Product Documentation

What's new

Dec 21, 2017

About this release

This XenApp and XenDesktop release includes new versions of the Windows Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) and new versions of several XenApp and XenDesktop core components. You can:

  • Install or upgrade a XenApp or XenDesktop Site

Use the ISO for this release to install or upgrade all the core components and VDAs. Installing or upgrading to the latest version allows you to use all the latest features.

  • Install or upgrade VDAs in an existing Site

If you have a XenApp or XenDesktop deployment, and aren't ready to upgrade your core components, you can still use several of the latest HDX features by installing (or upgrading to) a new VDA. Upgrading only the VDAs is often helpful when you want to test enhancements in a non-production environment. 

For instructions:

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16

This product release includes the following new, modified, and enhanced features.

Install and upgrade: Windows VDA OS support

Installation of 7.16 VDAs is supported on a streamlined set of Windows OSs. These operating systems have improved GPU compatibility that provides better performance and display experiences. These operating systems also support the indirect display driver, which replaces the earlier Citrix WDDM driver.

Supported versions for 7.16 Windows VDAs (and changes from previous release)

  • VDAs on Windows desktop machines: You can install or upgrade to a 7.16 desktop VDA on machines running Windows 10, minimum version 1607.

You cannot install or upgrade to a 7.16 desktop VDA on machines running Windows 10 versions 1507 and 1511, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7.

  • VDAs on Windows Server machines: You can install or upgrade to a 7.16 server VDA on machines running Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2012 R2.

You cannot install or upgrade to a 7.16 server VDA on machines running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Server VDI:  Using the Server VDI feature, you can deliver a desktop from a Windows Server 2016 operating system.

You cannot install or upgrade to a 7.16 desktop VDA using the /servervdi command-line option on machines running Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Recommendations and guidance

For machines with OSs that are no longer supported, you have several options.

  • Reimage the machine to a supported Windows version, and then install the new VDA.
  • If reimaging the machine is not an option but you want to upgrade the OS, uninstall the VDA before upgrading the OS. Otherwise, the VDA will be in an unsupported state. Then, install the new VDA.
  • If you want to continue to use machines with an OS that is no longer supported for the current VDA (noted above), XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR is the most current supported VDA version.
    •  If the machine has version 7.15 LTSR installed (and you attempt to install a newer version), a message informs you that you're using the latest supported version.
    • If the machine has a version earlier than 7.15 LTSR installed, a message guides you to CTX139030 for information. You can download 7.15 LTSR VDAs from the Citrix website.

Install and upgrade VDAs: Option to install Universal Print Server PDF printer driver

When you install a VDA, you can now choose whether to install the Citrix Universal Print Server PDF driver. In the installer's graphical interface, select or clear a check box on the Additional Components page. In the command-line interface, use the /exclude "Citrix PDF Printer Driver" option to prevent the installation of that component.

Install and upgrade VDAs: VDA installation analyzer

The VDA installers now include an analyzer that runs if a VDA installation fails. The analyzer parses the failing MSI log, displaying the exact error code, and suggests a CTX article if it's a known issue. The analyzer also collects anonymous data about the failure error code. Citrix can use this data to troubleshoot VDA installation failures. The data is included with other anonymous data collected by the Citrix Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

Install and upgrade VDAs: Automatic setting of HDX mode

When you install a VDA on a desktop OS, you no longer specify whether to enable standard mode or HDX 3D Pro mode. (The VDA installer wizard no longer contains the HDX 3D Pro page, and the /enable_hdx_3d_pro command-line option is no longer valid.) Instead, the VDA evaluates criteria and sets the mode automatically. If you need to override the automatic mode setting, you can use a new policy setting. For details, see HDX 3D Pro.

Install and upgrade Studio: Google Analytics

Google Analytics are collected (and later uploaded) automatically when you install (or upgrade) Studio. After installing Studio, you can change this setting with the registry key HKLM\Software\Citrix\DesktopStudio\GAEnabled. A value of 1 enables collection and upload, 0 disables collection and upload.

