Getting Started with XenDesktop® 7.x

Getting Started with XenDesktop® 7.x
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Build a complete and secure XenDesktop 7 site from the ground up
  • Discover how to virtualize and deliver accessible desktops and applications to your end users
  • Full of clear, step-by-step instructions with screenshots, which will walk you through the entire process of XenDesktop site creation

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 422 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : April 2014
ISBN : 1849689768
ISBN 13 : 9781849689762
Author(s) : Craig Thomas Ellrod
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Enterprise Products and Platforms, Virtualization and Cloud, Enterprise

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Designing a XenDesktop® Site
Chapter 2: Installing XenDesktop®
Chapter 3: Managing Machine Catalogs, Hosts, and Personal vDisks
Chapter 4: Managing Delivery Groups
Chapter 5: Managing Policies
Chapter 6: Managing Printing
Chapter 7: Virtualizing USB Support
Chapter 8: Virtualizing Storage and Backup
Chapter 9: High Definition Experience (HDX™)
Chapter 10: Application Delivery
Chapter 11: Working with the XenDesktop® SDK
Chapter 12: Working with Citrix ReceiverTM and Plugins
Chapter 13: Securing XenDesktop®
Chapter 14: Managing and Monitoring XenDesktop®
Chapter 15: VDI in the Cloud
Appendix A: Creating a Domain Certificate Authority
Appendix B: XenDesktop® Policy Settings Reference
Appendix C: Creating Self-signed Certificates for NetScaler Gateway™
Appendix D: Using Public CA-signed SSL Wildcard Certificates on NetScaler Gateway™
  • Chapter 1: Designing a XenDesktop® Site
    • The core components of a XenDesktop® Site
    • Terminology and concepts
      • Server side
        • Hypervisor
        • Database
        • Delivery Controller
        • Studio
        • Director
        • StoreFront
        • Virtual machines
        • The Virtual Desktop Agent
        • Server OS machines
        • Desktop OS machines
        • Active Directory
        • Desktop
        • XenApp®
        • Edgesight®
        • FlexCast®
        • Storage
      • The client side
        • Receiver
    • System requirements
      • Receiver
      • StoreFront 2.1
      • Databases
      • Studio
      • Delivery Controller
      • Director
      • The Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA)
      • Server host
      • Active Directory
    • Designing a basic XenDesktop® Site
      • Scenario
    • Common Citrix® communication ports
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Installing XenDesktop®
    • Planning the XenDesktop® installation
    • Step 1 – installing the controller (XD1)
      • Installing the components on XD1
      • Configuring a Site
    • Step 2 – installing StoreFront (XD2)
      • Installing the components on XD2
      • Creating a server certificate and adding a Site binding
      • Installing StoreFront
    • Step 3 – installing Director (XD3)
      • Installing the components on XD3
    • Step 4 – creating the virtual desktop and application delivery master images
    • Step 5 – installing the Virtual Delivery Agent on the master images
      • Creating the desktop master images
      • Creating the application master images
    • Step 6 – configuring the StoreFront server
    • Step 7 – creating the machine catalogs
      • Creating desktops
      • Creating the application servers
    • Step 8 – creating the delivery groups
      • Creating desktop delivery groups
      • Creating the application delivery groups
    • Installation checkpoint
    • Step 9 – installing Citrix ReceiverTM on the client devices
    • Step 10 – testing the connection
      • Testing the desktops
      • Testing the applications
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Managing Machine Catalogs, Hosts, and Personal vDisks
    • Machine catalogs
      • Prerequisites
        • Creating the master images
        • Adding and configuring the virtual machines
        • Creating the computer accounts
      • Creating a machine catalog
        • Operating systems and hardware
        • Machine management
        • User experience
      • Managing the machine catalogs
        • Taking a snapshot of the master image
        • Updating the master image
        • Reverting to a previous master image
        • Managing the Active Directory computer accounts
        • Adding machines to a machine catalog
        • Modifying a machine catalog
        • Renaming a machine catalog
        • Deleting a machine catalog
    • Managing the hosts
    • Managing Personal vDisks
      • Updating Personal vDisks used by the master images
      • Adjusting the space available for applications
