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
f 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.
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.
- If you are building a new site, follow the sequence in Install and configure.
- If you are upgrading a site, see Upgrade a deployment.
XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18
This product release includes the following new, modified, and enhanced features.
Install and upgrade: Windows OS support for components
Installation and upgrade of components you install using the full-product ISO installer are supported on a streamlined set of Windows OSs.
You can install or upgrade a Delivery Controller, Director, or Universal Print Server server component to 7.18 on machines running Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
You cannot install or upgrade these components to 7.18 on machines running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
You can install or upgrade Studio to 7.18 on machines running Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2012 R2.
You cannot install or upgrade Studio to 7.18 on machines running Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2.
For a list of supported platforms for Controllers, Studio, Director, and the Universal Print Server see System requirements. For information about options when upgrading, see Earlier operating systems.
For supported platforms for other components you can install and upgrade using the full-product ISO installer, see the system requirements in their documentation.
Install and upgrade: Windows Server Core support for Delivery Controllers and Director
In addition to the existing Standard and Datacenter Edition support, you can now install a Delivery Controller or Director on the following Windows Server edition/option:
- Windows Server 2016 with the Server Core option
- Server Core for Windows Server 2012 R2
Server Core support applies only to Controllers and Director.
Install and upgrade: Windows .NET version
When installing product components that require .NET Framework, the valid .NET required versions have not changed for the supported operating systems. However, the installers now install .NET Framework 4.7.1 automatically, if it is not already present on the machine. As of this release, .NET versions earlier than 4.7.1 are deprecated.
Exception: When using the full-product installer to install the Universal Print Server UpsServer component, .NET 4.7.1 is not installed automatically.
Upgrade: Preliminary site tests
When you upgrade Delivery Controllers and a site to 7.18 (or a later supported release), preliminary site tests run before the actual upgrade begins. These tests include verification that essential Citrix services are running properly, and that the site database is operating correctly and has been recently backed up. After the tests run, you can view a report. Then, you can fix any issues that were detected and optionally run the tests again. This helps ensure that the upgrade will proceed successfully.
For details, see Preliminary site tests.
Install and migrate: Smart Tools services
This version of XenApp and XenDesktop supports the Smart Check and Smart Scale features in Smart Tools. It does not support the Smart Build or Smart Migrate features.
Azure Resource Manager connections
In the Studio connection creation wizard, the Azure environment selection on the Connection page includes all Azure Clouds that are valid for your Azure subscription. General availability for Azure US Government Cloud and Azure Germany Cloud replaces the preview versions of those two environments in earlier releases.
Director: application probing
This feature automates health-checks of XenApp and XenDesktop applications published in a Site, thus improving the user experience. To initiate application probing, install and configure the Citrix Application Probe Agent on one or more endpoint machines. In Director’s Configuration page, configure the applications to be probed, the endpoint machines to run the probe on, and the probe time. The agent tests the launch of selected applications using StoreFront and reports back the results to Director. The probe results are displayed on the Director UI – the last 24-hours’ data in the Applications page and historical probe data in the Trends > Application Probe Results page. Here, you can see the stage when the probe failure occurred - StoreFront Reachability, StoreFront Authentication, StoreFront Enumeration, ICA download, or Application launch. The failure report is emailed to the configured addresses.
You can schedule your application probes to run during off-peak hours across multiple geographies. The comprehensive results can help to proactively troubleshoot issues related to provisioned applications, hosting machines or connections before the users experience them.
Application probing is available for Platinum licensed Sites. This feature requires Delivery Controller(s) version 7.18 or later. For more information, see Application Probing.
Director: Built-in alert policies
Director now has a set of built-in alert policies for Delivery Groups and Server OS VDAs scope. These policies are displayed in the Director > Citrix Alerts Policy page. Alert notifications are generated on the breach of the default threshold values predefined for these alerts. The threshold values ensure basic optimal performance parameters in the Site and can be edited. The built-in alert policies are created when there is at least one alert target - a Delivery Group or a Server OS VDA defined in your Site.
