Configure and manage

We recommend you review procedure descriptions before actually doing them, so you’ll know what to expect. You’ll also learn about any required preparation steps.

Setup summary

After you sign up for the service and are notified that the Citrix Managed Desktops service is available for you to use, the next steps depend on what you want to set up.

Set up a quick proof of concept environment

  1. Create a catalog using quick create.
  2. Add your users to the Managed Azure AD.
  3. Add users to the catalog.
  4. Notify your users of the Workspace URL.

Set up a production environment

  1. If you’re using your own Active Directory or Azure Active Directory to authenticate users, connect and set that method in Citrix Cloud.
  2. Create or import a master image. Although you can use one of the Citrix-managed images as-is in a catalog, they’re intended primarily for proof of concept deployments.
  3. If you’re using the Citrix-managed subscription, and want your users to be able to access items in your on-premises or other network (such as file servers, set up a VNet peering connection or an SD-WAN connection.
  4. Create a catalog using custom create.
  5. If you’re creating a multi-session catalog, add apps to the catalog.
  6. If you’re using Managed Azure AD to authenticate your users, add users to the directory.
  7. Add users to the catalog.
  8. Notify your users of the Workspace URL.

After you set up the deployment, you can monitor desktop usage, sessions, and machines.

Create a catalog using quick create

This catalog creation method always uses the Citrix-managed subscription.

For details about the types of machines a catalog can contain, and the available creation methods, see About catalogs.

  1. Sign in to Citrix Cloud.
  2. In the upper left menu, select My Services > Managed Desktops.
  3. If a catalog has not yet been created, you’re taken to the Welcome page. Choose one of:

    • Configure the catalog on this page. Continue with steps 6 through 10.

      Quick create catalog fields on Welcome page

    • Click Get Started. You’re taken to the Manage dashboard. Click Create Catalog.

  4. If a catalog has already been created (and you’re creating another one), you’re taken to the Manage dashboard. Click Create Catalog.

    Create Catalog button on Manage dashboard

  5. Click Quick Create at the top of the page, if it is not already selected.

    Quick create catalog fields

  6. Machine performance: Select the machine type. Each choice has a unique combination of CPUs, RAM, and storage. Higher-performance machines have higher monthly costs.
  7. Region: Select a region where you want the machines created. You might select a region that’s close to your users.
  8. Name: Type a name for the catalog. This field is required, and there is no default value.
  9. Number of machines: Type the number of machines you want.
  10. When you’re done, click Create Catalog. (If you’re creating the first catalog from the Welcome page, click Quick Create Desktops.)

You’re taken automatically to the Manage dashboard. While the catalog is being created, the catalog’s name is added to the list of catalogs, indicating its progress through creation.

What to do next:

  • If you’re using Managed Azure AD for user authentication, you can add users to the directory while the catalog is being created.
  • Regardless of which user authentication method you use, after the catalog is created, add users to the catalog.

Create a catalog using custom create

For details about the types of machines a catalog can contain, and the available methods for creating them, see About catalogs.

If you plan to use an Azure VNet peering network connection, you must create a connection before creating the catalog. To allow your users access to your on-premises or other network resources, you also need Active Directory information for that location. For details, see Azure VNet peering.

  1. Sign in to Citrix Cloud.
  2. In the upper left menu, select My Services > Managed Desktops.
  3. If a catalog has not yet been created, you’re taken to the Welcome page. Click Get Started. At the end of the introduction page, you’re taken to the Manage dashboard. Click Create Catalog.

    Service Welcome page

    If a catalog has already been created, you’re taken to the Manage dashboard. Click Create Catalog.

    Create Catalog button on Manage dashboard

  4. Select Custom Create at the top of the page, if it’s not already selected.

    Custom create catalog fields

  5. Complete the following fields. (Some fields are valid only for certain machine types. The field order may differ.)

    • Machine type. For details, see About catalogs.
    • Subscription. For details, see Azure subscriptions.
    • Network connection: Select the connection to use for accessing resources in your network. For details, see Network connections.

      For the Citrix-managed subscription, the choices are:

      • No Connectivity: Users cannot access locations and resources on your on-premises corporate network.
      • Connections: Select a connection, such as a VNet peering or SD-WAN connection.

      For the customer-managed Azure subscription, select the appropriate resource group, virtual network, and subnet.

    • Region: (Available only for No Connectivity network connection. If you selected a network connection, the catalog uses that network’s region.) Select a region where you want the desktops created. You might select a region that’s close to your users.
    • Machine:
      • Storage type. HDD or SSD.
      • Machine performance (for Static or Random machine type), or Workload (for multi-session machine type).

        If you select the custom work load, type the number of machines and sessions per machine in the Machine Performance field.

      • Machine. How many machines you want in this catalog.
    • Master image: Select an operating system image. For details, see About master images.
    • Name: Type a name for the catalog. This name appears on the Manage dashboard.
    • Power schedule: By default, the I’ll configure this later check box is selected. For details, see Power management schedules.
    • Join the local Active Directory domain: (Available only for a VNet peering network connection.) Select Yes or No. If you select Yes, enter the:

      • FQDN of the domain (for example, Contoso.com).
      • Organization Unit: To use the default OU (Computers), leave this field empty.
      • Service account name: Must be a domain or enterprise administrator in the format name@domain or name\domain.
      • Password for the service account name.
  6. When you’re done, click Create Catalog.

