Manage machine catalogs

May 11, 2018

For random machine catalogs, you can maintain users’ desktops by applying global changes (such as Windows updates, anti-virus software updates, operating system upgrades, or configuration changes) to the master image. Then modify the machine catalog to use the updated master image so users receive the updated desktop the next time they log on. You can make significant changes for large numbers of users in one operation.

For static and Remote PC Access machine catalogs, you must manage updates to users’ desktops outside of Studio, either on an individual basis or collectively using third-party software distribution tools. For machines created through Provisioning Services, updates to users’ desktops are propagated through the vDisk.

Citrix recommends that you save copies or snapshots of master images before you make updates. The database keeps a historical record of the master images used with each machine catalog. Do not delete, move, or rename master images. You can revert a machine catalog to use the previous version of the master image if users encounter problems with updates you deployed to their desktops, thereby minimizing user downtime.

Add machines

Before you start:

  • Make sure the virtualization host has sufficient processors, memory, and storage to accommodate the additional machines.
  • Make sure that you have enough unused Active Directory computer accounts. If using existing accounts, keep in mind that the number of machines you can add is limited by the number of accounts available.
  • If you will use Studio to create Active Directory computer accounts for the additional machines, you must also have appropriate domain administrator permission.
  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a machine catalog and then select Add machines in the Actions pane.
  3. Select the number of virtual machines to add.
  4. If you indicate that new Active Directory accounts should be created (this step is required if there are insufficient existing accounts for the number of VMs you are adding):
    • Select the domain and location where the accounts will be created.
    • Specify an account naming scheme, using hash marks to indicate where sequential numbers or letters will appear (a name cannot begin with a number). For example, a naming scheme of PC-Sales-## (with 0-9 selected) results in computer accounts named PC-Sales-01, PC-Sales-02 , PC-Sales-03, etc. If you indicate that existing Active Directory accounts should be used:
    • Either browse to the accounts or click Import and specify a .csv file containing account names. Make sure that there are enough accounts for all the machines you’re adding.
    • Studio manages these accounts, so either allow Studio to reset the passwords for all the accounts or specify the account password (which must be the same for all accounts).

The machines are created as a background process, and can be lengthy when creating a large number of machines. Machine creation continues even if you close Studio.

Change a machine catalog description or change Remote PC Access settings

  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.

  2. Select a catalog and then select Edit Machine Catalog in the Actions pane.

  3. (Remote PC Access catalogs only) On the Power Management page, you can change a Remote PC Access catalog’s power management settings and select a power management connection. On the Organizational Units page, add or remove OUs.

    On the Description page, change the machine catalog description.

Rename a machine catalog

  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a catalog and then select Rename Machine Catalog in the Actions pane.
  3. Enter the new name.

Delete a machine catalog

Before deleting a machine catalog, ensure that:

  • All users are logged off and that no disconnected sessions are running.
  • Maintenance mode is turned on for all machines in the catalog, and then all machines are shut down.
  • The catalog is not associated with a Delivery Group.
  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a catalog and then select Delete Machine Catalog in the Actions pane.
  3. Indicate whether the machines in the catalog should be deleted. If you choose to delete the machines, indicate whether the associated computer accounts should be left as-is, disabled, or deleted in Active Directory.

Delete machines from a machine catalog

After you delete a machine from a catalog, users no longer can access it. Before deleting a machine, ensure that:

  • User data is backed up or no longer required.
  • All users are logged off. Turning on maintenance mode will stop users from connecting to a machine.
  • Desktops are not powered on or suspended.
  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a catalog and then select View Machines in the Actions pane.
  3. Select one or more machines and then click Turn On Maintenance Mode in the Actions pane.
  4. Select Delete in the Actions pane.
  5. Choose whether to delete the machines being removed. If you choose to delete the machines, select what to do with the associated Active Directory computer accounts:

In machine catalog

In Active Directory

Leave

Do not change

Remove

Do not remove

Remove

Disable

Remove

Delete

Manage Active Directory computer accounts

To manage Active Directory accounts in a machine catalog, you can:

  • Free unused machine accounts by removing Active Directory computer accounts from Desktop OS and Server OS machine catalogs. Those accounts can then be used for other machines.
  • Add accounts so that when more machines are added to the catalog, the computer accounts are already in place
  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a machine catalog and then select Manage AD accounts in the Actions pane.
  3. Choose whether to add or delete computer accounts.
    • If you add accounts, you are prompted to specify what to do with the account passwords: either reset them all or enter a password that applies to all accounts. You might reset passwords if you do not know the current account passwords; you must have permission to perform a password reset. If you enter a password, the password will be changed on the accounts as they are imported.
    • If you delete an account, you are prompted to choose whether the account in Active Directory should be kept, disabled, or deleted.

