Install

This section contains procedures to guide you through the installation, configuration, and initial operation of Citrix Hypervisor. It also contains information about troubleshooting problems that might occur during installation and points you to extra resources.

This information is primarily aimed at system administrators who want to set up Citrix Hypervisor servers on physical servers.

Citrix Hypervisor installs directly on bare-metal hardware avoiding the complexity, overhead, and performance bottlenecks of an underlying operating system. It uses the device drivers available from the Linux kernel. As a result, Citrix Hypervisor can run on a wide variety of hardware and storage devices. However, ensure that you use certified device drivers.

For more information, see the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).

Important:

The Citrix Hypervisor server must be installed on a dedicated 64-bit x86 server. Do not install any other operating system in a dual-boot configuration with the Citrix Hypervisor server. This configuration is not supported.

Before you start

Before installing Citrix Hypervisor 8.1, consider the following factors:

  • Which release stream of Citrix Hypervisor do you want to use?

  • What is the appropriate installation method?

  • What are the system requirements?

Citrix Hypervisor release streams

Citrix Hypervisor releases are in one of following release streams: Current Release (CR) or Long Term Service Release (LTSR). Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 is a Current Release. When you choose whether to install a version of Citrix Hypervisor from the CR stream or the LTSR stream, consider the following:

  • How often do you want to update your version of Citrix Hypervisor?
  • Do you prefer a stable feature set or the latest feature set?

Current Release

Current Releases of Citrix Hypervisor enable you to consume new features at the earliest possible opportunity. New versions of Citrix Hypervisor from the CR stream are released each quarter. If you are on the CR stream, you must regularly adopt new CRs to remain in support. Most issues discovered in Citrix Hypervisor CR are fixed in a subsequent current release. Security issues are fixed in hotfixes that can be applied to the CR.

If you have Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 or XenServer 7.6 installed, you must move to Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 to continue to receive support.

Long Term Service Release

Long Term Service Releases of Citrix Hypervisor, formerly XenServer, guarantee stability in terms of the feature set within Citrix Hypervisor. New versions of Citrix Hypervisor from the LTSR stream are released every two years and are supported for up to 10 years. Any issues in Citrix Hypervisor LTSR are fixed in hotfixes or cumulative updates that can be applied to the Citrix Hypervisor LTSR.

If you currently have XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 LTSR installed, you can upgrade to the Citrix Hypervisor Current Release stream to take advantage of its new features.

Installation methods

Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 can be installed in one of the following ways:

  • As a fresh installation
  • As an update to Citrix Hypervisor 8.0
  • As an upgrade to an earlier supported version of XenServer
Existing version of Citrix Hypervisor or XenServer How to get Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 ISO File to use
None Fresh installation Base Installation ISO
8.0 Update Update ISO
7.6, 7.1 Cumulative Update 2, 7.0 Upgrade Base Installation ISO

Note:

Upgrade is only supported from the latest Cumulative Update of the LTSR. If your existing XenServer version is 7.1 or 7.1 Cumulative Update 1, first apply 7.1 Cumulative Update 2 before upgrading to Citrix Hypervisor 8.1.

Upgrade paths and compatibility information is also available in the Citrix Upgrade Guide.

There is no supported direct upgrade path from out-of-support versions of XenServer to Citrix Hypervisor 8.1. Instead, perform a fresh installation.

Fresh installation

If you are creating a fresh installation of Citrix Hypervisor 8.1:

Update

If you are updating from Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.1:

Upgrade

If you are upgrading from XenServer 7.6, XenServer 7.1 Cumulative Update 2, or 7.0 to Citrix Hypervisor 8.1:

The installer presents the option to upgrade when it detects a previously installed version of Citrix Hypervisor. The upgrade process follows the first-time installation process, but several setup steps are bypassed. The existing settings are retained, including networking configuration, system time and so on.

Supplemental packs

You can install any required supplemental pack after installing Citrix Hypervisor. Download the supplemental pack (filename.iso) to a known location on your computer and install the supplemental pack in the same way as an update.

For more information, see Supplemental Packs and the DDK Guide.

Install the Citrix Hypervisor server

Tip:

Throughout the installation, quickly advance to the next screen by pressing F12. Use Tab to move between elements and Space or Enter to select. Press F1 for general help.

To install or upgrade the Citrix Hypervisor server:

  1. Back up data you want to preserve. Installing Citrix Hypervisor overwrites data on any hard drives that you select to use for the installation.
  2. Boot the computer from the installation media or by using network boot:

    • To install Citrix Hypervisor server from a bootable USB:

      1. Use a tool like rufus or diskpart to create a bootable USB by using the Citrix Hypervisor installation ISO. Ensure that the tool does not alter the contents of the ISO file.
      2. Insert the bootable USB drive into the target system.
      3. Restart the system.
      4. In the BIOS, change the settings to boot the system from the USB.

