Terminal Server/Citrix Packaging


After googling for some information about the best practices to package applications for TS/Citrix i've found some information related to Packager which is the tool for citrix, does anyone know how I have to deal with the current user part? I know that the advertisement should be avoided but I really don't understand how to deal with all of the user related data.

thanks a lot

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Answers (3)

Posted by: timmsie 12 years ago
Fourth Degree Brown Belt
Yep avoid self repair as it wont work. Generally in my experience I've found leaving citrix server/terminal server to deal with it is the best route. you need to understand the shadow key concept

Shadow keys

Basically when you install an app on a citrix server/terminal server as long as it's in install mode (you can do this manually by typing Change user /install from a command line and then change user /execute once the install is finished but it will go into install mode if you install the app from Add/Remove Programs). It will "watch" the install and any user settings will be copied to users who run the app.

As Pieter has said Active setup doesn't run if you publish an app, only if you publish a full desktop
Posted by: dodgy 12 years ago
Orange Belt
I've been managing Citrix / TS environments for 12+ years now, my tips:

- As mentioned by pjguetjens and timmsie avoid self repair. A good terminal server will be locked down to prevent the ability to run msi's by users anyway so self repair will most likely fail.

- In my persional opinion avoid the shadow registry key as well. Why? user settings can be overwritten by shadow values that may have changed since the application was installed on the server i.e. sql server name etc. To understand the shadow registry works check out this link

- Use AD group policies to control settings. Downside it this method are that settings are locked so the user can't change them.

So whats the best way to handle HKCU (and user files for that matter)? Script HKCU registry changes using batch file, vbscript, or other languages etc to write default values that you want to run once at first launch. You can do this via logon script or if published applications are in seamless mode set the primary executable to by a launch script and not the application. Script would setup the registry (skipping if already present) then run the exe.

You can also push out HKCU registry settings without having to log the user on. Check out the REG LOAD and REG UNLOAD commands, wrap a script round it to do what you want point it at the roaming profile store to process every user profile once. Just make sure you unload the profile or a user won't be able to logon.
Posted by: pjgeutjens 12 years ago
Red Belt
I know that the advertisement should be avoided but I really don't understand how to deal with all of the user related data.

I could be mistaken here, if so someone correct me.
But as far as i know the rule when propagating user settings in Citrix/Terminal Server environments is:
Whatever you do, DO NOT trigger Windows Installer. Some light reading on my part seems to suggest Active Setup gets blocked off in citrix as well (see here).

So I guess you're left with logon scripts or some other script-based alternative...

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