Note:

For information about Advanced settings, see Resource location settings when creating a catalog.

The Manage dashboard indicates when your catalog is created.

What to do next:

  1. Configure the authentication method for your users to authenticate to Citrix Workspace.
  2. After the catalog is created, add users to the catalog.
  3. If you created a multi-session catalog, add applications (before or after adding users).

Resource location settings when creating a catalog

When creating a catalog, Citrix manages the resource location for the catalog. You can optionally configure advanced settings for the resource location.

When you click Advanced settings, Citrix Managed Desktops retrieves resource location information.

  • If you already have a resource location set up for the domain and network connection specified for the catalog, you can save it for use by the catalog you’re creating.

    If that resource location has only one Cloud Connector, another one is installed automatically. You can optionally specify advanced settings for the Cloud Connector you’re adding.

  • If you don’t have a resource location set up for the domain and network connection specified for the catalog, you’re prompted to configure one.

Configure advanced settings:

  • (Required only when the resource location is already set up.) A name for the resource location.
  • The OU for the resource location. By default, the OU specified for the catalog is used.
  • Whether your network requires a proxy server for internet connectivity. If it does, enter the proxy server’s FQDN or IP address, including the port number.
  • Choose the external connectivity type: through the Citrix Gateway service, or from within your corporate network.

When you’re done with the advanced settings, click Save to return to the catalog creation flow.

Network connections

This section provides details about deployment scenarios when using the Citrix-managed subscription.

When creating a catalog, you indicate if and how users access locations and resources on their corporate network from their Citrix Managed Desktops desktops and apps.

When using the Citrix-managed subscription, the choices are:

  • No connectivity
  • Azure VNet peering
  • SD-WAN

    Note:

    The SD-WAN connection type is in preview. It might not be available to all. If it is available, the preview might not support certain features (such as high availability).

When using one of your own customer-managed subscriptions, there is no need to create a connection to Citrix Managed Desktops. You just need to add the subscription to Citrix Managed Desktops.

You cannot change a catalog’s connection type after the catalog is created.

No connectivity

When a catalog is configured with No connectivity, users cannot access resources on their on-premises or other networks. This is the only choice when creating a catalog using quick create.

No connectivity to other networks

Azure VNet peering

Virtual network peering seamlessly connects two Azure virtual networks (VNets): yours and the Citrix Managed Desktops VNet. Peering also helps enable users to access files and other items from your on-premises networks.

As shown in the following graphic, you create a connection using Azure VNet peering from the Citrix-managed Azure subscription to the VNet in your company’s Azure subscription.

Deployment scenario with customer on-premises network

Here’s another illustration of VNet peering in a Citrix Managed Desktops deployment.

VNet peering diagram

Users can access their on-premises network resources (such as file servers) by “joining the local domain” when you create a catalog. (That is, you join the AD domain where file shares and other needed resources reside.) Your Azure subscription connects to those resources (in the graphics, using a VPN or Azure ExpressRoute). When creating the catalog, you provide the domain, OU, and account credentials.

Important:

  • Learn about VNet peering before using it in Citrix Managed Desktops.
  • Create a VNet peering connection before creating a catalog that uses it.

VNet peering requirements

  • Credentials for an Azure Resource Manager subscription owner. This must be an Azure Active Directory account. Citrix Managed Desktops does not support other account types, such as live.com or external Azure AD accounts (in a different tenant).
  • An Azure subscription, resource group, and virtual network (VNet).
  • Set up the Azure network routes so that VDAs in the Citrix-managed Azure subscription can communicate with your network locations.
  • Open Azure network security groups from your VNet to the specified IP range.
  • Active Directory: For domain-joined scenarios, we recommend that you have some form of Active Directory services running in the peered VNet. This takes advantage of the low latency characteristics of the Azure VNet peering technology.

    For example, the configuration might include Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AADDS), a domain controller VM in the VNet, or Azure AD Connect to your on-premises Active Directory.

    After you enable AADDS, you cannot move your managed domain to a different VNet without deleting the managed domain. So, it’s important to select the correct VNet to enable your managed domain. Before proceeding, review the Microsoft article Networking considerations for Azure AD Domain Services.

  • VNet IP range: When creating the connection, you must provide an available CIDR address space (IP address and network prefix) that is unique among the network resources and the Azure VNets being connected. This is the IP range assigned to the VMs within the Citrix Managed Desktops peered VNet.

    Ensure that you specify an IP range that does not overlap any addresses that you use in your Azure and on-premises networks.

    • For example if your Azure VNet has an address space of 10.0.0.0 /16, create the VNet peering connection in Citrix Managed Desktops as something such as 192.168.0.0 /24.

    • In this example, creating a peering connection with a 10.0.0.0 /24 IP range would be considered an overlapping address range.

    If addresses overlap, the VNet peering connection might not be created successfully. It also does not work correctly for site administration tasks.

  • DNS: A DNS located in the Azure VNet that you are peering to the Citrix Managed Desktops VNet is required to resolve internal and external resources. Configure that DNS in your Azure VNet before creating the VNet peer connection in Citrix Managed Desktops. Otherwise, the Citrix Managed Desktops workflows that require resource lookup using DNS from your Azure might fail.

