App Layering

Machine creation for Citrix Hypervisor

The Machine Creation for Citrix Hypervisor Connector Configuration contains the information that allows the Citrix App Layering appliance to publish layered images to Machine Creation in your Citrix Hypervisor environment. The information includes user credentials and storage location.

To publish layered images, use the machine creation for Citrix Hypervisor Connector Configuration. In the Connector Configuration, ensure that you configure a virtual machine template. Then, the layered image you publish is in a ready-to-use virtual machine, the image is shut down, and a snapshot is taken. You can use the virtual machine in your Citrix Hypervisor environment without further modifications.

Each Connector Configuration is set to publish layered images to a specific storage location in your environment. If you publish to multiple locations, you might need more than one machine creation Connector Configuration. You can also publish each layered image to a location convenient to the system you provision with the published image.


This Connector Configuration is for publishing layered images. You cannot package layers in the machine creation environment. For packaging layers, use a Citrix Hypervisor Connector Configuration.

A Personal vDisk is not supported for machine creation. The published desktop images are non-persistent. You can only use a Personal vDisk when you publish to Citrix Provisioning.

Before you start

You can use your Citrix Hypervisor environment for creating layers, and for publishing layered images. Each Connector Configuration accesses a specific storage location in your Citrix Hypervisor environment. You might need more than one Citrix Hypervisor Connector Configuration to access the correct location for each purpose. Further, you can publish each layered image to a location convenient to the system where you provision the published image.

Citrix Hypervisor uses a pod-like architecture where you interact with individual servers or clusters of servers, instead of a central management server. You can manage the pods by using command-line access or GUI management software such as XenCenter. Install XenCenter on your desktop and then you can connect individually to each standalone host or clusters of hosts.

Using the App Layering Service for the first time

If you want to create layers by using a Citrix Hypervisor virtual machine, you need a Citrix Hypervisor Connector within App Layering. When publishing layered images to the Citrix Hypervisor, you need a Connector Configuration for each of your publishing locations as well.

You select a Connector Configuration when creating an app layer and publishing a layered image. If you need a Connector Configuration for the task, you can create one. To do so, click Add Connector Configuration on the Connectors page.

Required information for Machine creation for Citrix Hypervisor connector configuration settings

When configuring a connector for Machine Creation for the Citrix Hypervisor, you can browse for the XenCenter server, data store, and host to use for a new configuration.


The fields are case-sensitive. Any values that you type manually must match the case of the object in the Citrix Hypervisor, or the validation fails.

  • Configuration name: The name for the connector configuration.
  • Citrix Hypervisor address: The name of the Citrix Hypervisor host with which the appliance integrates.
  • User name and password: The credentials for the account that the appliance uses to connect to the Citrix Hypervisor.
  • Use Secured Protocol: The default setting that allows SSL encryption for the API connection traffic between the Connector and Citrix Hypervisor.
  • Virtual Machine Template: The virtual machine template that you can use for cloning. The list of choices includes custom virtual machine templates only, rather than actual virtual machines or any of the built-in templates. The selected template cannot have any disks attached and must have at least one network card attached. If the template does not have these items, an error appears when trying to validate or save the configuration.
  • Storage Repository: The storage repository for the uploaded disk. The list is filtered to show repositories that can contain virtual hard disks (VHDs). ISO repositories are filtered out.
  • Use HTTPS for File Transfers: Encrypts the image file transfers. HTTPS is selected by default for uploads and downloads. You can clear the check box for increased performance.
  • Offload Compositing (recommended): Enables the layer packaging or image publishing process to run on the specified Hypervisor server. This feature increases performance and it allows you to use VMDK disk format and either BIOS or UEFI virtual machines. With UEFI, you can also use Secure Boot if it’s enabled on the Hypervisor.
  • ISO Storage Repository: Repository for the disks that Offload Compositing uploads. The list is filtered to show only ISO repositories. SMB and NFS are supported.
  • ISO Share Path: Automatically populates for selected ISO storage repository by the ISO share path configured. For display only.
  • ISO Share Username: User name for the selected ISO Share. Only valid for SMB ISO Share. NFS ISO Share does not support a user name or password.
  • ISO Share Password: Password for the select ISO share. Only valid for SMB ISO Share. NFS ISO Share does not support a user name or password.

