Product Documentation

Server VDI

Aug 14, 2014
Using the Server VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) feature allows you to deliver a desktop from a server operating system for a single user.
  • Enterprise administrators can deliver server operating systems as VDI desktops, which can be valuable for users such as engineers and designers.
  • Service Providers can offer desktops from the cloud; those desktops comply with the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA).

You can use the Enhanced Desktop Experience Citrix policy setting to make the server operating system look like a Windows 7 operating system.

The following features cannot be used with Server VDI:
  • Personal vDisks
  • HDX 3D Pro
  • Hosted applications
  • Local App Access
  • Direct (non-brokered) desktop connections
  • Remote PC Access

Server VDI is supported on the same server operating systems as the VDA for Windows Server OS; these are listed in the System requirements topic.

Prepare the server for installation

On the Windows server, ensure that Remote Desktop Services role services are not installed and that users are restricted to a single session:
  • Use Windows Server Manager to ensure that the Remote Desktop Services role services are not installed. If they were previously installed, remove them.
  • Ensure that the ‘Restrict each user to a single session’ property is enabled.
    • On Windows Server 2008 R2, access this property through Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration. In the Edit settings > General section, the Restrict each user to a single session setting should indicate Yes.
    • On Windows Server 2012, edit the registry to set the Terminal Server setting. In registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer to set DWORD fSingleSessionPerUser to 1.

Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on the server before installing the VDA. (The requirement to install this prerequisite manually applies only to XenDesktop versions 7.0 through 7.5, and XenApp 7.5.)

Install the VDA, then create a Machine Catalog and a Delivery Group

Install a VDA for Windows Desktop OS on a supported server operating system, using the installer’s command line interface. By default, the installer blocks the Windows Desktop OS VDA on a server operating system; using the command line overrides this behavior.

After installing the VDA, you create a new dedicated Machine Catalog for Server VDI. You then assign the new Machine Catalog to a new dedicated Delivery Group.
  1. Use the command-line interface to install a VDA on a supported server or server master image, specifying the /quiet and /servervdi options:

    XenDesktopVdaSetup.exe /quiet /servervdi

    You can specify the Delivery Controller or Controllers while installing the VDA using the command line, using the /controllers option.

    Use the /enable_hdx_ports option to open porst in the firewall, unless the firewall is to be configured manually.

    Do not include options for features that are not supported with Server VDI, such as /baseimage, /enable_hdx_3d_pro, or /xa_server_location.

    For command information, see Install using the command line.

  2. When you create a Machine Catalog for the server where you installed the VDA, specify the following:
    • On the Operating System and Hardware page, select Windows Desktop OS.
    • On the Machine page, add and then select the server or server master image where you installed the Desktop OS VDA.
    • On the Summary page, specify a machine catalog name and description for administrators that clearly identifies it as Server VDI; this will be the only indicator in Studio that the catalog supports Server VDI.

    When using Search in Studio, the Server VDI catalog you created will be displayed on the Desktop OS Machines tab, even though the VDA was installed on a server.

  3. Create a Delivery Group and assign the Server VDI catalog you created in the previous step.

If you did not specify the Delivery Controllers while installing the VDA, specify them afterward using Citrix policy setting, Active Directory, or by editing the VDA machine's registry values.