In case you upgrade your Director instance and your Site, the alert policies from your previous Director instance are carried over. Built-in alert policies are created only if no alert rules for the policies exist in the Monitor database.
This feature requires Delivery Controller(s) version 7.18 or later. For more information, seeAlerts and Notifications.
Director: Health Assistant link
The Machine Details page of an unregistered machine in the Monitoring console now contains a Health Assistant button. Currently, the button links to the Troubleshoot machines article and to the Knowledge Center article Citrix Health Assistant - Troubleshoot VDA Registration and Session Launch where you can download the tool. The Citrix Health Assistant tool helps troubleshoot configuration issues in unregistered VDAs. The tool automates a number of health checks to identify possible root causes for common VDA registration, session launch, and time zone redirection configuration issues.
Director: Interactive Session drill-down
The Logon Duration panel in the User Details view includes information on the Interactive Session stage of the logon process. To provide more granular troubleshooting and remediation of this phase of the logon, Interactive Session now has three sub-phases: Pre-userinit, Userinit, and Shell. In this release, hovering over Interactive Session displays a tooltip showing the sub-phases and a link to the documentation. For a description of the sub-phases and how to improve the performance of each phase, see Diagnose user logon issues.
Provisioning: Machine Creation Services (MCS) and Linux VMs
You can now use Machine Creation Services (MCS) to create Linux VMs, prepare a master image on your XenServer hypervisor, or in Microsoft Azure. For more information, see the Linux Virtual Delivery Agent documentation.
App-V: User Configuration Files in single admin method
Citrix App-V on the VDA now supports the use of User Configuration Files to customize an App-V package when applications are launched using the single admin management method. This allows you to change the package characteristics easily for a specific set of users on a computer, or to make changes that will be applied to local user locations such as HKCU, without the need to resequence the package. This support adds the use of user-specific User Configuration Files to applications in App-V packages managed by XenApp 7.x’s single admin management method. For more information, see App-V.
Virtual Delivery Agents (VDAs) 7.18
Version 7.18 of the VDA for Server OS and the VDA for Desktop OS include the following enhancements:
Battery icon notification
A battery icon will show up in the session’s host notification tray in which the information from the client’s battery information will be represented.
This feature is applicable only on VDAs version 7.18 and later.
Enhanced server VDA webcam functionality
- Actual webcam names are displayed instead of the generic Citrix HDX Webcam.
- Multiple webcams are supported.
- High definition resolution is supported.
Enhancements to Thinwire
- By default, the Build to lossless preference of the Visual quality policy setting is now H.264 instead of JPEG for moving images. The H.264 encoding offers superior image quality. The Use Video Codec policy controls that preference with the default being Use when preferred. To revert Build to lossless back to using JPEG, set the Use Video Codec policy to Do not use. If Citrix Receiver does not support Selective H.264, Build to lossless falls back to JPEG regardless of the policy settings. Citrix Receiver for Windows minimum version 4.9 and Citrix Receiver for Linux minimum version 13.5 support Selective H.264. For more information about the Visual quality and Use Video Codec policy settings, see Visual display policy settings and Graphics policy settings.
- This release introduces a progressive update mode to help improve screen interactivity in poor network scenarios. When low bandwidth (<2 Mbps) or high latency (> 200 ms) link conditions are detected, images are heavily compressed and text quality is reduced. The quality gradually builds to lossless after user activity ceases. For details, see Progressive Mode.
Fast smart card
Fast smart card improves performance when smart cards are used in high-latency WAN scenarios. Fast smart card is enabled by default on the hosts that are running Windows Server 2012, Window Server 2016, or a minimum of Windows 10. To enable fast smart card on the client side, configure the SmartCardCryptographicRedirection parameter in default.ica. For more information, see Smart cards.
Webcam plug and play
Applications dynamically detect a webcam being plugged in or removed on the client. Users don’t have to restart the application to detect these changes.