    In Azure: By default, the DNS servers setting in Azure VNet DNS servers is set to Default (Azure-provided). Change that setting to Custom and enter the address details for your DNS servers.

    DNS information in Azure VNet

    After completing this task, create the VNet peering connection in Citrix Managed Desktops.

    Later (after you create the VNet peering connection in Citrix Managed Desktops), if you change the DNS information for your Azure VNet DNS servers, the Citrix Managed Desktops peering connection that uses that VNet peer might fail. That is because Citrix Managed Desktops does not dynamically synchronize or update the DNS server setting changes from your Azure. To resolve this, delete and then re-create the peering connection from Citrix Managed Desktops.

    After you update the DNS information in Azure:

    1. In Citrix Managed Desktops, delete the peer connection that uses that VNet peer.
    2. Create a new peer connection, selecting the same VNet in Azure. Citrix Managed Desktops automatically uses the updated DNS information in Azure.

To learn about VNet peering, see the following Microsoft articles.

Create an Azure VNet peering connection

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right. If you have already set up connections, they’re listed.

    List of connections

  2. Click Add Connection.
  3. Click anywhere in the Azure VNet Peering box.

    Add VNet peering connection

  4. Click Authenticate Azure Account.

    Authenticate your Azure subscription

  5. The service automatically takes you to the Azure sign-in page to authenticate your Azure subscriptions. After you sign in to Azure (with the global administrator account credentials) and accept the terms, you are returned to the connection creation details dialog.

    VNet peering connection creation fields

  6. Select the Azure subscription, resource group, and the VNet to peer.
  7. Indicate whether the selected VNet uses an Azure Virtual Network Gateway. For information, see the Microsoft article Azure VPN Gateway.
  8. Type an IP address and select a network mask. The address range to be used is displayed, plus how many desktops that the range supports. Ensure that the IP range does not overlap any addresses that you use in your Azure and on-premises networks.

    • For example, if your Azure VNet has an address space of 10.0.0.0 /16, create the VNet peering connection in Citrix Managed Desktops as something such as 192.168.0.0 /24.
    • In this example, creating a VNet peering connection with a 10.0.0.0 /24 IP range would be considered an overlapping address range.

    If addresses overlap, the VNet peering connection might not be created successfully. It will also not work correctly for site administration tasks.

  9. Type a name for the Azure VNet peer.
  10. Click Peer.

After the connection is created, it is listed under Network Connections > Azure VNet Peers on the right side of the Manage dashboard. When you create a catalog, this connection is included in the available network connections list.

View Azure VNet peer connection details

VNet peering connection details

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right.
  2. Select Azure VNet Peers if it’s not the only selection.
  3. Click the connection you want to display.

Details include:

  • The number of catalogs and machines that use this connection.
  • The region, allocated network space, and peered VNets.

Delete an Azure VNet peer

Before you can delete an Azure VNet peer, remove any catalogs associated with it. See Delete a catalog.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right.
  2. Select Azure VNet Peering if it’s not the only selection.
  3. Click the connection you want to delete, to expand its details.
  4. Click Delete.

SD-WAN connections

Note:

This connection type is in preview. It might not be available to all. If it is available, the preview might not support certain features (such as high availability).

Citrix SD-WAN optimizes all of the network connections needed by Citrix Managed Desktops. Working in concert with the HDX technologies, Citrix SD-WAN provides quality-of-service and connection reliability for ICA and out-of-band Citrix Managed Desktops traffic. Citrix SD-WAN supports the following network connections:

  • Multi-stream ICA connection between users and their virtual desktops
  • Internet access from the virtual desktop to web sites, SaaS apps, and other cloud properties
  • Access from the virtual desktop back to on-premises resources such as Active Directory, file servers, and database servers
  • Real-time/interactive traffic carried over RTP from the media engine in the Workspace app to cloud-hosted Unified Communications services such as Microsoft Teams
  • Client-side fetching of videos from sites like YouTube and Vimeo

As shown in the following graphic, you create an SD-WAN connection from the Citrix-managed Azure subscription to your sites. During connection creation, SD-WAN VPX appliances are created in the Citrix-managed Azure subscription. From the SD-WAN perspective, that location is treated as a branch.

SD-WAN connections

Requirements and preparation

  • If the following requirements are not met, the SD-WAN network connection option is not available.

    • Citrix Cloud entitlements: Citrix Managed Desktops and SD-WAN Orchestrator.
    • An installed and configured SD-WAN deployment. The deployment must include a Master Control Node (MCN), whether in the cloud or on-premises, and be managed with SD-WAN Orchestrator.
  • VNet IP range: You must provide an available CIDR address space (IP address and network prefix) that is unique among the network resources being connected. This is the IP range assigned to the VMs within the Citrix Managed Desktops VNet.

    Ensure that you specify an IP range that does not overlap any addresses that you use in your cloud and on-premises networks.

    • For example, if your network has an address space of 10.0.0.0 /16, create the connection in Citrix Managed Desktops as something such as 192.168.0.0 /24.
    • In this example, creating a connection with a 10.0.0.0 /24 IP range would be considered an overlapping address range.

