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Installing Citrix VM Tools
Citrix VM Tools provide high performance I/O services without the overhead of traditional device emulation.
Citrix VM Tools for Windows consist of I/O drivers (also known as paravirtualized drivers or PV drivers) and the Management Agent.
The I/O drivers contain storage and network drivers, and low-level management interfaces. These drivers replace the emulated devices and provide high-speed transport between Windows and the Citrix Hypervisor product family software. While installing a Windows operating system, Citrix Hypervisor uses traditional device emulation to present a standard IDE controller and a standard network card to the VM. This emulation allows the Windows installation to use built-in drivers, but with reduced performance due to the overhead inherent in emulating the controller drivers.
The Management Agent, also known as the Guest Agent, is responsible for high-level virtual machine management features and provides a full set of functions to Citrix Hypervisor Center
Get the Citrix VM Tools for Windows installer from the Citrix Hypervisor downloads page.
The version of the Citrix VM Tools for Windows is updated independently of the version of Citrix Hypervisor. For more information about the latest version of the tools, see Updates to Citrix VM Tools for Windows.
Install Citrix VM Tools for Windows on each Windows VM for that VM to have a fully supported configuration, and to be able to use the xe CLI or Citrix Hypervisor Center. A VM functions without the Citrix VM Tools for Windows, but performance is hampered when the I/O drivers are not installed. Install Citrix VM Tools for Windows on Windows VMs to be able to perform the following operations:
Cleanly shut down, reboot, or suspend a VM
View VM performance data in Citrix Hypervisor Center
Migrate a running VM (using live migration or storage live migration)
Create snapshots with memory (checkpoints) or revert to snapshots
For more information, see Install Citrix VM Tools for Windows.
Citrix VM Tools for Linux contain a guest agent that provides extra information about the VM to the host.
Get the Citrix VM Tools for Linux installer from the Citrix Hypervisor downloads page.
Install the Citrix VM Tools for Linux on Linux VMs to be able to perform the following operations:
View VM performance data in Citrix Hypervisor Center
Adjust the number of vCPUs on a running Linux VM
For more information, see Install Citrix VM Tools for Linux.
To have a supported configuration when running a VM, ensure that you install Citrix VM Tools. While a Windows VM can function without them, performance is hampered when the I/O drivers are not installed. Run Windows VMs with these drivers to be supported. Some features, such as live relocation across physical hosts, are available only with the I/O drivers installed and active.
Citrix Hypervisor Center reports the virtualization state of a VM on the VM’s General tab. You can see whether Citrix VM Tools (I/O drivers and the Management Agent) are installed, and whether the VM can install and receive updates from Windows Update. The following section lists the messages displayed in Citrix Hypervisor Center:
I/O optimized (not optimized) - displays whether the I/O drivers are installed on the VM.
Management Agent installed (not installed) - displays whether the latest version of the Management Agent is installed on the VM.
Able to (Not able to) receive updates from Windows Update - specifies whether the VM is able to receive I/O drivers from Windows Update.
Install I/O drivers and Management Agent - indicates that the VM does not have the I/O drivers or the Management Agent installed.
If you have many VMs on your server or a pool, select the server or pool on the Resources pane and select the Search tab. From the Saved Searches list, select VMs without Citrix VM Tools Installed. This search displays a list of VMs that do not have Citrix VM Tools installed.
Citrix Hypervisor has a simpler mechanism to automatically update I/O drivers (PV drivers) and the Management Agent for Windows VMs. This mechanism enables customers to install updates as they become available, without having to wait for a hotfix.
The Virtualization state section on a VM’s General tab specifies whether the VM is able to receive updates from Windows Update. The mechanism to receive I/O driver updates from Windows Update is turned on by default. If you do not want to receive I/O driver updates from Windows Update, disable Windows Update on your VM, or specify a group policy.
If you are currently using the 8.2.x.x drivers or earlier and want to use the Management Agent MSI file to update to the latest version of the drivers, you must use Device Manager to uninstall the 8.2.x.x drivers from your VM before installing these drivers. If you do not complete this step, the MSI install process fails.
Ensure that all requested VM restarts are completed as part of the update. Multiple restarts might be required. If all requested restarts are not completed, this update might result in unexpected behavior.
Updating the I/O drivers
If you are running newly created Windows VMs on Citrix Hypervisor 8 Cloud you can get I/O driver updates automatically from Microsoft Windows Update, provided:
- You have created a Windows VM using Citrix Hypervisor Center issued with Citrix Hypervisor 8 Cloud
- Windows Update is enabled within the VM
- You have access to the internet, or are able to connect to a WSUS proxy server
Customers can also receive I/O driver updates automatically through the automatic Management Agent update mechanism. See Updating the Management Agent for details.
Updating the Management Agent
Citrix Hypervisor enables you to automatically update the Management Agent on both new and existing Windows VMs. By default, Citrix Hypervisor allows the automatic updating of the Management Agent. However, it does not allow the Management Agent to update the I/O drivers automatically. You can customize the Management Agent update settings during Citrix VM Tools installation. For more information, see Install Citrix VM Tools for Windows. The automatic updating of the Management Agent occurs seamlessly, and does not reboot your VM. In scenarios where a VM reboot is required, Citrix Hypervisor Center issues notification to users about the required action.
To update the Management Agent automatically:
- You must have installed Citrix VM Tools issued with Citrix Hypervisor 8 Cloud
- The Windows VM must be connected to the internet
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