Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Create a site

A site is the name you give to a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment. It comprises the Delivery Controllers and other core components, Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs), connections to hosts, machine catalogs, and delivery groups. You create the site after you install the core components and before creating the first machine catalog and delivery group.

If your Controller is installed on Server Core, use PowerShell cmdlets in the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops SDK to create a site.

When you create a site, you are automatically enrolled in the Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP collects anonymous statistics and usage information, and then sends it to Citrix. The first data package is sent to Citrix approximately seven days after you create the site. You can change your enrollment at any time after site creation. Select Configuration in the Studio navigation pane, then the Product Support tab, and follow the guidance. For details, see

The user who creates a site becomes a full administrator; for more information, see Delegated administration.

Review this article before you create the site, so you know what to expect.

Step 1. Open Studio and start the site creation wizard

Open Studio if it is not already open. You are automatically guided to the action that starts the site creation wizard. Select that action.

Step 2. Site type and name

On the Introduction page, choose a site type:

  • Application and desktop delivery Site. When you create an application and desktop delivery site, you can further choose to create a full deployment site (recommended) or an empty site. An empty site is only partially configured, and is usually created by advanced administrators.
  • Remote PC Access Site. A Remote PC Access site allows designated users to remotely access their office PCs through a secure connection.

If you create an application and desktop delivery deployment now, you can add a Remote PC Access deployment later. Conversely, if you create a Remote PC Access deployment now, you can add a full deployment later.

Type a name for the site. After the site is created, its name appears at the top of the Studio navigation pane: Citrix Studio (site-name).

Step 3. Databases

The Databases page contains selections for setting up the site, monitoring, and configuration logging databases. For details about database setup choices and requirements, see Databases.


If an SQL Server Always On Listener is configured for TLS encryption, you might be prompted to enter credentials with database creation permissions. Attempts to create the database still fail even if you enter valid administrator credentials. Verify that the SQL Server certificate includes the listener DNS name in the Subject Alternative Names (SAN). For more information, see

If you choose to install SQL Server Express for use as the site database (the default), a restart occurs after that software is installed. That restart does not occur if you choose not to install the SQL Server Express software for use as the site database.

If you are not using the default SQL Server Express, ensure that the SQL Server software is installed on the machines before creating a site. System requirements lists the supported versions.

If you want to add more Delivery Controllers to the site, and have already installed the Controller software on other servers, you can add those Controllers from this page. If you also plan to generate scripts that set up the databases, add the Controllers before generating the scripts.

Step 4. Licensing

On the Licensing page, specify the License Server address and then indicate which license to use (install).

  • Specify the License Server address in the form name:[port]. The name must be an FQDN, NetBIOS, or IP address. FQDN is recommended. If you omit the port number, the default is 27000. Click Connect. You cannot proceed to the next page until a successful connection is made to the License Server.
  • When a connection is made, Use an existing license is selected by default. The display lists the compatible products that this product can be configured as, based on currently installed licenses.

    • If you want to configure this product as one of the listed products (for example, Citrix Virtual Apps Premium or Citrix Virtual Desktops Premium), using one of those licenses, select that entry.
    • If you already allocated and downloaded a license (using the Citrix Manage Licenses Tool) to use with this product, but haven’t installed the license yet:

      • Click Browse for license file.
      • In the file explorer, locate and select the license you downloaded. The associated products now appear on the Licensing page of the site creation wizard. Select the entry you want to use.
    • If the product you want is not displayed, or if you have no allocated and downloaded licenses, you can allocate, download, and install a license. To do this, the License Server must have internet access. You must have a License Access Code for the product you want. Citrix emails that code to you.

      • Click Allocate and download.
      • In the Allocate Licenses dialog, enter the License Access Code sent by Citrix. Click Allocate licenses.
      • The products associated with the new license appear on the Licensing page of the site creation wizard. Select the entry you want to use.

      Alternatively, select Use the free 30-day trial, and install licenses later. For details, see the Licensing documentation.

Step 5. Power management (Remote PC Access only)

See Step 8. Remote PC Access.

Step 6. Host connection, network, and storage

If you are using VMs on a hypervisor or other service to deliver applications and desktops, you can optionally create the first connection to that host. You can also specify storage and network resources for that connection. After creating the site, you can modify this connection and resources, and create more connections. For details, see Connections and resources.

  • For information specified on the Connection page, see Connections and resources.

    • If you are not using VMs on a hypervisor or other service (or if you use Studio to manage desktops on dedicated blade PCs), select the connection type None.

    • If you are configuring a Remote PC Access site and plan to use the Wake on LAN feature, select the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager type.

    In addition to the connection type, specify whether you will use Citrix tools (such as Machine Creation Services) or other tools to create VMs.

  • For information specified on the Storage and Network pages, see Host storage, Storage management, and Storage selection.

Step 7. Additional Features

On the Additional Features page, you can select features to customize your site. When you select the check box for an item that requires information, a configuration box appears.

  • App-V Publishing: Select this feature if you use applications from Microsoft App-V packages on App-V servers. Provide the URL of the App-V management server and the URL and port number of the App-V publishing server.

    If you use applications from App-V packages on network share locations only, you do not need to select this feature.

    You can also enable/disable and configure this feature later in Studio. For more information, see App-V.

Step 8. Remote PC Access

For information about Remote PC Access deployments, see Remote PC Access.

If you use the Wake on LAN feature, complete the configuration steps on the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager before creating the site. For details, see Configuration Manager and Remote PC Access Wake on LAN.

When you create a Remote PC Access site:

  • If you’re using the Wake on LAN feature, specify the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager address, credentials, and connection information on the Power Management page.
  • Specify users or user groups on the Users page. There is no default action that automatically adds all users. Also, specify machine accounts (domain and OU) information on the Machine Accounts page.

    To add user information, click Add Users. Select users and user groups, and then click Add users.

    To add machine accounts information, click Add machine accounts. Select the machine accounts, and then click Add machine accounts. Click Add OUs. Select the domain and Organizational Units, and indicate whether to include items in subfolders. Click Add OUs.

A machine catalog named Remote PC User Machine Accounts is created automatically. The catalog contains all the machine accounts you added in the site creation wizard. A delivery group named Remote PC User Desktops is created automatically. The group contains all the users and user groups you added.

Step 9. Summary

The Summary page lists the information you specified. Use the Back button if you want to change anything. When you’re finished, click Create and the site creation begins.

Test a site configuration

To run the tests after you create the site, select Citrix Studio (Site site-name) at the top of the navigation pane. Then click Test site in the center pane. You can view an HTML report of the site test results.

The site test functionality might fail for a Controller installed on Windows Server 2016. The failure occurs when a local SQL Server Express is used for the site database and the SQL Server Browser service is not started. To avoid this failure, complete the following tasks.

  1. Enable the SQL Server Browser service (if necessary) and then start it.
  2. Restart the SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS) service.

Site tests run automatically when you upgrade an earlier deployment. For details, see Preliminary site tests.


After configuring the site, you can install Studio and add it through the MMC as a snap-in on a remote machine. If you later attempt to remove that snap-in, the MMC might stop responding. As a workaround, restart the MMC.