    If addresses overlap, the connection might not be created successfully. It also does not work correctly for site administration tasks.

  • The connection configuration process includes tasks that you (the Citrix Managed Desktops administrator) and the SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator must complete. Additionally, to complete your tasks, you’ll need information provided to you by the SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator.

    We recommend that you both review the guidance in this document, plus the SD-WAN documentation, before actually creating a connection.

Create an SD-WAN connection

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right.
  2. Click Add Connection.
  3. On the Add a network connection page, click anywhere in the SD-WAN box.
  4. The next page summarizes what’s ahead. When you’re done reading, click Start Configuring SD-WAN.
  5. On the Configure SD-WAN page, enter the information provided by your SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator.

    • Deployment mode: If you select High availability, two VPX appliances are created (recommended for production environments). If you select Standalone, one appliance is created. You cannot change this setting later. To change to the deployment mode, you’ll need to delete and re-create the branch and all associated catalog.
    • Name: Type a name for the SD-WAN site.
    • Throughput and number of offices: This information is provided by your SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator.
    • Region: The region where the VPX appliances will be created.
    • VDA subnet and SD-WAN subnet: This information is provided by your SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator. See Requirements and preparation for information about avoiding conflicts.
  6. When you’re done, click Create Branch.
  7. The next page summarizes what to look for on the Manage dashboard. When you’re done reading, click Got it.
  8. On the Manage dashboard, the new SD-WAN entry under Network Connections shows the progress of the configuration process. When the entry turns orange with the message Awaiting activation by SD-WAN administrator, notify your SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator.
  9. For SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator tasks, see the SD-WAN Orchestrator product documentation.
  10. When the SD-WAN Orchestrator administrator finishes, the SD-WAN entry under Network Connections turns green, with the message You can create catalogs using this connection.

View SD-WAN connection details

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right.
  2. Select SD-WAN if it’s not the only selection.
  3. Click the connection you want to display.

The display includes:

  • Details tab: Information you specified when configuring the connection.
  • Branch Connectivity tab: Name, cloud connectivity, availability, bandwidth tier, role, and location for each branch and MCN.

Delete an SD-WAN connection

Before you can delete an SD-WAN connection, remove any catalogs associated with it. See Delete a catalog.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Network Connections on the right.
  2. Select SD-WAN if it’s not the only selection.
  3. Click the connection you want to delete, to expand its details.
  4. On the Details tab, click Delete Connection.
  5. Confirm the deletion.

Azure subscriptions

When you create a catalog or a master image, you can use either a Citrix-managed subscription or one of your own customer-managed Azure subscriptions. For details, see About Azure subscriptions.

To view subscription details, from the Manage dashboard, expand Subscriptions on the right. Then click a subscription entry. Details include the number of catalogs and machines, plus the names of catalogs and images in the subscription.

Subscription details

You cannot add or remove Citrix-managed subscriptions.

To use a customer-managed Azure subscription, you must add it to Citrix Managed Desktops before creating a catalog or master image that uses that subscription.

Add customer-managed Azure subscriptions

This task requires global administrator privileges for the directory, and owner privileges for the subscription.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Subscriptions on the right.
  2. Click Add Azure subscription.

    Add and Azure subscription

  3. Click Authenticate Azure Account. You’re taken to the Azure sign-in page.
  4. Enter your Azure credentials.
  5. You’re returned automatically to Citrix Managed Desktops. The Add Subscription page lists the discovered Azure subscriptions. Use the search box to filter the list, if needed. Select one or more subscriptions. When you’re done, click Add Subscriptions.
  6. Confirm that you want to add the selected subscriptions.

After the subscription addition completes, the Azure subscriptions you selected are listed when you expand Subscriptions. Added subscriptions are available for selection when creating a catalog or master image.

Remove a customer-managed Azure subscription

To remove a subscription, you must first delete all catalogs that use it.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Subscriptions on the right. Double-click the subscription entry.
  2. Click Remove Subscription.
  3. Click Authenticate Azure Account. You’re taken to the Azure sign-in page.
  4. Enter your Azure credentials.
  5. You’re returned automatically to Citrix Managed Desktops. Confirm the deletion in the check boxes and then click Yes, Delete Subscription.

User authentication

Users must authenticate when they log in to Citrix Workspace to start their desktop or apps.

Citrix Managed Desktops supports the following user authentication methods:

  • Managed Azure AD: Managed Azure AD is an Azure Active Directory (AAD) provided and managed by Citrix. You don’t need to provide your own Active Directory structure. You need only add your users to the directory.

    Managed Azure AD is generally used for test or pilot deployments.

  • Your Active Directory (AD) or AAD: If you use your own Azure subscription for catalogs and images, you must use this authentication method.

Setting up user authentication includes the following procedures:

  1. Configure the user authentication method in Citrix Cloud.
  2. If you’re using Managed Azure AD for user authentication, add users to the directory.
  3. Add users to a catalog.

Configure the user authentication method in Citrix Cloud

To configure user authentication in Citrix Cloud:

  • Connect to the user authentication method you want to use. (In Citrix Cloud, you “connect” or “disconnect” from an authentication method.)
  • In Citrix Cloud, set Workspace authentication to use the connected method.

