Product Documentation

Profile management and XenDesktop

Dec 07, 2016
Important: Citrix recommends using the profile management capabilities integrated into XenDesktop. For information on this, see the XenDesktop documentation. The information in this topic applies to a different deployment - the use of XenDesktop with the Profile management component that has been separately installed and configured.

Install and upgrade Profile management in XenDesktop deployments

Use of this version of Profile management with XenDesktop is subject to the Profile management end-user license agreement (EULA). Subject to the terms in the EULA, you can also use Profile management with XenApp in a XenDesktop environment.

If you upgrade Profile management in a XenDesktop deployment, consider the effect on the log file locations as described in Upgrade Profile management.

For XenDesktop in Quick Deploy setups, see the recommendations in Decide on a configuration.

Configure Profile management in XenDesktop deployments

If Profile management has not been configured correctly on the images before they are rolled out, the Profile Management Service starts before Group Policy is applied. To avoid this, perform the configuration using the documented procedures before you put the images into a production environment.

Important: Including and excluding folders that are shared by multiple users (for example, folders containing data that can be shared by multiple virtual desktops) is not supported.

Configure Profile management in personal vDisk deployments

If you use the personal vDisk feature of XenDesktop, Citrix user profiles are stored on virtual desktops' personal vDisks by default, typically the P: drives. The profiles are not stored on users' C: drives. However, this is where Profile management expects to find the profiles so you must modify the Registry on the master image while installing or upgrading the Virtual Desktop Agent. In addition, because you have freed up space on the personal vDisk, it is also good practice to increase the default allocation of disk space for applications on the master image. For instructions on these modifications, see Managing XenDesktop documentation.

Do not delete the copy of a profile in the user store while a copy remains on the personal vDisk. Doing so creates a Profile management error, and causes a temporary profile to be used for logons to the virtual desktop. For more information on this, see Users Receive New or Temporary Profiles in Troubleshooting common issues.

Metro apps

In XenDesktop environments, Windows Store applications (also known as Metro apps) are supported on dedicated desktops and on desktops with personal vDisks, but not on other desktop types.

Metro apps are intended for use by single users on dedicated devices. They are not designed to work with any type of roaming profile, including Citrix user profiles. If a user requires Metro apps on their desktops, Citrix recommends creating their profile on a dedicated desktop, and preserving the profile at logoff. The user should access the apps on this desktop only. Metro apps on any other desktops that create profiles in the user store will be unusable.

Metro apps do not work if:

  1. A user accesses a pooled machine (pooled-random, static, or RDS) containing any type of roaming profile (including a Citrix user profile)
  2. A user accesses a dedicated desktop with a personal vDisk (the recommended solution) but their profile was already created on another desktop

In these cases, there is a temporary fix that allows the user to install the apps in their current session. This is to follow the Microsoft recommendation of enabling the Allow deployment operations in special profiles policy. In Group Policy Management Editor, this is located in Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > App Package Deployment. However, this fix requires users to install the apps each time they log on.

Example Settings for XenDesktop

This topic lists Profile management policy settings used in a typical XenDesktop deployment. Windows 7 virtual desktops are created with Citrix Provisioning Services and are shared by multiple users. In this example, the desktops, which are created from a pooled-random catalog and are deleted at logoff, are intended for use on static workstations (not mobile laptops) and personal vDisks are not used.

Where no policy is listed, no selection or entry was made in Group Policy, and the default setting applies.

Note the following:

  • Path to user store - You can incorporate Profile management variables into the path to the user store. This example uses !CTX_OSNAME! and !CTX_OSBITNESS!, which expand to Win7 and x86 respectively when the path is interpreted. The AD attribute #sAMAccountName# is also used to specify user names.
  • Delete locally cached profiles on logoff - Disabling this policy is safe because the desktops do not include personal vDisks and get deleted when users log off. Preserving locally cached profiles is therefore unnecessary. (If the desktops were not discarded at logoff, this policy should be enabled.)
  • Profile streaming - Enabling this setting improves logon times in this deployment.
  • Active write back - This policy is enabled because the pooled desktops in this deployment are only temporarily allocated to users, who might therefore make changes to their profile but might forget (or not bother) to close their desktop session. With this setting enabled, local file changes in the profile are mirrored in the user store before logoff.     

Note: If you enable the Active write back policy, performing a significant number of file operations in a session - such as file creation, file copy, and file deletion – can cause high system I/O activity and result in temporary performance issues while Profile management syncs the file changes to the user store.    

  • Process logons of local administrators - Enabling this setting is recommended for XenDesktop deployments, in which most users will be local administrators.
  • Processed groups - All domain users' profiles are managed by Profile management.
  • Exclusion list - directories (file system) and Exclusion list (registry) - These settings prevent the listed temporary or cached files, and the listed registry entries, from being processed. These files and entries are commonly stored in user profiles.
  • Directories to synchronize and Files to synchronize - Knowledge of where users' application data is stored helped define these settings.
Important: XenDesktop deployments vary, so the Profile management policy settings you decide on will probably be different to those in this example. To plan your settings, follow the advice in Decide on a configuration.

Citrix/Profile Management

Enable Profile management
Processed groups
MyDomainName\Domain Users
Path to user store
Active write back
Process logons of local administrators

Citrix/Profile Management/Profile handling

Delete locally cached profiles on logoff

Citrix/Profile Management/Advanced settings

Process Internet cookie files on logoff

Citrix/Profile Management/File system

Exclusion list - directories


AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files




AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu




Citrix/Profile Management/File system/Synchronization

Directories to synchronize

AppData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Dazzle Apps

Folders to mirror


Citrix/Profile Management/Streamed user profiles
Profile streaming