HDX on Linux thin clients? You bet! And the latest version of our Citrix Receiver for Linux enhances the HDX capabilities available to Linux users to provide a full high definition user experience and enable Linux thin clients to earn the HDX Ready designation.

Here are some highlights of what’s new in the 11.100 release:

  • New audio codec technology, just as was introduced in the 11.2 online plug-in for Windows. Great sound, low bandwidth consumption. And the HDX RealTime Optimized-for-Speech codec features low latency and other characteristics that make it ideal for use with softphones and voice chat (see my recent blog post on VoIP).
  • Improved video playback. The 11.100 Citrix Receiver for Linux includes new image codecs that deliver a faster frame rate when the client CPU is busy. XenDesktop 4 server-side video rendering provides a default frame rate of 24 fps (just like at the movies) and can deliver up to 30 fps. On top of that, the new audio codecs ensure that the video soundtrack is faithfully reproduced. These technologies result in a high definition user experience whether watching a recorded video (HDX MediaStream), such as a Flash or QuickTime or Silverlight movie, or participating in a video conference (HDX RealTime). In addition, the 11.100 Receiver is fully compatible with Windows Media Foundation, used in the latest versions of Windows Media Player.
  • Webcam support. The 11.100 client adds isochronous USB redirection, supporting webcams for LAN-connected users. This enables users to fully participate in video conferences using applications such as Microsoft Office Communicator, Adobe Connect and others. Isochronous USB also provides an alternative to Bidirectional Audio for devices such as USB telephones which require signaling in addition to the audio path.
  • Branch Repeater integration. This enhancement is of huge value to organizations delivering virtual desktops to branch office workers. HDX IntelliCache WAN Optimization analyzes the ICA data stream to identify data which has been sent to the branch before, and greatly reduces bandwidth consumption by just sending a token to the Branch Repeater so that it can pull that data from its local cache. Once one or two people have viewed a video, subsequent viewers consume very little bandwidth because the Branch Repeater effectively acts as a local media server. The same tokenized compression benefits desktop logon, application startup, printing, document viewing, and many other common tasks.
  • Support for HDX 3D Pro Graphics. Although this version of the Receiver for Linux doesn’t yet support decoding of GPU-compressed data streams, it introduces support for decoding of CPU-compressed Pro Graphics data. So a user with a capable Linux device and a network connection of about 3 Mbps or above can now access a Pro Graphics host workstation for high-end 3D OpenGL and DirectX applications such as CATIA, SolidWorks, Revit Architecture, Maya, Pro/Engineer and many more.
  • Enhanced multi-monitor support (HDX Plug-n-Play). The 11.100 Receiver provides full flexibility in multi-monitor orientation and geometry as well as screen resolutions. A new command line parameter allows the client to communicate to Linux window managers that the session should be located on a particular monitor or span a set of monitors, and control how many monitors a desktop is displayed upon.

As you can see, this new release makes sure that Linux users are able to fully enjoy the HDX features of XenDesktop 4, including XenApp. Stay tuned; I expect multiple HDX Ready Linux-based thin clients to appear on the Citrix Ready product web site within the next 60 days.

Derek Thorslund
Citrix Product Strategist, HDX