The issue

Many people have encountered problems with clipboard (cut and paste) not working in Citrix XenApp ( formerly Presentation server/Metaframe) environment.

The cause

A not well behaving non-Citrix application can interfere with clipboard operation and cause problems with XenApp. A complete fix would require changes to the windows operating system.

Workaround exists but has limitations.

My colleague Dmitry Vostokov wrote a tool called RepairCBDChain to work around the issue. It works, but it is not easy to use, especially for end users.

A fix was incorporated in XenApp plugin (client)

Back in 2005 when I was still in Engineering department, I started tacking this problem. I found it a challenging but fun problem to solve since I can’t modify bad third party applications nor the operating system. And the problem happens intermittently.

After quite some effort, I found a way to allow the XenApp Plugin to detect broken clipboard and fix it automatically. I was happy and thought my job was done.

Here is the detailed information about the fix. The fix has been included in XenApp plugin (client) since 2005 version 9.100.

Our internal tests showed that the fix was effective. Some people in our support forum and blog have also reported successful use of my fix.

http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=57670&tstart=0
http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=88284&tstart=0
http://community.citrix.com/x/l4TeAQ

The fix is disabled by default unfortunately and was not well publicized.

The story didn’t end though. To reduce potential side effects, the feature was disabled by default. I didn’t agree with the decision but went alone. Unfortunately, the fix was buried in long release notes and not well publicized. As a result, not many people seem to know about the fix, including even XenApp experts. For example please see the comment section of this blog dated 2008 . And this blog. Another evidence is that RepairCBDChain is still one of the top downloaded knowledge base articles recently. I am disappointed that users haven’t benefited as much from my hard work as they should have been.

Should it be enabled by default now?

I wonder if this fix should be enabled by default now. After all, what good is a fix if people don’t know how to take advantage of it? In my opinion, the fix doesn’t have much risk. If it does have bad side effects, after all these years, people would have reported problems with the fix already. What do you think?

Related articles.

Citrix KB articles about clipboard issues
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX104631

Articles about RepairCBDChain tool.

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX106226

http://www.dumpanalysis.org/blog/index.php/2007/06/21/repair-clipboard-chain-201/

http://www.dumpanalysis.org/blog/index.php/2006/12/09/clipboard-issues-explained/

Jeff’s blog about clipboard in general.
http://citrixblogger.org/2007/05/27/the-citrix-clipboard-part-i/
http://citrixblogger.org/2007/05/30/the-citrix-clipboard-part-ii/

Ray (Ruiguo) Yang
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