Note:

The Managed Azure AD authentication method is configured by default. That is, it is automatically connected in Citrix Cloud, and Workspace authentication is automatically set to use Managed Azure AD for this service. If you want to use this method (and have not previously configured a different method), continue with Add and delete users in Managed Azure AD.

To change the authentication method:

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click User Access & Authentication on the right.

    User Access and Authentication display in Manage dashboard

  2. Click Manage User Access and Authentication. Select the Workspace tab, if it isn’t already selected. (The other tab indicates which user authentication method is currently configured.)

    Links to changing workspace authentication

  3. Follow the link To set up authentication methods. That link takes you to Citrix Cloud. Select Connect in the ellipsis menu for the method you want.

    • To use your own AD, connect the Active Directory entry.
    • To use your own AAD, connect the Azure Active Directory entry.
    • To use Managed Azure AD, connect the Azure Active Directory entry.
  4. While still in Citrix Cloud, select Workspace Configuration in the upper left menu. On the Authentication tab, select the method.

    • To use your own AD, select Active Directory.
    • To use your own AAD, select Azure Active Directory.
    • To use Managed Azure AD, select Azure Active Directory.

What to do next:

Add and delete users in Managed Azure AD

This task applies only if you’re using Managed Azure AD for user authentication to Citrix Workspace.

You provide your users’ name and email addresses. Citrix then emails an invitation to each of them. The email instructs users to click a link that joins them to the Citrix-managed Azure AD.

  • If the user already has a Microsoft account with the email address you provided, that account is used.
  • If the user does not have a Microsoft account with the email address, Microsoft creates an account.

To add and invite users to Managed Azure AD:

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand User Access & Authentication on the right. Click Manage User Access and Authentication.
  2. Click the Managed Azure AD tab.
  3. Click Invite Users.

    Request to add user to Managed Azure AD

  4. Type the name and email address of a user, and then click Add User.

    Add user info to Managed Azure AD

  5. Repeat the preceding step to add other users.
  6. When you’re done adding user information, click Invite Users at the bottom of the card.

To delete a user from Managed Azure AD, click the trash icon next to the name of the user you want to delete from the directory. Confirm the deletion.

What to do next: Add users to the catalog

Add or remove users in a catalog

This procedure applies regardless of which authentication method you use.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, if you haven’t added any users to a catalog, click Add subscribers.

    Request to add users to catalog

    To add users to a catalog that already has users, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.

  2. On the Subscribers tab, click Manage Subscribers.

    Manage Subscribers dialog box

  3. Select a domain. (If you’re using Managed Azure AD for user authentication, there’s only one entry in the domain field.) Then select a user.

    Add users to catalog

  4. Select other users, as needed. When you’re done, click the X in the upper right corner.

To remove users from a catalog, follow steps 1 and 2. In step 3, click the trash icon next to the name you want to delete (instead of selecting a domain and group/user). This action removes the user from the catalog, not from the source (such as Managed Azure AD or your own AD or AAD).

What to do next:

  • When you finish preparing a static or random catalog, send the Citrix Workspace URL to your users. On the Manage dashboard, the URL is on the right in User Access & Authentication.
  • For a multi-session catalog, add applications (if you haven’t already) and then send the Citrix Workspace URL to your users.

Add or remove apps

After you create a catalog containing multi-session machines, you can:

Add apps to a catalog

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Desktop and Apps tab, click Manage Apps.

    Manage apps from the Desktop and Apps tab

  3. Select how you are adding apps: from the Start menu of machines in the catalog, or from a different path on the machines.
  4. To add apps from the Start menu:

    Add apps from the Start menu

    • Select available apps in the left column. (Use Search to tailor the apps list.) Click the right arrow between the columns. The selected apps move to the right column.
    • Similarly, to remove apps, select them in the right column. Click the left arrow between columns.
    • If the Start menu has more than one version of the same app, with the same name, you can add only one. To add another version of that app, edit that version to change its name. Then you can add that version of the app.
  5. To add apps by path:

    Add apps by path

    • Enter the name for the app. This is the name users see in Citrix Workspace.
    • The icon shown is the icon users see in Citrix Workspace. To select another icon, click Change icon and navigate to the icon you want to display.
    • (Optional) Enter a description of the application.
    • Enter the path to the app. This field is required. Optionally, add command line parameters and the working directory. For details about command line parameters, see Pass parameters to published applications.
  6. When you’re finished, click Close.

What to do next: Send the Citrix Workspace URL to your users, if you haven’t already.

On Windows Server 2019 VDAs, some application icons might not appear correctly during configuration and in the users’ workspace. As a workaround, after the app is published, edit the app and use the Change icon feature to assign a different icon that displays correctly.

Edit an app in a catalog

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Desktop and Apps tab, click anywhere on the row containing the app you want to edit.
  3. Click the pencil icon.

    Change an application's properties

  4. Type changes in any of the following fields:

    • Name: This is the name users see in Citrix Workspace.
    • Description
    • Path: This is the path to the executable.
    • Command line parameters: For details, see Pass parameters to published applications.
    • Working directory
  5. To change the icon users see in their Citrix Workspace, click Change icon and navigate to the icon you want to display.
  6. When you’re done, click Save.

