Install VDAs using the command line

Important:

If you’re upgrading a VDA that has the Personal vDisk (PvD) component installed, see Important notice about upgrading VDAs.

Introduction

This article applies to installing, upgrading, and customizing Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) on machines with Windows operating systems.

This article describes how to issue VDA installation commands. Before beginning an installation, review Install VDAs to learn about installation considerations, installers, and what you specify during installation.

Install a VDA from the command line

Ensure that the machine is domain-joined before installing the VDA software.

To install a VDA (and see command execution progress and return values), you must have elevated administrative privileges or use Run as administrator.

  1. On the machine where you’re installing the VDA, sign to Citrix Cloud.
  2. In the upper left menu, select My Services > Virtual Apps and Desktops.
  3. On the upper right side, click Downloads and select Download VDA. You are redirected to the VDA download page. Find the VDA installer you want and click Download File.
  4. After the download completes, run its name. Use the options described in this article.

    • For the multi-session OS Virtual Delivery Agent, run VDAServerSetup.exe

    • For the single-session OS Virtual Delivery Agent, run VDAWorkstationSetup.exe

    • For the single-session OS Core Services Virtual Delivery Agent, run VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe

To extract the files before installing them, use /extract with the absolute path, for example .\VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe /extract %temp%\CitrixVDAInstallMedia. (The directory must exist. Otherwise, the extract fails.) Then in a separate command, run the appropriate command below, using the valid options listed in this article.

  • For VDAServerSetup_XXXX.exe, run <extract folder>\Extract\Image-Full\x64\XenDesktop Setup\XenDesktopVDASetup.exe

  • For VDAWorkstationCoreSetup_XXXX.exe, run <extract folder>\Extract\Image-Full\x64\XenDesktop Setup\XenDesktopRemotePCSetup.exe

  • For VDAWorkstationSetup_XXXX.exe, run <extract folder>\Extract\Image-Full\x64\XenDesktop Setup\XenDesktopVDASetup.exe

Command-line options to install a VDA

The following options are valid with one or more of the commands: VDAServerSetup.exe, VDAWorkstationSetup.exe, and VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe.

  • /components component[,component]

    Comma-separated list of components to install or remove. Valid values are:

    • VDA: Virtual Delivery Agent

    • PLUGINS: Citrix Workspace app for Windows

    To install the VDA and Citrix Workspace app, specify /components vda,plugins.

    This option is not valid when using the VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe installer. That installer cannot install Citrix Workspace app.

  • /controllerscontroller [controller]…”

    Space-separated FQDNs of Citrix Cloud Connectors with which the VDA can communicate, enclosed in straight quotation marks. Do not specify both the /site_guid and /controllers options.

  • /disableexperiencemetrics

    Prevents the automatic upload of analytics collected during installation, upgrade, or removal to Citrix.

  • /enable_hdx_ports

    Opens ports in the Windows firewall required by the VDA and enabled features (except Windows Remote Assistance), if the Windows Firewall Service is detected, even if the firewall is not enabled. If you are using a different firewall or no firewall, you must configure the firewall manually. For port information, see Network ports.

    To open the UDP ports that HDX adaptive transport, specify the /enable_hdx_udp_ports option, in addition to the /enable_hdx_ports option.

  • /enable_hdx_udp_ports

    Opens UDP ports in the Windows firewall that HDX adaptive transport requires, if the Windows Firewall Service is detected, even if the firewall is not enabled. If you are using a different firewall or no firewall, you must configure the firewall manually. For port information, see Network ports.

    To open the ports that the VDA uses, specify the /enable_hdx_ports option, in addition to the /enable_hdx_udp_ports option.

  • /enable_real_time_transport

    Enables or disables use of UDP for audio packets (RealTime Audio Transport for audio). Enabling this feature can improve audio performance. Include the /enable_hdx_ports option if you want the UDP ports opened automatically when the Windows Firewall Service is detected.

  • /enable_remote_assistance

    Enables the shadowing feature in Windows Remote Assistance for use with the Monitor functions. If you specify this option, Windows Remote Assistance opens the dynamic ports in the firewall.

  • /excludecomponent”[,”component”]

    Prevents installation of one or more comma-separated optional components, each enclosed in straight quotation marks. For example, installing or upgrading a VDA on an image not managed by MCS does not need the Machine Identity Service component. Valid values are:

    • Machine Identity Service
    • Citrix User Profile Manager
    • Citrix User Profile Manager WMI Plugin
    • Citrix Universal Print Client
    • Citrix Telemetry Service
    • Citrix Personalization for App-V - VDA
    • Citrix Supportability Tools
    • Citrix Files for Windows
    • Citrix Files for Outlook
    • User personalization layer

    Excluding Citrix Profile Management from the installation (/exclude "Citrix User Profile Manager") affects monitoring and troubleshooting of VDAs from the Monitor tab. On the User details and EndPoint pages, the Personalization panel and the Logon Duration panel fail. On the Dashboard and Trends pages, the Average Logon Duration panel display data only for machines that have Profile Management installed.

    Even if you are using a third-party Profile Management solution, Citrix recommends that you install and run the Citrix Profile Management Service. Enabling the Citrix Profile Management Service is not required.

    If you plan to use MCS to provision VMs, do not exclude the Machine Identity Service.

    If you specify both /exclude and /includeadditional with the same component name, the component is not installed.

    This option is not valid when using the VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe installer. That installer automatically excludes many of these items.

  • /h or /help

    Displays command help.

  • /includeadditional component”[,”component”] …

    Includes installation of one or more comma-separated optional components, each enclosed in straight quotation marks. The component names are case-sensitive.

