Windows heavy users like me rarely log off desktop. In my case, I always have many build environment windows opened to build private binaries on different products in my desktop. With many windows opened, if I log off desktop, I will have to redo the same task to get back to the original state.

Using Citrix Remote PC Access is great. You can work on your workstation from anywhere in the world. In this article, I would like to introduce somewhat hidden feature that is quite useful as heavy Windows users who use Japanese keyboards.

In Japan, the majority of computers come with 106/109 keyboards, while in other part of the world, you can hardly find Japanese keyboard.

Since the introduction of Windows terminal server and MetaFrame 1.0, Japanese keyboards have been supported as a remote session with any language version of Windows OS. However, the support has been limited in a way that Windows desktop can only recognize the client keyboard when you log in to new desktop session. That means if you log in to your office Windows PC with Japanese keyboard and then make a business trip overseas where only English keyboard is available, you can end up having a wrong keyboard mapping when you reconnect to your office machine remotely. You would have to log off the desktop and log back in. That way, Windows OS will recognize your new keyboard as a new winstation. The same limitation has been there for Korean keyboards, which have their own keyboard types.

This has been due to the lack of capability of Windows OS, which Citrix ICA/HDX has long relied upon when making remote session.  So this problem can be seen with both RDP session and XenApp (that is Citrix RDS based session)

However, this is not the case when you use HDX to connect to your workstations. HDX detects the keyboard type information requested by your endpoint and dynamically change the device it uses for keyboard input. You don’t have to log off your desktop session just to make your keyboard layout recognized.

Another reason you would like to use HDX Remote PC Access on your office machine!

Note: According to Windows OS spec, Japanese keyboard requires active input locale to be Japanese, which supports both English and Japanese keyboard. So when you connect from endpoint with English keyboard, make sure English layout does not get activated. Using (Server Default)  keyboard layout setting would be easiest way to keep Japanese input locale active. CTX129166 explains this setting.