PoC Guide: Remote PC Access with Citrix DaaS


This Proof of Concept guide is designed to help you quickly configure Citrix DaaS to include Remote PC Access in your environment. At the end of this Proof of Concept guide you will be able to give users who are working remotely access to the on-premises physical desktops using Citrix DaaS. You will be able to let your users access their on-premises workstations on any device of their choice without having to connect over a VPN.

Conceptual Architecture

Citrix DaaS - Add Remote PC Access


In this Proof of Concept guide, you will experience the role of a Citrix administrator and you will create a connection between your organization’s on-premises deployment of physical desktops and Citrix Daas. You will provide access to those on-premises workstations to an end user with Citrix DaaS using Citrix Workspace.

This guide will showcase how to perform the following actions:

  1. Create a Citrix Cloud account (if you don’t have one already)
  2. Obtain a Citrix DaaS account
  3. Create a new Resource Location (your office) and install the Citrix Cloud Connectors in it
  4. Install Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent on the Remote PC Access hosts
  5. Create a Machine Catalog in Citrix DaaS
  6. Create a Delivery Group
  7. Launch a session from Citrix Workspace


Host machine requirements

The in-office workstations that your users must connect to are Windows single-session operating system machines, and are joined to a Windows Active Directory (AD) domain.

Citrix Cloud Connector

To install the Citrix Cloud Connectors in your environment, you require (at least two) Windows Server 2012 R2 or later server machines/VMs. You require static IPs for these two machines. Windows installation and domain join of these machines must have been done in advance. The system requirements for the Cloud Connectors are here. Review the guidance on the cloud connector installation here. The machine the Citrix Cloud Connector runs on must have network access to all the physical machines that are to be made available on the internet via the Citrix Workspace.

Some requirements Citrix Cloud Connector installation (installer performs checks for these) are:

The Citrix Cloud Connector machine must have outbound Internet access on port 443, and port 80 to only *.digicert.com. The port 80 requirement is for X.509 certificate validation. See more info here

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later must be pre-installed on the machine

Time on the machine must be synced with UTC

This guide provides detailed instructions on how to configure your environment including office workstations, connecting your on-premises setup up to Citrix Cloud. As a Citrix Cloud administrator, you enable your users to connect to their office workstations remote with Citrix DaaS.

Create a Citrix Cloud Account

If you are an existing Citrix Cloud customer, skip to the next section: Request Citrix DaaS Trial. Ensure that you have an active Citrix Cloud account. If your account has expired, contact your account manager to enable it.

If you need to sign up for a new Citrix Cloud account please follow the step by step instructions here: Signing up for Citrix Cloud

Request a Citrix DaaS Trial

  1. Sign in to your Citrix Cloud account
  2. From the management console, select Request Trial for the service you wish to trial, in this case Citrix DaaS.

Note For some services you must reqwuest a demo from a Citrix sales representative before you can try out the service. Requesting a demo allows you to discuss your organization’s cloud service needs with a Citrix sales representative. Also, the sales representative ensures you have all the information needed to use the service successfully.

When your trial is approved and ready to use, Citrix will send you an email notification.

Create a new Resource Location

  1. While the service is being provisioned, we can keep going. Return to the Citrix Cloud administration page. Scroll up, under Resource Locations Click Edit or Add New

    Citrix DaaS - New Resource Location

  2. Click Add a Resource Location or + Resource Location (if there is already a resource location)

    Citrix DaaS - Add Resource Location

  3. Click the ellipses on the top right of the new resource location. Click Manage Resource Location.

    Citrix DaaS - Manage Resource Location

  4. Enter a new name of the New Resource Location. Click Confirm.

    Citrix DaaS - Name the Resource Location

  5. Under the newly created resource location click + Cloud Connectors

    Citrix DaaS - Add Citrix Cloud Connector

  6. Click Download. Click Run once the download completes.

    Citrix DaaS - Download and run Citrix Cloud Connector installer

  7. Citrix Cloud connectivity test successful message is displayed. Click Close. Note: If the test fails, check the following link to resolve the issue

    Citrix DaaS - Citrix Cloud connectivity check

  8. Click Sign In and sign in to Citrix Cloud to authenticate the Citrix Cloud Connector.

    Citrix DaaS - Authenticate to Citrix Cloud

  9. From the drop-down lists select the appropriate Customer and Resource Location (Resource location drop-down list is not displayed if there is only one resource location). Click Install

    Citrix DaaS - Select customer and resource location

  10. Once the installation completes, a service connectivity test runs. Let it complete and you will again see a successful result. Click Close

    Citrix DaaS - Cloud Connector installed

  11. Click Refresh all to refresh the Resource Location page in Citrix Cloud

    Citrix DaaS - Refresh resource locations

  12. Click Cloud Connectors

    Citrix DaaS - Refresh resource locations

  13. The newly added Cloud Connector is listed. Repeat the last 8 steps to install another Cloud Connector in the Resource Location on the second Windows server machine that you had prepared.

