Hi again, its been too long!

For those who don’t know much about VM-hosted apps let me give you some background in point form to keep it nice and simple:

  • XenDesktop feature first introduced with XenDesktop 4
  • Designed to support applications which cannot be installed and published on Server operating systems (XenApp)
  • Alternative to application streaming technology which also supports applications which cannot be installed on Server OS’s
  • Uses XenDesktop VDI technology to allows users launch published applications running on Virtual Desktop (Users launch applications as if they were running on XenApp servers)
  • Only one ICA/HDX connection to each virtual desktop is supported unlike XenApp 
  • See Notes section at the end of this blog for more information re: XD5 implementation

Now that you get the gist, here is some content I created for configuring VM-hosted apps in XenDesktop5….. Enjoy 🙂


How to Configure VM Hosted Apps in XenDesktop 5

  • Create a new Catalog containing available machines
  • Right click on the “Applications” node and select “Create Application”


  • “Add existing” VM-hosted apps Desktop Group or select “Create new”

  • If creating an VM-hosted app for the first time then select “Create new” and complete the “Create Desktop Group” wizard  

  • If using a previously created Desktop Group then select “Add existing” and select the specific Desktop Group

  • Manually enter the path to the VM-hosted apps executable and select “Next” or click on “Browse” and search for the .exe and click “Open” – E.G. C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe

  • Click “Next” and Complete the rest of the “Create Application” wizard (Ref: Standard XenApp Publishing options)

  • Applications once published can be managed by clicking on the “Applications” node

  • Note: If you are having issues connecting to the admin shares on the selected machine (VDA) as per the screenshot below then check the firewall settings on the VDA and verify that “File and printer Sharing (SMB-In)” rule is enabled

  • Login to Web Interface or Citrix Receiver/Online Plug-in and launch published VM-hosted app


  • Fully Integrated with XenDesktop 5 (Configured through applications node in Desktop Studio)
  • Single Catalog can be used when creating multiple VM-hosted app Desktop Groups
  • Applications can contain multiple Desktop Groups containing multiple machines all hosting the same VM-hosted applications
  • Both Private and Shared Applications are Supported – Type is initially determined by existing Catalog or during Catalog creation
  • Shared applications are automatically launched from pooled Desktop Group
  • Private Applications can be pre-assigned or assigned on first use (AOFU)
  • VMs (VDAs) must be placed into maintenance mode before file types can be updated to support content redirection


Licensing Considerations:

  • When XenDesktop is configured to use Concurrent licensing, XenApp Licenses are required – XenDesktop Enterprise & Platinum editions ship with XenApp ENT & PLT licenses which means VM-hosted apps will work straight out of the box
  • When XenDesktop is configured to use User/Device Licensing, Seperate XenApp licenses are not required. A XenDesktop User or Device license will be used.
  • Application License edition can be changed using the Set-BrokerSite PoSH cmdlet – By default, the Application License edition is set to the same value as the Desktop License edition


Mick Glover

Citrix Support on:

Twitter – @citrixsupport & @citrixreadiness