Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service

Install and configure

Use the following sequence to set up your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service deployment. Review the entire process before starting the deployment, so you know what to expect.

If you’re not familiar with the components and terminology used in a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment, see Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service.

Sign up

Sign up for a Citrix account and request a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service demo.

Set up a resource location (Connect to infrastructure)

Resource locations contain infrastructure servers, such as Active Directory and Citrix Cloud Connectors, and the machines that deliver apps or desktops to users.


Create a connection to the resource location

After you add a resource location, create a connection from the service’s control plane to the resource location.

For a simple proof of concept deployment, this step isn’t necessary.

Install VDAs (Register resources)

Each machine that delivers applications and desktops to users must have a Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) installed on it.

  • For a simple proof of concept deployment, download and install a VDA on one machine.
  • If you’re using a master image to provision VMs, install a VDA on the image. Each machine that is provisioned using that image contains that VDA.
  • For a Remote PC Access deployment, install a VDA for single-session OS on each physical office PC. You can use your existing Electronic Software Distribution (ESD) methods.


Create a machine catalog (Create a collection of resources)

After you create a connection to your resource location, the service’s Manage workflow guides you to create a machine catalog. A catalog contains machines that deliver apps or desktops to your users.

For a full deployment, you can use Citrix tools to provision a machine catalog containing multiple machines of the same type. You can create a master image on your hypervisor or cloud service to be used for the provisioning. The image contains apps or desktops, and a VDA. That image is used to provision machines in the catalog.


  • Create a machine catalog
  • If you are using Azure Resource Manager to host your resources, you can optionally use the Quick Deploy deployment method. For details, see Quick Deploy.
  • Video about creating a machine catalog in a full deployment:

    Video of creating a machine catalog

Create a delivery group (Assign users)

After you create your first machine catalog, the Manage workflow guides you to create a delivery group.

A delivery group specifies which machines can be used from a selected machine catalog. You can specify which users can use those machines, and the applications available on those machines.

Alternatively, you can specify users and applications through Citrix Cloud library offerings, rather than directly in a delivery group.


Launch applications and desktops

After you complete the preceding steps, publishing occurs automatically. The applications and desktops that you specified are available to users in their workspace. A user simply navigates to the workspace URL and selects an application or desktop, which launches immediately.


  • As an administrator, you can find the workspace URL in two places:

    • From the Citrix Cloud console, select Workspace Configuration from the menu in the upper left corner. the Access tab contains the Workspace URL. For more information, see Citrix Workspace.
    • From the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service Welcome page, the workspace URL appears at the bottom of the page.
  • For information about Workspace configuration, see Citrix Workspace.
  • Video about launching applications and desktops from your workspace:

    Video of launching applications and desktops

Other considerations

Complete the following tasks, if they apply to your deployment.

Configure a Microsoft RDS License Server for Windows Server workloads

This service accesses Windows Server remote session capabilities when delivering a Windows Server workload, such as Windows 2016. This typically requires a Remote Desktop Services client access license (RDS CAL). The VDA must be able to contact an RDS license server to request RDS CALs. Install and activate the license server. For more information, see the Microsoft document Activate the Remote Desktop Services License Server. For proof of concept environments, you can use the grace period provided by Microsoft.

With this method, you can have this service apply the license server settings. You can configure the license server and per user mode in the RDS console on the master image. You can also configure the license server using Microsoft Group Policy settings. For more information, see the Microsoft document License your RDS deployment with client access licenses (CALs).

To configure the RDS license server using Group Policy settings:

  1. Install a Remote Desktop Services License Server on an available VM. The VM must always be available. The Citrix service workloads must be able to reach this license server.
  2. Specify the license server address and per-user license mode using Microsoft Group Policy. For details, see the Microsoft document Specify the Remote Desktop Licensing Model for an RD Session Host Server.

Windows 10 workloads require appropriate Windows 10 license activation. We recommend that you follow Microsoft documentation to activate Windows 10 workloads.