When Offload Compositing is selected:

  • If you provide a template configured for BIOS or UEFI, the resulting virtual machine is the type that you chose.
  • If you provide a template with UEFI-Secure Boot enabled and selected, the resulting virtual machine is the UEFI-Secure Boot.

When Offload Compositing isn’t selected:

  • If you provide a template configured for BIOS, the resulting virtual machine is BIOS.
  • If you provide a template configured for UEFI and when you attempt to save the connector configuration, an error is displayed.

Virtual Machine Organization

You can organize Citrix Hypervisor virtual machines by folder or by tag. These organizational tools are optional when creating and managing virtual machines through XenCenter or other tools. Citrix Hypervisor Connector Configurations do not allow you to specify folders or tags. Virtual machines created by the Citrix Hypervisor Connector, both Packaging Machines, and published Layered Image can use both organizational tools.


If the template specified in the Citrix Hypervisor connector configuration contains tags, the tags carry over to any virtual machine cloned from that template. Therefore, all packaging virtual machines or published layered images receive the same tags that are in the template. Also, the Citrix Hypervisor Connector adds three tags.

  • Unidesk: Lists all virtual machines created by the Citrix Hypervisor Connector regardless of their purpose or image.
  • Purpose Tag: Tags all packaging machines with App Layering Packaging Machine. Tags all published layered image virtual machines with App Layering Published Images.
  • Image/Layer Name: Provides a tag on all packaging machines with the layer name for the layer from which they generate. Tags all published layered images with the template image name.

If you are using XenCenter, you can view your virtual machines by tag by selecting Organization Views and then selecting By Tag.


By default, virtual machines created by the Citrix Hypervisor Connector are not placed in a folder. If the specified template is in a folder, the virtual machines that the Connector Configuration creates are in the same folder. All packaging virtual machines and published layered images are placed in that same folder. There are no separate folders for packaging virtual machines or published layered images.

Machine Network Connectivity

When you create virtual machines with the Citrix Hypervisor Connector, the virtual network settings in the source template of the Connector Configuration carry over. An option is not available in the Connector Configuration UI to override the network settings.

The Citrix Hypervisor connector does not work correctly with Citrix Hypervisor clusters. If the host in the configuration is part of a cluster, you must specify the primary host for the connector to work. However, if the primary Citrix Hypervisor host fails and a new primary is elected, you must update the Citrix Hypervisor configuration.

Create a Connector Configuration

To type values:

  • Type the first three Connector fields manually. After validating the credentials in those fields, you can select values for the remaining fields from the drop-down menus.
  • To type values manually, click to put the cursor in the field and type the value, making sure that the case matches the value in Citrix Hypervisor.
  • To select a value from a drop-down list, click once to put the cursor in the field. Then, click a second time to display the list of possible values.

To add a Connector Configuration

  1. Click the Connectors page.
  2. Click Add Connector Configuration. A dialog box opens.
  3. Select the Connector Type for the platform and location where you are creating the layer or publishing the image.
  4. Click New to open the Connector Configuration page.
  5. Type the configuration Name, Citrix Hypervisor address, user name, password, and setting for the Use Secured Communications check box. For more information, see the above field definitions.
  6. Click CONNECT below the Citrix Hypervisor Configuration fields. The Virtual Machine Clone Settings fields are then enabled if the user name and password are correct.


    If there is a certificate error, the following error message is displayed: One or more problems with the service certificate were found. You can enable them to be ignored, or you must update the certificate on the server. You can click Ignore Certificate Errors and Continue.

  7. Select the required Virtual Machine Template.
  8. Select the Storage Repository.
  9. Select the setting for Use HTTPS for File Transfers.
  10. Select the setting for Use Offload Compositing.
  11. If Use Offload Compositing is selected, select ISO Storage Repository. The ISO Share Path is auto-populated.
  12. If an SMB ISO share is selected, enter the SMB ISO share user name and password.
  13. Click CONFIRM AND COMPLETE. A configuration summary is displayed.
  14. Click Save. If no errors are displayed, the new connector configuration is saved and displayed on the Connector page.
Machine creation for Citrix Hypervisor