation and click Start

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Click on Delivery Controller

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Click Next

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I have already installed StoreFront and the License Server on a separate server so I select only the Delivery Controller, the Studio and the Director. Click Next

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I have Microsoft SQL Server 2012 up and running in my environment so I select only Windows Remote Assistance. Click Next.

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Click Next

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Click Install

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Uncheck Launch Studio and click Finish

Before configuring the XenDesktop 7.1 site and start creating delivery groups I first want to install the VDA agents on a Windows Server 2012 R2 and a Windows 8.1 system.

Installing the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) on a Windows 2012 R2 system

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Start the XenDesktop setup and click on Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Server OS

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Select Create a Master Image and click Next

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Optionally you can install the Citrix Reveiver, click Next

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Fill in the XenDesktop Controller address and click Test connection

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Click Add

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Install

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Click Close

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Click Finish to restart the machine

Installing the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) on a Windows 8.1 system

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Start the XenDesktop setup and click on Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Desktop OS

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Select Create a Master Image and click Next

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When using HDX 3D Pro select Yes, otherwise select No. Click Next

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Optionally you can install the Citrix Reveiver, click Next

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Fill in the XenDesktop Controller address and click Test connection

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Click Add

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Install

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Click Finish to restart the machine

Creating the XenDesktop Site

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Open the XenDesktop Studio and click on Get started! Create a Site

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Fill in a site name (anything you like) and click Next

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Enter the database server and a database name. If the database not exits it will create automatically. Click Test connection

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Click OK

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Click Close

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Click Next

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Connect to you license server and select your license. Click Next

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In my environment I use Citrix XenServer. Fill in the requested information of you hypervisor and click Next

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Select  the network you want to use and click Next

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Select the storage you want to use and click Next 

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Click Next

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Click Finish

Create the XenDesktop Catalogs

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Click on Create Catalog

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Click Next

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First I will create a catalog for Windows 8 . Select Windows Desktop OS and click Next

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I’m using PVS, so I select Provisioning Services. Click Next

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Select if you want to use the VDI’s for a random/pooled or a static/assigned catalog and click Next

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Connect to the PVS server and select the correct device collection, click Next

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Fill in a Machine Catalog name and the Machine Catalog description for administrators (anything you like) and click Finish

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To create a second Catalog (for example Windows Server 2012) right click Machine Catalog and click on Create Machine Catalog

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Click Next

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Select Windows Server OS and click Next

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I’m using PVS, so I select Provisioning Services. Click Next

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Connect to the PVS server and select the correct device collection, click Next

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Fill in a Machine Catalog name and the Machine Catalog description for administrators (anything you like) and click Finish

Create the Delivery Groups and start publishing Desktops and Applications

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Click on Create a new Delivery Group

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Click Next

installing-and-configuring-xendesktop-71-037I first will create the Windows Server 2012 Delivery Group. Select the correct catalog, choose the number of machines you want to add to the delivery group and click Next

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Choose what you want to publish within this delivery group. In this case select Desktops and Applications and click Next

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Add a AD security group for this delivery group. In this case the “Shared Desktop” will be published automatic to users that are member of this security group. Click Next

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XenDesktop 7 will automatic scan the Windows Server master disk for applications and will display a list of it. To customize a application or to limit the visibility of the application for a specific security group select the application and click Application Properties

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Optionally. edit the Identification of the application, click on Delivery

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Optionally. edit the icon or the category of the application (Visible within Storefront), click on Location

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Optionally. edit the Locations of the application or add a command line argument, click on Limit Visibility

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If you want to publish the application only to a specific user group add the users or security group and click OK

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Edit and select all the applications you want to publish and click Next

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Optionally you can configure the Citrix Receiver (if installed on the master disk) with the correct StoreFront server. Click Next

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Fill in the Delivery Group name, Display name and Delivery Group description for users (anything you like) and click Finish

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To create a second Delivery Group (for example Windows 8.1) right click Delivery Group and click on Create Delivery Group

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Click Next

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Select the correct catalog, choose the number of machines you want to add to the delivery group and click Next

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In this case I will only publish the Windows 8.1 desktop. Select Desktops and click Next

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Add a AD security group for this delivery group and click Next

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Optionally you can configure the Citrix Receiver (if installed on the master disk) with the correct StoreFront server. Click Next

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Fill in the Delivery Group name, Display name and Delivery Group description for users (anything you like) and click Finish

 

You are now ready to add the XenDesktop 7.1 delivery controller to your Citrix StoreFront store.

Robin Hobo works as a Technical Consultant with main focus on Mobility and Application & Desktop delivery. He is specializes in Citrix, Microsoft and AppSense products.