    This option can be helpful when you are creating a Remote PC Access deployment, and want to install components that are not included by default. Valid values are:

    • Citrix User Profile Manager
    • Citrix User Profile Manager WMI Plugin
    • Citrix Universal Print Client
    • Citrix Telemetry Service
    • Citrix Personalization for App-V - VDA
    • Citrix Supportability Tools
    • Citrix Files for Windows
    • Citrix Files for Outlook
    • User personalization layer

    If you specify both /exclude and /includeadditional with the same component name, that component is not installed.

  • /installdir directory

    Existing empty directory where components will be installed. Default = c:\Program Files\Citrix.

  • /install_mcsio_driver

    Enables MCS I/O write cache for storage optimization.

  • /logpath path

    Log file location. The specified folder must exist. The installer does not create it. Default = “%TEMP%\Citrix\XenDesktop Installer”

    This option is not available in the graphical interface.

  • /masterimage

    Valid only when installing a VDA on a VM. Sets up the VDA as a master image. This option is equivalent to /mastermcsimage.

    This option is not valid when using the VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe installer.

  • /mastermcsimage

    Specifies that this machine will be used as a master image with Machine Creation Services. This option also installs TargetOSOptimizer.exe (unless you also specify exclude "Machine Identity Service" which includes the optimizer installer). This option is equivalent to /masterimage.

  • /masterpvsimage

    Specifies that this machine will be used as a master image with either Citrix Provisioning or a third-party provisioning tool (such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager).

  • /no_mediafoundation_ack

    Acknowledges that Microsoft Media Foundation is not installed, and several HDX multimedia features will not be installed and will not work. If this option is omitted and Media Foundation is not installed, the VDA installation fails. Most supported Windows editions come with Media Foundation already installed, except N editions.

  • /nodesktopexperience

    Valid only when installing a multi-session OS VDA. Prevents enabling of the Enhanced Desktop Experience feature. This feature is also controlled with the Enhanced Desktop Experience Citrix policy setting.

  • /noreboot

    Prevents a restart after installation. The VDA cannot be used until after a restart.

  • /noresume

    By default, when a machine restart is needed during an installation, the installer resumes automatically after the restart completes. To override the default, specify /noresume. This can be helpful if you must remount the media or want to capture information during an automated installation.

  • /optimize

    When you use MCS and enable this feature (default), VM optimization disables offline files, disables background defragmentation, and reduces event log size. For details, see CTX125874.

    In addition to enabling this feature, optimization requires that the Machine Identity Service be installed. That service contains the TargetOSOptimizer.exe. The Machine Identity Service is installed automatically when you specify /mastermcsimage or /masterimage (and do not specify /exclude "Machine Identity Service").

  • /portnumber port

    Valid only when the /reconfig option is specified. Port number to enable for communications between the VDA and the Controller. The previously configured port is disabled, unless it is port 80.

  • /quiet or /passive

    No user interface appears during the installation. The only evidence of the installation and configuration process is in Windows Task Manager. If this option is omitted, the graphical interface launches.

  • /reconfigure

    Customizes previously configured VDA settings when used with the /portnumber, /controllers, or /enable_hdx_ports options. If you specify this option without also specifying the /quiet option, the graphical interface for customizing the VDA launches.

  • /remotepc

    Valid only for Remote PC Access deployments (single-session OS) or brokered connections (multi-session OS). Excludes installation of the following components:

    • Citrix Personalization for App-V
    • Citrix User Profile Manager
    • Citrix User Profile Manager WMI Plugin
    • Machine Identity Service
    • Citrix Supportability Tools
    • Citrix Files for Windows
    • Citrix Files for Outlook
    • User personalization layer

    This option is not valid when using the VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe installer. That installer automatically excludes installation of these components.

  • /remove

    Removes the components specified with the /components option.

  • /removeall

    Removes all installed VDA components.

  • /sendexperiencemetrics

    Automatically sends analytics collected during the installation, upgrade, or removal to Citrix. If this option is omitted (or the /disableexperiencemetrics option is specified), analytics are collected locally, but not sent automatically.

  • /servervdi

    Installs a single-session OS VDA on a supported Windows server. Omit this option when installing a multi-session VDA on a Windows server. Before using this option, see Server VDI.

    This option is not available in the graphical interface.

  • /site_guid guid

    Globally Unique Identifier of the site Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU). This associates a virtual desktop with a site when you are using Active Directory for discovery (auto-update is the recommended and default discovery method). The site GUID is a site property displayed in Studio. Do not specify both the /site_guid and /controllers options.

  • /tempdir directory

    Directory to hold temporary files during installation. Default = c:\Windows\Temp.

    This option is not available in the graphical interface.

  • /virtualmachine

    Valid only when installing a VDA on a VM. Overrides detection by the installer of a physical machine, where BIOS information passed to VMs makes them appear as physical machines.

    This option is not available in the graphical interface.

Examples: Install a VDA

The following command installs a VDA on a multi-session OS. The VDA will be used as a master image.

VDAServerSetup.exe /quiet /controllers "Contr-East.domain.com" /enable_hdx_ports /masterimge

The following command installs a Core Services VDA on a single-session OS for use in a Remote PC Access or VDI deployment. Citrix Workspace app and other non-core services are not installed. The address of a Cloud Connector is specified, and ports in the Windows Firewall Service will be opened automatically. The administrator will handle restarts.

VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe /quiet /controllers "Contr-East.domain.com" /enable_hdx_ports /noreboot

Customize a VDA using the command line

After you install a VDA, you can customize several settings. Run XenDesktopVDASetup.exe, using one or more of the following options.

  • /reconfigure (required when customizing a VDA)
  • /h or /help
  • /quiet
  • /noreboot
  • /controllers
  • /portnumber port
  • /enable_hdx_ports

Where to go next

Create machine catalogs

To review the entire configuration process, see Install and configure.