    Citrix DaaS - Refresh resource locations

Install Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent on the Remote PC Access hosts

We now install the Citrix Virtual Desktops, Virtual Delivery Agent on the physical machines that we are going to give users access to. If you want to install the Citrix Virtual Delivery Agent using scripts or a deployment tool like SCCM follow the appropriate links. Ensure to use the install command line parameters as shown in the following instructions.

  1. Connect to the physical machine via RDP as the a local admin.

    Citrix DaaS - RDP to physical host

  2. Open Citrix.com in your browser. Hover over Sign In and click My Citrix account

    Citrix DaaS - Open Citrix.com

  3. Sign in with your username and password. Click Downloads.

    Citrix DaaS - Log in to Citrix.com

  4. From the Select a product… drop-down list, select Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

    Citrix DaaS - Select CVAD from drop-down list

  5. In the page that opens, select the latest version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 (without the .x at the end)

    Citrix DaaS - Select latest version

  6. Scroll down to Components that are on the product ISO but also packaged separately. Click chevron to expand the section. Click Download File under the Single-session OS Virtual Delivery Agent version

    Citrix DaaS - Select Single-session OS VDA

  7. Check “I have read and certify that I comply with the above Export Control Laws” check box, if you agree. Click Accept. The download begins.

    Citrix DaaS - Accept terms and download

  8. Save the file. When the download completes move to the next step.

  9. Search for PowerShell from the Start menu search bar and Click Run as administrator

    Citrix DaaS - Run PowerShell as administrator

  10. Traverse to the directory you downloaded the installer in.

    Citrix DaaS - Change directory to download folder

  11. Run the following command. (Replace the name of the executable with the one you downloaded and the cloud connector FQDN). Note: The Citrix UPM and the Citrix UPM WMI Plugin are essential for monitoring and Citrix Analytics to collect data from the endpoint, so that logon duration, session resilliency and UX score can be reported. VDAWorkstationSetup_version.exe /quiet /remotepc /includeadditional “Citrix User Profile Manager”,“Citrix User Profile Manager WMI Plugin” /controllers “cloudconnecotrFQDN” /enable_hdx_ports /noresume /noreboot

    Citrix DaaS - Run installer

  12. Wait for the installation to complete. Reboot the physical machine.

    Citrix DaaS - Wait for install and reboot

Repeat the procedure for all the physical hosts that you want to make available remotely.

Create a machine catalog in Citrix DaaS

Use Citrix DaaS to create a catalog of the physical machines

  1. Once the trial is approved, Log in to Citrix Cloud from your local machine. Scroll to My Services, and locate DaaS service tile, click Manage

    Citrix DaaS - Log in to Citrix Cloud

  2. The service overview page is displayed.

    Citrix DaaS - Book mark Workspace URL

  3. In the left menu, Click Machine Catalogs

    Citrix DaaS - Open Web Studio

  4. Click Create Machine Catalog.

    Citrix DaaS - Click Create Machine Catalog

  5. Select Remote PC Access. Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Select Remote PC Access

  6. Select I want users to connect to same(static) desktop each time they login. Click Next

    Citrix Daas - Select Static Desktop

  7. Click Add Machine Accounts or click Add OUs based on whether you want to add machines or OUs (all the physical machines in the OU). In our example we are adding a machine.

