Profile Management

Citrix Profile Management profile container

Important:

This feature does not work on Windows 7.

Large folders in a user profile can cause a slow user logon. To improve the logon experience, Profile Management provides the profile container, a VHDX-based profile solution. This solution lets you store the profile folders of your choice on the VHDX profile disk. When users log on, the VHDX profile disk is mounted and the profile folders are available immediately.

Starting with Profile Management 2009, the profile container solution can store the entire user profile on the VHDX profile disk.

The general workflow for deploying the profile container is as follows:

  1. (Optional) specify the storage path for the VHDX files.

  2. Enable the profile container using one the following methods:

  3. (Optional) include and exclude folders and files.

  4. (Optional) enable local caching for profile containers.

  5. (Optional) enable multi-session write-back for profile containers

Note:

  • The maximum size for the VHDX files defaults to 30 GB.
  • The VHDX files do not shrink automatically, even if you manually delete files from them. To reduce the size of the VHDX files, go to Disk Management, right-click the applicable volume, and then select Shrink Volume.

Overview

Learn about the key concepts and information.

About the user store and the profile container

The user store is the central network location for storing user profiles. When users log on, their profiles are copied from the user store to the user environment. Large profile folders in a user profile prolong user logons.

The Citrix Profile Management profile container is a VHDX-based network disk used to store user profiles. You can use it to store a user profile in whole or in part. On logon, the profile container is mounted to the user environment and the profile folders are available immediately.

Impacts on other policies

If you enable the profile container for the entire user profile, the impacts on other policies include the following:

  • The user store–based profile solution is disabled automatically. Policies that are designed for the user store become invalid, which include:

    • Streamed user profiles
    • File System
    • Active write-back
    • Delete locally cached profiles on logoff
  • To keep backward compatibility with the Search index roaming for Outlook feature, Profile Management retains the two VHDX disks that are used to store the following files, respectively:

    • Outlook search index database
    • Offline data (.ost) files

How concurrent access works

Profile Management supports concurrent access to a profile container. Only one read/write session exists in all concurrent sessions, and can merge changes to the profile into the profile container.

The following is how Profile Management processes concurrent access:

  • On session logon:

    Checks whether a read/write session exists. If so, the current session becomes read-only. Otherwise, it is a read/write session.

  • On session logoff:

    1. Dismounts the profile container.
    2. Discards profile changes if the current session is read-only.
    3. Merges profile changes of the read/write session to the profile container if there are no other concurrent sessions.

To enable multi-session write-back, use the Enable multi-session write-back for profile containers policy.

(Optional) specify the storage path for the VHDX files

By default, a VHDX profile disk (VHDX file) is stored in the user store.

For example, you configure the path of the user store as: \\myprofileserver\profiles$\%username%.%domain%\!ctx_osname!.!ctx_osbitness!.

The VHDX profile disk is then stored in: \\myprofileserver\profiles$\%username%.%domain%\!ctx_osname!.!ctx_osbitness!\ProfileContainer\!ctx_osname!.

Starting with Profile Management 2112, you can specify a separate network location to store all VHDX files in Profile Management. For more information, see Specify the storage path for VHDX files.

Enable the profile container for a portion of the user profile

To reduce logon time with the user store, you can enable the profile container feature and add those large profile folders to the profile container.

Note:

The folders you add to the profile container also exist in the user store. After you enable the profile container feature, Profile Management keeps the folders synchronized between the profile container and the user store. Suppose you enable the profile container feature and then you disable it. To ensure a consistent user profile, Profile Management synchronizes the user store profile with a profile container. This synchronization occurs during the user logon. Folders in the exclusion list are not copied to the user store.

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Editor.
  2. Under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX files) > Citrix Components > Profile Management > Profile container settings, double-click the Profile container policy.
  3. Select Enabled.
  4. Click Show and add the folders in the form of relative paths to the user profile. We recommend that you add folders that contain large cache files. For example, add the Citrix Files content cache folder to the list: AppData\Local\Citrix\Citrix Files\PartCache.

