Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

VMware virtualization environments

Follow this guidance if you use VMware to provide virtual machines.

Install vCenter Server and the appropriate management tools. (No support is provided for vSphere vCenter Linked Mode operation.)

If you plan to use MCS, do not disable the Datastore Browser feature in vCenter Server (described in https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2101567). When you disable this feature, MCS does not work correctly.

You can use Citrix Provisioning (formerly Provisioning Services) and Machine Creation Services to provision:

  • legacy BIOS for supported Desktop or Server OS VMs.
  • UEFI for supported Desktop or Server OS VMs, including Secure Boot.

Required privileges

Create a VMware user account and one or more VMware roles. Base the creation of these roles on the level of granularity at which you need to assign users permissions. Define the privileges for each role, using the list of vCenter permissions that Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops needs to perform the operations.

To grant permissions to a user, associate the user with the role at the data center level. For more about setting permissions in vCenter, see the VMware documentation.

The following tables show the mappings between Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops operations and the minimum required VMware privileges.

Note:

The permissions list display name, specifically the User Interface, is different for some vSphere versions. For example, in vSphere 6.7 the User Interface permission is Change Memory and Change Settings, rather than Settings and Memory as described in the required privileges noted on this page.

Add connections and resources

SDK User interface
System. Anonymous, System. Read, and System.View Added automatically. Can use the built-in read-only role.

Power management

SDK User interface
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff Virtual machine > Interaction > Power Off
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOn Virtual machine > Interaction > Power On
VirtualMachine.Interact.Reset Virtual machine > Interaction > Reset
VirtualMachine.Interact.Suspend Virtual machine > Interaction > Suspend

Provision machines (Machine Creation Services)

To provision machines using MCS, the following permissions are mandatory:

SDK User interface
Datastore.AllocateSpace Datastore > Allocate space
Datastore.Browse Datastore > Browse datastore
Datastore.FileManagement Datastore > Low level file operations
Network.Assign Network > Assign network
Resource.AssignVMToPool Resource > Assign virtual machine to resource pool
VirtualMachine.Config.AddExistingDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Add existing disk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Add new disk
VirtualMachine.Config.AdvancedConfig Virtual machine > Configuration > Advanced
VirtualMachine.Config.RemoveDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Remove disk
VirtualMachine.Config.CPUCount Virtual machine > Configuration > Change CPU count
VirtualMachine.Config.Memory Virtual machine > Configuration > Change memory
VirtualMachine.Config.Settings Virtual machine > Configuration > Change settings
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff Virtual machine > Interaction > Power Off
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOn Virtual machine > Interaction > Power On
VirtualMachine.Interact.Reset Virtual machine > Interaction > Reset
VirtualMachine.Interact.Suspend Virtual machine > Interaction > Suspend
VirtualMachine.Inventory.CreateFromExisting Virtual machine > Inventory > Create from existing
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Create Virtual machine > Inventory > Create new
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Delete Virtual machine > Inventory > Remove
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.Clone Virtual machine > Provisioning > Clone virtual machine
VirtualMachine.State.CreateSnapshot vSphere 5.0, Update 2, vSphere 5.1, Update 1, and vSphere 6.x, Update 1: Virtual machine > State > Create snapshot; vSphere 5.5: Virtual machine > Snapshot management > Create snapshot

Image update and rollback

SDK User interface
Datastore.AllocateSpace Datastore > Allocate space
Datastore.Browse Datastore > Browse datastore
Datastore.FileManagement Datastore > Low level file operations
Network.Assign Network > Assign network
Resource.AssignVMToPool Resource > Assign virtual machine to resource pool
VirtualMachine.Config.AddExistingDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Add existing disk
VirtualMachine.Config.AddNewDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Add new disk
VirtualMachine.Config.AdvancedConfig Virtual machine > Configuration > Advanced
VirtualMachine.Config.RemoveDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Remove disk
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff Virtual machine > Interaction > Power Off
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOn Virtual machine > Interaction > Power On
VirtualMachine.Interact.Reset Virtual machine > Interaction > Reset
VirtualMachine.Inventory.CreateFromExisting Virtual machine > Inventory > Create from existing
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Create Virtual machine > Inventory > Create new
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Delete Virtual machine > Inventory > Remove
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.Clone Virtual machine > Provisioning > Clone virtual machine

Delete provisioned machines

SDK User interface
Datastore.Browse Datastore > Browse datastore
Datastore.FileManagement Datastore > Low level file operations
VirtualMachine.Config.RemoveDisk Virtual machine > Configuration > Remove disk
VirtualMachine.Interact.PowerOff Virtual machine > Interaction > Power Off
VirtualMachine.Inventory.Delete Virtual machine > Inventory > Remove

Storage Profile (vSAN)

To view, create, or delete storage policies during catalog creations on a vSAN datastore, the following permissions are mandatory:

