Product Documentation

What's new in App Layering 4.1

Jan 11, 2018

This release includes the following new features:

  • Improved performance when creating app layers using XenServer and Nutanix. You can configure the XenServer and Nutanix connectors to cache boot and packaging disks and reuse them. After you cache the disks as part of creating your first app layer, the time it takes to create more app layers is reduced.
  • Import operating system images from VMware vSphere or Citrix XenServer virtual machines. When you use the connector for these hypervisors to create an OS layer, you can import the operating system image directory from a virtual machine.
  • Storing user layers. You can store user layers in multiple file shares of your choice.
  • Automatic shut down of Citrix Machine Creation Services or VMware View. When you publish a layered image to Machine Creation Services or View, the image shuts down automatically so you can take a snapshot. For details, click Publish to MCS or Publish to View.
  • Provisioning Services connector. The Provisioning Services connector can cancel long running operations. For example, you copy the virtual hard disk to a Provisioning Services data store. The cancel operation automatically cleans up unnecessary files, such as virtual disks, from failed publish operations.
  • Improved search. With this release, you can search for platform layers that you created by using a particular OS layer.
  • Automatic download of upgrades. When App Layering software upgrades become available, it downloads automatically to the appliance. The next time you log on to the management console, you receive notification that the upgrade is available.
  • Change administrator passwords. During installation of this release or upgrade, you must change the default passwords for the administrator accounts. It includes passwords for the management console administrator, the appliance configuration tool administrator, and the Linux root user.

Labs features in this release

Labs features are early versions of features planned for future releases. Typically, new Labs features are disabled when you install the product. In this release, Labs features include:

  • You can persist user profile settings, data, and user-installed applications in non-persistent VDI environments with the new user layer. The user layer supports Windows 7 64-bit environments for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View, and View JIT.
  • Access the management console through Citrix Cloud (Labs). You can access the App Layering management console through the Citrix Cloud App Layering Manage tab. For steps and known issues for a new installation, click here. For upgrading instructions from an App Layering 4.x release, click here.

Fixed issues

The following issues are fixed in this release:

  • OfficeActivate.cmd script modified. The OfficeActivate.cmd script runs as expected. (UNI-52166)
  • Network information. Issues with network card during boot image creation are fixed. (UNI-53643, UNI-51569)
  • Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Start menu. After upgrading your version of Windows, the Start menu works as expected. (UNI-53736)

Known issues

The following are known issues in this release:

  • Access through Citrix Cloud (Labs). For known issues accessing the management console through Citrix Cloud, which is in Labs, see Access the Management Console for details.
  • File downloads from Citrix ShareFile. If you use Citrix ShareFile, you can download files, but cannot save changes to the files. (UNI-55850)
  • Network file share protocol does not support new file shares. You cannot configure current network file shares, but the shares continue to work. Network file shares cannot be used for elastic layers and user layers. The option to configure a network file share is deleted from the product. File shares already configured with the network file share protocol continue to work. You cannot edit, change, or add new file shares by using network file shares. Citrix recommends using the Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. (UNI-55648)

User Layer (Labs)

  • There are issues with Windows search when using a user layer. (UNI-53320), (UNI-54524), (UNI-54520)
  • The red 'X' network adapter icon indicates there's an issue even when the network is functional. When using a user layer, the network icon appears as a red x, even when everything is functional. You can ignore the red 'X'. (UNI-53443)
  • Put Microsoft Office in the layered image. If using add-ins or Office 365, you must include Office in the layered image, not in the user layer. There can be activation issues if Office is not in the layered image. (UNI-53474)

Common across platforms

  • Tasks that you created before this release do not have fully qualified owners. Only administrators can cancel tasks. (UNI-52741)
  • Configuring a different IP address on the appliance can cause a network service failure. For example, if the app layering appliance has a dynamic IP address and you reconfigure it to use a static IP address. If the IP address is already in use with another virtual machine, the appliance might lose network service. You receive the error message, "job for network service failed." If the appliance loses network connectivity, change to an unused IP address and restart the appliance.
  • Apps can appear to load slowly in user sessions. Disable automatic updates for applications, such as Chrome and Firefox. Windows prompts the user to make changes with administrator rights even though the user does not have those rights. Instruct the user to click No when prompted and the application then loads successfully.
  • Citrix App Layering Agent requires .NET Framework 4.5, but the installer lists 4.0 as a prerequisite. The installer fails when it reaches "Starting services," and the Citrix App Layering Agent logs show the service trying to start repeatedly. Install .NET Framework 4.5 as a prerequisite for the Citrix App Layering Agent. (UNI-50769)
  • Users receive alerts when starting an elastically assigned Skype layer for the first time. When a Skype layer is elastically assigned, users receive this alert when they start the app for the first time: "The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: url." If the user clicks Ignore, Skype opens as expected. (UNI-52164)
  • Use the same hypervisor when adding a version to your OS layer. When you add a version to an OS layer, package the layer on the same hypervisor from which you imported the operating system during layer creation. (UNI-44372)
  • After adding new disks to the appliance, restart the appliance. When you add a version to an OS layer, package the layer on the hypervisor from which you imported the operating system during layer creation. (UNI-53580)
  • Elastic layers require .NET Framework 4.5. If you are using Citrix App Layering elastic layers, install .NET Framework 4.5 on any layered Image where elastic layers are enabled.
  • Empty directories are visible to Windows Explorer users when Citrix App Layering drivers are running. When you enable an image with elastic layering, a user might be able to view files and directories from other sessions in Windows Explorer. If users browse files with Windows Explorer, they might be able to see empty directories associated with other sessions that use elastic layering. Directories explored in the other session might create folders visible to all sessions that have the rights to browse that directory. If users access to the volume is not available, they cannot see the directories and contents of the drives.
  • If using elastic layer assignments with Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7, create your file share with a sector size of 512. For details about this issue and related operating system updates, see Microsoft support policy for 4K sector hard drives in Windows. Also, see Advanced format (4K) disk compatibility update. (UNI-48984)
  • Citrix App Layering supports Horizon View 6.1 and later. Elastic layer assignments do not support Persona Management in Horizon View. (UNI-53639)