        • Disabling automatic resizing
        • Reallocating user profiles
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Managing Delivery Groups
    • Managing the delivery groups
      • Creating a delivery group
      • Editing a delivery group
      • Managing desktop sessions
        • Logging off or disconnecting sessions
        • Sending messages to users
      • Managing the delivery group resources
        • Adding and reallocating desktops
        • Locating desktops, sessions, and delivery groups
        • Shutting down and restarting desktops
        • Removing desktops from delivery groups
        • Deleting desktops from delivery groups
        • Restricting access to desktops
        • Securing the ICA® protocol communications
        • Managing power settings for desktops
        • Importing and exporting user data
        • Enabling and disabling the maintenance mode
        • Managing the server load
    • Managing the hosted applications
      • Application desktop delivery groups
        • Application sharing
        • Publishing applications to multiple desktop groups
        • Content redirection
        • Creating an application
        • Managing application sessions
        • Modifying the applications
    • Managing the Delivery Controller environment
      • Controller discovery
      • Adding, moving, or removing Delivery Controllers
      • Moving a Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) to another Site
      • Active Directory OU-based controller discovery
      • Using SSL on controllers
        • Changing the default HTTP and HTTPS ports
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Managing Policies
    • XenDesktop® Studio versus Microsoft Group Policy Editor
      • Administrative roles
    • Working with policies
      • Navigating policies
      • Accessing policies
      • Searching policies
      • Creating policies
        • Creating a policy in Studio
        • Creating a policy in Microsoft Group Policy Editor
      • Configuring policies
        • Configuring policy settings
      • Best practices for designing policy settings
      • Applying policies
        • Using default values
        • Using filters
    • Implementing multiple policies
      • Implementing priorities
      • Implementing exceptions
    • The resulting set of policies
      • Running the Citrix® Group Policy Modeling Wizard
      • Running the Microsoft Group Policy Results tool
      • Troubleshooting policy scenarios
      • Comparing policies
    • Implementing policies with NetScaler Gateway™
      • Implementing NetScaler Gateway™ policy filters
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Managing Printing
    • How printing works
      • Using locally attached printers
      • Using network attached printers
      • Using default printing, preferences, and drivers
      • Setting printing preferences
      • Printing policies
    • Universal Print Server and Driver
    • Autocreation of printers
    • Mapping printers and drivers
    • Optimization of printing
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Virtualizing USB Support
    • USB devices in virtualization
    • How XenDesktop® uses USB redirection
      • Enabling USB support
      • Preventing the mapping of USB devices
      • Using USB mass storage
      • USB redirection with XenApp® versus XenDesktop®
      • Using USB automatic redirection
      • Using voice and video
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Virtualizing Storage and Backup
    • XenDesktop® storage considerations
      • Desktop storage
      • High Availability
      • Performance
      • IOPS
      • Personal vDisk
    • XenDesktop® storage requirements
    • Virtual desktop storage requirements – dedicated desktop model
    • Virtual desktop storage requirements – dedicated shared desktop model
    • Virtual desktop storage requirements – shared hosted desktop model
    • Backup and restore
      • Backing up a SQL Server
      • Restoring a SQL Server
      • Backing up and restoring VMs and user data
    • USB mass storage
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: High Definition Experience (HDX™)
    • Introducing high definition experience
      • HDX™ system requirements
      • The reality of HDX™
    • Aero redirection
      • Configuring Aero redirection or desktop composition redirection
    • Windows Media
      • Configuring Windows Media client-side fetching
      • Configuring real-time Windows Media multimedia transcoding
    • Flash Media
      • Configuring Flash redirection on a server
      • Configuring Flash redirection on the client
    • HDX™ 3D
      • GPU versus vGPU
        • GPU
        • vGPU
      • HDX™ 3D requirements
        • Client
        • Server