Pass parameters to published applications

When you associate a published application with file types, the percent and star symbols (enclosed in double quotation marks) are appended to the end of the command line. These symbols act as a placeholder for parameters passed to user devices.

  • If a published application does not launch when expected, verify that its command line contains the correct symbols. By default, parameters supplied by user devices are validated when the symbols are appended.

    For published applications that use customized parameters supplied by the user device, the symbols are appended to the command line to bypass command-line validation. If you do not see these symbols in a command line for the application, add them manually.

  • If the path to the executable file includes directory names with spaces (such as “C:\Program Files”), enclose the command line for the application in double quotation marks to indicate that the space belongs in the command line. Add double quotation marks around the path, and another set of double quotation marks around the percent and star symbols. Add a space between the closing quotation mark for the path and the opening quotation mark for the percent and star symbols.

    For example, the command line for the published application Windows Media Player is: “C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\mplayer1.exe” “%*”

Remove apps from a catalog

Removing an app from a catalog does not remove it from the machines. It just prevents it from appearing in Citrix Workspace.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Desktop and Apps tab, click the trash icon next to the apps you want to remove.

Power management schedules

A power management schedule affects all machines in a catalog. A schedule provides:

  • Optimal user experience: Machines are available for users when they’re needed.
  • Security: Desktop sessions that remain idle for a specified interval are disconnected, requiring users to launch a new session in their workspace.
  • Cost management and power savings: Machines with desktops that remain idle are powered-off. Machines are powered on to meet scheduled and actual demand.

You can configure a power schedule when you create a custom catalog or do it later. If no schedule is selected or configured, a machine powers off when a session ends.

You cannot select or configure a power schedule when creating a catalog with quick create. By default, quick create catalogs use the Cost Saver preset schedule. However, you can select or configure a different schedule later for that catalog.

Schedule management includes:

Information in a schedule

The following diagram shows the schedule settings for a catalog containing multi-session machines. Settings for a catalog containing single-session (random or static) machines differ slightly.

Power management schedule fields

A power management schedule contains the following information.

Preset schedules

Citrix Managed Desktops offers several preset schedules. You can also configure and save custom schedules. You can delete custom presets, but you cannot delete the Citrix-provided presets.

Time zone

Used with the power-on machines setting to establish work hours and after hours, based on the selected time zone.

This setting is valid for all machine types.

Power on machines: Work hours and after hours

The days of the week and start-stop hours of the day that form your work hours. This generally indicates the intervals when you want machines powered on. Any time outside of those intervals is considered after-hours. Several schedule settings allow you to enter separate values for work hours and after-hours. Other settings apply all of the time.

This setting is valid for all machine types.

Disconnect desktop sessions when idle

How long a desktop can remain idle (not used) before the session is disconnected. After a session is disconnected, the user must go to Workspace and start a desktop again. This is a security setting.

This setting is valid for all machine types. One setting applies all of the time.

Power off idle desktops

How long a machine can remain disconnected before it is powered off. After a machine is powered off, the user must go to Workspace and start a desktop again. This is a power-saving setting.

For example, let’s say you want desktops to disconnect after they have been idle for 10 minutes, and then power off the machines if they remain disconnected for another 15 minutes.

If Tom stops using his desktop and walks away for a one-hour meeting, the desktop will be disconnected after 10 minutes. After another 15 minutes, the machine will be powered off (25 minutes total).

From a user standpoint, the two idle settings (disconnect and power-off) have the same effect. If Tom stays away from his desktop for 12 minutes or an hour, he must start a desktop again from Workspace. The difference in the two timers affects the state of the virtual machine providing the desktop.

This setting is valid for single-session (static or random) machines. You can enter values for work hours and after-hours.

Log off disconnected sessions

How long a machine can remain disconnected before the session is closed.

This setting is valid for multi-session machines. One setting applies all of the time.

Power-off delay

The minimum amount of time a machine must be powered-on before it is eligible for power-off (along with other criteria). This keeps machines from “flip-flopping” on and off during volatile session demands.

This setting is valid for multi-session machines, and applies all of the time.

Minimum running machines

How many machines must remain powered-on, regardless of how long they are idle or disconnected.

This setting is valid for random and multi-session machines. You can enter values for work hours and after-hours.

Capacity buffer

A capacity buffer helps accommodate sudden spikes in demand, by keeping a buffer of machines powered-on. The buffer is specified, as a percentage of current session demand. For example, if there are 100 active sessions and the capacity buffer is 10%, the service provides capacity for 110 sessions. A spike in demand might occur during work hours or adding new machines to the catalog.

A lower value decreases the cost. A higher value helps ensure an optimized user experience. When launching sessions, users do not have to wait for extra machines to power on.

When there are more than enough machines to support the number of powered-on machines needed in the catalog (including the capacity buffer), extra machines are powered off. This might occur because of off-peak time, session logoffs, or fewer machines in the catalog. The decision to power off a machine must meet the following criteria:

  • The machine is powered on and not in maintenance mode.
  • The machine is registered as available or waiting to register after power-on.
  • The machine has no active sessions. This means that any remaining sessions have ended. (The machine was idle for the idle timeout period.)
  • The machine has been powered on for at least “X” minutes, where “X” is the power-off delay specified for the catalog.

