You may have seen the recent announcement of the availability of XenClient 1.0 SP1.  There was a line item in that post regarding the autoboot feature that deserves a bit more explanation.  The autoboot feature was developed in response to customer requests to address these key XenClient use case challenges:

  • There are XenClient UI’s (XenClient splash screen and Citrix Receiver for XenClient) that are new to the lay person and might cause end user confusion or create training requirements; In response, we have provided the ability to hide those UI’s from the end user
  • Eliminate the double login – i.e. eliminate the need for a user to log into XenClient and then again into the Windows VM; In response, now the user bypasses the XenClient login screen; Note: When using XenClient disk encryption, you need to authenticate into XenClient on device boot
  • Eliminate the challenges associated with a XenClient device being bound to the user that first logs into a XenClient device; Normally if an admin provides the initial login, that same admin login would be required once the device is in the hands of the end user; In response, auto boot lets the user bypass the XenClient login screen
  • Prevent users from making changes to VM settings for security reasons; In response, the Citrix Receiver for XenClient and its configuration settings are hidden from the end user 

Here are simple steps to enable the auto boot feature in XenClient to achieve the above benefits: 

  1. The Admin will bind (‘Connect to Synchronizer’ option in the Citrix Receiver for XenClient) the XenClient device to a Synchronizer* with a  password only admin knows
  2. From the Synchronizer, download the required virtual machine(s) to the XenClient device
  3. Set the device to autoboot** via the Citrix Receiver for XenClient interface under the “General” tab
  4. Provide the device to the user
  5. When the user powers on the device, it goes straight to the virtual machine and skips the XenClient splash screen and XenClient authentication screen – it feels just like bare metal:
    • The user never has to provide the XenClient credentials, only the AD credentials for Windows (if connected to AD)
    • The user never interacts with the Citrix Receiver for XenClient environment
    • The user cannot change the wireless or other settings that are in the Citrix Receiver for XenClient environment
    • Auto boot can be applied to multiple VM’s on a single XenClient device – the user will be taken to the one with HDX enabled (if one exists)
    • Policies can be pushed down as normal from the Synchronizer  

*XenClient doesn’t have to be bound to a Synchronizer; The admin can set a local password from the Citrix Receiver for XenClient; Go to System -> Login and check the box to “Require password on XenClient startup” to prevent users from accessing Citrix Receiver for XenClient.

**This behavior is new in XenClient 1.0 SP1.  Systems that are upgraded from 1.0 to 1.0 SP1 will still be prompted to authenticate if they have downloaded a VM from Synchronizer. New installs of XenClient 1.0 SP1 will boot directly to a VM if the VM is set to auto boot.

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.