      • HDX™ GPU sharing
      • HDX™ 3D – how it works
      • Installing and configuring HDX™ 3D
      • Upgrading HDX™ 3D
      • Configuring monitors for HDX™ 3D
    • Configuring image quality
    • Configuring audio
    • Configuring webcams
    • Configuring color compression
    • Configuring network priorities
    • Adaptive display
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Application Delivery
    • Delivering applications
    • Differences between XenApp® and XenDesktop®
      • What's new?
      • What's gone?
      • What's changed?
      • What hasn't changed?
    • Application Delivery Controllers
    • Application Delivery Networks
    • Summary
  • Chapter 11: Working with the XenDesktop® SDK
    • Microsoft Windows PowerShell
      • PowerShell snap-ins and cmdlets for XenDesktop®
    • Using the XenDesktop® SDK
    • Creating an SDK script
    • Troubleshooting using the XD PowerShell SDK
      • Useful desktop cmdlets
      • Useful controller cmdlets
      • Site debugging tools
    • Citrix Ready®
    • Summary
  • Chapter 12: Working with Citrix ReceiverTM and Plugins
    • Understanding Receiver
    • Changing the Receiver settings
      • Pushing the Receiver settings from the server
      • Changing the Receiver settings from the client's desktop
    • Using plugins
      • The online plugin
        • Using workspace control
        • Changing the resolution of the virtual desktop
        • Moving the toolbar
        • Controlling local file access
        • Accessing devices
        • Accessing USB devices
        • Accessing local microphones and webcams
        • Redirecting Flash to a local device
        • Switching between virtual desktops
        • Logging off virtual desktops
        • Disconnecting from virtual desktops
        • Restarting a virtual desktop
        • Using Desktop Lock
        • Printing in virtual desktops
        • Understanding the keyboard input
      • The offline plugin
      • The CloudBridgeTM plugin
    • Running Receiver on Microsoft Windows
    • Running Receiver on Apple
    • Running Receiver on other devices
    • Summary
  • Chapter 13: Securing XenDesktop®
    • DMZ and DMZ2
    • Securing XenDesktop® with NetScaler Gateway™
      • Importing NetScaler VPX™ into XenServer®
      • Installing a NetScaler® license
      • Installing an SSL certificate
      • Creating a NetScaler Gateway™ virtual server
      • Configuring NetScaler Gateway™ for StoreFront
      • Configuring NetScaler® for an ICA proxy
      • Configuring a StoreFront connection to NetScaler Gateway™
      • Exporting the StoreFront certificate
      • Importing the StoreFront certificate into NetScaler Gateway™
    • Secure Ticket Authority
    • Securing the ICA/HDX protocols
    • Securing StoreFront
    • Securing Receiver
    • Securing controller
      • IIS
      • Non-IIS
      • Changing the controller port to HTTPS
    • Securing Studio and Director
      • IIS
    • Securing the XenDesktop® to XenServer® communications
    • Using smart cards
    • Summary
  • Chapter 14: Managing and Monitoring XenDesktop®
    • Using Studio to manage the XenDesktop® Site
    • Using Director to monitor the XenDesktop® Site
    • Using HDX Insight™
    • Troubleshooting XenDesktop®
      • Troubleshooting users
      • Troubleshooting applications
      • Troubleshooting desktops
      • Troubleshooting sessions
      • Troubleshooting HDX™
      • Troubleshooting Personal vDisks
    • Third-party tools
    • Summary
  • Chapter 15: VDI in the Cloud
    • Understanding virtualization in the cloud
    • Private cloud
    • Public cloud
    • Hybrid cloud
    • Personal cloud
    • Your cloud
    • Summary
  • Appendix B: XenDesktop® Policy Settings Reference
    • Audio policies
    • Bandwidth policies
    • Redirection policies
    • Desktop UI policies
    • Graphics and multimedia policies
    • Caching policies
    • Multistream traffic policies
    • Printing policies
    • ICA® policies
    • Keep alive policies
    • Autoreconnection policies
    • Mobility policies
    • Session policies
    • Time zone policies
    • Load management policies
    • Delivery Agent policies
    • HDX™ 3D policies
  • Appendix C: Creating Self-signed Certificates for NetScaler Gateway™
    • Enabling SSL on NetScaler Gateway™
    • Creating a self-signed root CA certificate
    • Creating a public-facing server certificate
    • Installing the root CA and public certificates
    • Linking the public and root CA certificates
    • Viewing the root CA and server certificate bindings
    • Binding the certificates to the NetScaler Gateway™ VIP
    • Testing the certificates
    • Testing the NetScaler Gateway™ connection
      • Testing NetScaler Gateway™ with a Windows client