    Citrix DaaS - Add machines accounts or OU

  8. In the Select Computers pop up, enter the first few characters of the machine hostname you want to add. Click Check Names

    Citrix DaaS - Search for machine host name

  9. If the search returns more than one machine names, choose the ones you want to add (hold down the CTRL key to choose more than one). Once you have selected all the machines. Click OK

    Citrix DaaS - Select machine host names

  10. Repeat the last 2 steps to add all the machines you want to add to the catalog. Then click Save in the Select Computers dialog

    Citrix DaaS - Repeat steps for other machines

  11. From the Select the Zone and minimum functional level for this catalog drop-down list, select 1811 (or newer). Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Choose minimum functional level

  12. Leave the default select on Scopes selection, Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Choose Scopes

  13. Leave the default select on WEM selection, Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Choose WEM

  14. Do not select Enable VDA upgrade selection, Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Choose WEM

  15. Enter a name for the machine catalog. Click Finish. You will be returned to the Machine Catalogs page.

    Citrix DaaS - Complete catalog creation

Create a Delivery group

  1. From the left side menu click Delivery Groups to start creating your delivery group.

    Citrix DaaS - Open Delivery Groups

  2. From the Actions menu(right side), click Create Delivery Group.

    Citrix DaaS - Click Create Delivery Group

  3. Select the catalog you created earlier. Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Select Remote PC Access catalog

  4. Specify which users can access these desktops. For our example we assign the desktops to a group of users, that have a 1:1 mapping for each of the machines in the delivery group for enhanced security. Click the Restrict use to this Delivery Group to the following users’ radio button. Click Add

    Citrix DaaS - Restrict Delivery group to specific users

  5. Add domain users / groups that you want to have access to the delivery group. You can check their names by clicking Check Names. Once you are done click OK

    Citrix DaaS - Select users or groups to be added

  6. If the search returns more than one user name, choose the ones you want to add (hold down the CTRL key to choose more than one). Once you have selected all the users you want to add. Click OK

    Citrix DaaS - Choose the users

  7. Repeat the last 2 steps for all the users you want to add to the delivery group. Then click Save in the Select Users or Groups dialog. Click Next in the Create Delivery group dialog

    Citrix DaaS - Finish user selection

  8. Click Add

    Citrix DaaS - Add Desktop Assignment Rule

  9. In the Add Desktops Assignment Rule dialog. Enter Display Name for the delivery group. Click Add and add the same or a subset of the users you chose earlier again. Ensure Enable desktop assignment rule check box is checked. Click OK

    Citrix DaaS - Enter display name of Delivery Group and click Add

  10. Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Click Next

  11. Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Click Next

  12. Select the appropriate License Type. Click Next

    Citrix DaaS - Click Next

  13. Enter a Delivery Group name. Click Finish

Citrix DaaS - Enter Delivery Group name and start creation

  1. Once the delivery group is created, the Delivery Group Manage link looks like this. Click the Desktops tab in the Details section. Click x machine(s) is/are not assigned to a user.

    Citrix DaaS - Choose Desktops Tab and click list of unassigned machines

  2. Select the machine you want to assign to a user. Click Change User from the Action menu

    Citrix DaaS - Select machine and click Change User

  3. Click Add

    Citrix DaaS - Click Add

  4. Search for the user you want to assign to the machine using the Check Names button. Once found, click OK. Click Save.

    Citrix DaaS - Select user and click OK

Repeat the steps for the rest of the machines to assign each user to their physical machine.

Note: The last 4 steps are needed, if you want to assign specific users to specific desktops, else the users will be auto assigned to next available desktop in the delivery group or you can use PowerShell scripts to perform the assignment.

Launch the session from Citrix Workspace

  1. Open the Workspace URL you had saved earlier (from Citrix Cloud) to gain access to the Citrix Workspace. Log in as a domain user you have assigned the remote desktop to.

    Citrix DaaS - Log in to Citrix Workspace

  2. If this is the first time you are launching a session from the browser, you may get the following pop up. Ensure Citrix Workspace App is installed and click Detect Workspace

    Citrix DaaS - Detect Citrix Workspace app

  3. Click View All Desktops. Click the Remote PC Access delivery group

    Citrix DaaS - View All Desktops and launch session

  4. The session will launch giving the user access to the remote physical PC

    Citrix DaaS - Session launches


The guide walked you through connecting your physical desktops in your office to the Citrix DaaS, so users access them remotely. You learned how use Citrix DaaS to allow users to access their desktops on any device from any location. The process included how to install a Citrix Cloud connector in your on-premises office location, installing Citrix Virtual Delivery agents on the desktop machines. Creating a machine catalog from those machines and then a delivery group. Assigning users to their machines and then allowing them to connect to those desktops using Citrix Workspace app.

To learn more about Citrix solutions for Business Continuity, read the Tech Brief