SDK User interface
storage.Profile-driven storage update PROFILE-DRIVEN STORAGE > Profile-driven storage update
storage.Profile-driven storage view PROFILE-DRIVEN STORAGE > Profile-driven storage view

Tags and Custom Attributes

Tags and custom attributes allow you to attach metadata to the VMs created in vSphere inventory and make it easier to search and filter these objects. To create, edit, assign, and delete tags or categories, the following permissions are mandatory:

SDK User interface
Tagging.Create vSphere Tagging > Create vSphere Tag
Tagging.Create vSphere Tagging > Create vSphere Tag Category
Tagging.Edit vSphere Tagging > Edit vSphere Tag
Tagging.Edit vSphere Tagging > Edit vSphere Tag Category
Tagging.Delete vSphere Tagging > Delete vSphere Tag
Tagging.Delete vSphere Tagging > Delete vSphere Tag Category
Tagging.Assign vSphere Tagging > Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag
Tagging.Assign vSphere Tagging > Assign or Unassign vSphere Tag on Object
Global.ManageCustomFields Global > Manage custom attributes
Global.SetCustomField Global > Set custom attribute

Note:

When MCS creates a machine catalog, it tags the target VMs with special name tags. These tags differentiate the master image from MCS created VMs and prevent using MCS created VMs for image preparation. You can identify the difference by the value of XdProvisioned attribute in vCenter. The attribute is set to True if MCS creates VMs.

Provision machines (Citrix Provisioning)

All privileges from Provision machines (Machine Creation Services) and the following.

SDK User interface
VirtualMachine.Config.AddRemoveDevice Virtual machine > Configuration > Add or remove device
VirtualMachine.Config.CPUCount Virtual machine > Configuration > Change CPU Count
VirtualMachine.Config.Memory Virtual machine > Configuration > Memory
VirtualMachine.Config.Settings Virtual machine > Configuration > Settings
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.CloneTemplate Virtual machine > Provisioning > Clone template
VirtualMachine.Provisioning.DeployTemplate Virtual machine > Provisioning > Deploy template

Note:

The permissions to clone and deploy a template are required to provision VMs using Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Setup Wizard and Export Devices Wizard through Citrix Provisioning console.

Obtain and import a certificate

To protect vSphere communications, Citrix recommends that you use HTTPS rather than HTTP.

HTTPS requires digital certificates. Use a digital certificate issued from a certificate authority that meets your organization’s security policy.

If you are unable to use a digital certificate issued from a certificate authority, you can use the VMware-installed self-signed certificate. Only use this method if your organization’s security policy permits it. Add the VMware vCenter certificate to each Delivery Controller.

  1. Add the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the computer running vCenter Server to the hosts file on that server, at %SystemRoot%/WINDOWS/system32/Drivers/etc/. This step is required only if the FQDN of the computer running vCenter Server is not already present in the domain name system.

  2. Obtain the vCenter certificate using any of the following three methods:

    From the vCenter server.

    1. Copy the file rui.crt from the vCenter server to a location accessible on your Delivery Controllers.
    2. On the Controller, navigate to the location of the exported certificate and open the rui.crt file.

    Download the certificate using a web browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, right-click on Internet Explorer and choose Run as Administrator to download or install the certificate.

    1. Open your web browser and make a secure web connection to the vCenter server (for example https://server1.domain1.com).
    2. Accept the security warnings.
    3. Click the address bar displaying the certificate error.
    4. View the certificate and click the Details tab.
    5. Select Copy to file and export in .CER format, providing a name when prompted to do so.
    6. Save the exported certificate.
    7. Navigate to the location of the exported certificate and open the .CER file.

    Import directly from Internet Explorer running as an administrator.

    • Open your web browser and make a secure web connection to the vCenter server (for example https://server1.domain1.com).
    • Accept the security warnings.
    • Click the address bar displaying the certificate error.
    • View the certificate.
  3. Import the certificate into the certificate store on each of your Controllers.

    1. Click the Install certificate option, select Local Machine, and then click Next.
    2. Select Place all certificates in the following store, and then click Browse. Select Trusted People and then click OK. Click Next and then click Finish.

    If you change the name of the vSphere server after installation, you must generate a new self-signed certificate on that server before importing the new certificate.

Configuration considerations

Create a master VM:

Use a master VM to provide user desktops and applications in a machine catalog. On your hypervisor:

  1. Install a VDA on the master VM, selecting the option to optimize the desktop, which improves performance.
  2. Take a snapshot of the master VM to use as a back-up.

Create a connection:

In the connection creation wizard:

  • Select the VMware connection type.
  • Specify the address of the access point for the vCenter SDK.
  • Specify the credentials for a VMware user account you set up earlier that has permissions to create VMs. Specify the user name in the form domain/username.

VMware SSL thumbprint

The VMware SSL thumbprint feature eliminates the need to manually create a host connection to a VMware vSphere hypervisor. It is no longer required to manually create a trust relationship between the Delivery Controllers in the Site and the hypervisor’s certificate before creating a connection.