Install and upgrade: Upgrade a worker after migrating a XenApp 6.5 farm

After removing XenApp 6.5 software from a worker server, you cannot install a current VDA on that server until you reimage or upgrade it to a supported OS version. 

Provision: Create machine catalogs

Creation of machine catalogs containing Windows Server OS machines now includes an automatic RDS license check. Any RDS license issues found are displayed, so that you can take the appropriate steps to prevent a gap in service. For details, see Create machine catalogs.

Provision: Microsoft Azure Resource Manager

  • Resource groups: When using MCS to create machine catalogs in Azure Resource Manager, you can now select from existing empty resource groups. Alternatively, you can create resource groups.
  • On-demand provisioning: When using MCS to create machine catalogs in Azure Resource Manager, on-demand provisioning reduces storage costs, provides faster catalog creation, and provides faster VM power operations. In earlier releases, VMs were created in Azure during the provisioning process.  With Azure on-demand provisioning, VMs are created only when XenApp and XenDesktop initiates a power-on action, after the provisioning completes. 
  • Environment: When creating a connection to Azure Resource Manager, the Azure environment list includes all Azure worldwide regions supported by your subscription. For example, your list might include entries for the new tech previews for Azure US Government and Azure Germany.

App-V

  • Support for App-V 5.0 Deployment Configuration Files in single admin method. Citrix App-V on the VDA now supports the use of dynamic configuration files to customize an App-V 5.0 package using Deployment Configuration Files, when applications are launched using the single admin management method. This allows you to change the package characteristics easily, for example by providing extra shortcuts and behaviors, without the need to resequence the package. This support adds the use of machine wide, deployment configuration files (packagename_DeploymentConfig.xml) to applications in App-V packages managed by XenApp 7.x’s single admin management method. 
  • Support for shortcuts in App-V packages. Citrix App-V now supports the launching of applications from shortcuts defined in App-V packages. This allows different command-line arguments to be passed to the targets of the shortcuts. Shortcuts are added in Studio in the same way as applications are added. 

For more information, see App-V.

Troubleshoot: Citrix Scout

Scout collects and uploads diagnostics from auto-discovered Controllers and VDAs. Now, you can manually specify additional XenApp and XenDesktop machines (such as StoreFront and Provisioning Services servers) from which diagnostics are collected and uploaded. For details, see Citrix Scout.

Director

  • Applications Analytics. You can now analyze and monitor the performance of applications efficiently with the new Application Analytics page available from the Applications tab in Director. The page provides a consolidated view of the health and usage of all applications published on your Site. It shows metrics such as the number of instances per application, and faults and errors associated with the published applications. This feature requires Delivery Controller Version 7.16 or later and VDAs Version 7.15 or later. 
    For more information, see the Application Analytics section in Troubleshooting Applications.
  • Access Monitor Service data using Version 4 of the OData API. Create your customized monitoring and reporting dashboards based on the Monitor Service data by using the OData V.4 endpoint. OData V.4 is based on the ASP.NET Web API and supports aggregation queries and other improvements. Running aggregation queries improves server-side performance. The ASP.NET Web API fully supports the REST protocol, enabling Monitor Service consumers to use the fully REST-compliant interface OData query.
    For more information, see the Monitor Service OData API.
  • Shadow Linux VDA user sessions. You can now shadow user sessions running on Linux VDA machines. Shadowing is available for sessions on Linux VDAs Version 7.16 and later running the RHEL7.3 or Ubuntu 16.04 Linux distributions. noVNC is used to connect and view Linux VDA sessions from Director. This extension of the shadowing feature helps administrators to troubleshoot issues on Linux VDAs efficiently. 
    For more information, see Shadow users.
  • Older Site version indication.  The latest features and updates supported in an upgraded Director version are available only if you also upgrade the Site. If your Delivery Controller is an earlier version than Director, the Director console displays a message indicating the mismatch.
    For more information, see Feature compatibility matrix.
  • Support for domain local group. You can now add users from other forests into a domain local group, and then use the domain local group for user assignment to XenApp and XenDesktop Delivery Groups. Director is now upgraded to show the session details of such users. This feature is useful for Citrix Service Provider administrators, to troubleshoot users belonging to a tenant forest by using domain local groups to hold the tenant user or user group records.
    For more information, see Domain local group configuration in Advanced configuration.
  • Access to machine console. The Machine Details panel in Director now provides access to consoles of machines hosted on the XenServer hypervisor version 7.3. You can now troubleshoot issues in VDAs directly from Director. This feature requires Delivery Controller(s) Version 7.16 or later.
    For more information, see Machine Console access in Troubleshoot machines.

Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 7.16

Version 7.16 of the VDA for Server OS and the VDA for Desktop OS include the following enhancements to HDX technologies:

  • Adaptive transport enhancement. By default, adaptive transport is enabled (Preferred), and EDT is used when possible, with fallback to TCP.
    When adaptive transport is set to Preferred, and session reliability enabled, EDT and TCP are attempted in parallel during the initial connection, session reliability reconnection, and auto client reconnect. Doing so reduces connection time if EDT is Preferred, but the required underlying UDP transport is unavailable and TCP must be used. 
    Important: The parallel feature requires the Citrix Receiver for Windows minimum version 4.10 or Citrix Receiver for Mac minimum version 12.8.
  • Browser content redirection. Redirects the contents of a web browser to a client device, and creates a corresponding browser embedded within Citrix Receiver. This feature offloads network usage, page processing, and graphics rendering to the endpoint. Doing so improves the user experience when browsing demanding webpages, especially webpages that incorporate HTML5 or Flash video.
  • Expanded tablet mode in Windows 10 using Windows Continuum. For touch enabled Windows and iOS client devices, Windows 10 VDA starts in tablet mode when there is no keyboard or mouse attached. It starts in desktop mode when either a keyboard or a mouse or both are attached. Detaching or attaching the keyboard on any client device or the screen on a 2-in-1 device like a Surface Pro toggles among tablet and desktop modes. For more information, see Tablet mode for touch screen devices using Windows Continuum in the HDX article.
  • HDX Insight improvement. HDX Insight is the integration of NetScaler Network Inspector and Performance Manager with Director. It captures data about ICA traffic and provides a dashboard view of real time and historical details. This release incorporates an uncompressed HDX Insight virtual channel (NSAP) exclusively dedicated to sending data points. The NetScaler device between the server and the most recent version of Citrix Receiver for Windows or Mac extracts the data points. The device then forwards the data to the HDX Insight tool. For more information, see HDX Insight in the HDX article.
  • High definition webcam streaming. The applications on the server can use the high definition webcams on the client. When a session starts, the client sends the webcam information to the server. You choose the webcam from the application. When the webcam and the application support high definition rendering, the application uses high definition resolution. For more information see, High definition webcam streaming in the HDX article.
  • Support for use of H.265 video encoding mode. The VDA and the most recent version of Citrix Receiver for Windows support the use of the H.265 video codec for hardware acceleration of remote graphics and videos. To function, this feature must be enabled on Citrix Receiver for Windows and supported on the VDA. If the GPU at the endpoint does not support H.265 decoding using the DXVA interface, the Citrix Receiver for Windows H.265 Decoding for graphics policy setting is ignored and the session falls back to using the H.264 video codec. For more information, see Support for H.265 video encoder mode in the Citrix Receiver for Windows 4.10 documentation. 
    Important: This support for H.265 video encoding requires a XenDesktop Platinum license.
  • Unicode keyboard mapping. Using a registry setting, users can avoid keyboard synchronization issues on non-Windows Citrix Receivers. Users connect to the VDA and use the local keyboard layout. Without the registry setting, if a user changes the local and the server keyboard layouts, the keyboards might not be in sync and character output is wrong. For more information see, Unicode keyboard mapping in the HDX article.

Also, see the install and upgrade changes described in the previous section, XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16.

After upgrading your VDAs to this version (from version 7.9 or later), you do not need to update the machine catalog's functional level. The default (7.9 (or newer ...)) remains the current functional level. For information, see VDA versions and functional levels.

Citrix Licensing 11.14

Citrix Licensing 11.14 contains new features and fixed and known issues.