    In a static catalog, after all machines in the catalog are assigned, the capacity buffer does not play a role in powering machines on or off.

This setting is valid for all machine types. You can enter values for work hours and after-hours.

Create a power management schedule

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Power Management tab, determine whether any of the preset schedules (in the menu at the top) meet your needs. Select a preset to see the values it uses. If you want to use a preset, just leave it selected.
  3. If you change the values in any fields (such as days, times, or intervals), the preset selection changes to Custom automatically. An asterisk indicates that custom settings have not been saved.
  4. Set the values you want for the custom schedule.
  5. Click Custom at the top and click Save current settings as new preset. Enter a name for the new preset and click the check mark.
  6. When you’re done, click Save Changes.

Later, you can edit or delete a custom preset by using the pencil or trash icons in the Presets menu. You cannot edit or delete common presets.

Master images

Citrix Managed Desktops provides several Citrix-managed master images:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise (single-session)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Virtual Desktop (multi-session)
  • Windows Server 2016

The Citrix-managed master images have a VDA and troubleshooting tools installed. Images provided by Citrix are notated as CITRIX.

As described in About master images, you can use a Citrix-managed image to create a catalog, or as a template to create a new image that you then cusotmize. You can also import an image from Azure.

Managing master images includes the following actions:

Display master image information

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Master Images on the right. The display lists the master images that Citrix provides and images that you created and imported.

    Master images display in Manage dashboard

  2. Click an image to display its details.

    Master image details display

Prepare a new master image

Preparing a new master image includes creating the image and then customizing it. When you create an image, a new VM is created to load the new image.

Requirements:

  • Know the performance characteristics that the machines need. For example, running CAD apps might require different CPU, RAM, and storage than other office apps.
  • If you plan to use the Azure VNet peering feature, set up that connection before creating the master image and the catalog. For instructions, see Azure VNet peering.

To create a new master image:

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Master Images on the right.

    Master images display in Manage dashboard

  2. Click Build Image.

    Build master image fields

  3. Enter values in the following fields:

    • Master image: Select an existing master image. This is the base image that is used to create the new master image.
    • Name: Enter a name for the new master image.
    • Subscription: Select either the Citrix-managed subscription or one of your customer-managed Azure subscriptions. For details, see About Azure subscriptions.
    • Network connection:

      • If using the Citrix-managed subscription, select No connectivity or a previously created Azure VNet connection.
      • If using a customer-managed subscription, select your resource group, virtual network, and subnet. Then add domain details: FQDN, OU, service account name, and credentials.

      For more information, see Network connections.

    • Region: (Available only for No connectivity.) Select a region where you want the machine containing the image to be created.
    • Logon credentials for image machine: You’ll use this name and password later when you connect (RDP) to the machine containing the new master image so that you can install apps and other software.
    • Machine performance: Select a machine performance that meets your apps’ requirements.
    • Local domain join: Indicate whether you want to join the local Active Directory domain.
      • If you select Yes, enter the Azure information: FQDN, OU, service account name, and credentials.
      • If you select No, enter the credentials for the host machine.
  4. When you’re done, click Build Image.

A master image can take up to 30 minutes to build. On the Manage dashboard, expand the Master Images section on the right to see the current state (such as “Building image” or “Ready to customize”).

What to do next: Connect to a new master image and customize it.

Connect to a new master image and customize it

After a new master image is created, its name is added to the Master Images list, with a status of Ready to customize (or similar wording). To customize that image, you first download an RDP file that you’ll use to connect to the image. When you connect to the image, you can add applications and other software to the image.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Master Images on the right. Click the image you want to connect to.
  2. Click Download RDP file. An RDP client downloads.

    The master image machine might power off if you do not RDP to it shortly after it’s created. This saves costs. When that happens, click Power On.

  3. Double-click the downloaded RDP client. It automatically attempts to connect to the address of the machine containing the new image. When prompted, enter the credentials you specified when creating the image.
  4. After you connect to the machine, add or remove apps, install updates, and finish any other customization work.

    Do NOT Sysprep the image.

  5. When you’re done customizing the new image, return to the Master Images box and click Finish build. The new image automatically undergoes validation testing.

Later, when you create a catalog, the new master image is included in the list of images you can select.

On the Manage dashboard, the Master Images display on the right indicates how many catalogs and machines use each image.

Import a master image from Azure

When you import a master image from Azure that has a Citrix VDA and applications your users need, you can use it to create a catalog or replace the image in an existing catalog.

Citrix runs the following validation tests on the imported image. Ensure that the following requirements are met when you prepare the image that you’ll import into Citrix Managed Desktops.

  • Supported OS: The image must be a supported Windows OS: Windows 10, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019. To check the OS version, run Get-WmiObject Win32_OperatingSystem.
  • No configured Delivery Controllers: Ensure that no Citrix Delivery Controllers are configured in the image. Ensure that the following registry keys are cleared.
    • HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\ListOfDDCs
    • HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\ListOfDDCs
    • HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\FarmGUID
    • HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\FarmGUID
  • Personality.ini file: The personality.ini file must exist on the system drive.
  • Valid VDA: The image must have a Citrix VDA newer than 7.11 installed. To check, use Get HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent. For installation guidance, see Install a VDA on a master image.