Update a master image

Update a master image to apply changes to all the desktops and applications in a machine catalog that were created with that master image. Managing common aspects through a single master image lets you deploy system-wide changes such as Windows updates or configuration changes to a large number of machines quickly.

After preparing and testing a new/updated master image on the host (see Prepare a master image), modify the machine catalog to use it.

Note the following:

  • Citrix recommends that you save copies or snapshots of master images before you make updates. The database keeps a historical record of the master images used with each machine catalog. You can revert a machine catalog to use the previous version of the master image if users encounter problems with updates you deployed to their desktops, thereby minimizing user downtime. Do not delete, move, or rename master images; otherwise, you will not be able to revert a machine catalog to use them.

    Although Studio can create a snapshot, Citrix recommends that you create a snapshot using the hypervisor management console, and then select that snapshot in Studio. This enables you to provide a meaningful name and description rather than an automatically generated name.

  • For GPU master images, you can change the master image only through the XenServer XenCenter console.

  • For machine catalogs that use Provisioning Services, you must publish a new vDisk to apply changes to the catalog. For details, see the Provisioning Services documentation.

  • After updating the master image, you must restart the machines through Studio for the changes to take effect and be available to your users. This may occur automatically; for example, when a user logs off a desktop, or it may occur as part of a configured restart schedule. Alternatively, you can restart a machine from Studio.

  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select a machine catalog and then select Update Machines in the Actions pane.
  3. On the Master Image page, select the host and the new/updated master image.
  4. On the Rollout Strategy page, specify when the new or updated master image is applied to users’ machines: on the next shutdown or immediately.
    • If you choose to update the image on the next shutdown, you can notify users of the update.
    • If you choose to update the image immediately, you can specify whether to restart all machines at the same time or at specified intervals. You can send a notification message to users 1, 5, or 15 minutes before they are logged off and the machine restarted.

Revert to the previous version of the master image

  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the machine catalog and then select Rollback machine update in the Actions pane.
  3. Specify how to apply the reverted master image to user desktops, as described above.

The rollback strategy is applied only to desktops that need to be reverted. For desktops that have not been updated with the new/updated master image that prompted the rollback (for example, desktops with users who have not logged off), users do not receive messages and are not forced to log off.

Upgrade a machine catalog

Upgrade the machine catalog after you upgrade the VDAs on the machines to a newer version. Citrix recommends upgrading all VDAs to the latest version so they can all access the newest features.

Note: If you have Windows XP or Windows Vista machines, they must use an earlier VDA version, and will not be able to use the latest product features. If you cannot upgrade those machines to a currently supported Windows operating system, Citrix recommends you keep them in a separate machine catalog. For more information, see VDAs on machines running Windows XP or Windows Vista and Mixed VDA support.

Before you upgrade a machine catalog:

  • If you’re using Provisioning Services, upgrade the VDA version in the Provisioning Services console.
  • Start the upgraded machines so that they register with the Controller. This lets Studio determine that the machines in the machine catalog need upgrading.
  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the machine catalog. The Details tab in the lower pane displays version information.
  3. Select Upgrade Catalog.
    • If Studio detects that the catalog needs upgrading, it displays a message. Follow the prompts.
    • If one or more machines cannot be upgraded, a message explains why. Citrix recommends you resolve machine issues before upgrading the machine catalog to ensure that all machines function properly.

Revert a machine catalog upgrade

Before you revert a machine catalog upgrade, if you used Provisioning Services to create the machine catalog, change the VDA version in the Provisioning Services console.

  1. Select Machine Catalogs in the Studio navigation pane.
  2. Select the machine catalog. The Details tab in the lower pane displays version information.
  3. Select Undo and then follow the prompts.