Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Server VDI

Use the Server VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) feature to deliver a desktop from a server operating system for a single user.

  • Enterprise administrators can deliver server operating systems as VDI desktops, which can be valuable for users such as engineers and designers.
  • Service Providers can offer desktops from the cloud. Those desktops comply with the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA).


  • In Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service deployments, Server VDI is supported on Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016.
  • All Server VDI deployments support the user personalization layer technology.
  • For Server VDI to work with TWAIN devices such as scanners, the Windows Server Desktop Experience feature must be installed.
  • The following features cannot be used with Server VDI:

    • Hosted applications
    • Local App Access
    • Direct (non-brokered) desktop connections
    • Remote PC Access

Install and configure Server VDI

  1. Prepare the Windows server for installation.

    • Use Windows Server Manager to ensure that the Remote Desktop Services role services are not installed. If they were previously installed, remove them. The VDA installation fails if these role services are installed.
    • Ensure that the Restrict each user to a single session property is enabled. On the Windows server, edit the registry for the Terminal Server setting:


      DWORD fSingleSessionPerUser = 1

  2. Use the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops installer’s command line interface to install a VDA on a supported server or server master image, specifying the /quiet and /servervdi options. (By default, the installer’s graphical interface blocks the Windows single-session OS VDA on a server operating system. Using the command line overrides this behavior.) Use one of the following commands:

    • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployments:
      • XenDesktopVdaSetup.exe /quiet /servervdi
      • VDAWorkstationSetup.exe /quiet /servervdi
    • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service deployments:
      • VDAWorkstationSetup.exe /quiet /servervdi

    Other options:

    • Use /controllers to specify Delivery Controllers or Cloud Connectors.
    • Use /enable_hdx_ports to open ports in the firewall, unless the firewall is to be configured manually.
    • Use /mastermcsimage (or /masterimage) if you are installing the VDA on an image, and will use MCS to create server VMs from that image.
    • For all option details, see Install using the command line.
  3. Create a machine catalog for Server VDI. In the catalog creation wizard:

    • On the Operating System page, select Single-session OS.
    • On the Summary page, specify a machine catalog name and description for administrators that clearly identifies it as Server VDI. This is the only indicator in Studio that the catalog supports Server VDI.

    When using search in Studio, the Server VDI catalog is displayed on the Single-session OS Machines tab, even though the VDA is installed on a multi-session machine.

  4. Create a Delivery Group and select the Server VDI catalog you created.

If you did not specify Delivery Controllers or Cloud Connectors during VDA installation, remember to specify them afterward. For details, see VDA registration.

Server VDI