Migrate XenDesktop 4

May 28, 2016

You can transfer data and settings from a XenDesktop 4 farm to a XenDesktop 7.x Site using the Migration Tool, which is available in the Support > Tools > MigrationTool folder on the XenDesktop installation media. The tool includes:

  • The export tool, XdExport, which exports XenDesktop 4 farm data to an XML file (default name: XdSettings.xml). The XML file schema resides in the file XdFarm.xsd.
  • The import tool, XdImport, which imports the data by running the PowerShell script Import-XdSettings.ps1.

To successfully use the Migration Tool, both deployments must have the same hypervisor version (for example, XenServer 6.2), and Active Directory environment.

You cannot use this tool to migrate XenApp, and you cannot migrate XenDesktop 4 to XenApp.

Tip: You can upgrade XenDesktop 5 (or later XenDesktop versions) to the current XenDesktop version; see Upgrade a deployment.


Not all data and settings are exported. The following configuration items are not migrated because they are exported but not imported:

  • Administrators
  • Delegated administration settings
  • Desktop group folders
  • Licensing configuration
  • Registry keys

These use cases are not directly supported in migration:

  • Merging settings of policies or desktop group or hosting settings.
  • Merging private desktops into random Delivery Groups.
  • Adjusting existing component settings through the migration tools.

For more information, see What is and is not migrated .

Migration steps

The following figure summarizes the migration process.


The migration process follows this sequence:

  1. In the Studio console on the XenDesktop 4 Controller, turn on maintenance mode for all machines to be exported.
  2. Export data and settings from your XenDesktop 4 farm to an XML file using XdExport; see Export from a XenDesktop 4 farm.
  3. Edit the XML file so that it contains only the data and settings you want to import into your new XenDesktop Site; see Edit the Migration Tool XML file.
  4. Import the data and settings from the XML file to your new XenDesktop Site using XdImport; see Import XenDesktop 4 data.
  5. To make additional changes, repeat steps 3 and 4. After making changes, you might want to import additional desktops into existing Delivery Groups. To do so, use the Mergedesktops parameter when you import.
  6. Complete the post-migration tasks; see Post-migration tasks.

Before migrating

Complete the following before beginning a migration:

  • Make sure you understand which data can be exported and imported, and how this applies to your own deployment. See What is and is not migrated.
  • Citrix strongly recommends that you manually back up the Site database so that you can restore it if any issues are discovered.
  • Install the XenDesktop 7.x components and create a Site, including the database.
  • To migrate from XenDesktop 4 , all VDAs must be at a XenDesktop 5.x level so that they are compatible with both XenDesktop 4 and XenDesktop 7.x controllers. After the Controller infrastructure is fully running XenDesktop 7.x, Windows 7 VDAs can be upgraded to XenDesktop 7.x. For details, see Migration examples.