At work we use Citrix XenApp extensively to publish applications. One of the minor issues I have encountered is that the Connection Center component of the Citrix Plugin client disables some of the visual effects at log on in Windows including the “Animate Window Minimizing and Maximizing” setting. I have also noticed that the “Show Windows Contents While Dragging” setting also sometimes gets deactivated. Having these disabled if you are using the Aero interface is particularly unattractive.
To stop these from turning off it is necessary to prevent the Connection Center process “concentr.exe” from running when the user logs on. Keep in mind that disabling the Connection Center will prevent you from accessing the features available in it. This fix will only affect programs and windows running locally on the computer, apps published from XenApp will still have the visual features disabled. On my computer the user I normally use is a standard user, so I will disable the execute privileges for the local Users group for the “concentr.exe” file.
I have found that this is the only way to disable the Connection Center from running without the Plugin (in particular the Web version) from detecting that something has been changed and rerunning the initialization. Renaming the “concentr.exe” file or disabling from running within “msconfig” didn’t work for me.
First navigate to “C:\Program Files (32-bit) or Program Files (x86) (64-bit)\Citrix\ICA Client”.
Right click “concentr.exe” and choose Properties.
Update (5/22/2010): I have modified the instructions on my main article, Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 6, to include everything listed below.
Last time I discussed installing the Citrix XenApp 6 server. In this episode I’ll run through configuring a client computer for XenApp 6. One important thing to note is that you should be running the latest version of the Citrix XenApp Online Plugin client version 12. You can download it here. I had issues getting previous versions of the Plugin to connect to the XenApp 6 server, but with version 12 all is well. Also since Program Neighborhood is no longer included with the current Plugin client that functionality appears to no longer be supported. Instead we’ll use a XenApp Services Site (formerly Program Neighborhood Agent) to provide the settings for our client to connect through.
With the recent release of Citrix XenApp 6 I’ve begun testing this version as we prepare to upgrade our Windows terminal server environment. Probably the biggest reason for upgrading is that XenApp 6 offers support for Windows Server 2008 R2. There are also a number of changes in the tools used to administer your Citrix farm. In the recent past you had to use multiple tools for administration as Citrix migrated functionality into the MMC. This seems to now be mostly complete. The updates to the tools are welcome, but include a bit of relearning to find all the new methods and places to make configuration changes.
If you are evaluating and testing XenApp 6, Citrix has a developer license available that allows you to test with a single user for 1 year. Search the internet for “citrix developer license” for details. There is also a 99 user evaluation license available that is valid for 90 days.
In this post I’ll discuss deploying VM Hosted Apps for Citrix XenApp. VM Hosted Apps was introduced with XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2. As a companion to XenApp, VM Hosted Apps allows us to publish applications from a standard Windows XP/Vista/7 client. It basically utilizes the same technology as Citrix XenDesktop but instead of publishing a complete desktop individual applications are published. One of the great things about VM Hosted Apps is that we can publish apps regardless of whether the source client is a VM hosted on Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, or a physical computer.
Generally the thinking is that you would use VM Hosted Apps in situations where an application is not compatible with running on a XenApp server. There is a one to one relationship and we’ll need one Windows host client for each user and each application that attaches. The host clients can be pooled so that we’ll only need one for each concurrent user.
The core application service that we’ll be deploying for VM Hosted Apps is something called the Desktop Delivery Controller (DDC). The DDC is installed on a server and its job is to register app hosting clients and broker client connections to them. When we set up a DDC we create a farm and we can install multiple DDC’s for availability. If you have an existing XenApp farm it is recommended that you install the DDC in a new farm. Don’t worry, both XenApp and DDC farms can make use of a common Web Interface so that users have a single place to access their applications.