Elastic Layering Microsoft Office

  • The shortcuts to elastically assign Office apps might be visible on the Start menu for users who are not assigned the apps. Although these shortcuts are visible, they only work for users to whom you assigned the apps. (UNI-49687)
  • When Microsoft Office is assigned elastically, use built-in license activation scripting. For best results when using Office elastically, consider the following:
    • Using the built-in license activation scripting
    • Adding c:\windows\setup\scripts\officeactivate.cmd to the script path when finalizing the Office app layer or editing its properties. (UNI-50467)
  • When elastically layering Microsoft Office, do not install OneNote. Instead, include OneNote in the layered image. The OneNote printer driver allows other Office apps to print to OneNote. For more details, see the Microsoft Office Recipe. (UNI-50449)

Windows 10

  • Windows 10 upgrades require a 60-GB disk for the OS layer version. When you add a version to the Windows 10 OS layer, change the maximum layer size from 30 GB to 60 GB. (UNI-52422)
  • Upgrading requires extra steps when going to a new Windows 10 major release. During the upgrade, Windows 10 can create a recovery volume on the same disk as the OS layer version. Always delete this volume before you finalize the OS layer version. Otherwise, the recovery volume can cause desktops to fail to start correctly. For more information, see App Layering: Windows 10 upgrade may result in new Recovery Volume partition.

Citrix Provisioning Services

  • When creating an image template, the target device hardware settings must match the Windows operating system and platform layer settings. Ensure that the hardware settings on the target device match the operating system and platform layer hardware settings, especially the number of CPUs. If they don't match, you can get a restart required message when you start the published image. (UNI-50799, UNI-46333, UNI-51599)
  • When using Provisioning Services, you must disable IPv6 in the OS layer. If you disable IPv6 in the platform layer instead of in the OS layer, when Provisioning Services start, the network connection fails and stops responding. (UNI-53600)
  • If permissions are wrong when you publish an image, an error message might appear that says the operation timed out. (UNI-54516)
  • Although the management console allows image names that contain a period (.), those names fail in the Provisioning Services environment. Do not include a period in the name. (UNI-54263)

XenServer

  • When preparing your operating system image for use in XenServer, you must open port 5900. (UNI-50846)
  • Creating a Citrix App Layering connector configuration that points to a child node in a XenServer pool produces an unexpected error message. To avoid this issue, only use the primary node when creating connector configurations. (UNI-52454)
  • When importing an OS layer from a XenServer virtual machine, use the XenServer connector to perform the import directly. There might be issues exporting the virtual machine image to a network file share first and then importing it to XenServer. (UNI-52669)

VMware Horizon View

  • Elastic layers are only supported with floating desktop pools. (UNI-53442)

Microsoft Azure

  • The Azure File Share feature is not supported. However, you must create a network file share or an SMB file share in Azure to use with Citrix App Layering. (UNI-42272)
  • Publishing layered images simultaneously to the same Azure resource group fails. Either deploy one at a time, or deploy the layered images to different resource groups. (UNI-43376)
  • If the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is not entered in the format Azure expects, the FQDN in Azure can fail. For more information, see Create a fully qualified domain name in the Azure portal for a Windows VM. (UNI-51587)
  • The Azure connector configuration name must be unique. When creating an Azure connector configuration, you cannot use the same name as an existing configuration. If you do use the same name, you cannot save the changes. (UNI-56230)

Microsoft Hyper-V

  • When using elastic layering in Hyper-V, you must use unmanaged RDS pools. (UNI-53545)

Imprivata

  • You must create Imprivata app layers with the appropriate broker platform layer as a prerequisite. This action is critical for Citrix Provisioning Services, Citrix Machine Creation Services, and Horizon View environments.