Product Documentation

Create a new machine catalog

Apr 25, 2013

The Create Machine Catalog wizard guides you through the machine catalog creation process. Machine catalog creation is the first step in delivering desktops to users.

Steps for creating machine catalogs vary based on choices you make for the tasks that users perform, the devices to which the desktops and applications are delivered, or user experience requirements.

The major differences result from your choice of one of the following machine catalog types:

  • Server OS is appropriate for users who perform a set of well-defined tasks, and who do not require personalization for their work.
  • Desktop OS lets you provide individual desktop environments for each user as well as customizable desktops, including Personal vDisks (PVD).
  • Remote PC Access lets your users remotely connect to their office computers through a secure connection.

Before you start the Create Machine Catalog task, make sure that you have all the prerequisites in place for the particular type you intend to use.

Machine catalog type Requirement


  • A host with sufficient processors, memory, and storage to accommodate the number of machines you plan to create.
  • If there are multiple Network Interface cards (NICs), know which virtual networks you want to assign to each card.

Desktop OS and Server OS

  • Either a sufficient number of unused Active Directory computer accounts for the machines you plan to create, or access to an Active Directory domain administrator account for the domain on which you want the desktops to be members.
  • A master Virtual Machine image (master image) from which to create the desktops. The master image must be available on the host where the machines are created.

Remote PC Access

Specify Machine Accounts or Organizational Units. These features let you add the machines corresponding to users or user groups.


  • Virtual Machines or dedicated blade PCs hosting user desktops that you have already migrated to the data center.
  • Active Directory user and computer accounts to assign to the Virtual Machines or blade PCs.

Desktop OS machine catalog that allows customization

  • A Provisioning Services deployment with a Personal vDisk that you have imaged from the master target device.
  • Device collections configured to load the Personal vDisk over the network.
  • Active Directory computer accounts managed by Provisioning Services for each target device in the device collections.
  • Select the kind of user experience you want to provide:
    • Connect to a random desktop or the same desktop on logon.
    • Discard or retain changes. If users retain changes, plan on where to save changes (on a separate Personal vDisk or on a local disk)

Server OS

Active Directory user and computer accounts to assign to the Virtual Machines or blade PCs.

To create a machine catalog

  1. Log on to the computer running Studio. If you plan to use XenDesktop to create new Active Directory computer accounts for the machines, log on using a domain administrator account for the domain on which you plan to add the desktops.
  2. Select the Machine Catalogs node and click Create Machine Catalog.

    If this is the first machine catalog you have created, note that the Machines node is not visible until you have completed one of the initial configuration tasks presented when you first start Studio.

  3. One the Operating system and Hardware page, select the type of machine catalog you want:
    • Desktop OS provides individual and customizable desktops.
    • Server OS provides a standardized desktop.
    • Remote PC Access provides users with remote access to their office computers.
  4. For Machine Management, select the type of machine from which desktops and applications are delivered:
    • Virtual machines
    • Physical hardware
  5. Select the machine image management method:
    • Machine Creation Services
      Note: The options to use virtual machines and Machine Creation Services are disabled if you do not have access to or have not configured a hosting infrastructure. For information about setting up the hosting infrastructure, see Connections and resources.
    • Provisioning Services (PVS) — Select the Provisioning Services server by entering the IP address and domain.
    • Another service or technology (existing images)
  6. On the Desktop Experience page (which is not available for Remote PC Access), choose how users connect each time they log on:
    • For Desktop OS machines:
      • Select random desktop or to the same static desktop
      • Select whether to retain changes and how to save the changes: Personal vDisk or dedicated virtual machine
    • For Desktop OS machines with Provisioning Services — Select random desktop or to the same static desktop
  7. On the Machines page, add computer accounts:
    • Active Directory Computer Accounts for Desktop OS and Server OS machine catalogs
    • Organizational Units (OU) for Remote PC Access machine catalogs
  8. On the Users page, if you have machines in the machine catalog that are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, select the Some of the machines ar running Windows XP or Windows Vista option.
  9. If you selected a machine image management method that uses a master image, on the Master Image page select a host and a corresponding snapshot or virtual machine.
  10. If you selected a machine image management method that requires virtual machines, on the Add and Configure Virtual Machines page:
    • Select the number of virtual machines.
    • Configure the number of virtual CPUs, memory size, and hard disk size.
    • Specify the Personal vDisk size and drive letter
  11. On the Scopes page, define which administrators can access the machine catalog.
  12. On the Summary page, add descriptions and create the machine catalog.

You have now created a machine catalog that provides the machines on which users' desktops reside.

To deliver desktops from the machines in your machine catalog to users, you must allocate the machines to users by creating Delivery Groups. For more information, see Create a new Delivery Group.