Enable the profile container for the entire user profile

Starting with Profile Management 2009, you can put the entire user profile to the profile container, enabling the entire VHDX-based profile solution. Detailed steps are as follows:

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Editor.
  2. Under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX files) > Citrix Components > Profile Management > Profile container settings, double-click the Profile container policy.
  3. Select Enabled.
  4. Click Show, and then add an asterisk (*) to the profile container list.
  5. Click OK.

(Optional) include and exclude folders and files

To prevent the profile container from bloating, you can exclude folders and files from it. If needed, you can include folders and files when their parent folders are excluded.

Exclude folders from the profile container

Important:

If you enable the profile container for the entire user profile, the folder redirection setting still takes effect. Do not put folders to be redirected in the Folders to exclude from profile container list. Otherwise, folder redirection does not work.

  1. Double-click the Folders to exclude from profile container policy.
  2. Select Enabled.
  3. Click Show, and then enter the folders to exclude in the form of relative paths to the user profile.

    Starting with Profile Management 2112, wildcards in folder names are supported but are not applied recursively. Example:

    • Desktop indicates the Desktop folder.
    • Downloads\* indicates all immediate subfolders of the Downloads folder.

If the setting is disabled, no folder is excluded. If the setting is not configured here, the value from the .ini file is used. If the setting is configured neither here nor in the .ini file, no folder is excluded.

Include folders into the profile container

To include subfolders of the excluded folders into the profile container, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the Folders to include in profile container policy.
  2. Select Enabled.
  3. Click Show, and then enter the folders to include in the form of relative paths to the user profile.

Be aware of the following:

  • Folders on this list must be subfolders of the excluded folders. Otherwise, this setting does not work.
  • Starting with Profile Management 2112, wildcards in folder names are supported but are not applied recursively.

Enabling the policy and configuring an empty list have the same effect as disabling the setting. If the setting is not configured here, the value from the .ini file is used. If the setting is configured neither here nor in the .ini file, folders not on the exclusion list are included in the profile container.

Include files into the profile container

Starting with Profile Management 2112, you can include files into the profile container.

After you exclude a folder from the profile container, you can include files inside the folder into the profile container. Detailed steps are as follows:

  1. Double-click the Files to include in profile container policy.
  2. Select Enabled.
  3. Click Show, and then enter the files to include in the form of relative paths to the user profile.

Be aware of the following:

  • Files on this list must be inside the excluded folders. Otherwise, this setting does not work.
  • Wildcards in file names are applied recursively. To restrict the policy only to the current folder, use the vertical bar (|).
  • Starting with Profile Management 2112, wildcards in folder names are supported but are not applied recursively.

Examples: - Desktop\Desktop.ini indicates the Desktop\Desktop.ini file. - AppData\*.tmp indicates all files with the .tmp extension in the AppData folder and its subfolders. - AppData\*.tmp| indicates all files with the .tmp extension only in the AppData folder. - Downloads\*\a.txt indicates a.txt in any immediate subfolder of the Downloads folder.

Enabling the policy and configuring an empty list have the same effect as disabling the setting. If the setting is not configured here, the value from the .ini file is used. If the setting is configured neither here nor in the .ini file, files not on the exclusion list are included in the profile container.

Exclude files from the profile container

Starting with Profile Management 2112, you can exclude files from the profile container. Detailed steps are as follows.

  1. Double-click the Files to exclude from profile container policy.
  2. Select Enabled.
  3. Click Show, and then enter the files to exclude in the form of relative paths to the user profile.

Be aware of the following:

  • Wildcards in file names are applied recursively. To restrict the policy only to the current folder, use the vertical bar (|).
  • Starting with Profile Management 2112, wildcards in folder names are supported but are not applied recursively.

If the setting is disabled, no file is excluded. If the setting is not configured here, the value from the .ini file is used. If the setting is configured neither here nor in the .ini file, no file is excluded.

(Optional) enable local caching for profile containers

The Enable local caching for profile containers feature takes effect only when the profile container is enabled for the entire user profile. If you enable the Enable local caching for profile containers policy, during user logon, the user’s profile in the profile container is cached in the user’s local user profile.

By default, the entire user profile is cached during user logon. To reduce user logon time, you can enable the Profile streaming policy. As a result, the profile folders in the user profile are cached on demand after logon.