Also, before importing an image, make sure that the Azure Virtual Machine Agent is installed on the image. For more information, see the Microsoft article Azure Virtual Machine Agent overview.

Install a VDA on a master image

Use the following procedure when preparing an image that you plan to import into Citrix Managed Desktops.

  1. In your environment, connect to the master image VM (if you’re not already connected).
  2. You can download a VDA by using the Downloads link on the Citrix Cloud navigation bar. Or, use a browser to navigate to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service download page.

    Download a VDA onto the VM. There are separate VDA download packages for a desktop (single-session) OS and a server (multi-session) OS.

  3. Launch the VDA installer by double-clicking the downloaded file. The installation wizard launches.
  4. On the Environment page, select Create a master image using MCS and then click Next.
  5. On the Core Components page, click Next.
  6. On the Delivery Controller page, select Let Machine Creation Services do it automatically and then click Next.
  7. Leave the default settings on the Additional Components, Features, and Firewall pages, unless Citrix instructs you otherwise. Click Next on each page.
  8. On the Summary page, click Install. Prerequisites begin to install. When prompted to restart, agree.
  9. The VDA installation resumes automatically. Prerequisite installation completes and then the components and features are installed. On the Call Home page, leave the default setting (unless Citrix instructs you otherwise). After you connect, click Next.
  10. Click Finish. The machine restarts automatically.
  11. To ensure that the configuration is correct, launch one or more of the applications you installed on the VM.
  12. Shut down the VM. Do not Sysprep the image.

For more information about installing VDAs, see Install VDAs.

Import the image

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Master Images on the right.

    Master images display in Manage dashboard

  2. Click Import Image.

    Import image

  3. Choose how the image will be imported.

    • For managed disks, use the export feature to generate a SAS URL. Set the expiration time to 7200 seconds or more.
    • For VHDs in a storage account, choose one of the following:
      • Generate a SAS URL for the VHD file.
      • Update the access level of a block storage container to blob or container. Then, get the file’s URL.
  4. If you selected Browse storage account:

    1. Sequentially select a subscription > resource group > storage account > master image.
    2. Name the master image.
  5. If you selected Azure public URL:

    1. Enter the Azure-generated URL for the VHD. For guidance, click the link to the Microsoft document Download a Windows VHD from Azure.
    2. Select a subscription.
    3. Name the master image.
  6. When you’re done, click Import Image.

Update a catalog with a new master image

The catalog type determines which machines are updated when you update the catalog.

  • For a random catalog, all of the machines currently in the catalog are updated with the latest image. If you add more desktops to that catalog, they are based on the latest master image.
  • For a static catalog, the machines currently in the catalog are not updated with the latest image. Machines currently in the catalog continue to use the master image they were created from. However, if you add more machines to that catalog, they are based on the latest master image.

To update a catalog with a new master image:

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Details tab, click Update Image.

    Update an image in a catalog

  3. Select a master image.
  4. For random or multi-session catalogs: Select a logoff interval. After the service completes the initial image processing, subscribers receive a warning to save their work and log off from their desktops. The logoff interval indicates how long subscribers have after receiving the message until the session ends automatically.
  5. Click Update Image.

Delete a master image

  1. From the Manage dashboard, expand Master Images on the right.
  2. Click the image you want to delete.

    Master image details display

  3. Click Delete Image.

Add machines to a catalog

Adding machines to a catalog can take a while. During that interval, you cannot make any other changes to that catalog.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Machines tab, click Add Machines to Catalog.

    Machines display for a catalog

  3. Enter the number of machines you want to add to the catalog.

    Adding machines to a catalog

  4. (Valid only if the catalog is domain-joined.) Type the username and password for the service account.
  5. Click Add Machines to Catalog.

You cannot reduce the machine count for a catalog. However, you can use power management schedule settings to control how many machines are powered on.

Delete machines from a catalog

You can delete a machine only when it has no sessions. When a machine is deleted, all data on the machine is removed.

  1. From the Manage dashbord, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Machines tab, select Delete in the ellipsis menu for the machine you want to delete. (Only machines with a zero session count can be selected for deletion.)
  3. Confirm the deletion by selecting the check boxes and then click Yes, Delete It.

Delete a catalog

When you delete a catalog, all of the machines in the catalog are permanently destroyed. Deleting a catalog cannot be reversed.

  1. From the Manage dashboard, click anywhere in the catalog’s entry.
  2. On the Details tab, click Delete This Catalog on the lower portion of the window.
  3. Confirm the deletion by selecting the acknowledgment check boxes and then clicking the confirmation button.

Workspace URL

After you create a catalog, configure user authentication, and add apps (multi-session catalogs only), notify users where to find their desktops and apps: the Workspace URL. The Workspace URL is the same for all catalogs and users.

On the Manage dashboard, the URL is on the right in User Access & Authentication.

Workspace URL display in Manage dashboard

You can change the first part of the Workspace URL in Citrix Cloud. For instructions, see Customize the workspace URL.

Get help

Review the Troubleshoot article.

If you still have problems with Citrix Managed Desktops, open a ticket by following the instructions in How to Get Help and Support.