The VMware SSL thumbprint feature stores the untrusted certificate’s thumbprint on the Site database. This configuration ensures that the hypervisor can be continuously identified as trusted by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, even if not by the Controllers.

When creating a vSphere host connection in Studio, a dialog box allows you to view the certificate of the machine you are connecting to. You can then choose whether to trust it.

Reset OS disk

Use the PowerShell command Reset-ProvVMDisk to reset the OS disk of a persistent VM in an MCS created machine catalog.

To successfully run the PowerShell command, make sure that:

  • The target VMs are in a persistent MCS catalog.
  • The MCS machine catalog is functioning properly.
  • This implies that the provisioning scheme and host exist, and the provisioning scheme has correct entries.
  • VMware vCenter is not in maintenance mode.
  • Target VMs are powered-off and in maintenance mode.

Perform the following steps to reset the OS disk:

  1. Open a PowerShell window.
  2. Run asnp citrix* to load the Citrix-specific PowerShell modules.
  3. Run the PowerShell command Reset-ProvVMDisk in any one of the following ways:

    • Specify the list of VMs as a comma-separated list, and perform the reset on each VM:

       Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -VMName ("abc","def") -OS
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
    • Specify the list of VMs as an output from Get-ProvVM command, and perform the reset on each VM:

       (Get-ProvVM -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx") | Reset-ProvVMDisk "abc" -OS
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
    • Specify a single VM by name:

       Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -VMName "abc" -OS
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
    • Create separate reset tasks for each of the VMs returned by the Get-ProvVM command. This is less efficient because each task will perform the same redundant checks, such as hypervisor capability check, connection check for each VM.

       Get-ProvVM -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" | Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -OS
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
  4. A confirmation prompt appears that lists the VMs to be reset along with a warning message that it is an unrecoverable operation. If you do not provide an answer and press Enter, no further action takes place.

    Note:

    Do not take VMs out the of the maintenance mode or power them on until the completion of the reset process.

    You can run the PowerShell command -WhatIf to print the action it would take and exit without performing the action.

    You can also bypass the confirmation prompt using one of the following methods:

    • Provide the -Force parameter:

       Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -VMName "abc" -OS -Force
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
    • Provide the -Confirm:$false parameter:

       Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -VMName "abc" -OS -Confirm:$false
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
    • Before running the Reset-ProvVMDisk, change $ConfirmPreference to None:

       PS C:\Windows\system32> $ConfirmPreference='None'
       PS C:\Windows\system32> $ConfirmPreference
       None
       PS C:\Windows\system32> Reset-ProvVMDisk -ProvisioningSchemeName "xxx" -VMName "abc" -OS
       <!--NeedCopy-->
      
  5. Run Get-ProvTask to get the status of the tasks returned by Reset-ProvVMDisk command.

Update the folder ID of a machine catalog

You can update the folder ID of an MCS machine catalog by specifying the FolderId in the custom properties of Set-ProvScheme command. The VMs created after updating the folder ID are created under this new folder ID. If this property is not specified in CustomProperties, then VMs are created under the folder where the master image is located.

Perform the following steps to update the folder ID of a machine catalog.

  1. Open a Web browser and enter the URL for the vSphere Web Client.

  2. Enter the credentials and click Login.

  3. Create a VM placement folder in vSphere Web Client.

  4. Open a PowerShell window.

  5. Run asnp citrix* to load the Citrix-specific PowerShell modules.

  6. Specify the FolderID in the CustomProperties of Set-ProvScheme. In this example, the folder ID value is group-v2406.

    Set-ProvScheme -ProvisioningSchemeUid "50bb319c-2e83-4a37-9ea1-94f630687372" -CustomProperties "<CustomProperties xmlns=""http://schemas.citrix.com/2014/xd/machinecreation"" xmlns:xsi=""http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance""><Property xsi:type=""StringProperty"" Name=""FolderId"" Value=""group-v2406"" /></CustomProperties>"
    <!--NeedCopy-->
    
  7. Add a VM to the machine catalog using Studio.
  8. Check the new VM on vSphere Web Client. The new VM is created under the new folder.

Find the folder ID in vSphere

Access Managed Object Browser (MOB) on any ESXi or vCenter server system to find the folder ID of the VMs.

The MOB is a web-based server application available inbuilt in all ESX/ESXi and vCenter server systems. This vSphere utility allows you to view detailed information about objects like VMs, datastores, and resource pools.

  1. Open a web browser and enter http://x.x.x.x/mob, where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the vCenter Server or ESX/ESXi host. For example, https://10.60.4.70/mob.
  2. On the Home page of MOB, click the value of the property content.
  3. Click the value of the rootFolder.
  4. Click the value of the childEntity.
  5. Click the value of the vmFolder.
  6. You can find the folder ID in the value of the childEntity.
VMware virtualization environments