Craig Thomas Ellrod

Craig Thomas Ellrod has more than 25 years of experience in the computer industry and holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from California State University, Chico, and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He has held many positions in the computer industry, including software programmer, support engineer, field and corporate systems engineer, technical marketing manager, product marketing manager, and product manager. He has worked for companies such as Celerity Computing, Emulex, Pinnacle Micro, Sync Research, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, and smaller startup ventures. Craig currently works for Citrix Systems® as a sales engineer and system architect in the Rockies region of USA. He has authored patent applications and designs and has received an award for innovation while working at Extreme Networks. Craig is a top blogger at Citrix®, has written many deployment guides, and is well-versed with all the Citrix® products. Craig has also written a book, Technical Marketing, Stratequest, and has authored a video series, XenApp® 6.5, Packt Publishing.

Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 1 submitted: last submission 16 Jun 2014

Errata Type: Typo | Errata Page: 15

Now, with the release of XenDesktop 7.x, XenApp delivers both desktops and applications.


This should be as follows:

Now, with the release of XenDesktop 7.x, XenDesktop 7.x delivers both desktops and applications.

Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Create a completely functioning VDI implementation
  • Manage XenDesktop® using Studio, including machine catalogs, delivery groups, and Personal vDisks
  • Customize user sessions using policies
  • Learn how printing and USB redirection work and how to configure them
  • Explore High Definition User Experience (HDX) and how it affects usability
  • Deliver virtual applications with VM hosted apps
  • Plug in to the different XenDesktop® services using the XenDesktop® SDK
  • Use the Citrix® Receiver® to receive and run the virtual desktop on the client device
  • Manage and monitor XenDesktop® using Studio and Director
  • Secure the XenDesktop® Site using the NetScaler Gateway
  • Build and deliver VDI from the cloud

In Detail

Citrix® is an established name in today's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) era by virtue of their desktop and application virtualization platforms, with the capability to assign applications and contents in a secure manner.

Getting Started with XenDesktop® 7.x provides the best way to learn how to build your own virtual desktop and application Site. You may not have a lot of time to read the Citrix® documentation, or attend a class, so this step-by-step guide is distilled into fast, concise chapters to quickly lead you through all of the important information to get your XenDesktop® 7.x deployment done.


This is a step-by-step, task-based, practical guide to learning and getting your basic XenDesktop 7.x site up and running. It is fast, easy, and makes learning desktop and application virtualization simple.

Who this book is for

If you are a system administrator, consultant, or beginner who wants to implement and administer Citrix® XenDesktop® Sites, then this book is for you. Familiarity with virtualization of desktops and applications and datacenter concepts will be helpful. The ability to read network diagrams and understand servers, data flow, clients, devices, and the interworking of these pieces will be beneficial.

Citrix®, Citrix Systems®, XenApp®, XenDesktop® and CloudPortal™ are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/ or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.

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