        (If necessary, see your hardware vendor documentation for information on changing the boot order)

    • To install Citrix Hypervisor server from a CD:

      1. Burn the Citrix Hypervisor installation ISO file to a CD.
      2. Insert the bootable CD into the CD/DVD drive on the target system.
      3. Restart the system.
      4. In the BIOS, change the settings to boot the system from the CD.

        (If necessary, see your hardware vendor documentation for information on changing the boot order)

    • To set up a network-accessible TFTP server to boot:

      For details about setting up a TFTP server to boot the installer using network, see Network Boot Installation.

    • To install Citrix Hypervisor to a remote disk on a SAN to enable boot from SAN:

      For details, see Boot From SAN.

  3. Following the initial boot messages and the Welcome to Citrix Hypervisor screen, select your keymap (keyboard layout) for the installation.

    Note:

    If a System Hardware warning screen is displayed and hardware virtualization assist support is available on your system, see your hardware manufacturer for BIOS upgrades.

  4. The Welcome to Citrix Hypervisor Setup screen is displayed.

    Citrix Hypervisor ships with a broad driver set that supports most modern server hardware configurations. However, if you have been provided with any additional essential device drivers, press F9. The installer steps you through installing the necessary drivers.

    Warning:

    Only update packages containing driver disks can be installed at this point in the installation process. However, you are prompted later in the installation process to install any update packages containing supplemental packs.

    After you have installed all of the required drivers, select OK to proceed.

    Citrix Hypervisor enables customers to configure the Citrix Hypervisor installation to boot from FCoE. Press F10 and follow the instructions displayed on the screen to set up FCoE.

    Note:

    Before enabling your Citrix Hypervisor server to boot from FCoE, manually complete the configuration required to expose a LUN to the host. This manual configuration includes configuring the storage fabric and allocating LUNs to the public world wide name (PWWN) of your SAN. After you complete this configuration, the available LUN is mounted to the CNA of the host as a SCSI device. The SCSI device can then be used to access the LUN as if it were a locally attached SCSI device. For information about configuring the physical switch and the array to support FCoE, see the documentation provided by the vendor.

    When you configure the FCoE fabric, do not use VLAN 0. The Citrix Hypervisor server cannot find traffic that is on VLAN 0.

    Warning:

    Occasionally, booting a Citrix Hypervisor server from FCoE SAN using software FCoE stack can cause the host to stop responding. This issue is caused by a temporary link disruption in the host initialization phase. If the host fails to respond for a long time, you can restart the host to work around this issue.

  5. The Citrix Hypervisor EULA is displayed. Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to scroll through and read the agreement. Select Accept EULA to proceed.

  6. Select the appropriate action. You might see any of the following options:

    • Perform clean installation

    • Upgrade: If the installer detects a previously installed version of Citrix Hypervisor or XenServer, it offers the option to upgrade. For information about upgrading your Citrix Hypervisor server, see Upgrading from an existing version.

    • Restore: If the installer detects a previously created backup installation, it offers the option to restore Citrix Hypervisor from the backup.

    Make your selection, and choose OK to proceed.

  7. If you have multiple local hard disks, choose a Primary Disk for the installation. Select OK.

  8. Choose which disks you want to use for virtual machine storage. Information about a specific disk can be viewed by pressing F5.

    If you want to use thin provisioning to optimize the use of available storage, select Enable thin provisioning. This option selects the local SR of the host to be the one to be used for the local caching of VM VDIs. Citrix Virtual Desktops users are recommended to select this option for local caching to work properly. For more information, see Storage.

    Choose OK.

  9. Select your installation media source.

    To install from a USB or CD, choose Local media. To install by using network, select HTTP or FTP or NFS. Choose OK to proceed.

    If you select HTTP or FTP or NFS, set up networking so that the installer can connect to the Citrix Hypervisor installation media files:

    1. If the computer has multiple NICs, select one of them to be used to access the Citrix Hypervisor installation media files. Choose OK to proceed.

    2. Choose Automatic configuration (DHCP) to configure the NIC using DHCP, or Static configuration to configure the NIC manually. If you choose Static configuration, enter details as appropriate.

    3. Provide VLAN ID if you have your installation media present in a VLAN network.

    4. If you choose HTTP or FTP, provide the URL for your HTTP or FTP repository, and a user name and password, if appropriate.

      If you choose NFS, provide the server and path of your NFS share.

