If you know your way around network traces and you want to troubleshoot a Branch Repeater issue, nothing could be better than to just see the packets being transmitted over the network. However, BR traces are downloaded as .zip files that contain one or more files called something.OrbTrace – which are in a proprietary format and cannot be read by the likes of Wireshark. These OrbTraces can be decoded using a Branch Repeater (virtual) appliance, but that requires root access to the device – which we don’t have.

As an alternative, the Branch Repeater Plugin installed on a Windows PC can serve this purpose! You will need access to a Windows PC with the Branch Repeater Plugin installed (Note: For example, a version 5.7 Plugin can decode traces from a 6.0 appliance – but there may be limitations as to which version of BR Plugin can decode traces from various versions of BR appliances… I didn’t fully test this). Even if you are not using the Plugin, it can be installed and disabled – decoding traces will still be possible.

The steps to complete the task:

  1. Unzip the trace file downloaded from the Branch Repeater, then copy the *.OrbTrace file(s) to a Windows PC that has the BR Plugin installed.
  2. Open a command prompt and change the current folder to C:\Program Files\Citrix\Acceleration (default installation folder of the plugin)
  3. Run the following command, replacing <tracefile> with the correct path to the OrbTrace file (see screenshot) CitrixAccelerationPlugin.exe –a <tracefile>
      Example command        
  4. After that you’ll have a folder in the same location as the trace file, which contains the .pcap files.
    Have fun!