Citrix Provisioning

Configuring target devices that use personal vDisks

Citrix XenDesktop with personal vDisk technology is a high-performance enterprise desktop virtualization solution that makes VDI accessible to workers who require personalized desktops using pooled-static virtual machines.

Target devices that use personal vDisks are created using the Citrix XenDesktop Setup Wizard. Within a Provisioning Services farm, the wizard creates and adds target devices with personal vDisks to an existing site’s collection. The wizard assigns an existing shared-mode vDisk to that device.

The wizard also creates virtual machines to associate with each device. A catalog in Citrix Desktop Studio allows you to preserve the assignment of users to desktops (static assignment). The same users are assigned the same desktop for later sessions. In addition, the wizard creates a dedicated storage disk (before logon) for each user so they can store all personalization’s to their desktop. Personalizations include any changes to the vDisk image or desktop that are not made as a result of an image update. Including application settings, adds, deletes, modifications, documents.

Target devices that use personal vDisks can only inherit properties from another device that uses personal vDisks.

Use the Device with Personal vDisk Properties dialog on the Provisioning Services console to configure, view, or modify the properties of a target device using a personal vDisk.

General tab

For read-only fields, the device needs to be deleted and re-created with the XenDesktop Setup Wizard.

  • Name

The name of the target device or the name of the person who uses the target device. The name can be up to 15 bytes in length. However, the target device name cannot be the same as the machine name being imaged. This field is read-only.

If the target device is a domain member, it should use the same name as in the Windows domain. Unless that name is the same as the machine name being imaged. When the target device boots from the vDisk, the name displayed here becomes the target device machine name.

  • Description

Provides a description to associate with this target device.

  • MAC

The media access control (MAC) address of the network interface card that is installed in the target device. This field is read-only.

  • Port

Displays the UDP port value.

In most instances, you do not have to change this value. However, if target device software conflicts with any other IP/UDP software (that is, they are sharing port), you must change this value.

  • vDisk

Name of the vDisk that this device uses. This field is read-only.

  • Change

Use to change the vDisk assignment for this device. The Assign vDisk dialog displays with the currently assigned vDisk’s Store information. The vDisk you select must be from the same vDisk base image as the previous image.

  • Personal vDisk Drive

Drive letter from which the personal vDisk is accessed. Default is P: (range allowed is between E: to U: and W: to Z:). This field is read-only.

Personality tab

  • Name and String

There is no fixed limit to the number of names you can add. However, the maximum name length is 250 characters and the maximum value length is 1000 characters.

Use any name for the field Name, but do not repeat a field name in the same target device. Field names are not case sensitive. In other words, the system interprets “FIELDNAME” and “fieldname” as the same name. Blank spaces entered before or after the field name are automatically removed.

A personality name cannot start with a $. This symbol is used for reserved values such as $DiskName and $WriteCacheType.

Status tab

  • Target Device Status

The following target device status information appears:

  • Status: status of this device (active or inactive).
  • IP Address: provides the IP Address or unknown.
  • Server: the Provisioning Server that is communicating with this device.
  • Retries: the number of retries to permit when connecting to this device.
  • vDisk: provides the name of the vDisk or displays as unknown.
  • vDisk version: version of this vDisk currently being accessed.
  • vDisk full name: the full file name for the version currently being accessed.
  • vDisk access: identifies that the version is in Production (it cannot be in Maintenance or Test).
  • License information. Depending on the device vendor, displays product licensing information (including; n/a, Desktop License, Datacenter License, XenApp License, or XenDesktop License).

Logging tab

  • Logging level

Select the logging level or select Off to disable logging:

-  Off — Logging is disabled for this Provisioning Server.
-  Fatal — Logs information about an operation that the system could not recover from.
-  Error — Logs information about an operation that produces an error condition.
-  Warning — Logs information about an operation that completes successfully, but there are issues with the operation.
-  Info — Default logging level. Logs information about workflow, which generally explains how operations occur.
-  Debug — Logs details related to a specific operation and is the highest level of logging. If logging is set to DEBUG, all other levels of logging information are displayed in the log file.
-  Trace — Logs all valid operations.

Personal vDisks test mode

Use the personal vDisks test device to test vdisk updates for a device that uses personal vDisks within a test environment. Using the PvD production environment, you can then test for compatibility with your actual environment.


  • Personal vDisk devices can be test or production devices.
  • Provisioning Services displays an appropriate error message when trying to boot a private image or a maintenance version with a personal vDisk device. Only devices without personal vDisks disk can boot a private image or maintenance version.
  • You can change the vDisk assignment in the Provisioning Services console with these methods:
  • Informational warning displays when changing vDisk assignment for personal vDisk devices.
  • Changing personal vDisk device type requires more privileges for the soap/stream services user.
    • Local administrator on the Provisioning Services server system.
    • XenDesktop full administrator.
    • Full permission to the XenDesktop database (a XenDesktop requirement).
  • For merging, Provisioning Services automatically reboots devices and personal vDisk runs inventory when needed.
  • Citrix recommends that you dedicate a small group of personal vDisk devices for test mode in their own catalog. Also, keep this desktop group in maintenance mode when not used. Otherwise, XenDesktop power management is in control and turns devices on and off. This might potentially interfere with merging.
  • By default, Studio does not show the personal vDisk stage. Add that column.
  • The personal vDisks test mode environment requires that two catalogs are available — one for personal vDisk test devices and the other for personal vDisk production devices. If you want to use this feature in an environment where both personal vDisk test and production devices exist in one catalog, change it to test. Changing a production personal vDisk device to test causes all devices in that catalog to reboot. Change the production personal vDisks devices to test devices before creating any test version vDisk.

Assign or reassign a vDisk to a target device that uses a personal vDisk

You can assign a different vDisk to a target device that uses a personal vDisk if that vDisk is from the same base (.vhdx) vDisk lineage. For example, to update an existing vDisk you can make a copy of the target device’s currently assigned vDisk, update the new vDisk, then assign the updated vDisk to the device.

To assign or reassign a vDisk:

  1. On the Device with Personal vDisk Properties dialog’s General tab, click Change… . By default, the Assign vDisk dialog displays with the current vDisks Store location and lists all vDisks available from that Store, except the currently assigned vDisk.
  2. In the Filter section, you have the option to:
    1. change the Store location from which to select vDisks from.
    2. filter vDisks that display in the list based on the server’s that can deliver them.
  3. Select the vDisk to assign to this target device.
Configuring target devices that use personal vDisks