Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Install VDAs using SCCM


To successfully deploy a Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or similar software distribution tools, Citrix recommends using the VDA installer in a sequence of steps.

Citrix does not recommend using the VDA Cleanup Utility as part of a VDA installation or upgrade. Use the VDA Cleanup Utility only in the limited case when the VDA installer has previously failed.


The required number of restarts during the installation of the VDA depends on the environment. For example:

  • A restart might be required for pending updates or restarts from earlier software installations.
  • Files previously locked by other processes might need updates, forcing an extra restart.
  • Some optional components in the VDA installer (such as Citrix Profile Management and Citrix Files) might require a restart.

The SCCM Task Sequencer manages all required restarts.

Define the task sequence

After identifying all prerequisites and restarts, use the SCCM Task Sequencer to complete the following:

  • The VDA can be installed from an accessible copy of the installation media or from one of the VDA standalone installers:

    • VDAWorkstationSetup_XXXX.exe
    • VDAServerSetup_XXXX.exe
    • VDAWorkstationCoreSetup_XXXX.exe

    For more information about VDA installers, see Installers.

  • When upgrading a VDA, the machine on which it is installed must be in maintenance mode, with no sessions.
  • When a VDA installation runs for the first time on a machine, the VDA installer being used is copied onto that machine.
    • When using a VDA installer other than VDAWorkstationCoreSetup_XXXX.exe, the VDA installer is copied to %ProgramData%\Citrix\XenDesktopSetup\XenDesktopVdaSetup.exe.
    • When using VDAWorkstationCoreSetup_XXXX.exe, the VDA installer is copied to %ProgramData%\Citrix\XenDesktopSetup\XenDesktopRemotePCSetup.exe. `
  • The directory location of the VDA installer is also stored in the registry “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\MetaInstall” “MetaInstallerInstallLocation”.
  • Add the command line options /NOREBOOT, /NORESUME, and /QUIET to your command line options.
    • /QUIET: Do not show the user interface during installation, so that SCCM has control of the installation process.
    • /NOREBOOT: Suppress the VDA installer from restarting automatically. SCCM triggers restarts when needed.
    • /NORESUME: Usually, when a restart is needed during the installation, the VDA installer sets a runonce registry key (\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce). When the machine restarts, Windows uses the key to launch the VDA installer. This is an issue for SCCM, because SCCM cannot monitor the installation and capture the exit code.

Example installation sequence using SCCM

The following example shows the installation sequence.

  1. SCCM TASK1: Prepare the machine by restarting the machine.
  2. SCCM TASK2: Start the VDA installation.
    1. Add the /quiet, /noreboot, and /noresume options to your command line options.
    2. Run the VDA installer of your choice (local image or one of the minimal installers).
    3. SCCM must capture the return code.
      • If the return code is 0 or 8, the installation is complete, and a restart is needed.
      • If a return code is 3, restart the machine and then pass control to SCCM TASK3.
  3. SCCM TASK3: Continue VDA installation.
    1. If SCCM TASK2 does not return a 0 or 8, the installation must be continued after the restart completes.
    2. SCCM TASK3 repeats until the VDA installer returns a 0 or 8 (indicating a successful installation), or 3 (indicating SCCM TASK3 must be repeated). Treat any other return code as an error, and SCCM TASK3 should report an error and stop.
    3. Resume the VDA installation by running the appropriate VDA installer (XenDesktopVdaSetup.exe for most cases, or XenDesktopRemotePCSetup.exe if VDAWorkstationCoreSetup_XXXX.exe was used) from the location where it was copied (as described in Define the task sequence), with no command-line parameters. (The VDA installer uses the parameters it saved during the first run of the installer.)
    4. Watch for the return code from the VDA installer.
      • 0 or 8: Success, installation complete, restart required.
      • 3: Installation is not complete. Restart the machine and repeat SCCM TASK3 until a 0 or 8 is returned. Treat any other return code as an error, and SCCM TASK3 should report an error and end.

For more information about return codes see Citrix installation return codes.

VDA installation command examples

The available installation options vary, depending on which installer is used. See the following articles for command line option details.

Installation commands for Remote PC Access

  • The following command uses the single-session core VDA installer (VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe):

    VDAWorkstationCoreSetup.exe /quiet /controllers “” /enable_hdx_ports /noresume /noreboot

  • The following command uses the single-session full VDA installer (VDAWorkstationSetup.exe):

    VDAWorkstationSetup.exe /quiet /remotepc /physicalmachine /controllers “” /enable_hdx_ports /noresume /noreboot

Installation command for dedicated VDI

  • The following command uses the single-session full VDA installer (VDAWorkstationSetup.exe):

    VDAWorkstationSetup.exe /quiet /components vda /controllers “” /enable_hdx_ports /enable_remote_assistance /noresume /noreboot

Install VDAs using SCCM