So you’ve decided to crack open XD5, and you have some knowledge about XD 4. Shouldn’t be that difficult to translate that “know how” across platforms, right?

Wrong. XD5 is a completely different product from XD4.

You need to review the documentation instead of trampling head on into an upgrade or a new deployment. Unfortunately, portions of Citrix’ XenDesktop documentation is less than Windows-admin friendly when it comes to transitioning console UI knowledge into scripting knowledge. I am working with our Pubs team and Product Management to make finding this information cleaner and easier.

This blog post is specifically targeted at needing to understand that powershell commands will be part of your administrative life now. The sooner you realize it, the more you’ll be able to get done.

Here’s an example of one assumption:

Using my XenDesktop 4 knowledge, I assumed that being able to change logoff behavior is in the UI of Desktop Studio on the properties of the Desktop Group, just like in XenDesktop 4.
Well, the truth is, it should still there (see my EDIT note below), you just need to investigate if the powershell commands are present to modify the existing desktop group (or create an entirely new one as you feel more comfortable in PoSH)

So how would you have found that out?

In eDocs, you’d click on :
http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/index.jsp
….then
http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-rho/cds-sdk-wrapper-rho.html
….then
http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx127254/
…..then
http://support.citrix.com/static/kc/CTX127254/help/index.htm
….then
http://support.citrix.com/static/kc/CTX127254/help/Set-BrokerDesktopGroup.htm
….then you finally find the cmdlet to perform that action and the sample:

PeakLogOffAction : The action to be performed after a configurable period of a user session ending in peak hours. Possible values are Nothing, Suspend, or Shutdown.

EDIT: Restart is not present here – see note below.

So then I’d open up Studio, go to the Powershell tab, and run the cmdlet Set-BrokerDesktopGroup with the settings change.

I did the same thing when I discovered I couldn’t create a desktop group in the Studio with “Existing” “Pooled”…..or Random Powermanaged. There is no option in the Studio for Existing that would prevent the desktop group as an “assign on first use” type. By sifting through the PoSH commands, I found that creating a catalog with this type was just not exposed in the Studio. New-BrokerCatalog allowed me to create what I wanted.

So before you get frustrated that something is not in the product, have a look at the powershell cmdlet library, and go exploring. You might like what you find.

If I was still setting up initial implementations, I’d create a master script that once the broker controller installed, skip Quick Deploy, paste that script into the Studio, and let it create all the machine catalogs and desktops groups….while I go have a nap…..because I am Le Tired.

EDIT 2/3/2011: I’m going to eat some crow on this blog post a bit. It appears XD4 had “Restart” as an option in the console. In XD5 this is not an option in the Studio or even in powershell. In XD5 it was extended to include “Shutdown”, but not “Restart”. With a combination of Shutdown and Power Settings you could mimic Restart.