      Select OK to proceed.

  10. Indicate if you want to verify the integrity of the installation media. If you select Verify installation source, the SHA256 checksum of the packages is calculated and checked against the known value. Verification can take some time. Make your selection and choose OK to proceed.

  11. Set and confirm a root password, which XenCenter uses to connect to the Citrix Hypervisor server. You also use this password (with user name “root”) to log into xsconsole, the system configuration console.

    Note:

    Citrix Hypervisor root passwords must contain only ASCII characters.

  12. Set up the primary management interface that is used to connect to XenCenter.

    If your computer has multiple NICs, select the NIC which you want to use for management. Choose OK to proceed.

  13. Configure the Management NIC IP address by choosing Automatic configuration (DHCP) to configure the NIC using DHCP, or Static configuration to configure the NIC manually. To have the management interface on a VLAN network, provide the VLAN ID.

    Note:

    To be part of a pool, Citrix Hypervisor servers must have static IP addresses or be DNS addressable. When using DHCP, ensure that a static DHCP reservation policy is in place.

  14. Specify the hostname and the DNS configuration, manually or automatically via DHCP.

    In the Hostname Configuration section, select Automatically set via DHCP to have the DHCP server provide the hostname along with the IP address. If you select Manually specify, enter the hostname for the server in the field provided.

    Note:

    If you manually specify the hostname, enter a short hostname and not the fully qualified domain name (FQDN). Entering an FQDN can cause external authentication to fail, or the Citrix Hypervisor server might be added to AD with a different name.

    In the DNS Configuration section, choose Automatically set via DHCP to get name service configuration using DHCP. If you select Manually specify, enter the IP addresses of your primary (required), secondary (optional), and tertiary (optional) DNS servers in the fields provided.

    Select OK to proceed.

  15. Select your time zone by geographical area and city. You can type the first letter of the desired locale to jump to the first entry that begins with this letter. Choose OK to proceed.

  16. Specify how you want the server to determine local time: using NTP or manual time entry. Make your selection, and choose OK to proceed.

    • If using NTP, select NTP is configured by my DHCP server or enter at least one NTP server name or IP address in the fields below. Choose OK to proceed.
    • If you elected to set the date and time manually, you are prompted to do so. Choose OK to proceed.

    Note:

    Citrix Hypervisor assumes that the time setting in the BIOS of the server is the current time in UTC.

  17. Select Install Citrix Hypervisor.

    The installation process starts. This might take some minutes.

  18. The next screen asks if you want to install any supplemental packs. If you plan to install any supplemental packs provided by your hardware supplier, choose Yes.

    If you choose to install supplemental packs, you are prompted to insert them. Eject the Citrix Hypervisor installation media, and insert the supplemental pack media. Choose OK.

    Select Use media to proceed with the installation.

    Repeat for each pack to be installed.

  19. From the Installation Complete screen, eject the installation media (if installing from USB or CD) and select OK to reboot the server.

    After the server reboots, Citrix Hypervisor displays xsconsole, a system configuration console. To access a local shell from xsconsole, press Alt+F3; to return to xsconsole, press Alt+F1.

    Note:

    Make note of the IP address displayed. Use this IP address when you connect XenCenter to the Citrix Hypervisor server.

Install XenCenter

XenCenter must be installed on a Windows machine that can connect to the Citrix Hypervisor server through your network. Ensure that .NET framework version 4.6 or above is installed on this system.

To install XenCenter:

  1. Download the installer for the latest version of XenCenter from the Citrix Hypervisor Download page.

  2. Launch the installer .msi file.

  3. Follow the Setup wizard, which allows you to modify the default destination folder and then to install XenCenter.

For more information about using XenCenter, see XenCenter documentation.

Connect XenCenter to the Citrix Hypervisor server

To connect XenCenter to the Citrix Hypervisor server:

  1. Launch XenCenter. The program opens to the Home tab.

  2. Click the Add New Server icon.

  3. Enter the IP address of the Citrix Hypervisor server in the Server field. Type the root user name and password that you set during Citrix Hypervisor installation. Click Add.

  4. The first time you add a host, the Save and Restore Connection State dialog box appears. This dialog enables you to set your preferences for storing your host connection information and automatically restoring host connections.

    If you later want to change your preferences, you can do so using XenCenter or the Windows Registry Editor.

    To do so in XenCenter: from the main menu, select Tools and then Options. The Options dialog box opens. Select the Save and Restore tab and set your preferences. Click OK to save your changes.

    To do so using the Windows Registry Editor, navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Citrix\XenCenter and add a key named AllowCredentialSave with the string value true or false.